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Document 52001DC0295

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Programme of Action for the mainstreaming of gender equality in Community Development Co-operation

/* COM/2001/0295 final */


Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Programme of Action for the mainstreaming of gender equality in Community Development Co-operation /* COM/2001/0295 final */

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT - Programme of Action for the mainstreaming of gender equality in Community Development Co-operation


Gender equality is crucial for development in general and the link between gender and poverty has made the relevance of gender mainstreaming in development co-operation more critical than ever before. Gender mainstreaming is a long-term incremental approach of integration of gender issues in policy and planning. There are three main reasons for mainstreaming gender issues in Community development co-operation:

- A disproportionate majority of the world's poor are women who, in some instances, lack not only access to important economic and social resources, but also have their human rights as individuals denied to them;

- Investments in improving the situation of women (providing education, improving health and securing their land and labour rights) translate into higher levels of productivity, and lower levels of infant and female mortality, food insecurity and poverty;

- The European Union has a long-standing engagement to promoting gender equality and has played an active role in international conferences advocating womens' rights, notably at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, 1995. It is now time to prioritise positive actions and mainstream gender concerns into every level of development co-operation.

The European Community has a number of policies, guidelines and declarations that explicitly call for the mainstreaming of gender in development co-operation. These are further reinforced in the framework of the Community's recent Development Policy (April 26 2000 COM (2000) 212 final), as well as in EU partnership agreements with developing countries.

This Programme of Action capitalises on these achievements and proposes concrete actions for the future. It proposes to mainstream gender around three major axes:

I. The analysis and integration of gender within the priority areas identified by the Community Development Policy:

1. support for macro-economic policies and poverty reduction strategies and social development programmes in health and education;

2. food security and sustainable rural development;

3. transport;

4. institutional capacity building, good governance and the rule of law;

5. trade and development and

6. regional integration and co-operation.

Gender is a crosscutting theme in all these six areas.

Methods proposed to mainstream gender within these areas include: reviewing the Commission's existing policies and guidelines, stressing the use of gender-sensitive indicators and sex-disaggregated data in the analysis, implementation and evaluation of activities as well as the development of means for relevant quality assurance and support.

II. Strengthening gender mainstreaming within projects and programmes at regional and country levels. The main responsibility for strengthening gender equality lies with national governments and the Commission has a key role to play in supporting the priorities and initiatives of partner country governments and civil society in their efforts to mainstream gender. Proposals to gender mainstream the ongoing EC policy dialogues with government and civil society are made, and Member States and partner countries are encouraged to build partnerships to facilitate information sharing and resource pooling with other international partners and organisations. The importance of identifying gender concerns at all stages of the programming and project cycle management is emphasised.

III. Gender capacity building which as an incremental process will underpin the Commission's capacity to effectively mainstream gender issues across board. A number of methods are being identified that can facilitate this process such as the provision of gender-sensitive training for all head quarter and delegation staff.

The Programme of Action is to be implemented during a five-year period (2001-2006). A midterm and a final evaluation will assess the achievements of the implementation of the Programme of Action at all levels of proposed activities.

A strong commitment from the EC, developing countries, Member States and other donors will demonstrate that greater gender equality is achievable through a systematic and coherent mainstreaming approach.



Programme of Action for the mainstreaming of gender equality in Community Development Co-operation


1. Introduction

2. Gender dimensions in developing countries

3. The need for effective gender mainstreaming in EC development co-operation

4. European Community's specific role in gender mainstreaming

4.1. Global and regional policy framework

4.2. EC policies, measures and activities

4.2.1. Gender mainstreaming in EC development co-operation

5. Areas and actions for incremental change

5.1. Framework and objectives

5.1.1. Analysing and integrating gender in the six priority areas for EC development co-operation activities

5.1.2. Mainstreaming gender within projects or programmes designed at country or regional level.

5.1.3. Building the EC's internal gender capacity, tools and methods.

6. Implementation

7. Concluding Remarks

ANNEX I Gender mainstreaming: concept and definitions

ANNEX II Gender dimensions in developing countries

ANNEX III Examples of best gender practices and experiences in EC development co-operation

ANNEX IV EC documents, regulations and instruments on gender

ANNEX V List of Acronyms

ANNEX VI Indicative Timetable Year

1. Introduction

The main objective of the European Community Development Policy [1] is to foster sustainable development designed to eradicate poverty in developing countries. Gender mainstreaming is an essential part of this. Actions in this area seek to achieve the systematic integration of the situations, priorities and needs of women and men into all policies and measures, while taking into account the effects policies and measures have on the situations of both sexes.

[1] COM (2000) 212 final of 26.4.2000.

The facts on gender inequality in developing countries are still a cause for great concern. In spite of the different measures taken at global, regional and national level, there is an urgent need to redress gender imbalances, which continue to persist in developing countries. The equality between women and men needs to be promoted more effectively and more efficiently.

