Gender is a key consideration in development. It is a way of looking at how social norms and power structures impact on the lives and opportunities available to different groups of men and women. Globally, more women than men live in poverty. Women are also less likely than men to receive basic education and to be appointed to a political position in most countries. Understanding that men and women, boys and girls experience poverty differently and face different barriers in accessing services, economic resources and political opportunities helps to guide our programmes. We integrate a gender-approach to all of our work, have a strong organisational gender policy upon which all of our work rests, work with overseas organisations who are leaders in the women’s rights movement, and assist partners to better integrate gender equality into their programmes.
Human rights approaches combine international, regional and national legal frameworks. Human rights can also be defined collectively, most commonly by indigenous peoples. Approaches to promoting human rights can therefore involve both 'bottom up' empowerment and 'top down' strengthening of accountability institutions. They also necessitate efforts to tackle structural inequalities caused by exclusion, discrimination and unequal power relations. In our work we place an emphasis on identifying which right(s) are at the centre of the issue we are dealing with, in looking at who in each situation is the “duty-bearer” for that right, and focus programmes on helping marginalised people to better understand their human rights and to build the capacity to be able to claim them.
Social justice is based on the values of fairness, equality, respect for diversity, access to social protection, and the application of human rights in all spheres of life, including in the workplace. We strive to integrate social justice principles throughout our work, from ensuring that our programmes adopt a human rights approach, to ensuring that marginalised and vulnerable people are at the forefront of our work in Canada and abroad, to ensuring that the rights of indigenous peoples are strengthened through our work. Social justice is not just something that is “done to others”, it emanates from the centre of the organisation and includes a commitment to maintaining a diverse staff and Board where women and indigenous people are represented in leadership positions, to maintaining a fair and empowering workplace.
VIDEA would like to acknowledge the ancestral, traditional and unceded Indigenous territories of the WS'ANEC' (Saanich), Tsartlip and Tsawout (central Saanich), Lekwungen (Songhees), Wyomilth (Esquimalt) and T'Sou-ke (Sooke) Coast Salish Peoples, on whose territory we work, live and play.