Daniela Santana and Osvaldo Rudloff
Executive Secretariat of the OLACEFS
Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Chile

Twenty-five years after the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and five years after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Latin American and Caribbean Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions, OLACEFS, has taken a great step forward in implementing the gender perspective in its actions: the creation of the Working Group on Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination.

We started working on gender issues back in 2012 when we held the meeting “Gender and Transparency in Supreme Auditing” in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Within this framework, we issued the Declaration of Santo Domingo, in which we reaffirmed our commitment to the application of gender policies within entities, as well as in the audit work. That first step was reflected in subsequent efforts that, in 2014, led us to embody the idea of gender mainstreaming in supreme auditing in the Declaration of Cusco.

Since then, we have carried out two coordinated audits on the subject. These have been crucial in ensuring that the policies and strategies of the respective governments adhere to the global commitments to promote gender equality and foster practical learning around the incorporation of this vision, in line with the ISSAI 12 on the value and benefit of SAIs. The first of these audits began its process in 2014 and, in it, we evaluated the incorporation of gender issues in policies, strategies, programs and projects of the governments evaluated, considering, in particular, the subjects of education, health and employment.

In the second coordinated audit, we reviewed the preparation of governments for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, with the participation of 18 SAIs (16 SAIs from Latin America and the Caribbean, the Spanish Court of Auditors and the Office of the Comptroller General of Bogotá). The focus on that occasion was to analyze the actions of the respective governments around the axes of planning, financing and monitoring of those plans, policies, actions and structures, defined to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

But it seemed to us that, in line with the principles of the 2030 Agenda, we should lead by example, which is why we carried out a survey that sought to ascertain the internal situation of gender equality in each SAI of the OLACEFS. The results of this survey were published at the XXIX General Assembly of OLACEFS, in San Salvador, El Salvador, where the findings were complemented by participatory workshops in order to enrich, under a qualitative methodology, the understanding of the perception of the gender situation within the SAIs of the OLACEFS.

The processes of quantitative and qualitative diagnosis of the gender situation within SAIs of the OLACEFS have reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive gender policy, based on concrete measures, to achieve effective equality between women and men within the entities that are a part of the Organization.

For this reason, we see that the Working Group on Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination – hereinafter the “Group” – is presented as a space where we can join forces in order to virtuously build a gender policy for the OLACEFS and its member SAIs, which we hope will contribute to promoting fairer and more egalitarian Audit Institutions in line with, among others, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Today we are happy because the creation of the Group was approved last Tuesday, June 30 at the LXXI (online session) Board of Directors 2020. With that approval today, the Group has a defined objective, which will be to propose a gender policy that will serve as the basis to be implemented in SAIs of the OLACEFS. Likewise, it must define, together with the SAIs concerned, the implementation of the policy, its monitoring and evaluation, as well as the processes of feedback and exchange of good practices that can be generated around gender equality and non-discrimination.

Incorporating the gender perspective in the member entities of the OLACEFS must be a process present in all the areas of action of the SAIs and the Organization, not just in the design. The creation of this Working Group marks a milestone in our history that channels the real will of its members with respect, promotion and protection of human rights and with its role as an actor for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

About the authors:

Daniela Santana and Osvaldo Rudloff, representing the interdisciplinary team of the Executive Secretariat of OLACEFS (Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Chile).