Although the European Community (EC) has achieved a certain level of progress in developing and complying with policy principles of gender inequality in development co-operation, best practices and lessons learnt need to feed into more specific reinforced actions to ensure increased levels of success. The EC is, as are many donors, facing so-called 'gender policy evaporation' [2] whereby good policy intentions fail to be followed through in practice. There is a clear need for the EC to prioritise positive actions and to integrate gender concerns into every level of development co-operation.

[2] Development in Practice, Vol. 7, no 2, 1997.

This Communication identifies three main areas of action in order to ensure that gender dimensions are mainstreamed in all EC development co-operation initiatives. It briefly outlines the rationale for more effective and efficient gender mainstreaming, highlights the measures taken by the Community so far and the very specific interventions required to achieve three overall objectives within the forthcoming five years (2001-2006).

2. Gender dimensions in developing countries

Gender inequality and poverty are clearly linked but those linkages are highly complex. The Human Development Report of 1995 estimates that among the 1.5 billion people living in poverty, 70 per cent are women. This disproportionate share of the world's poor faces unequal access to a political voice and development resources.

Evidence demonstrates the correlation between gender inequality and the general level of human poverty across countries. Those countries suffering from poor levels of gender equality, such as Sierra Leone, Niger, Burkina Faso or Mali, also rank lowest in the human poverty index. On the other hand, those countries with high levels of gender equality, for example Costa Rica, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, benefit from relatively lower levels of poverty.

Developing countries with gender-sensitive policies and practices fare better in areas of health, literacy rates, economic production and consensual decision-making processes. There is a high level of unrealised potentials in this domain. A 1998 UNICEF study focuses on ten 'high-achieving' developing countries, which have exceptionally high rates of literacy and education enrolment. For instance, Sri Lanka and the state of Kerala in India, have impressive levels of primary and secondary school enrolment, which is striking given that South Asia has a poor record in education levels, especially for women. An important feature of these 'high achievers' was the relative degree of autonomy granted to women and the high levels of gender equality. [3]

[3] Education for all: Policy Lessons from High-Achieving Countries, S. Mehrotra, UNICEF Working Paper EPP EVL-98-05, UNICEF, 1998.

In Kenya it was demonstrated that where women were given the same level of education and equal access to agricultural inputs as men, their yields increased by as much as 22 per cent. Sub-Saharan African countries, which failed to give girls access to education, have suffered a reduction in their economic growth by 0.7 per cent every year for the last 30 years.

The positive relationship between women's education, income levels and child-bearing/rearing activities has also been firmly established. In countries where women have greater access to education and enjoy high levels of financial autonomy, children benefit from improved nutritional levels and physical development. Conversely, restricted domestic autonomy for women translates into high rates of infant and child mortality. The figures in Annex II highlight some additional aspects of gender dimension in developing countries.

In some European countries with higher standards of living and greater investment in social development, gender advocates are allowed to focus on other complex issues of concern (political representation, institutional mainstreaming, enforcing quotas). In developing countries however, the extreme level of poverty has meant that attention has remained on basic issues of ensuring equal access and control of essential resources and rights. There is an urgent need to reinforce attention to gender in the developing countries and to redress some of the worst imbalances.

3. The need for effective gender mainstreaming in EC development co-operation

In the past, development programmes tended to focus exclusively on women and had little success in enhancing women's positions in society, improving their livelihoods or increasing gender equality. The shift in international discourse from Women in Development (WID) to Gender and Development (GAD) has had a crucial impact on how development interventions are planned, implemented and monitored (see Section 4.1.).

It is now recognised that the situation for both women and men has to be analysed in a disaggregated manner, and that both women and men have to be equally involved in setting goals, and elaborating strategies and plans so that development objectives are gender-sensitive. In this way, the priorities and needs of both sexes are addressed and taken into account. This makes for more effective, long-lasting, and sustainable equitable development co-operation with a positive impact in terms of meeting poverty reduction goals.

Systematically incorporating gender into all aspects of an institution or entity is a long-term and iterative process. Surely there is no single blueprint approach to gender mainstreaming that is applicable to all contexts. Each approach must be tailor-made to suit the context in which the mainstreaming is to occur. The process occurs over time in incremental stage.

There are two main synergetic approaches used in gender mainstreaming of development co-operation:

1. Supporting special projects or programmes that aim at enhancing the situation of women directly (in education, income generation, political power, legal rights, etc.). This method remains useful in addressing existing inequalities and demonstrating the potential of women, thereby rectifying discriminatory practices and stereotypes.

2. Integrating gender aspects into development co-operation policies and strategies through negotiations with partners in all phases of the project or programme cycle: preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

This Programme for Action addresses the second approach, specifying the different actions and instruments to be used to achieve full integration of gender aspects into EC development co-operation.

