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Gender and human rights

Women and girls discussing women’s rights in Labé, Guinea

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.

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