Support to the International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP)

Gender inequalities persist and are a major barrier for poverty reduction and sustainable inclusive development. SDC supports the International Women’s Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Asia Pacific, a non-governmental organisation working nationally, regionally, and globally towards the achievement of women's human rights, especially through the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) mechanism.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Human rights
Women’s equality organisations and institutions
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
01.07.2021 - 31.12.2024
CHF  1’650’000
Background Gender equality gaps remain considerable and discrimination against women and girls is the most common form of social exclusion worldwide. The Asia region is among the regions furthest behind. Some areas of gender inequality have even widened because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 1979, the UN adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) which remains the most important global accountability framework in this area. IWRAW supports organisations in Asia and the entire global South to monitor and implement CEDAW and to request accountability from governments by bringing grassroots voices to the CEDAW discussions.
Objectives Substantive equality, non-discrimination and state obligation for human rights for all women everywhere.
Target groups As ultimate target group, IWRAW’s programmes address marginalised groups of women who face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, gender based violence, especially structural violence in its different forms, and challenges in terms of accessing justice. In terms of partnerships, IWRAW works mainly with organisations and networks from the global South and global human and women’s rights networks.
Medium-term outcomes As per its strategic plan 2020-2024 IWRAW will contribute to the following objectives: 1) Human rights institution (especially UN) are strengthened and regressive forces addressed; 2) A feminist perspective in international frameworks on environmental degradation and climate change is supported; 3) Women’s human rights issues related to trafficking and statelessness are recognized and addressed; 4) Economic growth and development do not undermine women’s rights; 5) Women’s human rights in the world of work are protected and decent work for women promoted; 6) IWRAW’s financial sustainability, governance and approaches are strengthened. 

Expected results:  

Selection of specific objectives :

Capacity and access of marginalised groups of women strengthened to utilise international human rights system;

Alliance of diverse CSOs working to advance rights-affirming positions in the context of trafficking and migration expanded;

WROs and marginalised women have knowledge and capacity to challenge rights violations related to environmental degradation and climate change;

Developed knowledge base to advance the CEDAW-compliant and feminist analysis concerning women’s rights in the world of work;

Sustained and organised alliances, and alternative spaces for Global South women’s voices on sustainable development and accountable macroeconomics, are created and/or supported.

Results from previous phases:   In the last 30 years, IWRAW has built the capacity of over 1000 activists in over 165 countries on how to effectively engage in the CEDAW mechanism at national, regional and global level. Results at national level arise from long-term commitment and joint efforts of women’s rights organisations (WROs). Recent examples of such results supported by IWRAW include changes to legislation around domestic violence in Cambodia and Myanmar, and a change to Timor-Leste’s electoral law to facilitate greater representation of women. IWRAW also supported the drafting of CEDAW general recommendations, for example in the areas of conflict, access to justice, gender based violence, climate change. 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO

Coordination with other projects and actors Multilateral human and women’s rights frameworks. SDC bilateral and multilateral programmes in the Asia region.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’650’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’202’542
Project phases Phase 3 01.07.2021 - 31.12.2024   (Current phase) Phase 2 01.12.2016 - 30.06.2021   (Completed) Phase 1 01.04.2013 - 31.12.2016   (Completed)