4. European Community's specific role in gender mainstreaming

The European Union is one of the major actors in international co-operation and development assistance. In total, the European Community (EC) and the Member States provide some 55 per cent of total international Official Development Assistance (ODA) and more than two thirds of grant aid.

The share of European aid managed by the Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) has gradually increased from 7 per cent thirty years ago to 17 per cent in 2000. The European Community has the political and financial responsibility for more than 10 per cent of total ODA world-wide, an increase from 5 per cent in 1985. It is also the largest donor of humanitarian aid. [4]

[4] COM (2000) 212 final of 26.4.2000.

In their task of contributing to gender equality through development interventions, the European Commission and the Member States are guided by concrete commitments and resolutions made at global, regional and national level as presented below.

However, the results of putting policies into practice have not been fully measured as yet, either by the Commission or by Member States. Tools for the development of statistics and other data related to the actual spending of EC development aid on gender and development will be further developed under this Programme for Action. Work on input, output and performance indicators will be continued in the appropriate fora, such as the DAC of the OECD.

4.1. Global and regional policy framework

Important targets concerning improving gender equality were agreed at the following international events: the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo 1994, the World Summit for Social Development (WSSD) in Copenhagen 1995 and the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW) in Beijing 1995.

The conference in Beijing was groundbreaking in shifting the discourse from Women In Development to Gender And Development. The principles established in the Platform for Action and the Beijing Declaration move away from addressing women's issues in isolation to a more complex discourse affirming that to address the root causes of gender inequality, both women and men have to be involved in the process. These principles were reaffirmed in the final outcomes of the Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Women (Beijing Plus 5 Review) held in June 2000.

In 1996, the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD identified a number of quantified objectives for poverty eradication, among others narrowing the disparities between women and men. [5] The international development targets include gender equality to 'empower women and eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005.'

[5] Shaping the 21st Century: the contribution of Development Co-operation, May 1996.

4.2. EC policies, measures and activities

The Treaty of Amsterdam (1998, art. 3 paragraph 2) explicitly includes equality between women and men among the objectives of the European Union, specifying as well that positive action is a legitimate tool in pursuit of this goal.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union [6] sets out the principle of gender equality in all areas, and includes a number of provisions whose aims are to promote equality between women and men.

[6] Proclaimed by the Presidents of the Council, the Parliament and the Commission at the beginning of the European Council meeting in Nice on 7 December 2000, OJ C 364 of 18.12.2000, p 1.

In relation to development co-operation the European Community has agreed on a broad policy framework, presented in the following key documents: Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on Integrating Gender Issues into Development Co-operation, 18 September 1995 - COM (95) 423 final; Council Resolution of 20 December 1995 on Integrating Gender Issues in Development Co-operation; and Council Regulation No 2836/98 of 22 December 1998 on Integrating of Gender Issues in Development Co-operation. In the framework of this latter Regulation the Commission is committed to undertake a regular evaluation of financial operations relating to questions of gender equality in development co-operation.

The Community Framework Strategy on Gender Equality (2001-2005) [7] provides a framework for action within which all Community activities shall contribute to attain the goal of eliminating inequalities and promoting equality between women and men. All Commission departments are to adjust their policies (gender mainstreaming) and/or to implement concrete actions targeting women (specific actions). To this end the Inter-Service Group on Gender Equality led by DG Employment and Social Affairs has been reinforced. On the basis of this Community Framework, annual work programmes are being elaborated by the different Services. The information provided will be used for monitoring purposes and fed into the Annual Report required by the Community Framework.

[7] COM (2000) 335 final of June 2000.

4.2.1. Gender mainstreaming in EC development co-operation

Gender mainstreaming is now a guiding principle in EC development co-operation policy which states that gender dimensions must be considered as a crosscutting issue and mainstreamed in the planning of all development initiatives [8]. The main regulations and agreements governing development co-operation (MEDA regulation 2000, ALA regulation 1992, the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, Cotonou 2000) have included gender mainstreaming. Article 31 of the Cotonou Agreement explicitly calls for positive actions and the integration of gender approach and concerns 'at every level of development co-operation including macroeconomic policies, strategies and operations'. Some 'sectoral mainstreaming' in development co-operation has been undertaken already. For example, in the area of Education, objectives for the coming year include work on a gender balance in civic education and the eradication of conventional gender discrimination in education.

[8] COM (2000) 212 final of 26.4.2000.

The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) will, in its ongoing actions for 2001, continue to focus on advocacy and awareness-raising in relation to gender-related violations of human rights in armed conflict situations, and support targeted humanitarian assistance addressing the special needs of women. The initiative on Poverty and Environment, launched in 1998 in collaboration with UNDP, includes gender as a crosscutting issue, on the basis that securing land rights and titles for women will inevitably have positive repercussions for protecting the environment. Annex III gives additional examples of best gender practices in EC development co-operation.

