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close this bookBreaking the Barriers - Women and the Elimination of World Poverty (DFID, 1999, 24 p.)
close this folderMore power for women
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View the documentGovernment
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View the documentViolence and Conflict


Work on gender equality is increasingly focused on issues of women's empowerment and social protection.

Women need more power in government and civil society if they are to claim their rights and protect themselves from violence


· In Ghana, we are supporting an innovative project to strengthen the role of women in public life The results of research work are being used in practical training programmes, including for women elected to local councils, and in national advocacy and information programmes

· We are funding gender awareness training for the judiciary in India, and supporting stronger links between the police and schools in Uganda to tackle sexual harassment of girl students and women teachers

· In Zimbabwe, we are discussing with the Government support for a training programme for the judiciary and civil society organisations to take advantage of a new act which gives widows the right to inherit land

· We are working with partner governments and other donors to promote gender-aware policy development and improvements in public spending in developing countries.

Gender Equality in Pakistan

A major women and law project is being developed which will address violence against women, including examining ways better to serve the needs of women and children seeking to escape violence and other forms of abuse. We are also funding a police training project which is integrating gender and human rights issues into the curriculum and improving the training of women police officers.

Civil Society

We are expanding our work with civil society organisations around the world and increasing our assistance to organisations which promote women's rights. This includes support for a law project in Palestine to promote gender equality, and a UN prize-winning human rights and law project in the Pacific region. In Kenya, an umbrella programme supporting initiatives, mostly in civil society, aimed at implementing the

Beijing Platform for Action is entering a second phase. Similar work is underway in Tanzania and Uganda

We also support initiatives which use radio and television, for example, to inform women about their rights and the practical steps they can take to improve their quality of life. Drama programmes and discussions between broadcasters and listeners' groups are some of the innovative projects we support in Africa.

Violence and Conflict

We are increasing our support for actions which prevent conflict and tackle violence against women.

In Jamaica, for example, violence against women has been identified as a priority concern in our urban poverty reduction programme, and our humanitarian assistance in Bosnia includes support for traumatised women.

We have been providing gender training to the government in Rwanda where, following the genocide, 65% of the population are women and 28% of households are headed by a woman.

We are also developing a gender focus in our wider approach to conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance, which is seeking to mitigate the costs to women as well as men of natural disasters and the human tragedy of conflict. More importantly we are looking for longer-term solutions which will help prevent these events occurring in the first place.