The British Council is committed to addressing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. In relation to SDG 5, we focus on women’s participation and leadership in all areas of political, economic and public life, as well as eliminating violence against women and girls. We do this through integrating gender equality into all our programmes by applying a gender sensitive approach (addressing practical gender equality issues) or a gender transformative approach (addressing the root cause of gender inequality).

Examples of British Council programmes which contribute to Goal 5:

Case study: Civil Society Support Programme II, Ethiopia

SDG 5 – Gender, contributing also to SDG 4 – Education, SDG 10 – Equality, SDG 16 – Peace and SDG 17 – Partnership.

The £24m Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP) in Ethiopia is funded by the FCDO.  The programme provides targeted and needs-based capacity building support to CSOs on gender and inclusion, safeguarding and integrating a human rights-based approach to gender. The programme also provided specialist technical capacity development support on the thematic issues including gender transformation, young people and better citizen state engagement.

Working with civil society organisations influential with government and trusted community activists, awareness about VAWG has been utilising culturally rooted events such as coffee ceremonies and funerals to spread key messages.

Community activists together with partners analysed ‘power structures’ that perpetuate stereotypes about the role of women and men in the household and the community, and VAWG. This resulted in enhanced institutional capacity to deal with VAWG including

improved shelter policies, disability inclusion and engagement with local authorities, including training local police- approaches and relationships that can be sustained beyond the support provided.

At the community level, results include evidence of a shift in social norms including a decrease in violence in target locations; school enrolment and participation of girls have increased; the rate of reporting violence has increased; the number of safe spaces increased; shift in gender roles, in perception towards violence and how it relates to power relations, etc. was achieved; enhanced role of women in household decision making, and women’s involvement in community activities, i.e. women started to take part in reconciliation processes in family disputes which were otherwise the domain of men.