Reducing Gender Disparities through the Empowerment of Women and Girls

Reducing Gender Disparities through the Empowerment of Women and Girls


To address the major obstacles related to the promotion of women's rights and gender equality, including women's lack of awareness of their fundamental rights, poverty, and traditions and stereotypes related to the role of women in society, the European Union initiated the project "Consolidation of the Empowerment of Women and Girls" implemented by UNDP and UNFPA under the coordination of the Ministry of Women and Family.

This project, financed by the European Union, aims at reducing gender disparity through support to the implementation of the national program of the Ministry of Women and Family in terms of gender mainstreaming. It aims to consolidate the empowerment of Djiboutian women and girls and to ensure them sufficient resources, better access to basic services and an improvement in their living conditions at all levels.

The beneficiaries are Djiboutian women and girls from precarious households, particularly those living in the 5 interior regions of the country where the degree of inequality and vulnerability is particularly high.

Women make an enormous contribution to the economy, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or through their unpaid work at home, where they care for their families. However, they also remain disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation. Gender-based discrimination often condemns women to precarious and poorly paid jobs and allows only a small minority of women to reach higher positions. It also restricts women's access to economic assets such as land and loans.

On the other hand, the level of illiteracy is very high for women over the age of 15 in rural and peri-urban areas. Women's emancipation, empowerment and social development could not be promoted without literacy training specifically developed and dedicated to women and girls who do not have the opportunity to access public schools.

Responding to the challenges faced by women and girls, the project provides for a national literacy program, training and support aimed at the economic empowerment of women.

During a speech given on the occasion of the launch of this project, the Minister of Women and Family, Mrs. Moumina Houmed Hassan stressed that this project will enable more women and girls, often excluded from the traditional financial system, to create income-generating activities to improve their daily lives and those of their families. It will also help strengthen the capacities of women's solidarity cooperatives by financing local development projects.

The European Union Ambassador to Djibouti, Mr. Aidan O'Hara, said that gender equality is a key factor that leads to progress, greater well-being, economic growth, shared prosperity, good governance, peace and security. All people, in their diversity, must be able to freely choose their lives, prosper socially and economically, participate and take leadership without discrimination.

For the UNDP Resident Representative, the issue of gender equality is a necessary condition for achieving sustainable development. She strongly believes in the capital of women in Djibouti and is particularly pleased to join UNDP's efforts with those of the Ministry of Women and Family, sister agencies of the United Nations and the European Union to empower this fundamental part of the population.