Advancing Gender Equality

Case Studies from Across the Commonwealth

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The Commonwealth Secretariat has been a pioneer in promoting women’s rights and gender equality since the 1976–85 UN Decade for Women, and of gender mainstreaming since the UN 4th World Conference on Women, to which our 1995 Plan of Action on Gender and Development was a Commonwealth contribution.

This publication brings together case studies prepared in connection with the end-of-term review of the 2005–15 Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality. The case studies are based on submissions and interviews with government representatives, gender specialists and other stakeholders, including civil society organisations, from 20 countries representing all regions of the Commonwealth.

The examples were selected to demonstrate a range of strategies that can be employed to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment. Together they help to show what perpetuates gender inequality and offer approaches that can be adopted to help end unjust discrimination.



Income-Generating Activity Programme, Uganda

The Government of Uganda recognises both the significant role that women play in combating poverty and contributing to economic growth. It also understands the systematic barriers they face in terms of access to economic opportunities such as public and private sector employment, and to resources such as land, credit or skills training. Efforts to address such gender inequalities have been integrated into a wide range of Uganda’s development initiatives. The current National Development Plan, for example, states that ‘gender issues, negative attitudes… cultural practices and perceptions’ serve as a major constraint to socioeconomic development (Government of Uganda 2010). The Government of Uganda has put in place several institutional mechanisms, such as the inclusion of gender equality targets across all national development plans, the establishment of gender officers in each ministry office and at the local government level, as well as the creation of several policy and legal frameworks that consistently emphasise the key role that women play in poverty reduction and wealth creation (Government of Uganda [no date]).


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