Gender Equality is getting more and more attention worldwide and we can now celebrate the fact that there is a specific goal among the new Sustainable Development Goals, number five, devoted to gender equality: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
To highlight the importance of gender equality in development cooperation and to inspire us to achieve more, we have asked some of our partner organisations to write about how they work with gender equality. Thank you very much for sharing your insights and stories.
Gender equality has long been a prioritized issue in Swedish development cooperation, permeating all interventions. This is because all people have the same rights but also because when gender equality increases, poverty is reduced. And now, as you might have heard, Sweden is the first country in the world to pursue a feminist foreign policy.
I hope you will enjoy reading this circular and I look forward to continuing working with all of you for a more gender equal world.
Anne-Charlotte Malm Head of Development Cooperation Section Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok, Thailand
A feminist government
Sweden has the first feminist government in the world. The focus is on gender equality, both in national and international work.
Women and men must have equal power to shape society and their own lives. Ultimately it is a question of human rights, democracy and justice.
Ensuring that women and girls can enjoy their fundamental human rights is both a duty within the framework of our international commitments, and a prerequisite for Sweden's broader foreign policy goals on development, democracy, peace and security.
Read more about the world's first feminist government and feminist foreign policy here.
Building practical partnerships for change in the Asia Pacific
Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF)
In recent years, national human rights institutions in the Asia Pacific region have been tackling some of the most serious violations of the human rights of women and girls. Promoting and protecting the rights of women and girls is a priority for all 22 national human rights institutions in the region that, together, make up the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF), the regional coordinating body.
Read more about Building practical partnership in the document on the right margin.
Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) – An effective tool for empowering grassroots women
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)
Since 2012 APWLD has supported 27 grassroots communities from 13 countries to build their capacity to document their experiences, concerns and demands using Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR). This unique method allows a local community or organization to hire a young woman researcher to document evidence and use their findings to advocate for community solutions and build a local movement. Through APWLD they are able to engage in decision making processes at local,national and international levels.
Read more about FPAR in the document on the right margin.
Gender Mainstreaming: Building on the Past
The Field Alliance (TFA)
Data relating to agro biodiversity and gender has allowed TFA to determine which plants, animals, and other species hold value for men and women respectively and why. TFA and partners recognized significant differences and unique trends among men and women regarding pesticide use allowing them to identify not only who is being effected by pesticides, but how pesticides effect men and women differently, who is making decisions to purchase pesticides, 'where or who from' information on pesticides is attained, and begin to explore the cultural or logistical reasons why these things are so.
Read more about Gender Mainstreaming in the document on the right margin
Reducing the "invisible workload" by providing access to safe drinking water
Mangroves for the Future
This article documents the increase in women's discretionary time in one of the Small Grant Facility projects, by measuring the shift in the use of time away from lower-value activities (such as water collection) toward higher-value activities (caring for family, education, income generation activities). Improved access to potable water sources and water storage facilities, along with building awareness and capacity and management mechanisms has led not only to an increase in access to potable water, but also an increase in the discretionary time women have for other high value activities.
Read more about Reducing the "invisible workload" by providing access to safe drinking water in the document on the right margin.
Promoting the Equal Status and Human Rights of Women in Southeast Asia: Initiatives and progress among National Human Rights Institutions and Academic Institutions in Southeast Asia and Afghanistan
Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
Between 2011 and 2014, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and umanitarian Law (RWI) organised annual courses on the 'Equal Status and Human Rights of Women in Southeast Asia' for staff of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and Academic Institutions in the region. The aim of the courses was to contribute to strengthening the capacities of these key institutions to fulfill their mandated functions and roles in promoting this field of rights.
You can readthe stories from course participants from this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7vaf7qnp5cv5wph/Publication%20EqualStatusHRSEAweb.pdf?dl=0
Gendered concerns in large-scale investment projects in the Mekong region
The Stockholm Environment Institute
From 25-26 August, a Regional Symposium was organized by the Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE). Using this opportunity to highlight gender issues in relation to environmental safeguards, the Asia Centre of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) convened a panel discussion to explore whether and how these safeguards are sensitive to the gender-specific impacts of large-scale investments in the Lower Mekong Region.
Read more about Gender concerns in large-scale investment Projects in the Mekon region in the document on the right margin.
Gender Tool Box
Sida's Gender Tool Box provides knowledge, tools and inspiration on how to operationalize gender equality in Swedish development cooperation. A solid knowledge and method base is more important than ever due to an increased focus on gender equality in development cooperation, in Sweden and globally. Look out for new briefs, tools and thematic overviews here: http://www.sida.se/English/partners/resources-for-all-partners/methodological-materials/gender-tool-box/
DISCLAIMER: The authors' views expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the Swedish Government.