Women's rights and gender

Audience at a lecture at the Institut for Applied Agricultural Research and Training in  Katibougou, Mali

Background: Worldwide discrimination of women

International studies and estimates show that, in much of the world, women are still being discriminated and disenfranchised. The majority of the world’s poorest people and most of those who are illiterate are women. Each year around 300,000 women die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth, 99 per cent of them in developing countries. Violence against women and harmful traditional practices are still widespread. more

Combating violence against women and girls

Violence against women is one of the most serious and widespread violations of human rights worldwide. One in three women around the world experiences physical or sexual violence at the hands of her intimate partner or other men at some point during her life. The prevention and combating of violence against girls and women is a key objective of German development policy. It is included in both the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 2014 Gender Equality Strategy Paper and in the second Development Policy Action Plan on Gender Equality 2016–2020 (GAP II). more

International agreements on women's rights

The international community has applied the principle of gender equality since the United Nations was founded in 1945. It is enshrined in the UN Charter. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 also contains the principle that no distinction shall be made "on account of sex". The two human rights covenants that were adopted in 1966, which incorporated a ban on discrimination, made gender equality a legally binding principle for signatory states. more

Gender equality – A basic principle of German development policy

"Equal rights, equal duties, equal opportunities and equal power for women and men" is one of the basic principles of German development policy. Gender equality and the implementation of women’s rights are of crucial importance for human rights-based, socially equitable, sustainable development of societies. Promoting gender equality is therefore a cross-cutting task and an attribute that touches all areas of German development cooperation. Germany's policy is based on international agreements on women's rights. more

Implementing women's rights – tapping into potential

Throughout the world women play a key role in implementing change. Gender equality is therefore a precondition of development. Where the social conditions allow, women can develop their great potential – to the benefit of all. Germany promotes diverse measures to eliminate discrimination against women and girls through its development cooperation. more

Further information on women's rights and gender

The following list contains a selection of documents and websites with further information on women's rights and gender. more

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