Gender Equality

Gender equality plays a central role for SWISSAID, and not only in our project work. We believe that both women and men should have equal opportunity, in all areas of work and at all institutional levels, to pursue their interests, contribute their needs and ideas and be treated with respect.

In project and programme work, it must be ensured that individual project activities do not impact negatively on women or on equality between the sexes. In the past, many development projects aimed at helping women actually created a significant amount of extra work for the women. Our cooperation with partner organisations is designed to effect long-term positive change in the relationship between the sexes within each local context - to benefit men as well as women.

In our communications work in Switzerland, we place value on showing how different the lives of women in developing countries are from those of men in the same countries, and that even though the women are disadvantaged due to their gender, it is often the women who get involved in developing their countries with confidence, initiative and creativity.

And, last but not least, SWISSAID believes it is important to point out that discrimination against women is not limited to the southern hemisphere. We meet the challenge of implementing equality and equal rights within our own organisation by ensuring that women are equally represented at the highest decision-making levels and that all staff are informed and aware of the issue.

For a long time, gender equality work has focused on supporting women, and rightly so. But we are convinced that it is time for men to take responsibility for long-term change in the unequal treatment of the sexes. Men also need to acknowledge and undertake their full role at home and in the wider community.