Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus
In 2017, Switzerland embarked on a multi-donor project which laid a solid foundation for women’s economic empowerment in the South Caucasus, yet, further support is needed to fulfil women’s rights, which remain constrained by structural and cultural barriers. The Swiss-funded contribution will support capacity-building and provide technical assistance at institutions and policy level and, combined with activities at grassroots level, benefit at least 1’850 vulnerable women in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia
Employment & economic development
Women’s equality organisations and institutions
- United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
Women's empowerment is essential for bringing about social change and arriving at sustainable development. Notwithstanding considerable progress in women’s educational attainment, their social and economic empowerment (WEE) still constitutes a challenge for the South Caucasus. The low inclusion of women in formal labour, the gender wage gaps, unequal political participation and over-involvement in care work entrenches women’s unequal opportunities and vulnerabilities. WEE is also impeded by the pervasive presence of gender-based stereotypes and discriminatory practices in all three countries.
That is why Switzerland and Austria joined their efforts, complemented by Norway’s contribution, to increase women’s socio-economic security by improving their access to livelihood and development opportunities; advocating for better gender mainstreaming in national policies and programs; offering the capacity-building on WEE to the governmental and non-governmental partners; and incentivizing the private sector with regard to the women’s contributions to economies.
|Objectives||Women, particularly poor and socially excluded, in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are economically empowered and participate in relevant decision-making processes.|
- Council of Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in the Prime Minister’s Office
- The Ministries of Territorial Administration and Development, Economy, and of Labour and Social Issues
- Local governments of 11 municipalities across the two regions: Gegharkunik and Shirak
- In Azerbaijan:
- The State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs
- Executive committees of 4 districts: Baku-Khazar, Fuzuli, Gusar and Sabirabad
- In Georgia:
- Parliamentary Gender Equality Council
- The Inter-Agency Commission for Gender Equality, Ending Violence against Women and Domestic Violence in the Prime Minister’s Office
- The Ministries of Economy and Sustainable Development; Environmental Protection and Agriculture, and of Labour, Health and Social Affairs
- Local governments of 12 municipalities across the four regions: Kakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Samtskhe-Javakheti and Mtskheta-Mtianeti
- Outcome 1: Women, particularly the poor and socially excluded, use skills, economic opportunities, relevant information, network and support to become farmers/ entrepreneurs or to join the formal labour sector in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
- Outcome 2: Armenia and Georgia implement adequate legislative and policy reforms and frameworks to enable women’s economic empowerment.
Outcome 3: The government, public and non-governmental institutions are strengthened to develop and deliver gender-responsive programmes, policies and services for women’s economic empowerment in Armenia and Georgia.
- At least 1’850 women with strengthened capacities/skills to join the formal labour sector, become farmers/ entrepreneurs, contribute to the local planning and budgeting discussions in the region
- 480 women with increased incomes and better employment in the region
- Approx. 40 private companies sign the WEPs in Armenia and Azerbaijan
- Approx. 90 local initiatives facilitated by women in Armenia and Georgia as a result of participation in the local level planning and budgeting
- Approx. 6 LNGOs and think-tanks, and 4 public institutions with strengthened capacities in WEE in the region
2 PGAs and 2 GIAs conducted in Armenia and Georgia
Results from previous phases:
- 1’046 women trained in the region; 416 women became (self-)employed
- 15 private companies signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) in Armenia and Azerbaijan
- 64 advocacy initiatives submitted by women to their local authorities in Armenia and Georgia
- 6 Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIAs) of ILO Conventions 183, 189 and 156, five Gender Impact Assessments (GIAs), and four Participatory Gender Audits (PGAs) were conducted in Armenia and Georgia
Gender Pay Gap was calculated for Armenia and Georgia; Time Use Survey and Social Protection Floors’ Assessment was initiated in Armenia and Georgia respectively
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
United Nations Organization (UNO)
The contractual arrangement in Phase 2 will stay the same as in Phase 1: SDC will contribute to this regional WEE project, to be implemented by UNW. In Armenia and Azerbaijan, UN Women will contract UNDP for the project implementation by means of an “UN Agency to UN Agency Contribution Agreement”, whereby UNDP will report to UNW which, in turn, will report to the SDC.
The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) will join the project as a co-donor through its separate agreement with UNW.
|Coordination with other projects and actors||The project, implemented by UN Women and co-funded by Austria, is also part of a programmatic approach with Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Georgia. The project will be coordinated with the SDC’s rural development, VET, forestry and local governance projects in Armenia and Georgia, as well as with women’s empowerment interventions, funded by the EU and UK in Armenia and Azerbaijan.|
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 3’930’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 1’345’023|
|Project phases||Phase 2 01.08.2021 - 31.07.2024 (Current phase) Phase 1 01.11.2017 - 31.07.2021 (Completed)|