Gender, Conflict and Fragility


The majority of countries in conflict did not achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In conflict, natural disasters and post-conflict situations men and women have different roles, needs and vulnerabilities. Women often take over many responsibilities such as managing and protecting the family and getting an income when men are absent, while men and boys are more likely to face the direct consequences of war (being killed, arrested or disappeared). Women and girls in conflict and disasters are particularly affected by sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), while such situations also open opportunities for changes in gender roles and many women gain considerable influence as players in national and local governance and peace processes. Men too are victims of SGBV, although this is more of a taboo than women victims. Therefore SDC seeks to ensure that men are seen both as perpetrators and as victims and strives for better integration of men into violence prevention and gender equality work.
Working in fragile and humanitarian contexts is a priority for Switzerland. The SDC helps to ensure respect for the rights of women and girls in humanitarian and conflict situations and to integrate a gender perspective in all humanitarian, peacebuilding and conflict prevention work. This is in line with the FDFA gender equality and women’s rights strategy, the Message for International Cooperation 2017-2020, the Swiss commitments in the framework of the World Humanitarian Summit  (WHS) and the Call to Action on protection from GBV in emergencies, as well as the Swiss National Action Plan 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. With this plan, Switzerland is meeting the obligations of UNSCR 1325. Switzerland has also signed the New deal for Engagement in fragile states.

In 2016 the Gendernet conducted a joint Face to Face with the Conflict and Human Rights net on Gender Equality, Justice, Peace- and Statebuilding. More information on the Face to Face you can find here. Further resources and publications on gender, fragility and conflict you can find here.

SDC works along the following three lines:







Prevention, protection and response against sexual and gender based violence (SGBV)  with a particular focus on conflict, post-conflict and humanitarian settings and on involving men and boys.

Strengthening women's participation and integrating a gender perspective in local peace, transformation and state building processes

Gender in humanitarian aid