African women to benefit from new UN gender equality project

3 October 2008

Women in five African countries will gain new access to resources and services at the local level through gender-responsive planning, programming and budgeting under an $8 million, three-year United Nations programme announced this week.

The Gender Equitable Local Development (GELD) programme brings together the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the UN Development Fund (UNDP) and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in a collective effort to build the capacity of local governments to mainstream a gender perspective in planning and budgeting and facilitate participation of women and community organizations in these processes.

“This programme aims to achieve concrete improvement in women’s local realities,” UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi said of the initiative, which will be rolled out in local governments in Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.

“It not only seeks to ensure local governments’ accountability to secure women’s equitable access to public services and productive assets, but also acknowledges women’s agency in shaping decision-making around local plans and budgets.”

The programme confirms the commitment of UNCDF, UNIFEM and UNDP to work in the spirit of the “One UN” principles, which aim to achieve greater coherence and efficiency from the Organization’s various agencies and bodies.

“UNCDF, UNIFEM and UNDP have consolidated strengths and experience in supporting performance-based, gender-responsive planning and budgeting for local development, which can be drawn from various countries all over the world,” UNCDF Deputy Executive Secretary Henriette Keijzers said.

“These complementary perspectives are being brought together to generate empirical experience on gender-equitable local development that could be replicated and up-scaled,” she added.

 

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