Gender Equality, Women's Empowerment and Social Inclusion

The most vulnerable refugees include, among others, women at risk, survivors of torture, and orphans and other minors separated from their families.

Women account for one-half of the potential human capital in any economy.  According to the World Bank, countries with greater gender equality are more prosperous and competitive.  An extra year of secondary school for girls can increase their future earnings by 10-20 percent.  Girls with secondary schooling are up to 6 times less likely to marry as children than those with little or no education and countries that invest in girls' education have lower maternal and infant deaths, lower rates of HIV and AIDS, and better nutrition.  When women participate in civil society and politics, governments are more open, democratic and responsive to citizens.  When women are at the negotiating table, peace agreements are more inclusive and durable.  And simply by empowering women farmers with the same access to land, new technologies and capital as men, we can increase crop yields by as much as 30 percent helping to feed a growing population.

Despite the progress accomplished by international bodies in defending and promoting women's fundamental rights, these rights are still not respected all over the world.  The social, political, legal, administrative, economic and cultural environments are characterised by deeply entrenched inequality between men and women.  Our work focuses on long term, systemic change to the structure that perpetuate gender inequality.

We work to raise awareness about issues impacting on women and collaborate on research, advocacy and policy at the national, regional and global level.

All our sectoral work addresses and prioritises the different needs of men and women, girl children and boy children.  By mainstreaming gender in this way we increase our impact towards achieving a more equitable society.