Making gender equality a reality across Sida’s programmes: from energy, environment and climate change, to SMEs and tackling antibiotic resistance

Gender equality is a high priority issue in Sweden’s development cooperation, in a context framed since 2014 by Sweden’s Feminist Foreign Policy which sees fulfilment of women’s and girls’ fundamental human rights as a prerequisite for meeting broader policy goals on peace, security and sustainable development. Sida (the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), with a strong and long-standing reputation for leadership in the field of gender and poverty, is responsible for ensuring that steps to address gender inequality are integrated into all its work addressing poverty and human rights.

Sida has established a technical advice service on gender which supports staff and partners with timely analytical, technical and capacity work to strengthen their effectiveness in gender equality and the rights and empowerment of women and girls.

We have investigated why gender matters to diverse sectors, and provided practical approaches for integrating strategies and approaches that address systemic inequality

Triple Line has been running Sida’s gender technical advice service since 2018. Together with our consortium partner the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), we draw on a strong track record and expertise in conceptual approaches to gender, research, gender analysis, implementation and monitoring, evaluation and learning strategies and approaches. We have a versatile internal team, as well as a small number of associate experts. Having worked on around a dozen projects, the helpdesk has given us the opportunity to investigate a broad range of interesting issues and support the approaches taken to mainstream gender. Some of these include:

  • Working with an international network focused on tackling antibiotic resistance to build understanding of gender mainstreaming, support gender analysis and identify best practices in integrating gender equality. The study on gender and antibiotic resistance was released for Antibiotic Awareness Week in November 2020.
  • Support to the fund manager of the Innovations Against Poverty Fund with research, analysis tools and guidance to help small- and medium-sized enterprises promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace and in product design.
  • Integrating a gender perspective into the work of Swedwatch, which investigates the extent to which companies, investors and authorities are taking responsibility for human rights and the environment so as to ‘nudge’ businesses towards more inclusive and responsible policies and practices.
  • Investigating the importance of taking a gendered perspective in research on climate and environmental change to ensure that research is relevant and does not further entrench gender inequalities.
  • Development of operational guidelines for mainstreaming gender across Sida’s energy portfolio.

Providing the Sida gender technical advice service has required us to analyse the characteristics and drivers of inequality and how they might be addressed across a diverse range of sectors, in a practical, agile and sensitive manner. We have developed organisations’ technical knowledge and skills on gender and gender analysis and we have tailored our advice to specific organisational needs – within Sida as well as its implementing partners. Our approach has fostered stimulating learning and cooperation with Sida and its partners, and provided practical advice, skills and tools, as we work together to build organisations, systems and processes that promote gender equality, diversity, inclusion and safeguarding.