What’s the issue?

Despite important progress over the past decades, gender inequalities persist.

The violation of women’s and girls’ rights is one of the biggest causes of poverty and marginalisation worldwide.

Over the past years, the EU has stepped up its support to gender equality in its external action.

However, although improvements have been made, the EU is still far from being able to demonstrate real positive impact in the lives of women and girls in partner countries.

Change we want to see



Gender is mainstreamed in all external action and policies of the EU.

FUNDING guaranteed

Adequate funding is allocated for gender equality.


women included

Women’s and girls’ rights and feminist organisations are the EU’s partners.

What we want to the EU to do


In order to make European development cooperation strategic and effective, we need to address discriminatory social and gendered norms with a view to changing our patriarchal society and the unbalanced concentration of power and influence.

The EU’s gender equality approach must better focus on all aspects of EU external action and this at all stages, including implementation and reporting.

Women’s rights and trade

Today, European decision-makers widely acknowledge that EU trade policy is not gender-neutral, and that this needs to be addressed. A concrete policy measure that receives a lot of attention is the integration of specific provisions on gender in trade agreements.
We highlight the limitations of what a separate gender chapter or provision can achieve, especially if it is not enforceable. We suggest including gender equality and women’s rights in the existing sustainable development chapters of trade agreements, that should become enforceable. 
We call for a fundamental shift towards an EU trade policy that gives more importance to human rights and environmental standards than to economic indicators. This implies that other measures within Trade and Investment Agreements need to be re-adjusted to make sure they respect and promote women’s rights.

Latest news

EU Gender Action Plan II: transforming lives?

EU Gender Action Plan II: transforming lives?

Is the EU Gender Action Plan II actually transforming the lives of women and girls in the world? With this report, CONCORD aims to demonstrate how the EU Gender Action Plan 2016-2020 is being implemented. Based on in-country research in Rwanda, Vietnam and Ghana, this report provides concrete recommendations on how to bring about a more impactful implementation of the GAP II.

read more

Get in touch with us

Want to get engaged? Need more information? Contact our policy expert!

Alexandra Rosén

Alexandra Rosén

Senior Policy & Advocacy Adviser


Phone: +32 (0)2 743 87 61