SDC Gender Mainstreaming Instruments

SDC adopts a gender mainstreaming strategy in its efforts to promote gender equality. Gender mainstreaming means that any proposed action is reviewed with respect to its implications for women and men. It aims at promoting gender equality in all different fields such as health, education, resources, political, economic and social participation and decision-making, employment and income as well as combating violence against women and girls. Moreover, it is also about recognising that women and men often have different needs, different interests and aspirations, and hence different priorities. They face different constraints and participate and contribute to development in different ways. Gender mainstreaming strives at recognising these differences while transforming society to accommodate these differences and treat women and men as equals.

Gender Mainstreaming at SDC combines three significant approaches: 

  • Gender as a transversal theme: Gender equality is integrated as a transversal, cross-cutting issue into all SDC programmes and themes. This incorporates planning, implementing and evaluating (all steps of PCM) gender sensitively: being responsive to gender-specific needs, interests, gaps and obstacles in all programs and thematic domains.
  • Gender-specific interventions: Gender equality is a principal theme wherever called for by glaring inequalities. Specific targeted interventions are aimed at reducing inequalities and discrimination between women and men and transforming unequal power relations between them. Gender specific interventions also address men and boys since gender is not limited to women. Specific interventions are also implemented as protection measures for women, men, boys and girls, especially in humanitarian settings.
  • Institutional measures: SDC also strives to bring about institutional changes and uses measures taken to implement gender equality on an institutional / organisational level. These include development of expertise through capacity building, allocating human and financial resources, and establishing procedures to monitor and measure the implementation of the gender policy.


SDC Instruments and Tools

Tools and instruments serve to understand the concept of gender mainstreaming and the requirements for its implementation in different contexts; and to spread responsibility for integrating a gender perspective into all activities and policies. The website will facilitate easy access for staff to use and comment on the existing tools, to suggest possible obstacles and tips, and to introduce new ones for discussion.

To facilitate capacity building and skills development in gender issues and gender mainstreaming, SDC provides the following set of tools and instruments:

Gender in Practice - a toolkit for SDC and its partners

Gender and Humanitarian Aid

GEM Gender Equality Mainstreaming Checklist (Gender Policy Marker) (French Version, Spanish Version)

SDC How-to-Note on integrating SDC's Gender Policy into Cooperation Strategy Management

SDC Gender Mainstreaming Resources

SDC Gender Reference Indicators

SDC developed thematic reference indicators for the monitoring of the new message 2017-2020. You find the complete list of the suggested Gender Reference Indicators here (in English), here (in French) and here (in Spanish).