Three young women

Gender equality is a fundamental human right and a matter of social justice. Indeed, how can we contribute to lasting, fair, equitable development if 50% of the population do not enjoy the same rights or prospects in life and remain discriminated against?

Gender equality and women’s empowerment are vital for growth, reducing poverty, sustainable development and the attainment of all the Millennium Development Goals.

Donors and governments have signed numerous agreements and statements concerning gender equality. But in spite of this commitment, inequality persists in all regions of the world.

Belgian Development Cooperation regards gender equality as a transversal topic and is determined to speed up progress in this domain by supporting its partners’ efforts to make tangible headway, in keeping with their international commitments and their development strategies and policies. For this purpose, the strategy adopted by Belgian Development Cooperation takes gender equality on board in its policies, strategies and actions – this being a gradual, long-term approach – and also finances specific actions designed to fight discrimination against women, guarantee them access to opportunities for development and safeguard their rights.

Our attention is focused on four key domains:

  • Health and sexual and reproductive rights;
  • The application of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, adopted in 2000, on “women, peace and security”, including attempts to fight sexual violence against women;
  • Education for girls and training for women (literacy, vocational training);
  • The economic empowerment of women.

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