Joint Programme on Gender Equality in Eritrea

 UNDP is supporting Eritrean women in human resource development initiatives, provision of social services and enhancement of women's participation in economic activities and self-employment.

The Government of the State of Eritrea ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1995.  Since its establishment in 1979 the National Union of Eritrean Women (NUEW) played a major role in empowering the Eritrean women and fostering their participation in the national liberation movement and social justice. At present, the NUEW, a Non-Government Organization, is the sole organization mandated to serve as women's machinery for the advancement of gender equality in the Country.

To achieve its responsibilities, NUEW is working in close cooperation with concerned government institutions, local/international NGOs and the community.  Given the magnitude of its responsibilities, NUEW is faced with capacity constraints and lack of access to adequate resource allocations to carry out its mandate.

As the advancement of women and promotion of gender equality is one of the main UNDP development agenda, UNDP Eritrea has been working with NUEW since 1998. UNDP is supporting NUEW in human resource development initiatives in terms of training, provision of social services and enhancement of women's participation in economic activities and self-employment. 


In line with the National Gender Action Plan (2003 – 2008) and UNDAF Outcome 5, the achievement of equal opportunities, rights, benefits and obligations for women in all areas of life, this component sought to develop the capacity of the National Union of Eritrean Women and other institutional mechanisms that promote gender equality, equity and empowerment of women. . 


The project addressed the gaps that existed at the national level in gender related issues. It also ensured that development initiatives are gender responsive by strengthening key government institutions and NGO capacities for gender-sensitive research and analysis, advocacy and communication. In addition, it encouraged gender as crosscutting issue to be incorporated into all UN agencies interventions in Eritrea.

The project also sought to ensure that that Institutional mechanisms and socio-cultural practices promoted and protected the rights of women and girls and advanced gender equity. This component assisted in establishing a Gender Resource and Research Centre under the stewardship of the National Union of Eritrean Women. The project further assisted in the development of human and institutional capacity to institutionalize gender equality and equity through effective implementation of National Gender Action Plan, CEDAW and other gender related policies and programmes in Eritrea.

The project also contributed to improving the knowledge and skills of institutions to mainstream and incorporate gender perspectives for planning and programming and developed the necessary analytical and methodological tools and mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation. In addition, the programme strengthened NUEW's capacity to formulate and develop advocacy activities that enable the integration of gender concerns in different development programmes.

It also encouraged the adoption of positive socio-cultural values and the establishment of norms in support of gender equality, equity and women's empowerment. UNDP, UNFPA, UNIFEM, UNICEF and WHO all participated in this joint programme.

  • The project helped develop advocacy packages in local languages and other gender empowerment materials for national sensitization
  • The project assisted conduct sensitization and policy dialogue within sectors and at grassroots level
  • It also produced and broadcasted TV programmes on positive cultural values on national TV in addition
  • improved capacity of NUEW's existing micro credit scheme
  • capacity building for selected women on financial management and linked them to credit access

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