Gender equality in Australia’s aid program

Gender equality in Australia’s aid program - why and how
AusAID March 2007

Employment of women has done more to encourage global growth than increases in capital investment and productivity improvements. In South-East Asia, products made or grown by women dominate two-thirds of the region’s export industry, the most dynamic sector. It is a matter of fairness to support women to better use their skills and better access land and productive resources. It is also good for business, economic growth, and poverty reduction.

The central message of the Australian Government’s White Paper on the overseas aid program, released in April 2006, is that advancing gender equality is essential to reducing poverty and increasing the effectiveness of aid. Gender equality is a critical development goal in its own right. The goal of this policy is to reduce poverty by advancing gender equality and empowering women.

The policy explains why gender equality is important – the rationale for Australia’s work in this field. It gives practitioners in the aid program a thorough understanding of the dimensions of gender equality. These are both preconditions for, and indicators of, sustainable development.

The policy sets out what Australia will do and provides sample results on gender equality that can be incorporated into programs or initiatives within each of the White Paper’s four themes.

This policy explains how Australia will pursue gender equality and the empowerment of women in partner countries.