We know investment in gender equality is smart economics and the right thing to do — we cannot transform our world unless the place of women within it is transformed.
In 2016-17, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's (DFAT) Gender Equality Fund provided $10 million for the 3-year Australian NGO Gender Action Platform (GAP). The GAP was a one-off competitive grants process for Australian NGOs accredited under the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) to strengthen gender equality programming in the Indo-Pacific. The GAP was launched by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells in September 2016.
DFAT selected six proposals for grants ranging between $1.25 million to $2.25 million to be delivered in nine countries. These projects reflect DFAT's commitment to investing in the three priorities of DFAT's Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Strategy:
- enhancing women's voice in decision-making, leadership and peacebuilding
- promoting women's economic empowerment, and
- ending violence against women and girls.
The following ANCP NGOs began implementation on 1 July 2017:
Objectives of the GAP
The objective of the GAP is to strengthen NGO projects to enhance gender equality outcomes in developing countries, through:
- the delivery of innovative or transformational NGO projects that reduce violence against women, increase women's economic opportunities and improve leadership for and by women through collective action
- shared learning on good gender equality practice and lessons from trialling new approaches with GAP NGOs and the broader ANCP
- increased collaboration on gender equality development challenges, including between NGOs and DFAT bilateral and regional programs.
Gender equality and women's empowerment is one of six priority areas for investment in Australia's aid program. The GAP aims to encourage innovation, development coordination, improved monitoring, evaluation and shared learning processes and effective partnerships across projects addressing gender equality and women's empowerment.