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 25 – 36 of 48

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.


Improvement of the local self-governance system Armenia

01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023

Switzerland continues to support the national reform on territorial consolidation and decentralization which has been strongly confirmed by the new Government. On one hand, necessary framework conditions will be developed to finalize the amalgamation process. On the other hand, the municipalities will be capacitated to provide efficient and quality administrative services to their citizens and to incentivize local development. Citizen participation will be emphasized to render local authorities more accountable and local development more inclusive.


Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED)

01.06.2019 - 31.12.2023

DCED as the independent and respected point of reference for standards, knowledge and data on the role of the private sector in development, contributes to improving donor’s programs in this domain. It also advocates globally the importance of the topic in the development sector. SDC supports the DCED in its various activities since the early 80ies and co-chairs the working group on Market System Development and Private Sector Engagement


Women Deliver Conference and Advocacy

15.11.2018 - 01.07.2022

Women Deliver advocates for gender equality as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights, including through the Women Deliver Conference. Investment cases and concrete solutions developed by Women Deliver and partners are used by a diversity of global actors such as the UN, governments including Switzerland, civil society and private sector. Their evidence-based advocacy contributes to the global movement for gender equality.


Reducing the Prevalence and Impact of Violence in Western Equatoria

01.11.2018 - 28.02.2021

Nonviolent Peaceforce’s (NP) intervention in Mundri County, Western Equatoria State is aimed at reducing the prevalence and impact of violence. Key activities will include conducting patrols in risky areas, protective accompaniments, advocacy, conducting trainings workshops, awareness raising activities etc. Through this intervention, Switzerland contributes to creating sustainable grassroots-led peaceful solutions to conflict, promotion of Human Rights, SGBV prevention and response among conflict affected communities.


CDNH: Conflict prevention Rakhine

01.11.2018 - 31.08.2021

After the events in Rakhine in August 2017, violence and communal tensions are still prevailing and mistrust has increased among and between communities, state and village officials and security authorities. The need to gather the stakeholders around conflict prevention, livelihood skills enhancement, conflict analysis and gender and civic education is repeatedly expressed by all. This project helps to improve the relationship between the main key actors in and around Rakhine to lower the potential of further tensions, abuses and install trust-building mechanisms.


Towards Transparent, Inclusive and Accountable Governance in the Republic of Macedonia

15.07.2018 - 30.06.2022

The project aims at increasing gender equality in Macedonia and the quality of life for women and vulnerable groups by 1) systematically integrating a gender perspective in public policies and budgets which leads to the allocation of more funds for greater gender equality in strategies and policies; 2) empowering women and vulnerable groups to advocate for their needs in municipal planning and budgeting; and 3) supporting CSOs and Members of Parliament in overseeing the implementation of gender responsive policies and initiatives.



Support to the Juvenile Justice Reform

01.05.2018 - 31.05.2022

Since 2010, the child justice system in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has undertaken a process of reform to which UNICEF, SDC and Sida have greatly contributed. Today the legal framework on juvenile justice is compliant with international standards, but the system for its implementation still needs to be strenghtened. This last project phase will focus on building the human capacity of justice and child protection professionals, and ensuring that adequate financial means are provided by the Government to implement this framework throughout the country. Awareness of children and their families about their rights and demanding access to justice will also be a priority.


Capacity building for Serbian municipalities

Around 50 parliamentarians in session at the Serbian parliament.

01.01.2018 - 30.06.2022

Switzerland is supporting the Serbian government’s public administration reform, which aims to make it more effective and accessible to both citizens and the private sector. SwissPRO project is being run in 99 municipalities (two-thirds of Serbia) to improve good governance, social inclusion and gender equality.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Serbia
Governance
Human rights
Gender

Decentralisation
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Women’s equality organisations and institutions

01.01.2018 - 30.06.2022


CHF  7’990’000


Object 25 – 36 of 48