These have been valuable EC institutional achievements to date on gender mainstreaming in development co-operation. One of these is a well-conceived strategy for implementation. Another concerns a good start on the integration of gender issues in overall policies and procedures such as project cycle management and training - in pilot countries and sectors as well as in projects and programmes. At country level, technical assistance and support missions worked on awareness raising, conducting action-research, identifying entry points for gender mainstreaming, and offering training programmes in gender sensitisation and capacity building. This assistance provided partner countries with advice on how to assess gender needs and develop strategies to pursue countries' agendas for gender mainstreaming.

The EU Member States Gender Expert Group operates with the specific purpose of discussing Community development policy in relation to gender issues. The group is comprised of Commission officials and Member States' government representatives and meets on an annual basis. One of the focus areas of the Group relates to the development and use of performance indicators.

In the past the Community used the EDF and Budget funds (National Indicative Programmes, Regional Indicative Programmes, special budget lines) for 'women'-specific projects or programmes in developing countries. For instance, following the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994, the Commission committed more than Euro 780 million to actions in line with the Cairo Programme of Action. The Community is currently focussing on six reproductive health areas, one of which is tackling gender-based violence and sexual abuse [9].

[9] The other areas cover: access to family planning services, pregnancy and childbirth, sexual and reproductive health of young people, limiting the impact of HIV/AIDS and STDs, and building partnerships with civil society.

In terms of gender mainstreaming the Commission holds only one particular instrument with a distinct catalytic function. The special budget line B7-6220 'Integration of Gender Issues into Development Co-operation' has been used to provide technical support for the greater inclusion of gender issues in Community development co-operation. Since 1998, Euro 10.2 million have been spent from this budget line. For 2001, the budget is Euro 2.02 million. The validity of the Regulation, the legal basis for this budget line, expires at the end of 2003. An overall evaluation of financial interventions in the area of gender equality will be launched in 2002 to allow an eventual proposal for a new Regulation for this special budget line.

Commission services have to continue efforts in terms of turning good policy into effective practise. This Programme of Action presents a way forward.

5. Areas and actions for incremental change

5.1. Framework and objectives

In order for gender mainstreaming to become fully institutionalised in EC development co-operation the following three objectives need to be pursued:

1. Analysing and integrating gender into the six priority areas for EC development co-operation activities;

2. Mainstreaming gender within projects or programmes designed at country or regional level;

3. Building the EC's internal gender capacity.

The defined objectives are very specific, building on broad policy frameworks where basic principles are spelt out and agreed (see Section 4). In particular the objective related to internal capacity building could be seen as a channel or a method rather than a separate objective. However, as demonstrated from past experience, none of the broad policy elements can be fully turned into good practice without reinforced internal capacities. The Commission therefore takes the position to focus on clear targets for its own institutional capacity building.

5.1.1. Analysing and integrating gender in the six priority areas for EC development co-operation activities

The European Community's Development policy [10] identifies six priority areas in which Community development co-operation activities will be concentrated. The different areas are highlighted below. The ranking order reflects priorities in terms of gender mainstream (focus, impact and timing) put on the different areas in relation to this Programme of Action. As gender mainstreaming is more advanced in the areas of social development, food security and rural development, a continued focus will remain in these areas in order not to lose momentum. As the transport sector often is put forward as a priority sector in country programming this area needs also to be further explored. In each area a general perspective on gender mainstreaming will be presented. This will be followed by five specific actions, which will need to be undertaken for all six areas.

[10] COM (2000) 212 final of 26.4.2000.

1. Supporting macro-economic policies, poverty-reduction strategies and social sector programmes in health and education: There is a clear strong linkage between economic growth and investing in poverty eradication strategies. This inevitably draws in gender issues as a large majority of poor women are often doubly penalised, once on the basis of their sex and secondly for their disadvantaged social status. It is recognised that women in the short term were adversely affected by structural adjustment policies (SAPs) in the 1980s which often reduced national social welfare, health and education budgets ("Engendering adjustment for the 1990s [11]. In future, gender analyses should assess whether macroeconomic (including governmental budgetary priorities and fiscal mechanisms) poverty eradication and securing livelihoods, and/or whether there is support to primary health, education, public health, sanitation, clean water and fuel, all of which impact directly on women's reproductive labour and hence on their ability to earn income and play their full role in society.

[11] Report of the Commonwealth Expert Group on women and Structural Adjustment, 1991.

