Highlighted results

820 civil society organisations and networks supported

172 contributions to positive behavioural changes

Support for 208 organisations that strengthen the role of women in conflict resolution and peace building

39,611 women trained in economic skills

26 contributions to policy aimed at increasing the number of women in politics

Additional sources

Theory of Change

Download PDF document on the Theory of Change

Introduction

Through its international policy on women’s rights and gender equality, the Netherlands contributes to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and SDG 5 (gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls) in particular. We focus on four sub-goals:

increasing female leadership and women’s participation in (political) decision making;economic control and improved economic conditions for women;preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls; strengthening the role of women in conflict resolution and peace building.

The Netherlands works on achieving these goals through gender diplomacy and gender-specific programmes worldwide. It supports civil society organisations and individual defenders of women’s rights in contributing to the aforementioned goals. They play an important role in drawing attention to and strengthening the position of women. In addition, the Netherlands encourages co-operation with companies that enhance the working conditions of female employees and opportunities for female entrepreneurs.

The Netherlands also works towards strengthening women’s rights and gender equality in international conventions, resolutions and agreements. An example is the biennial UN resolution in which the Netherlands and France are demanding greater international focus on and efforts toward tackling violence against women and sexual harassment.

Results 2018

Only when women and men have equal opportunities and rights can women play a greater role in politics, the economy and peace processes. The Netherlands aims to improve the preconditions to achieving this. In 2018, we supported a total of 820 civil society organisations. These organisations play an important role in placing women’s rights and gender equality on the agenda and monitoring progress. They stimulate governments, companies and other social players to bring women’s rights and gender equality into practice.

The organisations also provide information to men and women, and support women in better achieving their potential. More than 49,000 individual women and girls learned more about their rights and were taught skills to increase their impact. Other social players, such as policy-makers, leaders, police officers and teachers, were also trained in promoting equal rights and opportunities. In 150 cases, we saw a demonstrable contribution to changes in legislation and behaviour aimed at improving women’s rights and gender equality.

Result areas

Preventing violence against women Engaging women in preventing and resolving conflict in a meaningful way Women taking advantage of economic influence opportunities Political participation

Featured project women’s rights and gender equality

Leading from the South (LfS)

Leading from the South has supported 122 women’s organisations in 67 countries over the past year. The programme is unique as it is led by feminist women’s groups from southern countries. This gives the women and girls in these countries the opportunity to change their own position and that of others.

The organisations work toward the political, social and economic empowerment of women and girls. An example is the social organisation Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust. It contributes to the establishment of courts for sexual abuse in South Africa and holds the government responsible for the development of structures for providing support to survivors of sexual violence.

The organisations also organise (social media) campaigns to increase the awareness of and engagement among citizens.

Leading from the South website

Read more on the Leading from the South programme on the website.

Preventing violence against women

Women in South Africa appeal to the government to provide support to survivors of sexual violence and combat the impunity of offenders

Women and girls are entitled to live a life without violence

The Netherlands aims to prevent all types of violence against women and girls, and to do so via gender diplomacy and gender-specific programmes. Examples include support for the annual ‘Orange the World’ campaign and promoting the acceptance of a biennial UN resolution on eliminating violence against women.

In addition, the Netherlands supported 79 civil society organisations that focus on preventing violence against women. These support and shelter victims and work closely with the health sector and police to prevent violence. More than 1,900 women and girls were trained by these organisations to stand up for their rights and oppose violence.

Open result area

Women in South Africa appeal to the government to provide support to survivors of sexual violence and combat the impunity of offenders

Violence against women is a major problem for public health and a violation of human rights. It is estimated that one in three women encounter physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes.

The Netherlands aims to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. To do so, it focuses on three levels: legislation and policy, enforcement and changing the norms and values that allow violence against women to continue. In 2018, the Netherlands submitted a UN resolution that appeals to governments to tackle violence against women and sexual harassment. We are also demanding attention for eliminating violence against women via the annual Orange the World campaign.

Through gender-specific programmes, we support civil society organisations that are familiar with the local context. These offer victims support, appeal for government intervention and aim to reach and, where possible, involve everyone. To stop violence against women, it is especially important to change the norms and values that help to maintain the problem. Husbands, fathers and sons, as well as leaders, police officers, doctors and teachers, are therefore educated on women’s rights and preventing violence against women.

