European Commission Puts Gender Equality At The Heart Of Development Cooperation
Friday, March 9, 2007 2:06 PM

This week the European Commission issued a “Communication on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Development Cooperation,” which is a strategy to promote gender equality as a basis for sustainable development.

Africa provides a good case-study for the issue of women’s marginalization. While women contribute 75% of the agricultural work and produce, in Sub-Saharan Africa, women earn only 10% of the income and own 1% of the assets. Women hold only 12% of seats in the parliament. In addition, 60% of HIV-positive adults are women and 75% of the newly infected with AIDS are girls.

To this end, the new European Strategy has five areas of focus: governance, employment, education, health and domestic violence for specific regions and areas of the country. The European Commission makes suggestions for highlighting gender issues in mainstream political dialogue, including government structures, civil society, academia and INGOs. The strategy designed a checklist to evaluate the extent to which new development projects contribute to the cause of gender equality. Also, the strategy ties support for the general budget of developing countries to gender equality.

Compiled from: "EuropeanCommission Puts Gender Equality At The Heart Of Development Cooperation," EuropaWorld, 9 March 2007.