25 June 2020
Posteado en : Opinion
Icíar Bosch, Jimena Cazzaniga and Ana Cirujano, FIIAPP colleagues who are also part of the Foundation's gender group, tell us how they see gender equality as being in danger at the global level due to the Covid-19 crisis.
It is a reality that the crisis generated by Covid-19 jeopardises the progress of the 2030 Agenda, especially the aspects linked to gender equality. In this complex situation, FIIAPP, through its know-how, is committed to not leaving women behind. As the figures demonstrate, women are more exposed to the virus and its social and economic impacts: approximately 70% of health staff in the world are women, as well as 80% of domestic and care personnel. On the other hand, caring for dependent relatives falls to a greater extent on women. As if this were not enough, it is women who represent the highest percentage of informal and part-time workers worldwide.
FIIAPP can provide solutions in the form of public policy that take the gender perspective into account
At FIIAPP, we have seen that strengthening public policies with a gender equality focus can aim to improve citizens’ lives. For example, during this crisis there is less access to sexual and reproductive health and a serious increase in gender-based violence. FIIAPP works in this field from different perspectives, such as supporting the creation of a Department of Gender Violence within AMERIPOL.
On the other hand, the EUROsociAL+ Programme’s Democratic Governance Area has implemented innovative actions such as incorporating the gender perspective in systems to promote transparency and access to information, the differential impact of corruption on women, access to justice for especially vulnerable groups of women or assisting Latin American countries in implementing budgets with a gender perspective as an instrument to reduce inequalities.
We consider that the need for women’s empowerment in times of crisis such as the current one is a central element when considering development strategies. Sometimes, the specific effects of a particular form of violence against them are added to this situation. Another example is occurring in the Sahel region, where women are seeing their rights being systematically limited. In the GAR-SI SAHEL project, FIIAPP has included a gender approach, not only to specifically protect women in conflict situations, but also as a commitment to the empowerment of women in the security forces and to increase the presence of women in these units.
It also happens that the general discourse that frames the coronavirus crisis is profoundly masculine and riddled with warlike similes, in contrast, communication with equity should be present and extend to the use of an inclusive language that enables the visibility of women and girls. At FIIAPP, both in its communication department and in various programmes, there is a firm commitment regarding the use of non-discriminatory language. For example, the EU-Cuba Experience Exchange project to promote renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in Cuba, takes care to use inclusive language every time it communicates through an invitation, presentation, etc.
This is why, at a time when the inclusion of the gender perspective is perceived as a secondary aspect, projects such as Living Together Without Discrimination are recognised as being valuable. The latter is an approach based on human rights and gender in which FIIAPP contributes technical assistance specialising in gender. After a thorough diagnosis, a series of tools were developed that allow all the people and institutions involved to integrate the gender perspective throughout the intervention. This enabled the existence of specific guidelines that ensure the incorporation of the gender perspective in each of the project’s tasks, processes, activities and results. As a result of all this work, the project has managed to ensure that gender-balanced candidate lists are positively considered in FIIAPP recruitment processes.
But despite the enormous amount of information produced on the Covid-19 crisis, there are very few analyses that contain data on the situation of women, who are once again invisible. The gender impact of the various crises, including the climate crisis, is an undeniable fact. In the framework of programmes managed by FIIAPP such as EUROCLIMA+, initiatives that take into account the gender perspective are promoted, specifically through the collection and use of information disaggregated by sex, the establishment of gender-sensitive indicators, the creation of methods to facilitate the participation and consultation of women, as well as monitoring, evaluation and accountability from a gender perspective.
As we mentioned before, women occupy a high percentage of precarious and informal jobs, many of them linked to unrecognised care tasks. The solution to the current crisis lies in repositioning these jobs and economically empowering women. For example, the Bridging the Gap (BtG) programme, being aware of such discrimination on multiple levels, is working to improve the employability of disabled women or those who have disabled children. Empowerment, as in other FIIAPP actions, is at the centre of BtG’s action to achieve women’s autonomy.
These initiatives, selected from a series of proposals compiled by the FIIAPP Knowledge Management team, demonstrate that the raw material is there. However, it is necessary, on the one hand, to systematise and make this work visible, and on the other, to put this experience at the service of a gender strategy. In this sense, FIIAPP is working, with the support of a group of professionals from within the organisation, on preparing and implementing its 1st Equality Plan. This tool has a double internal and external objective: to promote gender equality within the institution, as well as to equip the institution itself with the tools and processes that allow it to be systematically incorporated into the projects managed by the institution.
With the arrival of the pandemic and the implementation of different emergency measures to face it, the global challenge is clear: the widening of the gender gap is a reality. It is our responsibility to work to minimise it, the solution is to be found in gender equality.
Icíar Bosch, Jimena Cazzaniga and Ana Cirujano
Project technicians in the FIIAPP gender team
05 March 2020
Posteado en : Reportage
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.