Thursday, April 19, 2007

A new EU strategy for gender equality

To mark International Women's Day on 8 March, the European Commission presented its new strategy for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in development cooperation. This strategy is new in that not only does it provide guidelines on how to improve gender mainstreaming, but it also suggests a number of concrete actions in five key areas: governance, employment, education, health and domestic violence. This communication also recognises the role of budget support for the promotion of gender equality and places emphasis on gender-sensitising the country strategy papers (CSPs).

For CONCORD, this is a timely and crucial initiative which will help to ensure that the strong commitments made by the European Commission and the Member States to put gender equality at the heart of development policies will be put into practice. CONCORD also made a number of contributions during the drafting process of this document.

Gender equality is a crucial but often neglected area of development policy. To ensure that this strategy is effectively implemented it will be important to watch over the European Commission's progress in this area. CONCORD has already written to the European Parliament Development Committee asking it to take into account this new strategy for gender equality when monitoring and evaluating the work of the Commission in this area, especially in screening the CSPs for gender analysis. CONCORD also stresses the need to ensure policy coherence for development in this process.

CONCORD welcomes this strategy and will be following its implementation closely to ensure that the joint commitment of CONCORD and the EU in achieving gender equality becomes a reality.

For further information: Nathalie Ewing, CONCORD secretariat,

Source: CONCORD Flash - March 2007.