In the area of Education, inequality between the sexes is considerable and girls are often disadvantaged in terms of primary school enrolment, attendance and fewer employment opportunities when leaving school. In general, women are under-represented in decision-making structures of ministries and educational establishments. Cultural factors (favouring education of boys over girls), inadequate facilities and poor teaching materials further hamper progress. In response, development co-operation can play a key role by promoting the status of women, providing better facilities and educational material, and formulating analytical and statistical tools to assess the situation of girls. In its education and development policy, the EC has placed strong emphasis on promoting primary school education and in particular for the girl child.

In Health, next to the need to strengthen overall health systems, the urgency to target reproductive health and major communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, is seen as critical. It is recognised that in particular HIV/AIDS is not just a health issue on its own but it also impacts on other areas. HIV prevalence in rural areas affects the rising number of female headed households in which women are the primary income earner. Their deteriorating health or ensuing death inevitably jeopardises the survival strategies of the rest of the household.

2. Food security and sustainable rural development: Despite women playing a predominant role in agricultural production, they still lack equal access to and control over resources and secure land rights. They often have access to smaller, marginal and less fertile land for food production, which leads to lower yields and poor farming techniques. The lack of binding land titles further makes their livelihoods more tenuous and prevents them from getting access to important agricultural services and inputs which are necessary in improving subsistence and commercial food production. In its Development Co-operation Policy, the Commission has explicitly called for a multi-disciplinary approach in this area, of which gender is a fundamental part.

3. Transport: Despite appearing gender neutral, transport policies often replicate existing gender inequalities in a society by failing, for example, to note the different degrees of mobility allowed to each sex. Lack of attention to this issue hampers movement of women and provides restricted access to social services.

4. Institutional capacity building, good governance and the rule of law: Women are often marginalised in decision-making processes at political, economical, national as well as local level. This leads to gender-blind policies that prevent women from being active players and further entrench unequal relations of power in society in general. An important step is for developing countries to adopt and/or reform and vigorously implement a comprehensive legislative framework which affirms gender equality and gives priority to equal rights and principles of non-discrimination for women and men. The inclusion of gender equality in a legislative framework is an essential step to establishing or consolidating a state that enshrines and upholds the principles of equal rights, democracy and good governance.

The empowerment and autonomy of women and the improvement of women's political status is essential for the achievement of good governance and the rule of law for women and men. Women are largely underrepresented at most levels of government and have little progress in attaining political power in legislative bodies. The under-representation of women should be addressed in the work of building democracies and improving institutional capacities in the developing countries.

5. Trade and development: Gender analysis in the perspective of the social implications of globalisation is critical in helping to identify the mechanisms that ensure that trade and investment support gender equality. The benefits of trade expansion have been different for women and men, which to a large extent reflects domestic social structures of countries. The EC intends to support trade policy reforms in developing countries which include strategies aiming to ensure the economic, social and environmental sustainability of trade and investment policies. In preparation of the forthcoming WTO round in Qatar, November 2001, the EC will seek to promote international dialogue and incentives on trade and social development to enhance a better understanding and to ensure a positive interaction. In the context of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement for instance, forthcoming trade negotiations will take account of the socio-economic impact, including gender aspects, of trade measures on ACP countries.

6. Regional integration and co-operation: Regional integration and co-operation contribute to the integration of developing countries into the world economy and play a decisive role in consolidating peace and preventing conflict. They alone enable the countries involved to face cross-border challenges, in particular in the field of environment and the use and management of natural resources - and thus directly affecting the livelihoods of men and women living in trans-boundary areas. Positive impact of actions in these areas will be demonstrated in terms of institution- and capacity building, and with regard to conflict prevention and resolution. Gender issues cut across these areas.

For all six-priority areas the Commission will, while prioritising its interventions according to specific needs, best practices and lessons learnt, undertake the following actions:

* review and analyse policy guidelines according to the situation for women and men in each of the EC priority areas;

* strengthen the use of gender-sensitive output indicators for sectoral policies and strategies, which will also be used for the identification, implementation and monitoring of specific development co-operation projects or programmes in this sector;

* reinforce, at Delegation level, capacity for sectoral policy dialogues with governments and civil society to bring gender issues and women increasingly to the forefront;

* strengthen methodologies for relevant quality assurance of gender-sensitive sectoral policies. The Inter-service Quality Support Group, where all Country Strategy Papers will be discussed prior to approval, will be assessing the gender aspect systematically.

5.1.2. Mainstreaming gender within projects or programmes designed at country or regional level.

The ultimate responsibility for the setting of priorities and implementation of agreed gender policies lies with the developing countries. The EC is strongly committed to supporting partner countries, governments, civil society and the private sector with the accelerated implementation of agreed development policies. In addition, the EC is committed to including gender equality goals in the mainstream of EC development co-operation policies, programmes and projects. To reinforce these processes, specific actions have been identified.