In 2017-2018, we supported 79 organisations that aim to stop violence against women via the Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW) programme. One example is the All Women Count! consortium, which consists of civil society organisations in Asia, Eastern Africa and the Middle East. These organise training for girls in India to help them gain confidence and speak out against violence and discrimination. In Uganda, they provided legal aid to sex workers who encounter violence. These women are now more aware of their rights and how to stand up for themselves. In total, some 1,900 women and girls learned about their rights and were trained to oppose violence.

Results

Indicator

Number of demonstrable contributions to the preconditions for ending violence against women and girls

Progress

On track

Number of demonstrable contributions

Dutch programmes use lobbying, awareness and training to contribute to changing legislation and behaviour aimed at eliminating violence against women and girls. In total, 102 demonstrable contributions were made to changing policy and legislation and 172 to changing behaviour, norms and values. In general, these types of changes take a long time and results are not immediately visible.

Why measure this indicator?

We tackle violence against women and girls at various levels:

– legislation and policy

– regulations and enforcement

– communities and society as a whole, where norms and customs allow this injustice to continue.

Dutch programmes contribute to changes in legislation and behaviour via lobbying, awareness and training.

How is the value determined?

Demonstrable contributions to improved preconditions for the elimination of violence against women and girls are measured at the policy and behaviour level. They may involve improvements in legislation, action plans and procedures or changes to norms, values and the behaviour of key figures, such as leaders or societies as a whole.

Indicator

Number of women and organisations supported to prevent violence against women and girls

Progress

Not applicable

Civil society organisations are important in tackling violence against women and girls. They are familiar with the local context, support victims and work with the health sector and police to prevent violence.

In addition, they train both women and men in promoting women’s rights. Strengthening the capacity of organisations and individual women is a central element in Dutch policy on women’s rights and gender equality.

Why measure this indicator?

In 2017-2018, the Netherlands supported 79 organisations focused on eliminating violence against women and girls. The organisations perform a wide variety of activities, from sheltering victims to training police officers in improving their service provision. The organisations also strengthen the capacity of a great number of women and girls to stand up for their rights and the rights of others.

How is the value determined?

The number of organisations and women with strengthened capacity is measured via the 5C model. This means that they increase capabilities or skills in at least one of the following fields:

capacity to take actioncapacity to deliver on objectivescapacity to adapt and self-renewcapacity to engage external stakeholders capacity to achieve coherence.

Orange the World campaign

Orange the World campaign

Every year, the Netherlands supports the international Orange the World campaign from UN Women to stop violence against women. Inspired by the campaign theme of this year, ‘Hear Me Too’, our campaign focused on facilitating the stories of survivors of violence and people who work towards eliminating violence against women. Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation Sigrid Kaag and Mayor of The Hague Pauline Krikke officially initiated the 16 ‘Days of Activism’ by lighting up the Binnenhof in the orange campaign colour. Dozens of Dutch embassies and consulates joined the social media campaign and actively organised their own events.

Orange the World website

Check the website for more campaign news.

Engaging women in preventing and resolving conflict in a meaningful way

NAP 1325

Women, peace and security

Peace negotiations with women at the negotiating table result in a more sustainable, more comprehensive peace. UN Security Council Resolution 1325 focuses on strengthening the role of women therein and protecting them against sexual violence in conflict situations. The Netherlands contributes through National Action Plan 1325 (NAP) programmes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, Colombia, The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Libya.

Together with UN Women, we support the participation of women in peace negotiations in Syria and Yemen. We also established the Peace and Security 4 All pilot foundation, in which we support small-scale projects aimed at target groups or themes that are underexposed within the NAP.

Open result area

NAP 1325

Research by UN Women shows that peace negotiations with women at the negotiating table result in a more sustainable and more comprehensive peace. As organisations with a broader diversity achieve better results, peace negotiations with a representative representation have a more sustainable outcome.

With this in mind, the Netherlands supports projects aimed at giving women a place at the negotiating table. In Yemen, for instance, we fund a project in which women, local NGOs and decision makers are educated about gender norms. These norms often make the participation of women in peace processes difficult. It is important to train local decision makers to include the needs and interests of women to a greater extent.

In addition to participation in peace processes, the protection of women in conflict situations is a major theme for the Netherlands. There is a great deal of sexual violence against women in some conflict situations. Existing gender norms in society maintain these situations, making it difficult for women to file a report. The Netherlands funds projects that try to change these norms. For example, a project in Iraq makes key players in society aware of the negative effects of sexual violence. When police officers are more aware of these facts, women experience a lower threshold to file a report. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of the projects specifically focuses on making women more aware of their rights.

