De­vel­op­ment co­oper­a­tion & Gender equal­ity

Gender equality is now firmly anchored as an explicit goal and guiding principle in all central international processes, commitments and agendas (Agenda 2030, Addis Ababa Action Agenda, G7/G20, European Consensus on Development). Despite all the progress that has been made, we are still far from achieving gender equality. Gender-specific inequalities, discrimination and human rights violations continue to shape the lives of many women and girls worldwide. This limits their equal participation and their opportunities to contribute to sustainable development. Their potential remains unused.

The gender approach of German development policy therefore focuses on the relationship between the genders: Only if the awareness and actions of men, women and people with other gender identities are changed can a fairer distribution of power, responsibility and resources be achieved.

The three-pronged ap­proach

  • 1.Gender Main­stream­ing

    All genders should participate equally in development processes. Therefore, their different circumstances and interests must be taken into account in all development policy strategies, programmes and projects. This model of gender justice is called gender mainstreaming. It encompasses all phases of a development policy project, from planning and steering to implementation and evaluation.

  • 2.Em­power­ment

    In cooperation countries, the BMZ promotes specific projects that contribute to a significant strengthening of women's rights. By raising awareness at all levels of society, women are empowered as rights holders and their scope for action is expanded. Important instruments for empowerment - a gain in decision-making power - include targeted education and training for girls and women and the inclusion of men and boys as important change agents.

  • 3.De­vel­op­ment policy dia­logue

    The BMZ has also anchored gender equality in policy dialogue and policy advice. Gender issues and women's rights are therefore increasingly taken into account in various political processes such as government negotiations and consultations or in political dialogues on substantive issues and with other donors.

This three-pronged approach is reflected in the concept for gender equality in German development policy. The aim of this concept is to end the discrimination of women and girls, to reduce gender hierarchies and achieve a balance of power.

It takes into account the fact that women and girls are often subject to multiple discrimination – i.e. not "only" because of their gender but also because of their religion, ethnicity, skin colour, sexual orientation, disability or age. These connections must be seen and taken into account if social change is to be initiated and promoted.