International Women's Day

8 March is the International Women's Day. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has different activites around this important day, also on Social Media. State Secretary Pascale Baeriswyl, on the right side, is wearing a button with the 5th objective of the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. She tweeted on her commitment and support towards gender equality! Furthermore, there is also a Blog on FDFA featuring a case on safe water and women!  

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is taking this day as an opportunity to recall the importance of realizing gender equality to achieve sustainable development, an inclusive economy, social cohesion and poverty reduction. In all its supports and within its policy dialogue the SDC is engaged in promoting equal rights for women and men as well as equal social and economic opportunities. This is SDC’s contribution to the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development with its 5th goal on gender equality.

Women and men are often expected to have different roles and responsibilities in society. Poverty is still strongly linked to gender. According to international studies, women are more affected by poverty than men particularly in the phase in which they are primarily responsible for children and the family (122 women per 100 men aged 25-34). Legal frameworks and social norms make it more difficult for many girls and women to have access to health services, education, land, finances and leadership positions. In comparison to men, women's influence on social, political and economic decision-making processes is limited. Gender based violence is still prominent in many regions and discrimination is more common for women than for men.

Sustainable development is not possible without gender equality. Gender equality is a long and challenging process. However, the inclusion of men and boys is essential for transformative change. For example, violence against men is still a social taboo. The SDC is therefore committed to ensure that men are not only regarded as perpetrators, but also as victims of violence.

Have a look at good practices that can make a difference for gender equality

Occupied Palestinian Territory

Enhancing social engagement and participation of all citizens especially youth and women through arts and culture. More information



Access to menstrual and reproductive health for women and girls living in rural areas. An initiative of an Ashoka Fellow supported by SDC. 


Increase the incomes of small holder farmers with a strong focus on women inclusion by linking them to market opportunities. More information.

Southern Africa
An interactive app that replies to a wide range of sexual and reproductive health and rights related questions, and indicates where Youth Friendly Services are delivered. It is designed for Smartphones, you can access it via 
You find also more information on this programme here.

An initiative organised by the Southern Africa, East and North Africa, Occupied Palestinian Territory Division (SENAP) in collaboration with the Focal Point Gender Equality.


Explore more information about the SENAP division here.

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