Addressing Gender in Programming

USAID’s development mission is a world in which women, men, girls and boys enjoy economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights and are equally empowered to secure better lives for themselves, their families and their communities.

No society can develop sustainably without increasing and transforming the distribution of opportunities, resources and choices for males and females to shape their own lives.

Building on the Agency’s decades of experience, USAID’s 2012 Policy on Gender Equality and Female Empowerment affirms the critical role women play in accelerating progress in development and advancing global prosperity and security. 

Under the Policy, USAID investments aim to achieve three overarching outcomes:  

  1. Reduce gender disparities in access to, control over and benefit from resources, wealth, opportunities and services - economic, social, political, and cultural 
  2. Reduce gender-based violence and mitigate its harmful effects on individuals
  3. Increase capability of women and girls to realize their rights, determine their life outcomes, and influence decision-making in households, communities, and societies

Gender equality and female empowerment are now universally recognized as core development objectives, fundamental for the realization of human rights, and key to effective and sustainable development outcomes.

Societies with greater gender equality experience faster economic growth and benefit from greater agricultural productivity and improved food security.  Empowering women to participate in and lead public and private institutions makes those institutions more representative and effective. Increasing girls’ and women’s education and access to resources improves the health and education of the next generation. Women also play critical roles as effective peace advocates, community leaders, and champions of civil and human rights.

USAID’s commitment to the full participation of males and females in their societies involves integrating gender equality and female empowerment into all of our efforts to:

  • Increase Food Security
  • Promote Global Health and Strong Health Systems
  • Reduce Climate Change Impacts
  • Promote Sustainable, Broad Based Economic Growth
  • Expand and Sustain the Ranks of Stable, Prosperous and Democratic States
  • Provide Humanitarian Assistance and Supporting Disaster Mitigation
  • Prevent and Respond to Crises, Conflict and Instability

Last updated: December 13, 2013

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