Gender and women's rights in conflict situations and fragile contexts

Girls wearing white head scarves stand in a row; one girl looks back.
In conflict and post-conflict situations, women do not have the same roles and needs as men. Nor do they feel the same vulnerabilities. © Photo UN /Olivier Chassot

The SDC helps to defend the rights of women and girls in conflict situations and introduces measures to prevent gender-based violence. It also promotes women's participation in peace, transformation, and state-building processes.

SDC focus

The SDC works to strengthen the rights of women and girls in fragile contexts and to integrate a gender dimension into its strategies and projects in line with the National Action Plan 1325 (NAP 1325). With this plan, Switzerland meets the obligations of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, adopted in 2000. Resolution 1325 is the first UN Security Council resolution to refer to the impact of armed conflict on women and girls and, at the same time, to underline the fundamental importance of women’s participation in the success of peace processes. 

The SDC has set the following two priority objectives in implementing resolution 1325:

1. To strengthen its commitment in preventing and protecting against gender-based violence with particular importance given to post-conflict contexts, humanitarian crises, and involving men and boys in its work on gender issues.

2. To strengthen women's participation and integrate gender-related aspects in local peace, transformation, and state-building processes.

Context

Women and men have different roles, needs, and vulnerabilities in conflict and post-conflict situations. Women, e.g., are particularly affected by gender-based violence and often rejected by their community after having been violated. Another important subject is the taboo in regard to male victims of sexual violence committed by other men. Thus the SDC seeks to ensure that men are not only seen as perpetrators but also as victims.

Furthermore, SDC aims to integrate women better into processes of national and local governance as well as peacebuilding, as they have an undeniably positive impact. Moreover, SDC want to insure to incorporate men further in its prevention activities promoting gender equality. The aim is to persuade men support this cause as their own, as it is not only in the interest of women but the entire society. 

Current projects

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Working for Health (W4H)

01.06.2022 - 31.05.2027

More health workers with the right skills are needed to achieve the SDGs, particularly in low income countries. Switzerland contributes to a joint WHO, ILO and OECD program providing catalytic support to governments, social partners and other key stakeholders to develop, finance and implement national health workforce strategies and investment plans. This will improve the supply and employment of health workers, maximise their performance, create decent jobs and accelerate progress towards UHC.   


Gender Mainstreaming 2022-2025 Phase 7

01.03.2022 - 28.02.2025

In collaboration with selected strategic partners, the SDC will promote gender equality and women’s rights in 3 priority areas that correspond to the SDC’s strategic interests and where it can promote innovative approaches: Peace building and crisis response, data driven advocacy and policy influence, and mobilising quality investments for gender transformative change. This will contribute to accelerate the implementation of the SDG 5 and to reduce its current funding gap.


Civil society resilience strengthening

18.02.2022 - 17.02.2027

This project, in delegated cooperation with USAID, supports democratic development in Serbia by fostering an enabling environment for civil society and strengthening its resilience. It improves capacities of civil society to perform its monitoring and advocacy roles, to facilitate citizen’s engagement and to engage in constructive dialogue with the government. Ultimately, this leads towards a more resilient, inclusive and pluralistic society.


Formation continue en Genre et Developpement en Afrique francophone

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2026

Le Projet contribue par des cours de formation continue de l’Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales et du Développement (IHEID) a une meilleure expertise et intégration de la problématique de l’inégalités des sexes dans les politiques et programmes de développement dans les pays francophones d'Afrique (Ouest et Grands Lacs) ainsi qu’un meilleur ancrage dans les institutions locales. Le projet est aligné avec l’engagement de la Suisse pour l’égalité entre les sexes.


PYE - Participation and Equity Platform

01.12.2021 - 30.06.2024

PYE, phase 3, aims to consolidate in a platform the efforts of 15 Cuban civil society actors, including the 6 partners part of the Gender Equity Program (PEGIN), for the promotion of laws and public policies to improve human rights in Cuba, in the areas of gender, race, poverty and social inclusion to promote legislative, social and public policy changes, with the promotion of activism and leadership of local actors.


RESPECT - Redevabilité, sécurité et prévention de l’extrémisme violent pour les citoyennes et citoyens tunisiens

01.10.2021 - 31.08.2025

L’intervention vise à renforcer la capacité de la Commission Nationale de la Lutte contre le Terrorisme (CNLCT) dans la prévention de l’extrémisme violent (PEV) en améliorant la coordination entre les acteurs clés des secteurs de la sécurité et de la justice. L’approche choisie est holistique combinant des activités qui ont pour objectifs de renforcer la cohésion sociale en ciblant les groupes à risque. Un autre aspect de l’intervention consiste à soutenir la réforme du secteur de la sécurité afin que celui-ci soit conforme avec les standards internationaux régissant les droits humains.


Programme Psychosocial dans la Région des Grands Lacs

01.09.2021 - 31.12.2023

Le programme contribue à l’amélioration du statut des femmes, en particulier celui des survivantes des violences sexuelles et basées sur le genre dans la Région des Grands Lacs (Burundi, Rwanda, RDC). La Suisse a développé une expertise en matière d’approche psychosociale communautaire qui a apporté des changements positifs de comportements et des normes liés au genre. Le focus de cette phase de sortie est l’intégration de cette approche dans les institutions publiques et son soutien par d’autres partenaires. 


Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus

01.08.2021 - 31.07.2024

In 2017, Switzerland embarked on a multi-donor project which laid a solid foundation for women’s economic empowerment in the South Caucasus, yet, further support is needed to fulfil women’s rights, which remain constrained by structural and cultural barriers. The Swiss-funded contribution will support capacity-building and provide technical assistance at institutions and policy level and, combined with activities at grassroots level, benefit at least 1’850 vulnerable women in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia


Support to the International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP)

01.07.2021 - 31.12.2024

Gender inequalities persist and are a major barrier for poverty reduction and sustainable inclusive development. SDC supports the International Women’s Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Asia Pacific, a non-governmental organisation working nationally, regionally, and globally towards the achievement of women's human rights, especially through the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) mechanism.


Long-term support to UNRWA’s reform

01.07.2021 - 31.12.2022

Switzerland contributes to enable UNRWA to pursue key reform areas of its Medium-Term Strategy 2016-2022, mainly by supporting (i) management initiatives and set of actions to ensure that governance, accountability, management and transparency meet international standards, and (ii) the systematic integration and attention to the needs of vulnerable groups, in particular children, persons with disabilities and women survivors of violence.


Promotion and respect of human rights, gender equality and the international humanitarian law

01.06.2021 - 31.12.2023

Switzerland aims at enhancing prospects for Palestinians to live in dignity, prosperity and peace with Israel, via the respect and promotion of human rights, including gender equality, international humanitarian law and the rule of law by all duty bearers. To this end, SDC supports ten Palestinian and Israeli human rights and humanitarian law organizations active in the oPt, which provide legal aid and protection services to the population and advocate for the respect of the international law. 


Scaling-up improved sanitation – Bridging Phase Sanitation and Hygiene Fund (SHF)

01.05.2021 - 31.10.2022

Investments in Sanitation, Hygiene and Menstrual Health are crucial to achieving the SDGs. The recently launched and UN-led Sanitation and Hygiene Fund (SHF) aims to fill a gaping void in the international response to the sanitation, hygiene and menstrual health crisis. With this project, Switzerland supports the SHF in its operational set-up, starting country readiness work, resource mobilization and to become operational by early 2022

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