genderwomenAdvancing women’s political participation, leadership and economic empowerment are central to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5. Women have a critical role to play in all of the SDGs, with many targets specifically recognizing women’s equality and empowerment as both the objective, and as part of the solution, but SDG5 is known as the stand-alone gender goal dedicated to achieving these ends.

Development Connect assists its partners with strategies and approaches to support gender equality and the empowerment of women, to expand their capabilities and opportunities in local service delivery by training them to become providers of basic services in their communities, through, but not necessarily, public private partnerships, and to enhance its clients capacity to respond positively to women’s interest to become local service providers by establishing and implementing permissive regulations and affirmative action’s to enable women entrepreneurs to compete and win tenders for local service delivery.

We work to ensure that governments reflect the needs of women and girls in their planning and budgeting, and engage men and boys, urging them to become champions of gender equality.

Women have a right to equality in all areas. It must be embedded across legal systems, upheld in both laws and legal practices, including affirmative action measures such as quotas. Since all areas of life relate to gender equality, efforts must be made to cut the roots of gender discrimination wherever they appear including by influencing institutions and public policies.

Some key facts

Deep legal and legislative changes are needed to ensure women’s rights around the world. While a record 143 countries guaranteed equality between men and women in their constitutions by 2014, another 52 had not taken this step (UN Women, 2015). In many nations, gender discrimination is still woven through legal and social norms. Stark gender disparities remain in economic and political realms. While there has been some progress over the decades, on average women in the labour market still earn 24 per cent less than men globally.

As of August 2015, only 22 per cent of all national parliamentarians were female, a slow rise from 11.3 per cent in 1995. Meanwhile, violence against women is a pandemic affecting all countries, even those that have made laudable progress in other areas. Worldwide, 35 per cent of women have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.

We promote women’s role and leadership, including in conflict-prevention, and efforts to ensure peace and security. It is wortwhile to note that Development Connect’s directors are part of UNDP Rapid Crisis Response Unit (CRU, ExpRes) which recently established a roster system to better support UNDP Country Offices in their search for (technical) experts (mainly ex-staff) working in crisis and post-crisis environment.

Development Connect will advocate for ending violence, raise awareness of its causes and consequences and boost efforts to prevent and respond and seeks to work to empower women and girls in and through its advisory services to clients.

Development Connect contributed to UN-FAO/UNwomen publications which you can download: