Gender mainstreaming, employment and youth - Italy

Gender mainstreaming, employment and youth - Italy

Information dated: 2017
Gender mainstreaming programmes in Afghanistan, Albania, Ethiopia, Palestine, Senegal, MENA Region, Lebanon, Egypt, and Tunisia

The economic empowerment of women and youth is one of the main priorities of the Italian development cooperation strategy. The distinctive feature of the Italian approach to gender mainstreaming, employment and youth is based on a multi-dimensional and multi-level model of intervention which integrates the social and economic empowerment of women and young people at the local level with the support of the partners’ countries gender and employment strategies at national level. The programs have a specific focus on food security and rural entrepreneurship, in particular in conflict situations and in fragile countries where they address the root causes of economic inequalities to ensure equal access for women and youth to productive assets and services and to employment and market opportunities in order to implement the SDGs and the Agenda 2030.

Main programs can be summarized as follows.

  • In Afghanistan, Italy supports the Economic Department of MOWA (Ministry of Women's Affairs) to promote policies and to cooperate with other relevant ministries (Employment and Training) for the economic empowerment of women.


  • In Albania, Italy supports local entrepreneurship of women by improving access to credit for SMEs. This strategy consists of a revolving credit line and a guarantee fund which operates through the national banking system for financing, on favorable terms, investment projects of local SMEs. The initiative supports exporting and manufacturing companies and the creation of new businesses by promoting, among others, investments in job creation and to disadvantaged areas of the country. Within this program, a quota of 2 million has been allocated to development of women entrepreneurship.


  • In Ethiopia, Italy is among the main donors (15 million EU) of the Women Entrepreneurship Development Program (WEPD), a multi-donor fund which aims to support the access to credit and finance of female micro and small enterprises. Italy is also the primary partner of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) for the Youth and Women Entrepreneurship Promotion (YoWEP) project in Addis Ababa. The YoWEP project seeks to support the Ethiopian government’s efforts to tackle the challenges of unemployment among youth and women, in the strategic industrial sectors, such as agro-food processing, leather products, and textiles.


  • In Palestine, the WELOD program supports the Ministry of women's Affairs (MOWA) for the economic empowerment. The program supports the entrepreneurial skills and capabilities of Palestinian women through national and local government policies and through the associations of Palestinian women operative in the territory. The Women’s  Empowerment Centres Tawasol, form the axis for to create employment and enterprise training activities and business research and intended, but also with a particular focus on combating violence against women.


  • In Palestine, Italy supports UN Women with a contribution of 500’000 Euros to the programme “A Holistic Approach to Sheltering Services for Women Victims and Survivors of Violence in Palestine”. The initiative, approved on 3 October 2016, meets the demand of the civil society to support and expand the services offered to women and girls in need and victims of violence. The services offered will also include the answers to the socio-economic needs necessary to protect itself.


  • In Senegal, Italy is the leader of the European Union in the field of gender policy. Women entrepreneurship is promoted through the PIDES (Program for integrated economic and social development) which supports the role of women and youth as principal stakeholders in local development policies with the aim to integrate them into the labor market and improve the quality of social services.


  • In the MENA Region, the mainstreaming of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment is supported through two regional programs in partnership with CHIEAM-BARI (Ge.Mai.S.A) and UNIDO (“Promoting women’s empowerment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development in the MENA region”). The GE.Mai.S.A aims at carrying out pilot actions to promote the role of women in rural development programmes in some target countries (Egypt, Lebanon, and Tunisia), contributing to foster gender mainstreaming capacity-building of rural partner institutions.The UNIDO Promoting women’s empowerment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development in the MENA Region Program aims to improve the economic participation of women and thereby to create the conditions for inclusive and sustainable growth, by making use of the strong potential of female entrepreneurs in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia.


  • In Lebanon, Italy supports UNICEF with a contribution of 2’400’000 Euros for the initiative “Investing in physical infrastructure and capacity building for improved learning for children and youth in Lebanon.” The initiative, approved on 28 July 2016, aims to improve access to quality education for Lebanese and refugee children through priority rehabilitation works in 21 public schools. The initiative is also aimed at providing young Lebanese and refugees with the professional skills required by the labor market.


  • In Egypt, Italy supports the following programmes:
    • UNFPA - "Combating Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Egypt: A coordinated prevention and protection approach." 1’000’000 Euros. The initiative, approved on 28 July 2016, aims to provide essential services, basic social services, and legal services. To this end, it will set up a Unit within the National Council for Women (NCW), a governmental institution in charge of the women’s support.
    • UNICEF with a contribution of 1’000’000 Euros for the programme “Creating and protective environment for vulnerable adolescents in Governorates with high risks of irregular migration and child trafficking.” The initiative, approved on 18 November 2016, aims to develop a series of actions designed to protect Egyptians and foreign minors who are at risk of social exclusion. The initiative is also aimed at providing support to the development of the skills of the beneficiaries to ensure parental support and capacity building of teachers, at last, to prevent and counter violence.


  • In Tunisia, Italy supports the following programmes:
    • UNICEF in its “Fight against abandonment and school failure in Tunisia.” 1’653’467 Euros (total cost for two years: 2’509’560). The project, approved on 10 May 2016, aims to help reduce the number of girls and boys who leave the school system, through the development and evaluation of teaching models designed to preventing early school leaving, imparting a compensatory education and improving the school environment.
    • UNOPS “Creation of micro enterprises in Medenine and Tataouine Governorates.” 761’480 Euros (total cost for two years: 1’750’000 Euros). The project aims to support the social and economic integration of young people and women by facilitating their access to the labor market, creating their own enterprises, improving technical entrepreneurial and management skills, and promoting their access to productive resources.