Gender and human rights
The majority of the world’s poorest and most of its illiterate people are women. Each year almost 300,000 women die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth, 99 per cent of them in developing countries. Violence against women and harmful traditional practices are still widespread.
Equal rights, equal duties, equal opportunities and equal power for women and men are basic principles of German development policy. Promoting gender equality is therefore a cross-cutting task for all areas of German Development Cooperation.
Every year almost seven million children die before their fifth birthday, although most of these deaths could be prevented. About 780 million people have no access to safe drinking water, and around 2.5 billion – more than one third of the world’s population – have to live without even basic sanitation. These are serious violations of the human right to health. They constitute a humanitarian disaster for the developing countries in which they occur and a moral disaster for the rest of humankind.
This is why German Development Cooperation regards health as indispensable component of the human rights-based, socially equitable and sustainable development which it supports in its partner countries. In addition, all German-supported health and social protection programmes pursue a human-rights based approach.
Selected readings from the Healthy DEvelopments portal
- Germany’s experience in supporting human rights-based approaches to health (Health and human rights journal, 2015)
- Human rights in German development policy (Strategy paper, BMZ, 2012)
- Health and human rights (Position paper, BMZ, 2009)
- Why social protection for women pays off (Article, Healthy Developments, 2015)
- Aunties for sexual health and non-violence (Case study, GHPC, 2011)
- ‘Do not let it break you’: Personal stories on gender-based violence from Kenya (Report, GVRC and GIZ Kenya, 2012)
- Generation Dialogue: Promoting social change to end harmful traditional practices (Set of manuals, GIZ, 2016)
Gender and Human Rights on other German Development Cooperation websites
- BMZ: Women’s rights and gender
- BMZ: Realising human rights – ensuring freedom
- GIZ: Gender – Equal opportunities - external link, new window
- GIZ: Human rights – a life in dignity for every human being - external link, new window
- KfW: The same opportunities for everyone: Human rights and ethics; women’s rights and Gender Equality - external link, new window