Office of the Ombudsman concludes an internal Gender Audit


The Office of the Ombudsman undertook a gender audit of its internal operations and external activities between February – May 2022.

A gender audit is a tool to find out the extent to which gender equality is understood and acted upon in an organization.

A pioneering exercise for a National Human Rights Institutions in the Pacific facilitated by the Asia Pacific Forum for National Human Rights Institutions (APF) which supported the Office to examine and understand how effectively, it includes gender
equality in its internal operations (such as its structure, organization culture and practice, policies and procedures, funding and resourcing) and its external work (across all its functions and work divisions).

The key outcomes of the gender audit were to;
1. increase the Office’s capacity to apply a gender perspective to its activities and to its internal
policies and practices and;
2. Strengthened gender equality leadership and expertise in the Office, in order that it can
continue its internal protection and promotion of gender equality, and contribute to the efforts
of other organizations in Samoa.

The audit exercise involved a review of key office documents and semi-structured interviews with both
internal and external stakeholders.

As a result of the audit, it identified where the Office is doing well to promote gender equality and where it could improve. In light of this, 19 recommendations were made towards 5 focus areas of the audit. Some of the recommendations include:

1. Explicitly translate strategic gender mainstreaming statements into the internal and external
operations of the Office, including work plans and design performance measures accordingly.
2. Reflect gender equality (such as the use of images and language) on the website and in external
3. Facilitate internal gender equality refresher training at least once per year to support staff apply
a gender lens to their work.
4. Ensure the outside ‘face’ of the Office, including the website, social media and other
communications, is gender inclusive.
5. Develop a checklist or tool that will support the Office to apply a gender lens to all its external

The Office acknowledges the support of the APF for its ongoing support as well as the Office external partners and staff who participated in the process.