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

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.


Strengthening the Role of Local Communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

01.05.2020 - 31.03.2024

The Project will enhance community governance in BiH by empowering local communities (MZs) as modern and effective structures for pro-active citizens’ participation. A new functional and organizational set up of MZs in BiH will be created and standardized countrywide. In turn, women and men will benefit from more people-centred local service delivery, better accountability and transparency of municipalities.

 

 

 


Women and Girls First

01.05.2020 - 31.12.2022

SDC up-scales the “Women and Girls First” program of its priority partner UN Population Fund in southern Shan, where no other donor is present. The program strengthens government, civil society and ethnic health providers’ systems to be responsive to the needs of young people related to sexual reproductive health and rights. It improves access to comprehensive gender-based violence, mental health and psychosocial support services, and enhances social cohesion.


Participation des femmes dans le processus de paix, de sécurité et de relèvement au Mali

15.04.2020 - 31.03.2024

Au Mali, les crises ont fortement impacté les femmes, mais celles-ci n’ont pas été incluses dans les efforts vers une réconciliation nationale. Le Plan d’Action National sur les femmes, la paix et la sécurité vise à renverser cette tendance. Un soutien à sa mise en œuvre par l’intermédiaire d’ONU Femmes et de Women in Law & Development Africa (WILDAF) favorisera une participation réelle des femmes dans les négociations de paix et la reconstruction post-conflit, le respect de leurs droits, et contribuera à la stabilisation du pays et de la sous-région.


Program Contribution to the Independent Commission for Human Rights

01.03.2020 - 31.12.2022

The ICHR is the Palestinian national Human Rights Institute and ombudsman, dedicated to supporting Palestinian citizens’ rights. It monitors independently the performance of the government and its compliance with its legal and human rights obligations. Using mediation and dialogue, it advises the authorities to improve respect of human rights and to support victims of violations. Support to the ICHR with institutional development as well as with program funding contributes to the democratic state building agenda of Switzerland.

Object 13 – 24 of 48