Country and regional level:

* Existing and forthcoming programming guidelines for development co-operation will be made gender-sensitive;

* Gender-sensitive programming guidelines will be provided to Delegations and partner countries who will be encouraged to address gender mainstreaming during the preparation and reassessment phases of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, Country Strategy Papers and annual progress reports;

* The capacity of Commission staff in Delegations shall be reinforced. They shall act as catalysts, supporting gender mainstreaming on a national or regional level and assisting in the preparation and application of country strategies in the specific local context;

* The capacity of national gender experts working at gender desks within various national ministries will be strengthened and linked to the internal capacity building activities for Commission officials (see 5.1.3.);

* In-country technical assistance shall be reinforced through improved participatory and action-based research and knowledge development, information support and skills development. Consultants and researchers are expected to provide valuable input in policy dialogue and implementation;

* The Commission will strongly advocate on-the-ground collaboration and co-ordination for the achievement of gender equality goals among other donors, including the Member States, UN agencies, the World Bank, USAID and others. To this end an active role will be taken in 'In-country gender donor co-ordination groups' or, in case such a mechanism does not exist, in the creation of a co-ordination body will be pursued.

Project and programming level:

* A basic methodological requirement laid down in the Beijing Platform for Action is that an analysis of the situation for women and men be carried out in any development intervention at project and programme level (pre-project baseline studies). This facilitates assessment of the potential impact of interventions on women and men, and of the most effective means of ensuring that both women and men can exert influence and participate in and benefit from the development process;

* The Commission will strengthen gender considerations during the whole project cycle for analysis of problems, the definition of target groups and beneficiaries, setting of objectives, formulation of indicators, monitoring;

* The Commission will systematically disseminate and utilise revised Evaluation Guidelines, whereby all projects and programmes need to be monitored and evaluated from a gender perspective. In this respect, evaluation teams should include as far as possible staff with relevant expertise or competence in gender issues;

* The Commission will further develop for specific projects and programmes gender-sensitive indicators and sex-disaggregated data to be used for planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and follow-up activities. The aim is to identify indicators which measure the integration of gender into the various management tasks (analyses, project formulation, appraisal, selection of experts, monitoring, evaluation, etc.), and to avoid indicators which simply "count words" (women, gender) in documents. The use of sex-disaggregated data will serve as a basis for highlighting gender differences and analysing them so that more innovative solutions and/or strategies can be devised to diminish gender inequalities.

5.1.3. Building the EC's internal gender capacity, tools and methods.

In spite of a limited workforce, a number of tools for gender mainstreaming have been developed over the years or are under development. Examples include a draft outline for a Gender Source publication, training materials adapted to various situations, and programming guidelines for the 9th EDF. Where applicable, they have been harmonised with OECD/DAC Guidelines on Gender Equality in Development Co-operation. Revising, developing, adapting and fine-tuning these tools should be an ongoing process. However, full completion of many of these instruments has not yet been achieved and others need to be refined.

* Gender Source publication (GSP), which is to serve as an information and reference material for all staff, will be elaborated. It contains best practices as well as relevant theories guiding gender equality work and relevant policy guidelines. The publication will be regularly updated. The revised version of the Project Cycle Management (PCM) Manual and training are to provide guidance on integrating best gender practices into normal working procedures. Gender-sensitive standard terms of reference will be used for pre-feasibility and evaluations.

* The Intranet site on Gender and Development will be upgraded and maintained. The site will contain the Gender Source publication, as well as the links to relevant Commission documents on gender;

* Gender-sensitive training at Headquarters and Delegations will be provided. The objective of the training is to sensitise staff to gender concerns and thereby improve the quality of development interventions in terms of meeting the different needs and interests of women and men in partner countries. Training will allow a degree of language coherence between different mainstreaming initiatives, as well as between the different GAD consultants. Training materials will be context-specific;

* Gender expertise of EC staff will be reinforced at the appropriate levels at both Headquarters and Delegations;

* On-call technical assistance with gender expertise will be strengthened at in-country, regional and Headquarters level. A pool of qualified external consultants will, on request, provide support and engage in dialogue with sectoral and geographical desks, regional officers and Delegations;

* Partnerships with Member States, UN agencies, civil society and other stakeholders may improve information-sharing in particular on good practices and methods.

6. Implementation

With this Programme for Action, the Commission has the responsibility of ensuring that the necessary awareness, commitment and capacity are developed. The main result will be that by 2006 all Commission staff working in the area of development co-operation, will have the professional competence - in dialogue with developing countries - to promote equality between women and men.

Reporting on the implementation of this Programme of Action will be an integral part of the annual report from the Commission to the Council and European Parliament on the implementation of Community Development Policy [12]. This Programme for Action will be monitored closely according to the Work plan presented in Annex VI and evaluated on a mid-term and end-term basis. These evaluations will examine the efficiency, effectiveness, impact and relevance of the gender mainstreaming measures and give recommendations for improved actions.

[12] Council Conclusion of 10 November 2000, The European Community's Development Policy, art. 43.

