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 1 – 12 of 49

Safeguard Young People (SYP) - Tanzania

Safeguard Young People Programme

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2026

With 62% of its population below 25 years, the Safeguard Young People (SYP) programme supports Tanzania’s demographic dividend. The project advances young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) through a gender-responsive and inclusive policy environment, empowered youth who make informed decisions, and responsive health and education systems. SYP builds on 10 years of regional experience and UNFPA’s expertise.


EmPower II: Women for Climate Resilient Societies

01.12.2023 - 31.12.2025

With EmPower II, SDC contributes to a SIDA-funded project of UN-Women and UNEP promoting  climate-resilient development for women and other marginalized groups. SDC’s support enables disaggregated data products for gender-responsive DRR and climate strategies and enhances capacities on the subnational level among policy-makers and CSOs. SDC’s support also facilitates financial access and literacy on renewable energy in Cambodia, Bangladesh and Indonesia.


Human Rights Grants (HRG) program in Tajikistan

01.10.2023 - 30.11.2025

The Human Rights grants program will support local and international organizations working in Tajikistan on acute Human Rights issues. The program will provide cofunding opportunities to selected projects related to child rights, freedom of press, human rights in custody, prevention of gender-based violence and the rights of migrants/refugees.


Norwegian Church Aid (NCA): Violence basée sur le Genre: dignité, résilience et prévention

01.07.2023 - 30.06.2025

La violence basée sur le genre et particulièrement la violence sexuelle est un des problèmes de protection le plus répandu et le plus grave auquel sont confrontées surtout les femmes et les filles à l’est de la RDC. Dans une approche intégrée, ce projet vise à la fois à répondre, prévenir et renforcer la résilience des individus et de la communauté face à la violence basée sur le genre.


Supporting returnee and host communities to rebuild livelihoods, generate income, and peacefully improve and manage natural resources for short-term relief and long-term food security (Triple Nexus) in South Sudan.

01.07.2023 - 30.09.2025

This project will support returnees and the host communities to rebuild their livelihoods, generate income, and peacefully improve and manage natural resources for short-term relief and long-term food security. This will be achieved through increased food production, sustainable management and governance of natural resources, initiating alternative income opportunities, non-violent conflict resolution and GBV prevention. This intervention aligns with the humanitarian, peace and development nexus and will contribute to durable solutions. 


South Sudan: Plan International, Integrated Protection, Skills Building and Learning for Empowerment of Adolescents, Youth, families and communities in Yei, Morobo and Kajokeji

15.06.2023 - 14.06.2025

This project seeks to complement the previous phase of an integrated protection intervention. It will build on key successes, achievements and key lessons learned through the provision of integrated life-saving emergency child protection services, skills building, empowerment of adolescent youth and communities in the targeted locations. 


Women and Girls First

01.05.2023 - 31.12.2026

In Myanmar, the pandemic and military coup have increased the risks for gender-based violence (GBV) and deep-rooted gender inequality. Through the Women and Girls First programme, Switzerland supports women, girls and young people to realise their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and fulfil their potential. It does so by strengthening community-based and ethnic systems to be more responsive to needs related to GBV, SRHR and mental health.


Supporting displacement-affected communities to access essential services and achieve durable solutions in Diyala and Ninewa governorates, Iraq

15.04.2023 - 14.04.2025

Although the Islamic State (IS) was defeated territorially more than five years ago, 2.5 million people in Iraq are in need of humanitarian assistance. This project aims to address key protection issues, such as lack of access to civil legal documents, in displacement-affected communities in Diyala and Ninewa governorates. The goal is to achieve durable solutions through access to essential services and handover to national agencies through capacity building and advocacy.


Women’s Increased Leadership for Democracy in Georgia

01.04.2023 - 31.03.2027

To engage more women in Georgia’s political and public life, the WILD project will

(i) increase the political literacy and skills of 1’150 locally active women, their organizations and public servants;

(ii) sensitize 60 journalists, and 150 data producers and users on gender-related reporting;

(iii) contribute to development and adoption of gender-responsive laws and policies, benefitting some 38’350 public servants. The project will engage with men to foster behavioural change.


Réinsertion des détenu.e.s en Algérie

01.04.2023 - 31.12.2026

Le projet « Réinsertion des détenu.e.s en Algérie » contribue à la promotion de la réinsertion des détenu.e.s les plus vulnérables dans le tissu social algérien, dans un but déclaré de renforcer la cohésion sociale, une priorité pour le gouvernement. Le projet propose un accompagnement à la Direction Générale de l’Administration Pénitentiaire et de la Réinsertion (DGAPR) pour la modernisation et l’optimisation de la prise en charge et de la formation des détenu.e.s, dans le but de faciliter leur réinsertion sociale.


Promoting Gender Responsive Policies and Budgets

01.04.2023 - 31.03.2026

Switzerland, through a contribution to UN Women for 2023-2026, supports central and local governments of North Macedonia to advance gender equality through gender-responsive legislation and by practicing gendered budgeting processes: citizens, especially women, and civil society organizations will be strengthened to exercise their voice in decision-making through policy dialogue. Oversight institutions will also be capacitated to better monitor the implementation of gender-responsive budgeting processes. 


Legal Protection of Women and Children in the MENA region: An Integrated Approach

01.04.2023 - 31.03.2026

Despite significant protection efforts in Middle East (ME) so far, major gaps remain particularly for complex legal-protection cases. This intervention in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and North-West Syria will address selected complex legal-protection issues through integrated legal assistance and protection casework, and aims to improve the overall protection environment in the ME through development of information resources, capacity building for local actors and awareness raising for authorities. 

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