"Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls" have been stipulated as the fifth goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015. In implementation, it will be important to continue to take account of the comprehensive goals and measures set out in the Beijing Platform for Action of 1995 as the most progressive international declaration of intent to date on the promotion of women’s rights. Gender equality and the empowerment of women are major preconditions for poverty reduction, economic growth and social development. This is why the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) requires from all its project partners to make a contribution to gender equality.
EMPOWERMENT AND GENDER EQUALITY
In practice, this means that ADA takes measures to ensure the equal participation of women and men and girls and boys in all projects and programmes. It seeks to alter discriminatory societal and social norms and practices: Women and men shall have equal access to education and resources, such as land, income and capital. The greater recognition, reduction and sharing of unpaid care and domestic work (Target 5.4 of the Sustainable Development Goals) are of key importance. A focus of ADA gender work is placed on promoting the equal participation of women and men in political and public life at national and local level. The eradication of sexual and gender violence and guaranteeing reproductive and sexual health and rights are essential for this. To achieve sustainable and effective gender-equality results, it is important to involve men and boys.
GOOD GOVERNANCE THROUGH EQUITABLE BUDGET ALLOCATION
Reflecting gender equality in government planning, programming and budgeting is needed to have a more equitable budget distribution. Gender-responsive budgeting involves women and men more in budget decisions and brings the principle of gender equality more effectively to bear on the distribution of public funds. It involves identifying interventions to address gender issues and gaps in revenue-raising policies, in expenditure policies at different levels, in plans and budgets. The goal of GRB is to analyze and address the gender-differentiated impact of revenue-raising and budget allocations on men and women, boys and girls. The Austrian Development Cooperation supports gender responsive budgeting in our partner countries to advance gender equality. Austria has also set a good example by incorporating gender-responsive budgeting in the constitution.
WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY
In conflict-affected regions and fragile states worldwide, ADA promotes the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the six ensuing resolutions on women, peace and security. In 2007, Austria framed the related National Action Plan with specific directives (revised in 2012), which underscores interministerial cooperation on this issue.
GENDER MAINSTREAMING AS A STRATEGY
The European Council Conclusions on the EU Plan of Action for Gender Equality (2016-2020) were adopted in October 2015. The plan’s objectives and actions to promote gender equality are mandatory for international cooperation in the EU: They apply to the EU member states, the EU Directorates-General for International Cooperation and Development and for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, the Humanitarian Aid Office of the European Community and the European External Service.
International cooperation makes a valuable contribution to ending gender discrimination and enforcing the rights of women and girls. Gender mainstreaming and the definition of gender-specific results and indicators play an important role in ADA projects and programmes.
The basic direction of gender work is set by the policy document, Gender equality and the empowerment of women, which ensures compliance with quality standards by ADA.