The special gender budget line being the major catalytic instrument for gender mainstreaming, it will be used, as in the past, for additional on-call technical assistance. In order to assure significant achievements in the area of methods development, applied research, specific studies, as well as training and sensitisation, the amounts available under the special gender budget line shall be maintained for 2001 and 2002.

Operational and innovative partnerships with Member States and other donors will be required to mobilise additional technical resources and expertise to this end.

7. Concluding Remarks

Success in meeting international development goals for poverty reduction will depend critically on the mainstreaming of gender equality in development co-operation. This Communication highlights the benefits and potentials that gender mainstreaming can bring to EC Development Co-operation and how this process can advance development co-operation efforts.

The aim is to support the efforts made by partner countries and the EC to promote gender equality and mainstreaming processes at country level, to integrate gender issues into development policies and to strengthen the Commission's own capacity in this area. It underlines that the ultimate responsibility of promoting equality between women and men lies with national governments.

The Work Plan of this Programme of Action attached in Annex VI will effectively guide the monitoring of EC development co-operation efforts to promote gender equality in partner countries. It will provide support to the priorities and initiatives of national partners, governments, NGOs and other civil society groups. At the same time, it also allows for coherent approaches between the EC's own measures to institutionalise gender mainstreaming and those of its partner countries.

A strong commitment from the EC, developing countries, Member States and other donors will demonstrate that greater gender equality is achievable through a systematic and coherent mainstreaming approach.

ANNEX I Gender mainstreaming: concept and definitions


A concept that refers to the social differences, as opposed to the biological ones, between women and men that have been learned are changeable over time and have wide variations within and between cultures.


The study of differences in the conditions, needs, participation rates, access to resources and development, control of assets, decision-making powers, etc., between women and men in their assigned gender roles.


The collection and separation of data and statistical information by gender to enable comparative analysis/gender analysis.


Examining policy proposals to see whether they will affect women and men differently, with a view to adapting these proposals to make sure that discriminatory effects are neutralised and that gender equality is promoted.


The systematic integration of the respective situations, priorities and needs of women and men into all policies, with a view to promoting equality between women and men and mobilising all general policies and measures specifically for the purpose of achieving equality by actively and openly taking into account, at the planning stage, their effects on the respective situations of women and men in implementing and monitoring. [13]

[13] COM (1996) 67 final, 21.2.1996.


An active approach to planning which takes gender as a key variable or criterion and which seeks to incorporate an explicit gender dimension into policy or action.

ANNEX II Gender dimensions in developing countries

Political representation:

In 1999 women held only 12.7 per cent of the world's parliament any seats, and only 8.7 per cent of those in the least-developed countries

Productive sectors:

* Women perform 53 per cent of all economic activity in developing countries, but only about a third of their work is currently measured and recognised in national accounts, compared to three-quarters of men's

* In Latin America and the Caribbean, 7-11 per cent of the clients of formal credit institutions are women. In many African countries, despite the fact that they account for over 60 per cent of the labour force and contribute up to 80 per cent of total food production, women receive less than 10 per cent of the credit to small farmers and only 1 per cent of total credit to agriculture


* The proportion of HIV-infected women compared to infected men has doubled since 1992 - to almost 50 per cent and in the poorest countries the number of young women suffering from AIDS has greatly increased, especially in the 14-20 year old age group

* There are 130 million women who have undergone female genital mutilation and the number is increasing by two million a year


* World wide, 24 per cent of girls of primary school age are still not attending school, compared with 16 per cent of boys

* In the least-developed countries, adult male literacy is 61 per cent while the corresponding figure for women is 41 per cent

* Sri Lanka, despite its political instability, had a net primary enrolment rate of girls at 97 per cent compared to 70 per cent for the region. Similarly, its female youth illiteracy rate was only 7 per cent compared to 42 per cent for South Asia


* Increasing levels of desertification and environmental degradation have meant increasing labour for women who are often responsible for subsistence food production and fetching fuel and water.

Violence against women:

* Globally, one in every three women has experienced violence in an intimate relationship.

ANNEX III Examples of best gender practices and experiences in EC development co-operation [14]

[14] Further documentation of work done in EC co-operation at country level is to be found in A Review of Mainstreaming Gender at Country Level, Volume 1, Main Report, Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), March 1999.

Building synergies with Member States

In South Africa, donor co-ordination among EU Member States has been effective in improving the integration of gender into EU development co-operation. Initiated by the Swedish International Development Agency, regular donor co-ordination has occurred in relation to gender. The EC Delegation has played an active role, by hosting donor co-ordination meetings and by participating in a donor-initiated gender study in areas of development co-operation in South Africa.


