Equal Opportunities for Women and Men

Human rights form the basis for a life of dignity and freedom – regardless of a person’s gender. Gender equality is a goal in its own right and at the same time a key to and enabler of sustainable development. Gender equality is a principle that shapes the values and work of GIZ.

The goal of the GIZ’s Gender Strategy is to comprehensively promote gender equality – both within our partner countries, as well as throughout our entire company. We are committed to advocating women’s rights and realising equal opportunities for men and women, which contributes to the overall quality of our work.

We take a twofold approach to promoting gender equality in our partner countries: firstly, we implement projects that specifically aim to reduce discrimination and inequality; secondly, we promote equality by mainstreaming gender at all societal levels and within different sectors. By taking into account the different situations and concerns of women and men, we help to eliminate gender-based socio-cultural and structural inequalities, as well as discrimination.

By promoting gender equality, we contribute to the sustainable development of our partner countries, and to overcoming the structural causes of poverty and of social and political instability. We work on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

More about gender


GIZ Gender Strategy

Gender equality is key to achieving sustainable development and is a quality feature of our work.

The GIZ Gender Strategy is based on five complementary strategic elements: Politischer Wille und Rechenschaft:

  • Political will and accountability: Managers clearly demonstrate their support for the issue of gender equality and follow up the implementation of the strategy. 
  • Corporate culture: We establish patterns of behaviour and codes of conduct within the company that help ensure gender equality. 
  • Gender equality within the company: We ensure that men and women work together on equal terms and that there is a balanced gender ratio across all hierarchical levels and fields of responsibility within the company. 
  • Gender competence: We ensure that our staff know about imbalances in gender relations and ways of correcting these. 
  • Processes: Our procedures and instruments are gender-sensitive, especially in relation to commission management and quality management.

This strategy provides us with a mandatory framework and lays out our goal of promoting gender equality across the board: throughout the company, through all employees working in the company, within the scope of our contracts and commissions, and through the services we deliver. Progress in the implementation of the strategy is monitored once a year.

Genderstrategie (pdf, 2.68 MB) Gender Strategy (pdf, 2.73 MB) Stratégie Genre (pdf, 2.91 MB) Estrategia de Género (pdf, 3.03 MB)

Report on the Implementation Status - GIZ Gender Strategy

Umsetzungsbericht der Genderstrategie (pdf, 2.67 MB, DE) Report on Implementation Status - GIZ Gender Strategy (pdf, 2.87 MB) Rapport sur l'état d'avancement de la mise en oeuvre - Stratégie Genre (pdf, 2.59 MB, FR) Informe sobre los avances - estrategia de género (pdf, 2.71 MB, ES)

The Gender Knowledge Platform

The Gender Knowledge Platform was established by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ). It offers a wealth of information on gender in German development cooperation and is meant for experts working for implementing organisations, civil society, and others interested in the promotion of gender equality.:

  • Information about gender in development measures worldwide
  • Videos, podcasts, a puzzle and key publications to download
  • A compilation of international agreements, conventions, declarations and resolutions
  • A playful and informative quiz to test your gender knowledge
  • The Gender Consultants Pool to help your organisation find consultants with gender expertise in a wide variety of subjects.

Gender Mainstreaming

Gender mainstreaming signifies that the different situations and interests of women and men are taken into account at all levels of society. The aim is to forge ahead with gender equality.

To this end, we support state and non-governmental actors such as ministries and their administrative units in applying gender-sensitive approaches and integrating specific gender- measures where and when necessary, at the local, national and supranational level.

We advise our partners:

  • on how to conduct a gender analysis, which helps identify the different situations, interests and needs of women and men in a specific country, sector or programme
  • on redesigning structures, operations and processes within institutions to foster gender mainstreaming at all levels
  • on gathering sex-differentiated data and integrating gender-specific approaches in legislation, as well as in national and sectoral policies, concepts and strategies
  • on capacity development, for example through professional development and training programmes, workshops, and awareness-raising measures.

The approach is an integral part of GIZ procedures and processes.

FAQ Genderanalyse (pdf, 2.04 MB, DE) FAQ Gender Analysis (pdf, 2.14 MB, EN) FAQ Analyse de genre (pdf, 2.08 MB, FR) FAQ Analisis de genero (pdf, 2.08 MB, ES)

Women’s Rights

The everyday life of many women is characterised by gender-based discrimination and disadvantages, power imbalances and socio-culturally defined roles that prevent them from developing and exercising their rights.

We support our partner countries in their efforts to anchor international agreements, including the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), in their national legislation and policy directives, as well as to implementthem. Our actions are always based on the following human rights principles:

  • Non-discrimination: We advise our partners on legal reforms, ways of eliminating discrimination in their legal systems, and on how to implement laws that improve women’s access to justice..
    We advocate the reduction of the structural causes of gender-based violence. We promote coordinated action on the part of state and non-governmental actors in the fight against gender-based discrimination and violence.
  • Transparency: We help to ensure that women know about and are familiarized with their rights.
  • Equal opportunities: We support reforms in economic policy at national and international levels, and advise our partners on how to reduce gender-specific barriers, so that women’s access to land, the labour market, financial markets and product markets is improved.
  • Participation and empowerment: We promote the political participation of women and hone their leadership skills. Women and men alike should be able to represent their own interests and participate in decision-making in their respective municipalities, and also at a local and national level.

Examples of our work


Ending female genital mutilation (FGM)

An estimated 130 million women have undergone genital mutilation (FGM), and an additional three million girls are submitted to the practice every year. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH – on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – has been active in international efforts to stop female genital mutilation since May 1999.

Read more


Dr. Elisabeth Leiss

Advisory and service portfolio

Here you will find an overview of the technical and methodological services we offer.


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