The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa was created in 1996 to supersede the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) which was founded in 1986. The recurring and severe droughts and other natural disasters between 1974 and 1984 caused widespread famine, ecological degradation and economic hardship in the Eastern Africa region. Although individual countries made substantial efforts to cope with the situation and received generous support from the international community, the magnitude and extent of the problem argued strongly for a regional approach to supplement national efforts (Source IGAD).

Gender and IGAD

IGAD appears to hold gender equality as a key priority area as evidenced in press release documents on the website. However gender is not highlighted in the overall mission, vision or objectives of the organization.

A 2008 report claims that gender is high on IGAD’s priority list as the IGAD Executive Secretary, Eng. Mabhoub Maalim went to visit the Minister of Advancement of Women, Family Welfare and Social Affairs, H.E. Mrs. Nimo Boulhan Hussein.[i]

This press release on this event
expressed IGAD’s efforts to promote women’s advancements in the region in general and in Djibouti in particular, stating that gender programs are high in the organization’s priorities.

Under the IGAD strategy gender is briefly mentioned in
Section IV stating that gender mainstreaming is a crosscutting theme.

Gender Related Events

An event in June focused on gender, which was a two day Karamoja Women for Peace building Networking Meeting

In April 2011, a conference was held on women and peace where women leaders gathered to discuss women’s engagement in peace and security initiatives. It also served as an exchange of personal experiences in conflict situations.

Gender Commitments

Gender issues within the organization were reviewed in 2010 with the goal of examining women’s representation in decision-making positions, new aid modalities, HIV/Aids and reproductive health and other key issues. This effort was backed by IGAD’s strategy to realize the MDG on gender equality. The review was also inspired by the goals of the African Women’s decade. The goal was to implement recommendations in 2012 at the IGAD Gender Experts Meeting and to provide support for realization of the Regional Strategy for Enhancing Representation of Women in decision-making positions at the level of the 50/50 share by 2015. IGAD also pledged support to/for:

  • · Develop monitoring system to the implementation of the IGAD gender policy and operationalize the Gender Peer Review Mechanism to facilitate follow up
  • · Operationalize the Resource Manual Promoting Gender Equality in NAM in Africa
  • ·Provide all the necessary support to the Gender Programme of the IGAD to advance
  • · Allocate 10% of the national budget over and above the recurrent and capital budget towards the implementation of specific programs developed in line with the MDGs
  • · Initiate a policy framework for programming on gender and climate change

A current job position for IGAD on gender exists as is open for application (Posted March 10, 2012). The job is for a consultant to develop guidelines for gender mainstreaming in regional organizations migration policies and programs.

(The baseline audit that resulted in the creation of this position can be found here: 

On IGAD’s website you will also find the TOR’s for a 2011 study on gender. This report states that:

  • · A workshop on Women in Business was conducted in October 1998 in Nairobi, where the creation of a women's desk at the IGAD Secretariat level was initiated.
  • ·The concept of the creation of the desk was taken for approval to the 18th session of the IGAD Council of Ministers, held in February 199 in Djibouti, Republic of Djibouti. The miniesterial meeting, which displayed commitment to mainstreaming gender into priority programs and projects of IGAD, endorsed the proposal and hence the Women's Desk became a reality in 1999.  
  • ·IGAD developed a new strategy for 2004 to 2008, with a more focused vision, mission and programs, and the importance of an IGAD Gender Policy and the harmonization of the national gender policies in the sub-region was recongized. Consequently, an IGAD Gender Policy and Strategy was formulated and launched in 2004.  
  • ·The policy has also articulated its specific objectives as follows:  
  1. o Generate and hold itself accountable to creating an enabling environment for gender mainstreaming for purpose of achieving gender equity and equality goals; 
  2. o Strengthen and secure IGAD institutional framework for upholding equality and equity principles and goals; 
  3. o Facilitate a harmonized way of achieving gender mainstreaming at all levels within IGAD 
  4. o Mainstream gender into IGAD structures, organs, sect oral programs and themes 
  5. o Establish IGAD Gender and Development Indicators that will enhance its

There is no information on the IGAD website on gender-sensitive hiring or gender disaggregated data of staff/organization breakdown

 Please visit the website of  The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)to find out more about the organisation at


Go to top