In the Solomon Islands forestry sector, gender research, done in consultation with local officials, highlighted the difficulty women have in head loading cut timber. The immediate response of the sector specialists and project staff was to give the job to men. However, discussion revealed that forestry work was women's main source of income and as a result, improved technology was considered by the EC Delegation that could be used by women - a pull and tackle device that would enable the task to remain in women's control.


Separate consultation meetings with men and women students at the University of Technology in Lae (UNITECH) in Papua New Guinea showed significantly different demands, which has implications for EU-financed infrastructure development plans on site. Male students expressed their needs in terms of overall facilities: gym and computer equipment. Women students' primary concern was for women-only facilities, prompted by the incidence of violence and rape against women. Therefore, they demanded secure fencing around the dormitories and provision of key facilities, such as computers, inside this fence for evening work. Women's role in reproduction also led to different demands. Both requested provisions for married couples, but women in particular stressed the need for mother and child quarters.


The EC budget-line for HIV/AIDS is one of the few budget lines having 'integrated gender issues' as a requirement for EC funding. If this is not fulfilled, the project proposal is not accepted for financing. Funding also goes to 'women'-specific projects, for example targeting female genital mutilation.

Institutionalisation and integration of gender issues in rural development

In Guinea Conakry, the EC established the GIGED (Gender and Development Inter-projects group) network which includes a permanent team of 2 to 3 national consultants (GIGED desk), and a variable number of resource persons working within the framework of the ACP-EU Agreement at different levels and in different sectors (Programmes and Projects, NAO (National Authorising Officer) and Delegation). The objective of the GIGED project was to ensure the integration of gender issues into the development co-operation of the beneficiary ACP country, in conformity with the Council Resolution, the Lome Convention and national policy. After an experimental first year, the GIGED 2 project was launched. It was financed under the NIP (National Indicative Programme) and supervised by a national NGO with the objective of assisting EU-Guinea co-operation protagonists (NAO, Delegation, Programmes and Project) to integrate gender into their activities. The GIGED network is only meant to be transitory and will be phased out when the required capacity building is complete and self-sustaining. Given the success in Guinea Conakry, this experience is being replicated in Mali and Madagascar.

ANNEX IV EC documents, regulations and instruments on gender

List of Existing EC Documents on Gender

Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on Integrating Gender Issues in Development Co-operation, 18 September 1995 - COM (95) 423 final.

Council Resolution of 20 December 1995, Integrating Gender Issues in Development Co-operation.

European Commission Progress Report 1997, Integrating Gender Issues in Development Co-operation.

Council Regulation (EC) No 2836/98 of 22 December 1998 on Integrating of Gender issues in Development Co-operation.

The European Community's Development Policy, April 26 2000- COM (2000) 212 final.

The Cotonou EU-ACP Agreement, 2000.

Joint Declaration of the Commission and the Council of November 10, 2000 on the Development Co-operation Policy of the Community.

Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on A Community Framework Programme on Gender Equality, COM (2000) 335 final.

Instruments to Mainstream Gender within the Commission under elaboration or revision

Draft/Outline for Gender Source Publication.

An amendment to the Project Cycle Management manual and format for presenting financial proposals ("Engendered" PCM Manual).

The Project Identification Sheets.

Intranet site in the Commission on Gender and Development.

Training materials adapted to various situations.

Programming Guidelines for the 9th EDF (European Development Fund).

Gender Country Profiles.

Gender Impact Assessment Form and Guidelines.

The general Terms of Reference for evaluations and feasibility studies.

ANNEX V List of Acronyms

ACP // African, Caribbean and Pacific

AIDCO // EuropeAid Co-operation Office

AIDS // Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

ALA // Asia and Latin American development co-operation programme

DAC // Development Assistance Committee

DFID // United Kingdom Department for International Development

DG // Directorate General

DNE // Detached National Expert

EC // European Community

ECHO // European Community Humanitarian Aid Office

EDF // European Development Fund

EU // European Union

FAO // Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations

FWCW // Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995.

GAD // Gender and Development

GIGED // Gender and Development Inter-projects Group Network

GSD // Gender Source Publication

HAP // Health, AIDS and Population

HIV // Human Immune Deficiency Virus

ICPD // International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo 1994.

IDS // Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK

MEDA // Mediterranean countries development co-operation programme

NAO // National Authorising Officer

NGO // Non-governmental Organisation

NIP // National Indicative Programme

OECD // Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

PCM // Project Cycle Management Manual

RELEX // Directorate General for External Relations

RIP // Regional Indicative Programme

SPP // Strategic Planning and Programming

STD // Sexually Transmitted Diseases

UNDP // United Nations Development Programme

UNESCO // United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation

UNICEF // United Nations Children's Fund

WID // Women in Development

WSSD // World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen 1995

ANNEX VI Indicative Timetable Year

Workplan For Further Mainstreaming: Objectives, Actions, Timetable, And Set of Internal Performance Indicators