Impact at a Glance
Gender Equality & Social Inclusion
(Women & Girls)
Gender Equality means women and men, of all ages and regardless of sexual orientation, have equal conditions for realizing their full human rights and for contributing to, and benefiting from, economic, social, cultural and political development and decision making. Gender equality is the equal valuing by society of the similarities and the differences of men, women, girls and boys and the roles they play. It is based on women and men being full partners in their home, their community and their society.
Social Inclusion is a process by which efforts are made to ensure opportunities and access of services for all. The multidimensional process aimed at creating conditions which enable full and active participation, including inclusive accessible services of every member of society in all aspects of life, whether civic, social, economic, and political activities, as well as participation in decision making processes.
Equality & Social Inclusion ensure the ability, opportunity, and dignity of all people.
RET focuses its gender equality and social inclusion program interventions on enabling young people, particularly young girls, women, minority groups, LGBTQI+, focusing primarily on refugees, IDP’s, migrants and disadvantaged people of diverse gender identities around the world.
Why is it important?
Equality and non-discrimination are fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter, adopted by world leaders in 1945. Yet millions of women, young women, minority groups, and people of diverse gender identities around the world continue to experience discrimination in the enjoyment of civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights. Moreover, many women face compounded forms of discrimination—due to factors such as their age, race, ethnicity, disability, or socio-economic status—in addition to gender-based discrimination.
Though girls and boys face similar challenges in early childhood, gender disparities become more pronounced in adolescence (10-19 years of age), a crucial period when boys’ and girls’ attitudes about gender develop and gender norms consolidate. Adolescent girls, due to expected gender roles, may also face a disproportionate burden of domestic work, expectations to be married, risks of early pregnancy, as well as sexual and gender-based violence.
• Worldwide, girls aged 5-9 and 10-14 spend 30 per cent and 50 per cent more of their time, respectively, on household chores than boys of the same age.
• One in every 20 adolescent girls aged 15–19 years, around thirteen million, have experienced forced sex, one of the most violent forms of sexual abuse women and girls can suffer, in their lifetime. (UNICEF)
• Globally, 750 million women and girls were married before the age of 18 and at least 200 million women and girls in 30 countries have undergone FGM.
• 33,000 girls become child brides every day(Where it happens – Girls Not Brides).
• One in five women and girls, including 19 per cent of women and girls aged 15 to 49, have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner within the last 12 months.
Yet, 49 countries have no laws that specifically protect women from such violence. In most countries with available data, women do more unpaid work, including domestic and care work, limiting women’s ability to enter and progress in the labor market. (OECD, The Pursuit of Gender Equality: An Uphill Battle, Paris, 2017)
• In 18 countries, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working;
• in 39 countries, daughters and sons do not have equal inheritance rights;
• Only 52 per cent of women married or in a union freely making their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care.
Moreover, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could reverse the limited progress that has been made on gender equality and women’s rights. The corona virus outbreak exacerbates existing inequalities for women and girls across every sphere – from health and the economy to security and social protection. Women play a disproportionate role in responding to the virus, including as front-line healthcare workers and caregivers at home. Women’s unpaid care work has increased significantly because of school closures and the increased needs of older people. Women are also harder hit by the economic impacts of COVID-19, as they disproportionately work in insecure labor markets. Nearly 60 per cent of women work in the informal economy, which puts them at greater risk of falling into poverty.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to a steep increase in violence against women and girls. With lock down measures in place, many women are trapped at home with their abusers, struggling to access services that are suffering from cuts and restrictions. Emerging data shows that, since the outbreak of the pandemic, violence against women and girls – and particularly domestic violence – has intensified.
How does RET help?
RET considers the impact of gender, inclusion, and social norms throughout all its projects life cycle. RET´s interventions work across the triple nexus supporting equality and social inclusion of women and young people
(with a focus on refugees, migrants and returnees) in society and the economy in order to help them lead their own journey towards prosperous livelihoods and self-reliance.
RET is committed to aligning all its programs to the Sphere`s Humanitarian Standards and the international guidelines set out in the IASC Gender Handbook in Humanitarian Action. RET is also fully committed to supporting Sustainable Development Goal 5: “To Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls,” to ensure women and girls have equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes particularly during times of crisis and in fragile contexts.
Since inception RET has actively worked to address the specific and immediate needs of women and young people whilst addressing the wider issues which are preventing gender equality and social inclusion within each given context. Given that RET works primarily in emergency and post-conflict environments, it has gathered first-hand evidence that conflict affects male and female differently, that gender disparities are often exacerbated, and that protection risks for girls and young women increase in such contexts, including rates of sexual and gender-based violence.
Embracing the notion of fairness and social justice for all, with a fundamental respect for human and cultural diversity is RET’s goal, where equality is actualized through a culturally appropriate gendered and social inclusive approach.
On Social Inclusion
During post-conflict situations, integration, and social inclusion of refugees and/or IDP’s are of importance. RET’s integration efforts are always in line and are part of broader system-wide post-conflict national programs in the targeted country. RET responds to the immediate needs of refugees while paying special attention to the needs of the communities which is expected to welcome them. The same methodologies apply to re-integration programs with returnees.
Gender Equality & Social Inclusion
- RET has implemented 88 projects with Gender Equality & Social Inclusion component to date.
- RET has implemented projects with a Gender Equality & Social Inclusion component in 17 countries across Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
- 800 K direct beneficiaries (53% female) participated in RET Gender Equality & Social Inclusion programs to date.
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RET won the “Prize of Excellence” for its work with child soldiers and the communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo
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