Gender equality

A woman and a man talk outside a hut.
The SDC is committed to gender equality in all its projects. ©SDC

Gender inequality is one of the greatest obstacles to sustainable development, economic growth, and poverty reduction. The SDC is helping to ensure that women and men have the same right to develop their potential and can use their resources in a meaningful way.

Poverty continues to have a distinct gender dimension: according to international studies, women comprise about 70% of people living in extreme poverty. Unequal laws and social norms put many women and girls at a disadvantage in terms of access to health and education, decision-making positions, financial resources, and the job market.

They often work under precarious conditions, in less productive sectors, and without social security. In addition, they earn less than men. Women also have less influence on social, political, and economic decision-making processes and often fall victim to gender-based violence, discrimination, and exclusion.

In working to ensure equal rights and conditions for women and men, the SDC integrates men and boys into its work on gender issues. These concerns are reflected in all SDC projects and strategies. Priority areas are conflicts, fragile contexts, the economy, and politics.

The FDFA’s strategy on equal opportunities and women's rights, adopted in 2017, made gender equality a major pillar of Swiss foreign policy. Switzerland's international cooperation strategy 2021-2024 addresses gender equality as a transversal theme that is taken into account in all SDC activities. Switzerland is also committed to implementing the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Its Goal 5 is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Switzerland is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) of 1979. Equality between women and men is enshrined in Article 8, paragraph 3 of the Federal Constitution of 1999.

Gender and women's rights in conflict situations and fragile contexts

The SDC implements UN Resolution 1325; priority areas are prevention of and protection against gender-based violence in conflict situations and women's participation in peace processes.

Strengthening women's political participation

The SDC is helping to ensure that women and men can fulfil their obligations as equal citizens.

Access to resources, education, and income

Women play a key role in poverty reduction and food security. To achieve this, they need access to natural resources, education, and income.

Gender Equality Toolbox: Instruments for Gender Mainstreaming

Instruments for Gender Mainstreaming and Access to Knowledge Resources.

Documents

Current projects

Object 13 – 24 of 48

SYP Safeguard Young People in Eastern African countries

01.03.2021 - 28.02.2024

The SYP program contributes to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people, thus  reducing gender based health inequities. It supports the adoption, domestication and implementation of policies, and strengthens young people’s competencies on and access to SRHR services. The expansion to Tanzania and Rwanda leverages on the  experience in Southern Africa financed by SDC, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)’s thematic expertise and convening power.


Financial support to the Programme of Work and Budget of the OECD Development Center 2021-2022

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2022

The Development Center of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is a policy oriented institution which conducts studies and provides platforms for dialogues and knowledge sharing between OECD and non OECD countries. Switzerland’s support to the Center contributes to the development of inclusive and responsive public policies that foster sustainable and inclusive growth with the objective to reduce poverty and inequalities in emerging and developing economies.  


Civil Society Support in Bosnia and Herzegovina

01.12.2020 - 31.05.2027

Citizens will increase their influence on policy making through their active engagement with civil society organisations. Through improvement of their know-how on civic participation and engagement in civil society alliances, civil society organisations will effectively participate in democratic processes, demand reforms from the authorities, and contribute to social change in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They will increasingly act as advocates for democratic reforms, gender equality, human rights and social inclusion rather than as service providers.


Supporting Small-scale Dairy Production

01.10.2020 - 30.09.2024

This contribution aims at improving economic empowerment and resilience of women dairy producers in Abkhazia and Samegrelo. The protracted conflict in Abkhazia impedes socio-economic development, leading to high poverty and vulnerability to external shocks, as COVID-19. Women are particularly vulnerable, as they are also victims of gender-based discrimination and domestic violence. Farmer Field Schools will empower women by enhancing their technical and leadership skills.


O3+ Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future

01.10.2020 - 14.09.2025

This project uses targeted interventions in post-secondary educational institutions in Zambia and Zimbabwe to improve access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) among 18-24 year-olds. Working with UNESCO and Ministries of Higher and Tertiary Education, the project brings Switzerland’s lengthy experience in the HIV/SRHR field to bear by targeting an often neglected cohort of young people with tailored interventions to reduce HIV infections, unintended pregnancies, and gender-based violence. 


PSTIC: Provision of protection and humanitarian assistance to vulnerable migrants in Greater Cairo

21.08.2020 - 31.12.2021

The increase in migrants and refugees residing in Egypt, coupled with shrinking humanitarian funding are leaving many at protection risk. With new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the protection risks have risen and needs are exacerbated. This project will respond to the immediate protection needs of refugees and migrants by providing a comprehensive package of gender sensitive emergency protection services in Greater Cairo, with a special focus on women and children at risk. 


Combating Gender-Based Violence in Mongolia

Let's understand and respect each others campaign

01.08.2020 - 31.07.2023

Aiming at sustainable change of behaviour and mental disposition, the 2nd phase of this project seeks to protect the victims of Gender-based Violence (GBV), women/girls and men/boys, and to mitigate the root causes of violence. This follow-up phase focuses on the consolidation and institutionalization of GBV prevention and response mechanism. The project is in line with Mongolia’s and Switzerland’s commitment to combat GBV and gender inequalities.


COVID-19 - Prevention and Recovery in the Mekong Region

01.08.2020 - 30.09.2022

Vulnerable groups in Laos and Cambodia suffered disproportionally from the Covid-19 socio-economic crisis affecting their income, as well as access to public services and employment. Swiss support will combine institutional strengthening of local actors and provision of public services, skills development, access to credit and support to returning migrants. The long-term experience of Switzerland and trusted relationships with governments add value to the intervention


GBVPR - Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response Project

01.07.2020 - 30.06.2024

With its longstanding experience in promoting psychosocial support services and a strong engagement in support of federal state building, Switzerland is well positioned to engage on reducing all forms of GBV and discrimination against women in Nepal. The project aims at strengthening and institutionalizing a coordinated, survivor-centred response for GBV victims, addressing root causes and engaging with all government levels for a more gender equitable policy environment. 


Decent Work and Income Security for Women through Inclusive Growth and Investments in the Care Economy (ILO and UN Women)

15.06.2020 - 31.08.2023

Decent work and income security for women is the objective of Switzerland’s contribution to the joint ILO/UN Women programme. It will bring gender into the focus of macro-level and national policy planning, helping to translate global research into national action. Switzerland supports this systemic approach as it strengthens the economic independence of women and men. Switzerland provides direct channels to link the international policy dialogue in Geneva with countries in the global South.


Life Without Violence

01.06.2020 - 31.12.2022

The project aims to contribute to reduce domestic violence, which is experienced by 70% of women in Bolivia, be it psychological, physical, sexual or economic. Good practices (in prevention and support) from the previous phase will be replicated and scaled up. Evidence-based advocacy at the policy level aims to improve procedures and the implementation of laws in an integral response model involving central and local state institutions and civil society. In addition, the project provides a comprehensive response towards combating the impact of COVID-19 on domestic violence.


PAEG - Programme d’Appui à l’Egalité du Genre

01.06.2020 - 30.06.2026

Se basant sur son engagement de longue haleine en faveur de l’égalité du genre au Bénin, la Suisse entend soutenir l’Etat béninois dans la mise en œuvre effective des lois et politiques visant à réduire la vulnérabilité socio-économique de sa population féminine. En jouissant pleinement de leurs droits, les femmes béninoises joueront un rôle plus actif dans le développement de leur pays et contribueront au renforcement de la paix et de la cohésion sociale.

Object 13 – 24 of 48