Gender equality


UNDP recognizes that gender equality is a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Gender equality is therefore central to UNDP’s interventions to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as other commitments agreed by UN Member States.

The promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women are central to the mandate of UNDP and intrinsic to its development approach. To fulfil its commitment at the national level, UNDP Ethiopia developed Gender Equality Strategy (GES) for the period of 2018-2021.

Gender equality, centered in human rights, is both a development goal on its own and a critical factor for achieving sustainable development. It underlies one of the guiding principles of the 2030 Agenda for Development – the concept of 'leaving no one behind'

Ethiopia is one of the 193 countries that adopted the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development that was launched in 2015 after the completion of the 15 year-old Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) campaign. While Ethiopia has made commendable progress to meet six of the eight MDGs, the country lagged behind in achieving the goal on gender equality and empowerment of women.

The following are UNDP’s guiding principles for mainstreaming gender.

  • Human rights-based approach to development - UNDP will ensure that program design is based on analysis of gaps in the realization of the rights of women and men, and the differential power relations and dynamics between women and men which drive them; that human rights principles and standards are applied in all phases of the program cycle.
  • Engage women and men as active agents of change – the strategy views all women and men as active agents of change and thus focuses on ensuring that those marginalized and “left behind” are empowered and have the agency to make decisions over their lives.
  • Address multiple forms of discrimination - UNDP’s commitment to support partners to address the multiple forms of discrimination, such as those based on poverty, geography, migrant status, indigenous identity, ethnicity, age, race, religion, disability, health, particularly HIV status, and other issues, that compound gender discrimination.
  • Transform gender and power relations - this strategy acknowledges that transforming gender and power relations is essential for achieving GEWE and sustainable development. UNDP will pursue initiatives that accelerate structural transformations for gender equality and remove the institutional, societal, political and legal barriers hindering its achievement.
  • Working together within the UN system - UNDP is committed to working closely with partners across the UN system to implement this strategy. This requires reinvigorating partnerships within the UN system, particularly with UN Women, UNFPA and UNICEF.
  • Engaging men and boys - an important aspect of this strategy is engaging men and boys, both as allies in closing gender gaps and in empowering women and girls, but also to address discriminatory attitudes and practices and oppressive forms of masculinity that impact both women and men.
  • Engaging the civil society, private sector and academia - civil society including women’s groups and movements, are critical to the achievement of GEWE and play indispensable roles in advocacy, planning, implementation, monitoring and accountability. The private sector is also a critical partner to advance GEWE and the SDGs. Also critical is engaging with academia, think tanks and the media to support evidence-based research on gender equality, strengthen and disseminate UNDP knowledge products, drive innovation and monitor achievements.

Advancing gender equality through the power of music 

The United Nations in Ethiopia partnered with Helen Berhe, a rising Ethiopian recording artist to produce her latest music video that advocates gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goal 5 with engaging and powerful lyrics. 

Ms. Helen Berhe, a local Ethiopian music artist

The new music video clip was released as part of the UN’s campaign to roll out the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is a resounding lyrical endorsement of SDG 5, which focuses on gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels.

Ms. Berhe’s musical commitment for social good is funded by the partnership between UNDP and Government of Kazakhstan. The partnership is aimed at promoting cross fertilization of ideas and experiences through South-South development cooperation between African countries and Kazakhstan.

SDG 5 music video "Limrash Maletun Tew"

Advancing gender equality through the power of music


Gender Development Index of Ethiopia

The 2018 Global Human Dvelopment report shows that Ethiopia is among countries with low Gender Development Index ranking 121 out of 160 countries.

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