GAP III thematic area of engagement: Advancing equal participation and leadership

This section presents the GAP III objectives and related indicators for GAP III thematic area: Advancing equal participation and leadership.

Women and girls should participate equally in the public and private sphere, to achieve a functioning democracy and economy, and to fulfil human rights for all. This has major benefits for society as a whole, ranging from the enhanced credibility of democratic institutions to a lower incidence of state-perpetrated violence.

Nevertheless, women continue to be under-represented as voters, political leaders and elected officials, as official peace negotiators and mediators. Change is slow in elected positions and decision-making bodies at all levels. Although some 39% of countries have brought in quotas for women representation in parliaments or political parties, implementation is hampered by factors, such as gender stereotypes, political party structures and the lack of political financing.

Women in public life, including politicians, journalists and activists are often subject to gender-based violence, including different forms of online violence and even femicide, amid shrinking civic space. Politically motivated attacks on women have been on the rise in nearly every region, reaching a record high in 2019. A 2016 survey of female politicians from 39 countries found that 82% percent had experienced psychological violence, with 44% percent facing violent threats.

At the same time, a new vocal generation of young women and girl activists has taken up a wide range of causes including girl and women empowerment. They should be given a platform to speak up and engage.

The Gender Action Plan III promotes EU actions that contribute to:

  • Increasing the level of women participation, representation and leadership in politics, governance and electoral processes at all levels, via support for democracy and governance programmes and public administration reforms;
  • Enhancing women’s capacity as political leaders in governments and parliaments through training, women’s caucuses, and promoting gender-responsive legislative processes and budgeting and promoting young leaders programmes;
  • Encouraging young women and adolescent girls’ civic engagement, also in partnership with youth organisations, scaling up support to parliamentary monitoring organisations run by and engaging young people and bringing together EU and partner country representatives;
  • Reducing gender stereotypes in media content, in cooperation with the audio-visual sector and the media, and empowering and supporting women’s rights as users and producers of information, and as entrepreneurs and decision-makers in the sector;
  • Enhancing equal legal capacity and access for women to justice through support to grassroots efforts and to legal and justice systems reforms;
  • Promoting an enabling and safe environment, including online, for civil society, girls and women’s rights organisations, women’s human rights defenders, peacebuilders, women journalists and representatives of indigenous people. Strengthen protection mechanisms and to support women’s leadership roles will include global and regional hubs, and advocacy and actions that document violations against defenders of women’s human rights.

GAP III Objectives & Indicators

Thematic area of engagement: Advancing equal participation and leadership

Each GAP III thematic area is accompanied by a set of objectives and indicators. They include selected Sustainable Development Goals indicators, the thematic indicators of the Women Peace and Security action plan, other relevant regionally and internationally referenced indicators, including a selection in line with objectives of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, and relevant indicators from the EU Results Framework. There are also selected qualitative indicators, which seek to capture the hard-to-measure changes in social norms and attitudes and transformations in gender power relations.

Objectives as well as indicators can be selected when designing relevant interventions, and incorporated in the project/programme monitoring frameworks.

At outcome level, priority may be given to “key outcome indicators” as they will be used for reporting on Gender Action Plan III.

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