Strengthening women's political participation

A woman in Afghanistan wearing a colourful veil holds up her left index finger, which has black ink on it after casting her vote.
The SDC promotes the active participation of women in elections. © SDC

Women around the world only have a limited influence on decision-making in politics, the economy, society, and even the household. The SDC is helping to ensure that women can fulfil their obligations as citizens on an equal footing as men and promotes their political participation.

SDC focus

The SDC systematically integrates gender equality dimension in its governance projects.  In democratisation processes, for example, it promotes women's political participation at the local and national levels.

In Afghanistan, which is experiencing rapid urbanisation, the crime rate is increasing drastically. In eight of the country’s major cities, citizens are enlisted to assess the security challenges and to put collective measures in place to counter them. In a process supported by the SDC, priority is given to the active participation of women.

In Benin, the SDC empowers women seeking to be involved in political office or other decision-making bodies, such as local health and water committees.

Integrating gender aspects is also a priority in local community development in the West Balkans. Through its projects, the SDC promotes women's participation in budget planning and resource distribution, and takes into account the needs and interests of women, men, girls, and boys equally.     

Context

Women are still less represented than men in decision-making bodies in government and business, where the important decisions are taken. They are confronted with obstacles, such as entrenched social prejudices, lack of time, and inadequate education, which prevent them from being involved in politics as to the same degree that men are.

Decision-making bodies must be aware of the gender dimension, and women must be duly represented in them. The SDC believes that all population groups need to be included in local governance and in development of decentralisation processes. At the same time, the impact of policies and budget decisions on women, men, children, and minorities should be analysed. 

Current projects

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Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response Project (GBV Project)

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2027

Gender-based violence is prevalent in Nepal because of patriarchal values, lack of rights awareness or support services and poor implementation of laws. In the first phase, the project will directly reach 50,000 households in three districts with GBV prevention activities involving women, girls, men and boys and will provide improved medical, psychosocial and legal services for a minimum of 1’000 GBV survivors. Subsequently, the coverage will be increased.


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

31.12.2023 - 31.03.2031

La Suisse s’engage au Mali pour une participation plus significative des femmes dans le processus de paix. Par l’intermédiaire de ONU-Femmes, les soutiens directs à des initiatives de la société civile malienne seront complétés par la réalisation du Plan d’Action National pour la mise en œuvre de la Résolution 1325 de l’ONU, concernant la participation de femmes dans les processus de paix et les garanties de sécurité. Le programme contribue ainsi à la stabilisation de la sous-région


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.


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.


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

21.08.2020 - 20.08.2021

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. 



Strengthening the Role of Local Communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

01.05.2020 - 30.06.2024

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.


Mercy Corps - Building Resilience in Conflict-Affected Communities (BRAC)

01.02.2020 - 31.01.2022

South Kordofan is one of the areas in Sudan were the armed conflict is temporarily halted, but not yet solved, and many communities are still suffering from its consequences. These communities are hosting significant numbers of IDPs and refugees from war torn South Sudan, who share the very limited available resources. The project aims at increasing the resilience of female and male members of vulnerable households to economic, social and climate related shocks through improved access to gender responsive basic services and increased agricultural production.


Grassroots women building resilience and peace in Central America.

01.10.2019 - 31.12.2022

The project enables two thousand grassroots women and their families to implement effective climate adaptation practices and strengthen their voice and leadership to influence related public plans and policies. The exchange of good local practices will be fostered among women in the region, thus increasing their resilience to climate change and variability.


UN-Gender Rwanda

01.10.2019 - 30.09.2023

In line with SDC’s engagement on fighting sexual and gender-based violence and women’s empowerment in the Great Lakes region, the UN-Gender Program will contribute to the efforts of the Government of Rwanda and the UN Agencies in Rwanda to transform commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment into concrete actions, in particular through awareness raising and capacity building for women and strengthening service providers.


IGAD Land Governance Programme

01.09.2019 - 31.08.2023

Land is a source for livelihoods and a valuable economic asset in the IGAD region. Drawing on experiences from other land related partnerships at national, regional and global levels, Switzerland supports the Intergovernmental Authority on Development IGAD to translate continental and global land governance frameworks and guidelines into practice in order to improve access to land and tenure security for all, especially for vulnerable groups like pastoralists, women and youth.

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