Expanding Choices: Gender Responsive Family Policies for the Private Sector in Western Balkans and Moldova

Contract partner: UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund - United StatesCountry: Europa, regional/länderübergreifend Funding amount: € 1.500.000,00Project start: 01.12.2019End: 31.05.2023

Short Description:

Overall goal

It is against this backdrop that the overarching objective of this Programme is to expand choices for women so that they can fulfill their career, family and fertility aspirations. The specific outcomes are twofold: 1) Men, women and children benefit from gender-responsive family policies and initiatives that are offered by private sector companies and 2) Men, women and children benefit from national gender-responsive family policies that are promoted by governments

Expected results

UNFPA will be working towards the following four outputs:

1. Targeted governments, private sector actors and CSOs at regional and country/territory levels have increased knowledge, evidence and tools on gender-responsive family policies so that good practices can be replicated in government and private sector activities.

2. The private sector has improved understanding of the value of gender-responsive family policies, the link to gender equality and business outcomes. Champion companies in each focus country commit to/start implement gender-responsive family policies and actions.

3. An increasingly supportive enabling environment for gender equality and gender-responsive family practices through public campaigns, communications and engagement with business associations.

4. Improved understanding and commitment to gender-responsive family policies by Governments.


Target group / Beneficiaries

Albania, Moldova and Kosovo are the focus countries of the intervention, with broader learning and sharing activities across the Western Balkans. The target groups include private sector ‘champion’ companies, business associations/networks in each focus country (900 total), practitioners and relevant policy makers at the regional level (from NGOs, academia, government institutions (e.g. Ministry of Labour). The indirect beneficiaries of the project are indirectly all women, men and children in focus countries who will benefit from national family policies and outreach/public awareness activities (total indirect beneficiaries 7,283,984).


By working hand-in-hand with the private sector and governments, UNFPA will champion policies at the national level and in the workplace. UNFPA will draw upon its evidence-based Family Friendly Workplace methodology to leverage the role of the private sector to increase opportunities for women’s employment and redistribute the burden of unpaid care work. Activities will be designed together with champion companies, they will include launching a private sector certification/standards process for family friendly companies, creating a supportive organizational culture and the development of private sector and national policies. Lastly, learning and scalability are fundamental components of the Programme, through the development of ‘what works’ briefs as well as through UNFPA’s innovative MenEngage social media platform.


The majority of women in the Western Balkans and Moldova face a critical decision between choosing a career or having a family. Due to factors, such as limited parental leave, lack of flexible working conditions, inaccessible childcare, and male biases in human resources practices within companies, many women are unable to realize both their career aspirations and have the number of children they want. This is further compounded by discriminatory gender norms, placing the burden of unpaid care work on women, further limiting their employment opportunities and desires.

project number8373-06/2019
source of fundingOEZA
sector Staatsführung & Zivilgesellschaft, allgemein
modalityProject-type interventions
marker Gender: 2, Poverty: 1
  • Policy marker: are used to identify, assess and facilitate the monitoring of activities in support of policy objectives concerning gender equality, aid to environment, participatory development/good governance, trade development and reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Activities targeting the objectives of the Rio Conventions include the identification of biodiversity, climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, and desertification.
    • 1= policy is a significant objective of the activity
    • 2= policy is the principal objective of the activity
  • Donor/ source of funding: The ADA is not only implementing projects and programmes of the Austrian Development Cooperation , but also projects funded from other sources and donors such as
    • AKF - Foreign Disaster Fund of the Austrian federal government
    • BMLFUW - Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water
    • EU - Funds of the European Commission
    • Others - various other donors are listed in ADA’s annual business report.
  • Type of Aid – Aid modalities: classifies transfers from the donor to the first recipient of funds such as budget support, core contributions and pooled programmes and funds to CSOs and multilateral organisations, project-type interventions, experts and other technical assistance, scholarships and student costs in donor countries, debt relief, administrative costs and other in-donor expenditures.
  • Purpose/ sector code: classifies the specific area of the recipient’s economic or social structure, funded by a bilateral contribution.
  • Tied/Untied: Untied aid is defined as loans and grants whose proceeds are fully and freely available to finance procurement from all OECD countries and substantially all developing countries. Transactions are considered tied unless the donor has, at the time of the aid offer, clearly specified a range of countries eligible for procurement which meets the tests for “untied” aid.