Results

Indicator

Number of demonstrable contributions to the preconditions for the meaningful participation of women in conflict resolution and peace negotiations

Progress

Progress, not on track

Demonstrable contributions to policy and legislation: 26

Dutch programmes contribute to changes in legislation and behaviour via lobbying, awareness and training to involve more women in conflict resolution and peace negotiations. In total, we made 26 demonstrable contributions to policy and legislation. Achieving these types of change takes a long time, in general, and results are not immediately visible.

Why measure this indicator?

Women’s rights are an integral part of inclusive and sustainable peace. To safeguard these rights, they must be included in the constitution and form the basis for policy related to security and justice, health care and education. This may require substantial investments in the acquisition and training of staff. Although recognition of the role of women in peace processes and reconstruction is increasing, progress is very slow. Each structural measure is a step in the right direction.

How is the value determined?

Demonstrable contributions to improved preconditions for the participation of women in peace processes and reconstruction are measures at the policy and behaviour level. It may involve improvements in legislation, action plans and procedures or changes to the norms, values and behaviour of key figures, such as leaders or societies as a whole.

Indicator

Number of women and organisations supported in increasing the meaningful participation of women in conflict resolution and peace negotiations

Progress

On track

In 2017-2018, the Netherlands supported 241 civil society organisations that aim to increase the number of women participating in conflict resolution and peace negotiations in a meaningful way. In addition, we supported the participation of 2,682 individual women and girls. Among other things, this involved training them in various skills or bringing them into contact with key figures in peace negotiations.

Why measure this indicator?

The participation of women in peace negotiations and processes for reconstruction leads to more inclusive and sustainable results. By supporting civil society organisations, the Netherlands helps them in their local peace work and stimulates their participation in formal peace negotiations. In addition, we support the participation of individual women. Research shows that women are able to make contact with representatives of different political or religious groups and are willing to make compromises in the interest of peace.

How is the value determined?

The number of organisations and women with strengthened capacity is measured via the 5C model. This means that they increase capabilities or skills in at least one of the following fields:

capacity to take actioncapacity to deliver on objectivescapacity to adapt and self-renewcapacity to engage external stakeholders capacity to achieve coherence.

National Action Plan (NAP) 1325

In the autumn of 2018, the Netherlands organised a NAP 1325 Learning Event on women, peace and security with partners from around the world. Watch the video for information on the main results of the event.

Video: National Action Plan (NAP) 1325 Learning Event 2018

Impression of the National Action Plan (NAP) 1325 Learning Event 2018 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague

UN Women research (2017)

Making women count – not just counting women

National Action Plan (NAP) 1325 Learning Event 2018

National Action Plan (NAP) 1325 Learning Event 2018 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague

Women taking advantage of economic influence opportunities

Women in Uganda prefer to lease land for growing rice themselves, rather than work on their husbands or fathers’ land. They also want to learn new techniques for increasing their daily output.

Economic participation

Women worldwide still earn less than men and often depend on their husbands, fathers or sons. In 2017-2018, the Netherlands supported 28 organisations geared towards improving preconditions for the economic participation of women. More than 39,500 women were trained in skills that can help them become economically independent and better distribute unpaid care responsibilities in their families.

In late 2018, the Netherlands collaborated with the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation to organise a conference on trade and gender in Geneva. The conference featured various actors, which discussed strategies for improving the position of women in international trade.

Open result area

Women in Uganda prefer to lease land for growing rice themselves, rather than work on their husbands or fathers’ land. They also want to learn new techniques for increasing their daily output.

Research by UN Women on gender equality and inclusive growth shows that the influence and authority of women in families and communities increases when they have a stronger economic position and generate their own income. Moreover, it often reduces the chance of them becoming victims of domestic violence. Because women invest more in the health care and education of their children, they also provide an important impulse to the development of future generations. According to research by McKinsey, greater gender equality can increase GDP by 25% over a period of ten years.

The Netherlands aims to improve the preconditions for the economic participation of women. This may involve improvements in legislation, working conditions, values and norms or behaviour and supporting women’s networks. In 2018, the Netherlands supported 28 civil society organisations in working towards this goal. They train women to increase their economic skills and work with companies to improve working conditions.

One of the organisations supported by the Netherlands focuses on small-scale mining communities in Tanzania. There, managers and female and male mineworkers were trained on women’s rights and gender equality. After the course, women were given a more prominent role in planning processes, meetings and training.

Other activities financed by the Netherlands are aimed at improving opportunities for female entrepreneurs. In Kenya and Vietnam, we successfully supported 75 businesses that were led by women in gaining market access and increasing their profits.

