European Union steps up actions towards a gender equal world

10 months ago Web Desk 0

The European Union has already made a significant contribution towards this direction as eliminating gender inequality has been high on the EU agenda for a long time. For instance, the amount of EU funding targeting gender equality has increased every year since 2016 and gender issues now feature regularly during discussions with partner countries around the world.


High Representative/Vice-President, Josep Borrell, said: “Ensuring the same rights to all empowers our societies. It makes them richer and more secure. It is a fact that goes beyond principles or moral duties. The participation and leadership of women and girls is essential for democracy, justice, peace, security, prosperity and a greener planet. With this new Gender Action Plan, we are pushing for more and faster progress towards gender equality.”


Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “Stronger engagement on gender equality is key to a sustainable global recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and building fairer, more inclusive, more prosperous societies. Women and girls are in the frontline of the pandemic and must be put in the driving seat of the recovery. As a gender-sensitive and responsive geopolitical Commission, we want to work more closely with our Member States, as well as all partners, in building a truly gender-equal world.”


Although progress has been made, gender inequality continues to hold women back and deprives them of basic rights and opportunities. Therefore GAP III has been developed and will from now on be used as one of the milestone documents in promoting gender equality in partner countries by the EU. By 2025, 85% of all new actions throughout EU external relations should contribute to gender equality and women’s empowerment.


The Gender Action Plan III reportedly identifies six thematic focus areas: ending gender-based violence: Every human being has the right to live a life free from all forms of violence; sexual and reproductive health and rights: SRHR are crucial for women’s and girls’ right to self-determination; economic and social rights and empowerment: Women and men in all their diversity should have equal opportunities, equal access to employment, decent work, equal pay for equal work; equal participation and leadership: Women and girls should participate equally in the public and private sphere, to achieve a functioning democracy and economy, and to fulfill human rights for all; women, peace and security (gender inequality as a root cause and driver of conflict and fragility); and green and digital transformations (addressing the challenges and harnessing the opportunities provided by digitalization and the green transition are central to achieving a gender equal world).


Contributing to empowering women, girls and young people to fully use their rights and increase their participation in political, economic, social, and cultural life is a key objective of the new action plan. GAP III strongly supports the participation and leadership of girls and women, promoting it, for example, through governance programs and public administration reforms.


GAP III is expected to promote a transformative and intersectional approach, and will mainstream gender in all policies and actions. It aims to address structural causes of gender inequality and gender-based discrimination, including by actively engaging men and boys in challenging gender norms and stereotypes. Finally, to leave no one behind, the action plan seeks to tackle all intersecting dimensions of discrimination, paying specific attention for example to women with disabilities, migrant women, and discrimination based on age or sexual orientation.


This external Gender Action Plan reflects the objectives of the EU Gender Equality Strategy, the first Commission strategy in the area of equality, which delivers on the commitments made by the President von der Leyen in her political guidelines.


Source: Asia Plus