Taking action for gender equality in development projects

Achieving gender equality is essential to ensure real sustainable development. In line with the French strategy in this respect, Expertise France works to bring about systemic changes and systematically integrates gender into all the components of its operations.

Gender equality is a prerequisite to effectively reducing poverty, promoting the key issues of sustainable development – in the economic, social and environmental areas – and the conditions for good governance, while increasing the stability of countries. In this respect, it is essential to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN and it is central to the action of Expertise France.

This requires addressing the structural causes of gender inequality in order to bring about systemic changes in terms of rights, social status and elimination of all forms of discriminations suffered by women and girls in all areas: economy, education, health, access to decision-making spaces, security and social protection.

In line with the French strategy in this respect and the feminist diplomacy implemented by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Expertise France develops projects that aim to bring about systemic changes or include the gender dimension in its four priority thematic areas of operation:

• Democratic, economic and financial governance;

• Peace, stability and security;

• Climate, agriculture and sustainable development;

• Health and human development.


Participating in an ambitious strategy

In the third French International Strategy for Gender Equality (2018-2022), France has identified five priorities: ensure free and equal access to services; promote access to resources, control over them and access to employment; guarantee free and equal access to justice and protection against all forms of violence; ensure meaningful participation of women in decision-making forums; ensure equal participation of women in peace and security processes.

Furthermore, AFD Group has made social cohesion and gender equality a priority focus for its action. This priority also applies to Expertise France as it will shortly join AFD Group.


Expertise France’s roadmap for gender equality

As the French public agency for international technical cooperation, Expertise France makes sure its action is in line with these commitments. It has recently adopted its roadmap for gender equality for 2020-2022.

With this new roadmap, gender becomes central to the action of Expertise France, no longer as a cross-cutting issue but with an approach based on systemic and systematic changes. It sets objectives and provides means to achieve the ambitious goal set in Expertise France’s objectives and means contract: reach at least 50% of new projects marked 1 or 2 according to the gender marker criteria of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) by 2022.

This roadmap is based on four major pillars:

1. A rights-based approach which includes international norms, rules and principles on human rights into the policies and processes of humanitarian and development operations.

2. Using gender as a methodological tool: it results in the sociological understanding of gender inequalities to develop projects.

3. An integrated and measured approach which addresses gender equality as a whole, in a coherent way, and where all issues feed one another.

4. A broad approach based on 2 additional components:

• The systemic component which brings about changes to strengthen the institutional, political and organisational support for gender, both internally and externally.

• The thematic component which aims to include gender into all Expertise France’s projects regardless of the thematic area of operation. With this commitment, the agency is due to bring the subject to the attention of its project partners.


To evaluate the level of inclusion of the gender dimension in projects, Expertise France uses the OECD gender equality marker.

This progressive indicator makes it possible to identify the level of inclusion of gender in the project objective.


Raising awareness, assisting and training

Expertise France is strengthening the capacities of its teams at headquarters and in the field by developing materials tailored to their needs:

• A “Mainstreaming gender into projects” training course;

• The “Gender and Development” MOOC, an online training course for development professionals on many key issues, created in partnership with the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and Agence Française de Développement. This MOOC will be released shortly and will allow us to fully understand these complex issues and their importance in the implementation of a sustainable and lasting development.

Thematic and methodological factsheets are provided to the teams to promote the inclusion of gender at each stage of projects.


A selection of projects

EUROsociAL+ (Gender Equality Policies area)

2016-2021 - EUR 8.1m (European Union)

The Gender Equality Policies area of the EUROsociAL+ programme implemented by Expertise France aims to strengthen public policies for gender equality in 19 Latin American countries in order to build social cohesion.

The component responds to requests from Latin American institutions and is based on four areas:

 • Physical empowerment;

 • Economic empowerment and care;

 • Political empowerment;

 • Gender mainstreaming: statistics, national equality plans, institutionalisation, gender-responsive budgeting.

More about the Gender area


MPACOS – Putting patients at the centre of primary healthcare in Chad

2019-2022 – EUR 4m (AFD)

Following on from the Health Sector Support Project (PASST2), the MPACOS project is contributing to the implementation of the Government of Chad’s health policy, which aims to:

 • Improve the availability and use of maternal, neonatal and child health services and sexual and reproductive health services;

 • Raise awareness of family planning and women’s rights.

To achieve these objectives, the MPACOS project’s approach is to strengthen health systems involving communities, caregivers and management teams.

More about MPACOS


EU4WE – European Union for Women Empowerment in Lebanon

2019-2022 – EUR 2.4m (European Union)

The EU4WE project aims to fight against gender inequalities in Lebanon in a sustainable manner. It is based on two objectives:

 • Strengthen the empowerment of Lebanese women in order to combat domestic violence in a sustainable manner;

 • Support the institutional mechanisms working on gender issues to ensure gender is better taken into account in public policies.

To achieve these objectives, the project is based on three areas of operation: entrepreneurship, justice and strengthening institutional actors involved in the promotion of gender equality in Lebanon.

More about EU4WE


Mainstreaming gender into projects in a cross-cutting manner: the example of L'Initiative

Launched in late 2011, L’Initiative is a facility implemented by Expertise France and complementary to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It provides technical assistance and support for innovation to Global Fund recipient countries. The objective is to improve the effectiveness of its grants and strengthen the health impact of the funded programmes.


• Recognising the link between gender and pandemics

The international community will not put an end to the major pandemics without paying increased attention to gender inequalities, which are major barriers to access to health services. L’Initiative therefore considers gender as a key development issue and has included it in its strategy for 2020-2022.

Watch the webinar Gender & Pandemics (in French)

The place of gender in L'Initiative

1. Mainstreaming the gender approach into missions and projects: raising the awareness of experts, taking it into account in the evaluation and implementation of projects.

2. Reflection on mainstreaming gender into technical assistance missions: development of an online awareness-raising webinar and a toolkit.

3. Strengthening calls for projects with a guidance note on gender, the review and support for the projects selected by a gender mainstreaming specialist.

To find out more: www.initiative5pour100.fr


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