Germany’s biggest development aid company, GTZ, has taken approaches to ensure that women are at the heart of new development projects. The company has undertaken more than 80 percent of projects for the German government and has a goal of using the Milllenium Development Goals (MDGs) as a framework in each development project they undertake. GTZ has experience working with issues of gender-based violence in Nicaragua and Malawi.
Because gender equality cuts across several of the MDGs, several programs not directed specifically at women’s issues have had a positive impact on women’s rights. In particular, GTZ states that two-thirds of female participants in a microfinance project in India said micro credit improved their self-confidence, their status in the family, and their ability to deal with social problems. Additionally, ninety-percent of borrowers were from women’s groups.
Noeleen Heyzer, executive director of the U.N. Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) said that within development goals gender equality is an essential aspect and that “the issue is no longer the normative, nor the legal or policy. The issue now is one of implementation and accountability,” and added that effective strategies had to be moved forward with added resources through personnel, infrastructure, and finance increases.
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Compiled from: Deselaers, Peter "Development: Women Placed at Heart of New Projects" www.allafrica.com 12 May 2005