Gender and youth mainstreaming is conducted at all levels of UNDP programme design and implementation, not just to make sure that youth and women benefit specifically from programme deliverables, but so they are also at the forefront of its shared implementation as decision-makers.
Importantly, gender equality is not only an integrated part of UNDP initiatives; it is a goal in itself. Through our Rule of Law and access to justice programme, UNDP directly works with providing women and girls with greater access to justice and strengthening their ability to claim and enjoy protection of their rights. For example, egal aid services are provided to women subjected to gender-based violence.
Realizing that gender equality cannot be achieved through legal reforms alone, UNDP works more broadly to ensure the elimination of discrimination against women in political and public life through projects on political inclusiveness that particularly target women and youth, and through its special focus on women in its Poverty Reduction, Infrastructure and Environment programmes. for example, through the economic empowerment/DEEP, female-headed households are given priority, to mention a few examples of how gender cuts across UNDP’s programmes.
A comparative advantage UNDP has in its work to ensure focus on gender equality as both goal and cross cutting issue, is that it is has a holistic approach that is not sector or issue specific and is in line with the inter relationship between development and conflict mitigation. In this regard, the programme creates synergetic links between all its four practice areas. For instance, the Rule of Law and Access to Justice programme is linked up to the Poverty reduction programme to ensure that female entrepreneurs, comprising 47% of the target group, who are facing formal and institutional discrimination will be referred to relevant bodies and institutions that offer legal and practical aid.