05 March 2020
Category : Reportage
Gender approach in cooperation projects
The FIIAPP manages projects that work with gender approaches and promote the fight against the inequality encountered by women
It sounds paradoxical, but it is not. To be able to talk about equality between men and women, you first have to talk about inequality. “Finally, a female candidate for the presidency of the European Commission.” Ursula von der Leyen said it in her speech when she was still a presidential candidate for the European executive. The word ‘finally’ is an example of the differences between reality as experienced by men and women. Differences that translate into inequalities.
She continued, “40 years ago Simone Veil became the first female president of the European Parliament. I am running today thanks to her and other iconic figures.” Veil is a model for Von der Leyen, but she could well be for Latin American women who have taken the green scarf to the street, or for those who have taught the world that ‘the rapist is you’. Both Veil, Von der Leyen and the thousands of Latin American women mentioned, live a particular reality because they are women. Being aware of this, the international cooperation projects managed by the FIIAPP and financed by the European Union apply the gender perspective in their actions.
Marie Dominique de Suremain is coordinator of the gender equality area for Expertise France in EUROSOCIAL+, one of the projects financed by the EU in Latin America and managed by IILA, Expertise France and the FIIAPP itself under the coordination of the FIIAPP.
“The gender area is an innovation at EUROSOCIAL+; we organise work around three areas: physical, political and economic autonomy” Suremain explains. Physical autonomy addresses the fight against gender-based violence, since appropriate institutional responses are required to back the complaints. Therefore, EUROSOCIAL+ promotes tools that allow the development of effective protection mechanisms. The gender area also drives changes in masculinities. According to Sureiman, “It is about generating collective rethinking of gender, specifically around masculinity as a policy to address some phenomena related to violence and inequality.” Political autonomy addresses the problems encountered by women to access certain positions. “We have realised that women are often prevented, not only from accessing the positions, but once they access, from carrying out their work,” says Sureiman. Finally, economic autonomy promotes policies for reducing the feminisation of poverty. We promote reforms to improve labour inclusion and avoid discrimination, and results are sought in salary differences, type of employment, part-time work, unemployment rates, and informality.
“In addition to this economic and political backwardness, the most worrying issue is to reduce the high rates of femicide and violence against women. It is therefore a priority to expand the gender perspective in all institutions, to back public policies and guarantee the existence of comprehensive equality plans,” says the gender area coordinator.
Living together without discrimination, an approach based on human rights and gender
The project “Living together without discrimination, an approach based on human rights and gender” works to strengthen Moroccan public instruments and policies to prevent and combat racism and xenophobia towards the migrant population. The project promotes the protection of the fundamental rights of migrants while giving particular consideration to the inclusion of the gender approach. “We are accompanied by technical assistance that specialises in gender to ensure the inclusion of this perspective in all interventions,” explains Lucia Molo, project technician at the FIIAPP.
The project promotes the creation of tools to help Spanish and Moroccan partner institutions ensure a gender perspective. These include a gender action plan for the project, the checklist listing the phases to be performed to ensure gender perspective, as well as an explanatory document that guarantees the use of inclusive language.
EUROCLIMA+ is a programme funded by the European Union that facilitates regional dialogue and supports institutions to achieve adaptation to climate change and develop mitigation policies in Latin America. At EUROCLIMA+ they are aware that climate change has gender-specific implications, so the programme is committed to equality.
EUROCLIMA+ promotes the gender perspective through actions such as the collection and use of gender-disaggregated information and the establishment of gender-sensitive indicators or the creation of methods for involvement and consultation of women, as well as monitoring, evaluation and accountability from a gender perspective. To that end, EUROCLIMA+ addresses gender in the programme’s logical framework and indicators, as well as in the different theme components, so as to maximise the structure and mandate of EUROCLIMA+.
“The need for women’s empowerment in conflict zones is a central element when formulating development strategies. In the Sahel region, which is ravaged by terrorism, women suffer the concrete effects of a specific violence against them. If women see their rights limited systematically in States that are in peace, the difficulties increase in situations of war.” These are the words of Beatriz Moreno de la Vara, support technician of the GAR-SI SAHEL project.
The Sahel is a geographical area of great political instability, which causes problems regarding irregular migration and the presence of terrorist groups. In the face of this reality, security and development are therefore the cornerstone of the European Union’s strategy for the Sahel region.
From the GAR-SI SAHEL project, there is a need to have a gender approach not only for the specific protection of women in conflict situations, but also as a commitment to female empowerment in the field of the security forces.
One of the proposals carried out within the framework of the project is the training in gender and Human Rights for the units created, such as that developed in Senegal. These courses have also been promoted in Mali and Niger in collaboration with other relevant players in the area, such as EUCAP Sahel and the International Organisation for Migration, creating synergies around the fifth Sustainable Development Goal: gender equality.
In addition, at the GAR-SI SAHEL project we are committed to increasing the presence of women in these units, which currently have three female agents in Senegal and one in Mali.
By Cristina Blasco, (@cbm_cris). FIIAPP communication team.
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