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Promoting women's rights and gender equality

Portrait photo of an African women wearing a blue shawl, focusing on her eyes


Gender equality is one of the fundamental goals of Spanish cooperation since  feminisation of poverty and discrimination against women continue to be a universal and unquestionable issue, regardless of the progress made over the past few decades through the application of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Platform for Action or the United Nations Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security as key references for reducing the gender gap that persists throughout the world. 

Inequality is made worse by alarming inequity indexes, when double or multiple discrimination occurs in which gender is combined with other forms of discrimination such as racial or ethic origin, religion or beliefs, sexual orientation or identity, age, disability or any other personal or social condition or circumstance where the discrimination takes on a multidimensional nature that must be dealt with transversally across all development goals.

In addition, the economic crisis has an especially harmful effect on women, in terms of effective access to resources and fundamental rights.

The international agenda on women, which has been established at various UN councils and in various EU agreements, marks a road map to be followed in which gender equality is presented as an inescapable requirement for development, democracy and peace. A road map that we follow with the aim of guaranteeing the continuity and consolidation of a gender-based approach as a defining feature of Spanish Cooperation.

Gráfico explicativo de las estrategias y líneas de actuación de la estrategiaEstrategia de Género en DesarrolloPlan de Acción de Mujeres y Construcción de PazPlan Sectorial de Género


The work of the Secretary General's Office for International Development Cooperation:

1. To mainstream approaches to Development based on Gender and Human Rights in all areas of the Spanish Cooperation system

  • This orientation will be applied to documents defining policies, planning and compliance and, in particular, to the international agenda and to the MAP and PO methodology.
  • Updating Spain's position on inequality and gender on the Post-2015 Agenda: In international forums, Spain will continue to support the adoption of a specific and transversal twin strategy for gender in the definition of the Post-2015 Agenda at SDG and MDG meetings throughout 2014, as well as at UN, EU and DAC forums.
  • In policy coherence in order to comply with the Law on Gender Equality, development policy contributions to national reports such as the 1325 Resolution Plan, the National Plan on Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking, the Action Plan for Equality in the Information Society and other ODH documents. And contributions to the Strategic Plan for Equal Opportunities 2014-2016. Compliance with the Action Plan from the Cooperation Council Working Group on Gender.
  • Design and implementation of the Action Plan for the AECID Technical Cooperation Offices’ Expert Network on Gender, the 25-year celebrations of the AECID on Gender in the Spanish Cooperation Training Centre in Colombia (March) and the AECID celebrations (Headquarters and Technical Offices): 8 March and 25 November.
  • Adaptation of AECID gender documents to the Strategy for Gender and Development and orientation 5 of the 4th Master Plan. Application and monitoring of the Action Plan for Women and Peace Building.
  • Gender-specific guidelines (including GBV) for Humanitarian Action.
  • The Gender Streamlining Guide will be completed to help us design and direct our projects.
  • Mainstreaming in the evaluation policy: Monitoring the mainstreaming of approaches based on Gender and on Human Rights in the Evaluation Policy and the biannual Evaluation Plan (UN Women Mopan, EU Gender Plan, joint UN gender programmes).
  • Monitoring and accounting for multilateral funds provided in previous years by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) and AECID to UN-Instraw, UNIFEM, UNFPA and UN Women.
  • Definition of our position on inequality and gender for the Post-2015 Agenda, UN forums, EU expert groups and the Development Assistance Committee gender network, Gendernet.
  • Coordination with the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSSSI) and creation of the Council working group on gender; Synchronisation of participants in terms of focal points and attendance at participant conferences and meetings.

2. Lines for formal equality. Lines for substantive equality

  • In managing and supporting multilateral and bilateral programmes and projects for the adaptation of legislation to the international regulatory framework regarding gender and human rights-based approaches to development and gender-related programmes and policies for governance and social cohesion at a regional, national and local level. For example, at a multilateral level: New Strategic Association Framework Agreements with UN Women 2014-2016 and UNFPA, "Guide to the integration of social and gender aspects in water and sanitation projects in rural areas" FCAS Water fund and the IDB. In addition to monitoring the Masar Programme.

3. Specific lines for the empowerment of women who suffer the worst forms of violence and discrimination

  • Specific lines to alleviate the worst forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls: In 2014, we plan to prioritise initiatives in the field of violence against women, peace building and humanitarian action: The UN Women safe cities projects in the Philippines and the Arabic States, and UNFPA FGM initiatives.
  • AECID Gender-specific Projects and Conventions for 2014, focusing on issues such as gender violence and economic and political empowerment.
  • Defining and mainstreaming gender in the Strategy on Children (currently being drafting) and in documents regarding our position on discrimination against disabled women and girls.
  • Examples of specific multilateral initiatives: Support for gender-based learning in the World Bank gender fund, diffusion of the results of the MDG-F gender-window and the Equality Fund side event at the CSW.
  • Ongoing lines of action: UN Women gender equality fund and finalisation of specific projects organised by the AECID, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) and the financing bodies for Spanish Cooperation.
  • Strengthening civil society organisations and networks for women, to move forwards in the definition of the Post-2015 Agenda towards September and knowledge management.
  • UN Women communication strategy.
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