The Netherlands also promotes better access to markets, technology and credit for women at an international level. In late 2018, we organised a conference with the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation to improve the position of women in global trade.

Results

Indicator

Number of demonstrable contributions to the preconditions for the economic participation of women

Progress

Progress, not on track

Demonstrable contributions to policy and legislation: 3

Dutch programmes contribute to changes in legislation and behaviour via lobbying, awareness and training aimed at giving women better access to financial resources and the labour market. In total, we made three demonstrable contributions to policy and legislation. Achieving these types of changes takes a long time, in general, and results are not immediately visible.

Why measure this indicator?

The involvement of local governments, public and private service providers and employers is crucial to improving opportunities for women to make a living wage. Through the promotion of women’s interests, training and partnership agreements, civil society organisations aim to improve policy to give women better access to financial resources and the labour market.

How is the value determined?

Demonstrable contributions to improved preconditions for the participation of women are measured at the policy and behaviour level. It may involve improvements in legislation, action plans and procedures or changes to the norms, values and behaviour of key figures, such as leaders or societies as a whole.

Indicator

Number of women and organisations supported in increasing the participation of women in the economy

Progress

On track

In 2017-2018, the Netherlands supported 26 civil society organisations in working towards improving the economic position of women at a local level. Through these organisations, 39,611 individual women received support. In addition to training and knowledge transfer, the organisations also provide information on women’s rights and help women to obtain market access, training or credit. Moreover, the organisations work with companies to improve working conditions.

Why measure this indicator?

Civil society organisations aim to create equal economic opportunities for women. They do so by promoting better working conditions and access to markets, facilitating technology and credit, and supporting the establishment of associations and co-operatives. In addition, they train women in skills that give them access to the labour market or allow them to start their own company.

An innovative method is to help women gain insight into the time they spend on unpaid care responsibilities, so they can discuss the issue with their husband/partner or employer.

How is the value determined?

The number of organisations and women with strengthened capacity is measured via the 5C model. This means that they increase capabilities or skills in at least one of the following fields:

capacity to take actioncapacity to deliver on objectivescapacity to adapt and self-renewcapacity to engage external stakeholders capacity to achieve coherence.

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Better distribution of care responsibilities via Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW)

FLOW is the largest Dutch programme for women’s rights and gender equality. It started on 1 January 2016 and focuses on, among other things, improving the economic position of approximately 25,000 women in ten countries in Asia and Africa.

One way to achieve this is by helping women to better share unpaid care responsibilities with their husbands. Especially in farming communities, these responsibilities are a considerable burden for women. The FLOW programme provides support in gaining insight into the time women spend on responsibilities, such as collecting firewood or water and preparing food. This helps them to discuss the better distribution of these tasks with their husbands. As a result of the project, the government in Ghana took over the costs for child care centres and provided land for new centres. In Pakistan, local governments installed drinking water and electricity services, allowing women to spend more time on generating their own income.

UN Women research (2019)

Gender equality and inclusive growth: Economic policies to achieve sustainable development

McKinsey research (2015)

How advancing women’s equality can add $ 12 trillion to global growth

Political participation

On 8 March 2018, International Women's day, Dutch Minister Sigrid Kaag appealed to the other 14 members of the UN Security Council to include as many female colleagues in their delegation as possible. Photo: Jessie Barentsen, UN Photo

Women exercising power and leadership

Research by UN Women shows that the participation of women in decision-making processes results in more effective and more inclusive decision making and policy development. In 2017-2018, the Netherlands funded 241 organisations that aim to encourage various types of female leadership, including participation in politics and governance. These programmes focus on creating a level playing field and improved preconditions for the political participation of women and female leadership in various countries. Via UN Women, the Netherlands also contributes to projects in this field.

Open result area

On 8 March 2018, International Women's day, Dutch Minister Sigrid Kaag appealed to the other 14 members of the UN Security Council to include as many female colleagues in their delegation as possible. Photo: Jessie Barentsen, UN Photo

Gender equality also means that women participate in political governance. Without female participation in the decision-making process on international, national and local issues, their needs and interests – and those of future generations of women – will be insufficiently addressed. Moreover, research by UN Women shows that the political participation of women results in better policy. It leads to more inclusive choices, a larger variety of votes on policy and a wider range of solutions.

In 2017-2018, the Netherlands supported 241 civil society organisations that focus on creating equal opportunities for the participation of women in politics. These work in various countries on encouraging female leadership and participation in politics and governance, including the organisation of training in communication skills and campaign strategies.

