The European Commission and the European External Action Service adopted a new framework for the EU’s activities on gender equality and women’s empowerment in EU’s external relations for the 2016-2020 period. Its aim is to support partner countries, especially in developing, enlargement and neighbouring countries, to achieve tangible results towards gender equality which is at the core of European values, as well as the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be formally adopted this week.
The framework is a follow up to the Gender Action Plan in Development 2010-2015. It will be more focussed on tangible results. It will be financed through a variety of EU external action instruments (such as the Development and Cooperation Instrument) and aid modalities (for instance, budget support or assistance to Civil Society Organisations). About €100 million have been allocated to concrete measures specifically targeted to improve women’s and girls’ rights, while gender will also be mainstreamed throughout other sectors of development cooperation.
CONCORD, the European Women’s Lobby and others have raised their concerns about the status of the framework. Despite’s EU’s strong words towards committing to gender equality and women’s empowerment, this framework is not an official Communication of the EU. Instead it is relegated to a joint staff working document, just as the previous one was.
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-5690_en.htm (with links to factsheet and working document)
About the disappointing status: