Gender Equality in Public Institutions Workshop

Gender Equality in Public Institutions: Monitoring Global Progress

On November 8-10, 2017, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the University of Pittsburgh jointly convened “Gender Equality in Public Institutions: Monitoring Global Progress” (see agenda). The workshop's aim was to convene scholars and practitioners to discuss and further global monitoring of women’s participation and leadership in public service. Specifically aligned with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 to “promote peaceful, just, and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels,” the workshop focused on strategies and efforts to measure progress toward proportional representation of women in public institutions.

Launch of Gender Equality Research Lab (GIRL) @ Pitt

The workshop began with a reception celebrating the launch of GIRL @ Pitt. The event was attended by university administrators, the workshop's UNDP co-conveners, and workshop participants. At the reception, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs Dean John Keeler and UNDP Deputy Administrator and Assistant Deputy Director Sarah Poole signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Pitt and UNDP.

Keynote Address by UNDP Deputy Administrator

The workshop opened with a keynote address by UNDP Deputy Administrator and Assistant Deputy Director Sarah Poole. Ms. Poole’s speech was titled “Shining a Light on Decision-Making in Public Institutions: Reflections on SDG Data to Fuel Women’s Empowerment in the Public Service.” The keynote address was sponsored by the Professor Saul M. Katz International Lectureship on Economic & Social Development. Video of the address is available herepart 1 and part 2.

Panels, Presentations, and Break-Out Sessions

The workshop brought together academics and practitioners with expertise on women’s participation and leadership in public service to assist in the monitoring of SDG 16.7.1.  Two days of collaboration was marked by three themed panels, two presentations of the University of Pittsburgh Gender Equality in Public Administration (GEPA) Graduate Student Working Group, and concluded with break-out sessions to identify lessons learned and research questions to tackle moving forward.  Here is a summary of the workshop.


The event was co-organized by the University of Pittsburgh's Global Studies Center and the United Nations Development Programme, and was co-sponsored by the Ford Center for Human Security at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs; the Department of Political Science and Department of Sociology in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, and the University Center for International Studies, including the African Studies Program, the Center for Latin American Studies, and the European Studies Center.