EU 4 Gender Equality: Together Against Gender Stereotypes and Gender-Based Violence

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About the Programme

The second phase of the “EU 4 Gender Equality: Together Against Gender Stereotypes and Gender-Based Violence” programme seeks to reduce gender discriminatory attitudes and practices in institutional and community spheres by continuing and upscaling successful initiatives and interventions from the phase I.

The programme is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented jointly by UN Women and UNFPA in six Eastern Partnership countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

Overall, the programme provides a unique opportunity to change the social discourse, perceptions and harmful practices on gender equality in the region, and to empower women and girls to fully access their rights and develop their potential.

Regional context

Despite the progress, as outlined in the Study on Gender Norms and Stereotypes, across the Eastern Partnership countries, discriminatory social norms and attitudes continue to hinder progress for women and girls across different areas of life, resulting in different manifestations of gender inequalities. These include high prevalence of violence against women, unequal distribution of unpaid domestic and care work, gender-biased sex selection, gender pay and income gap, and underrepresentation of women in decision-making positions.

Recent developments, including those related to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, have reinforced traditional gender roles which confine women mainly to their reproductive and maternal responsibilities. In addition, the region has witnessed in recent years a wave of conservative, nationalist and xenophobic sentiment. Retraditionalization, often supported by influential religious institutions, ties women’s primary value to their reproductive function, maternal care and the private sphere.

Key results

We reached 41 million people via multiple innovative social media campaigns designed to challenge gender stereotypes and discriminatory social norms.

The programme awarded 29 small grants to civil society organizations for innovative small projects aimed at addressing and shifting discriminatory gender stereotypes.

3,846 men from Eastern Partnership countries benefited from attending 49 Father Schools that encourage men to become more involved in childcare.

The programme has resulted in positive shifts in gender attitudes, with people targeted by the programme being more likely to believe that both women and men should be equally responsible for unpaid care work and less likely to hold harmful gender biases.

Positive changes were captured in human stories about women and men, boys and girls whose lives have improved through the new experiences and knowledge they have acquired under the programme. Shifting stereotypes requires time and continuous effort, which is why the programme now has entered its second phase.


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