Access to natural resources, education, and income

Women and men in Burkina Faso stand around an engine on a table.
Women should have the same rights and opportunities as men in education. © SDC

Women play a key role in poverty reduction and food security in both rural and urban contexts. The SDC supports women in obtaining access to natural resources, vocational education and training, and markets, as well as other services.

SDC focus

The SDC is committed to empowering women in the area of food security. In its projects and strategies, the SDC sets the following priorities:

  • establishing gender equality in the context of access to resources with a particular focus on land governance
  • strengthening the economic situation for women through improved value chains and access to vocational education and training, markets, and other services
  • integrating gender-sensitive social welfare systems in rural economies.

Context

Women play a key role in poverty reduction and food security, because they are very active in agricultural production and rural economies. However, in many countries they face social and legal discrimination and have only limited access to land ownership and user rights, means of production, vocational education and training, and financial services.

In rural economies, most women work on family farms or in the informal sector, where the combination of long hours but low productivity generates only a low income. Women often work in low-income sectors, such as the textile industry, and under precarious working conditions. Their potential to contribute to food security, economic security, and development is not fully exploited.

Studies show the following two decisive factors for structural discrimination against women in economic development:

1.  multiple forms of discrimination based on religious, social, or ethnic affiliation

2.  the burden of unpaid household and care work, dictated by social norms and entrenched gender roles that are mostly carried out by women.

These factors reduce the opportunities for women to complete an education or pursue productive and paid work. They also limit access to social welfare systems, which is usually only available in the formal job sector and with a fixed income.  

Documents

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 42

Participation des femmes dans le processus de paix, de sécurité et de relèvement au Mali

30.04.2024 - 31.03.2031

La Suisse s’engage au Mali pour une participation plus significative des femmes dans le processus de paix. Par l’intermédiaire de ONU-Femmes, les soutiens directs à des initiatives de la société civile malienne seront complétés par la réalisation du Plan d’Action National pour la mise en œuvre de la Résolution 1325 de l’ONU, concernant la participation de femmes dans les processus de paix et les garanties de sécurité. Le programme contribue ainsi à la stabilisation de la sous-région


Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response Project (GBV Project)

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2027

Gender-based violence is prevalent in Nepal because of patriarchal values, lack of rights awareness or support services and poor implementation of laws. In the first phase, the project will directly reach 50,000 households in three districts with GBV prevention activities involving women, girls, men and boys and will provide improved medical, psychosocial and legal services for a minimum of 1’000 GBV survivors. Subsequently, the coverage will be increased.


Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus

01.08.2021 - 31.07.2024

In 2017, Switzerland embarked on a multi-donor project which laid a solid foundation for women’s economic empowerment in the South Caucasus, yet, further support is needed to fulfil women’s rights, which remain constrained by structural and cultural barriers. The Swiss-funded contribution will support capacity-building and provide technical assistance at institutions and policy level and, combined with activities at grassroots level, benefit at least 1’850 vulnerable women in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia


Support to the International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP)

01.07.2021 - 31.12.2024

Gender inequalities persist and are a major barrier for poverty reduction and sustainable inclusive development. SDC supports the International Women’s Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Asia Pacific, a non-governmental organisation working nationally, regionally, and globally towards the achievement of women's human rights, especially through the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) mechanism.


Scaling-up improved sanitation – Bridging Phase Sanitation and Hygiene Fund (SHF)

01.05.2021 - 30.04.2022

Investments in Sanitation, Hygiene and Menstrual Health are crucial to achieving the SDGs. The recently launched and UN-led Sanitation and Hygiene Fund (SHF) aims to fill a gaping void in the international response to the sanitation, hygiene and menstrual health crisis. With this project, Switzerland supports the SHF in its operational set-up, starting country readiness work, resource mobilization and to become operational by early 2022


SYP Safeguard Young People in Eastern African countries

01.03.2021 - 28.02.2024

The SYP program contributes to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people, thus  reducing gender based health inequities. It supports the adoption, domestication and implementation of policies, and strengthens young people’s competencies on and access to SRHR services. The expansion to Tanzania and Rwanda leverages on the  experience in Southern Africa financed by SDC, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)’s thematic expertise and convening power.


UNFPA - Core Contribution 2021

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2021

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) works to address questions related to population and development, with an emphasis on sexual and reproductive health, gender equality, and youth. UNFPA is the only multilateral organization, which is engaged on a normative and operational level in promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights SRHR as well as gender equality and women’s empowerment. It is therefore a key partner for Switzerland to ensure progress on these joint priorities.


UN Women - General Contribution 2021

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2021

UN Women is the lead UN organisation to contribute to gender equality, women and girl’s empowerment, including women’s full enjoyment of their human rights. Switzerland supports UN Women because targeted action for gender equality and women’s rights is a Swiss priority in its foreign policy and international cooperation.


Working for Health (W4H)

01.11.2020 - 31.10.2025

More health workers with the right skills are needed to achieve the SDGs, particularly in low income countries. Switzerland contributes to a joint WHO, ILO and OECD program providing catalytic support to governments, social partners and other key stakeholders to develop, finance and implement national health workforce strategies and investment plans. This will improve the supply and employment of health workers, maximise their performance, create decent jobs and accelerate progress towards UHC.   


Supporting Small-scale Dairy Production

01.10.2020 - 30.09.2024

This contribution aims at improving economic empowerment and resilience of women dairy producers in Abkhazia and Samegrelo. The protracted conflict in Abkhazia impedes socio-economic development, leading to high poverty and vulnerability to external shocks, as COVID-19. Women are particularly vulnerable, as they are also victims of gender-based discrimination and domestic violence. Farmer Field Schools will empower women by enhancing their technical and leadership skills.


PSTIC: Provision of protection and humanitarian assistance to vulnerable migrants in Greater Cairo

21.08.2020 - 31.12.2021

The increase in migrants and refugees residing in Egypt, coupled with shrinking humanitarian funding are leaving many at protection risk. With new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the protection risks have risen and needs are exacerbated. This project will respond to the immediate protection needs of refugees and migrants by providing a comprehensive package of gender sensitive emergency protection services in Greater Cairo, with a special focus on women and children at risk. 


Object 1 – 12 of 42