Investing in female leadership leads to concrete results. In East Timor, partner organisations contributed to a 20-fold increase in women being elected in local elections, for example. In Jordan, 60 women were trained to prepare for local and provincial elections in 2017. The percentage of female council members rose from 36% to 41%.

The Netherlands also aims for changes in legislations and norms that contribute to women participating in political processes and competing for leadership positions. In 2017-2018, we registered 26 political changes in this field. This involved, among others, the amendment of national election law or the introduction of a quota for women. In addition, the Netherlands supports UN Women as it implements programmes that contribute to legal reform in the field of women’s rights and gender equality in 61 countries. Such structural measures remove obstacles to female leadership and political participation.

Results

Indicator

Number of demonstrable contributions to the preconditions for the political participation of women

Progress

Progress, not on track

Demonstrable contributions to policy and legislation: 26

Dutch programmes contribute to changes in legislation and behaviour via lobbying, awareness and training to enable more women to participate in decision making at a local, regional, national and international level. In total, we made 26 demonstrable contributions to policy and legislation. Achieving these types of change takes a long time, in general, and results are not immediately visible.

Why measure this indicator?

Gender equality also means that women participate in decision-making processes and present themselves as leaders. Without the participation of women in the decision-making process on international, national and local issues, their needs and interests will be insufficiently included. The Netherlands monitors changes to the preconditions required to involve women in political processes and leadership, and any progress made.

How is the value determined?

Demonstrable contributions to improved preconditions for the participation of women in decision making are measured at the policy and behaviour level. This may involve improvements in legislation, action plans and procedures or changes to the norms, values and behaviour of key figures, such as leaders or societies as a whole.

Indicator

Number of women and organisations supported in increasing the participation of women in decision making

Progress

On track

In 2017-2018, the Netherlands supported 208 organisations that aim to achieve greater participation of women in politics and decision making. Through training and support in gaining access to the right resources and contacts, more women ran for council and the number of elected women increased.

Why measure this indicator?

Women who aspire to play a role in politics need to take into account resistance, misogyny, threats and even physical violence. They often have to manage without the support of established political parties. Civil society organisations are therefore indispensable: they offer female candidates and politicians training and access to a network and other resources.

How is the value determined?

The number of organisations and women with strengthened capacity is measured via the 5C model. This means that they increase capabilities or skills in at least one of the following fields:

capacity to take actioncapacity to deliver on objectivescapacity to adapt and self-renewcapacity to engage external stakeholders capacity to achieve coherence.

Political participation of young people in Lebanon

Young people in Lebanon often lack the network and financial means to participate in politics. Young women also encounter discrimination. As a result, there is very little participation by this group in politics.

The Women Empowered for Leadership project organised a camp with 70 young men and women between the ages of 18 and 27. They participated in outdoor activities and discussions on the subjects of human rights, politics and the role of women. The purpose of the camp was to show young people that politics means working together to resolve social and economic issues.

One of the lessons learned was that young people in Lebanon have a lot to learn regarding human rights, women’s rights and politics. It is important that women and men are trained equally in this regard. Only when everyone sees the importance of inclusive politics and human rights will the percentage of women in politics increase.

UN Women research (2017)

Making women count – not just counting women

Background information theme women’s rights and gender equality

Background

Although the gap between men and women has shrunk in recent years, women and girls worldwide are generally still disadvantaged. Women earn less than men and often depend on their husbands, fathers or brothers. At least one in every three women encounters violence in her life. In most cases, this involves domestic violence but violence also takes place on the work floor and in public spaces.

The greatest disadvantage is found in politics with the proportion of female parliament members worldwide only 24% on average. The participation of women in conflict resolution and reconstruction is just getting off the ground.

A worrying trend is the growing resistance from conservative powers that wish to limit the rights of women and girls. Preventing a deterioration of the position of women is therefore sometimes the best possible result. For sustainable improvement to occur, it is essential to strengthen women and organisations that fight for gender equality. A great deal was achieved in this framework over the past year and it is important to quantify the progress and results.

Glimpse into the future

More southern organisations were supported in 2017-2018 than in previous years and Dutch support enabled the establishment of new organisations and networks. This is a line we hope to continue, giving women and girls the opportunity to improve their own position and that of others. Based on these experiences, the Netherlands will also involve itself in new programmes more specifically aimed at strengthening southern women’s rights groups and networks, making power inequality a matter of discussion and improving the position of women and girls.

Additional sources

Twitter account

Follow the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Taskforce on Twitter

Expenditure by channel

Expenditure