Gender is an integral part of DFID's core business to eliminate poverty overseas. The third millennium development goal (MDG) specifically promotes gender equality and women's empowerment and evidence shows that gender equality is also key to the achievement of the other MDGs.
In line with the commitment in the Government's recent White Paper (July 2006) to give greater priority to gender equality, DFID carried out an evaluation of how effective the Department has been at achieving gender equality and women's empowerment. This led to the development of a three year gender equality action plan.
The Department is also taking the following steps to meet its specific legal responsibilities under the gender equality duty.
The Department has launched a consultation with staff and policy heads, to review UK based functions and activities to develop and publish our Gender Equality Scheme by
DFID's Human Resources Division is updating gender monitoring data on our employment functions and will use this evidence to promote equality as necessary. We are now identifying other activities for which we will collect more data on gender outcomes, such as the uptake of DFID's proposed volunteering scheme and the use of the development awareness fund.
A network of gender champions has been established across the Department, consisting of senior civil servants, who are responsible for promoting equality and ensuring the Department's action plans are implemented.