Gender inequality and harmful gender norms remain widespread in the EU. While sexual and reproductive health and rights are at the core of gender equality and women’s rights and empowerment, their attainment varies greatly across the EU. Women and girls, particularly those marginalised by systemic oppression, face significant barriers to sexual and reproductive healthcare, information and education, which violates their human rights and hinders progress towards gender equality. At the same time, dramatic changes taking place in Europe, from the backlash orchestrated by anti-rights actors to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, threaten progress towards gender equality and many of the rights and values that the EU aims to protect.
In this context, IPPF EN, together with member associations and partners, is working to progress towards a more gender equal world where people in all their diversity are released from harmful gender norms and fully empowered to make decisions over their lives and bodies.
We are working to strengthen national support in the EU institutions and Member States for gender equality and women’s rights by:
- Ensuring that policy and decision makers at all levels (EU, national and local) are creating progressive legislative and policy frameworks that protect and advance gender equality and women’s rights;
- Educating and empowering young people, as a new generation of EU citizens, to become leaders and drivers of the long-term change process needed around societal norms and behaviours;
- Increasing the capacity of civil society actors to act in a strategic and coordinated manner when promoting gender equality and women’s rights.
Our achievements in 2022 included:
- Supporting civil society movements in countries where gender equality and SRHR are under threat. With IPPF EN’s support, several organisations deployed new communications approaches to increase visibility, achieve policy change and create new partnerships.
- Mobilising EU decision-makers on gender equality issues, and remaining an expert source of information to them, thereby ensuring important progress in key EU processes. Strengthening the capacity of our national members and partners to advance gender equality at the EU level.
- Empowering more young people to build vital life skills by increasing the capacity of our national members and partners to deliver transformative sexuality and relationships education (SRE) that challenges gender inequality.
- Contributing to evidence of the protective role played by gender transformative SRE in the fight against gender-based violence, by conducting the first phase of a 4-year study into its impact on attitudes and knowledge among young people, parents and teachers in Portugal.
- Strengthening our network's capacity to implement gender transformative approaches, using 'gender assessments' as an internal tool to help us further challenge gender inequality in our programming, policies and language.
You can read our Annual Report 2022 here.
This work is funded by the European Union through the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme which aims to protect and promote Union rights and values as enshrined in the EU Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The programme will contribute to sustain and further develop open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive societies based on the rule of law.
As part of this work, in 2023 IPPF EN is funding the following projects by national partner organisations working to advance SRHR and gender equality: