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Woman in Senegal making a strong fist

Advancing gender equality and empowering women are key to poverty reduction, economic growth and social development. Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) therefore designs all its programmes and projects to make a contribution to this issue.

Empowerment and gender equality

In practice, this means implementing measures to give girls and women a better education and fair access to resources such as land, income or capital and alleviate their excessive workload. The way to achieve these goals is to raise women’s participation in political decision-making, from the village to the national level.

Another major concern of Austrian Development Cooperation is preventing violence against women and girls. In South-Eastern Europe in particular, ADC is adamantly committed to combating trafficking in women and girls and also advocates giving women a say in safeguarding peace and human security. This is why implementing the UN Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1820 and the resolutions 1888, 1889 and 1960 on women, peace and security is so important for ADC.

Gender mainstreaming as a strategy

Development cooperation aims to make a tangible contribution to remedying sexual discrimination, particularly of women and girls. Austrian Development Cooperation is committed to this goal. A so-called gender assessment is carried out for all proposed projects to ascertain whether they contribute to gender equality. Binding recommendations can be included in the project agreement, where necessary.

In five different fields of activity, ADC works towards gender equality and women’s empowerment:

  • Policy dialogue: In cooperation with the partner countries, national priorities are framed based on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Beijing Platform for Action.
  • Cooperation with international organisations: In international bodies of the UN, OECD, OSCE, EU and the IFIs, ADC advocates gender equality and women’s empowerment and monitors the implementation of measures.
  • Capacity building in government organisations: ADC supports exchange between ministers for women’s affairs, women parliamentarians and women’s commissioners in the partner countries and Austria. It advises the competent committees in drafting legal measures and supports the gender focal points in the ministries, parliamentary women’s clubs and gender equality commissions.
  • Budget support: Through specific assistance to economic and social sectors, budget support can put the principles of gender equality into practice. Gender budgeting is an efficient instrument for applying the principle of gender equality in the allocation of public funds and advancing the participation of women in budget decisions. A new checklist helps asking crucial questions regarding gaps and opportunities for gender mainstreaming in the new aid modalities.
  • Promotion of civil society organisations: ADC promotes feminist networks and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Austria as well as gender mainstreaming in NGOs in partner countries.
Further Information