German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Table of Contents
About BMZThe Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) draws up the government’s development policy guidelines and fundamental concepts for Germany . It lays down the long-term development cooperation strategies and defines the rules by which they are put into practice. After that bi- and multilateral interventions including projects and programmes are then developed with our partner countries and at the international level based on this policy work.
The four guiding principles of German development policy are as follows:
- reduce poverty worldwide
- protect the natural environment
- build peace and realise democracy, and
- promote equitable forms of globalisation.
Germany’s guiding vision is one of globally sustainable development expressing itself in economic efficiency, social justice, ecological sustainability and political stability. These four guiding principles of German development policy are interlinked, mutually reinforcing and mutually limiting, and they are closely related to all the Millennium Development Goals .
Fostering gender equality
The German Government’s inter-departmental Program of Action 2015 comprises ten priority areas for action designed to help realise the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals derived from it. For each area of action, the Program of Action 2015 lays out priority measures which the German government translates into practice in its bilateral relations, and its collaboration at European level and within international institutions. One important principle underlies all the interventions: the developing countries must be involved as full partners.
The eighth priority area of the German Government’s inter-departmental Program of Action 2015, is “Fostering gender equality”, and refers to MDG 3 (Promote gender equality and women’s empowerment).
The promotion of gender equality and hence the realisation of the fundamental Human Rights of women is a declared goal and guiding principle of German development policy and as such one particular focus of German development cooperation. The underlying principles and binding commitments are set out in the BMZ’s Concept for the Promotion of Equal Participation by Women and Men in the Development Process and BMZ’s Development Policy Action Plan on Human Rights 2008 – 2010.
The BMZ is promoting a dual track approach combining gender mainstreaming in and across all sectors and thematic areas with concrete interventions and measures empowering women and directly promoting and fostering gender equality. As Champion of the World Bank Gender Action Plan “Gender Equality as Smart Economics” and Co-Chair of the World Bank sponsored Advisory Council on Women’s Economic Empowerment the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, actively supports and calls for equal opportunities for women in all economic sectors, an area too much neglected in the past.
Gender Related Interventions
At the international level the BMZ is endeavouring to:
- dismantle barriers which prevent women participating on an equal basis in economic and political activities;
- better mainstream the human rights-based and gender equality approaches in policy dialogues and international development cooperation;
- promote the integration of gender equality aspects into corporate responsibility concepts including development partnerships with the private sector;
- visibly strengthen the field of gender as part of the reform of the United Nations system:
- ensure that the needs of women are taken better into account in the fight against HIV/AIDS;
- promote the rights of both women and men to take charge of their own sexual and reproductive health;
- promote the eradication of all forms of discrimination and violence against women, along with trafficking in women and female genital mutilation.
In its bilateral development cooperation, the German government supports:
- partner countries in their efforts to incorporate gender equality and women’s empowerment approaches and measures in their sector and national policies and strategies;
- the active participation of girls and women in political, economic and societal processes;
- equality of women and men in terms of access to and control over resources such as land, financial services and productive resources; and
- the eradication of all forms of gender based violence and discrimination including harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation.
BMZ and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
BMZ is funding a project to improve the coverage of gender issues in sustainability reporting by building dialogue around the issue and identifying ways to improve its coverage in the The Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Reporting Framework. This dialogue will take place during a number of multi-stakeholder consultative workshops.
The project is linked to the BMZ efforts to promote Corporate Social Responsibility for sustainable development. It initiates a process that will, as part of a wider project lead to the development of a Corporate Social Responsibility , which will support future expert groups working on the refinement of GRI performance indicators for the next generation of Guidelines and development of Sector Supplements.
The support builds upon BMZ support of the Global Compact of the United Nations which fully endorses and recommends the use of GRI reporting standards and upon the good cooperation with GRI to promote corporate responsibility by co-sponsoring a public-private partnership between GRI, GTZ and four multinationals and 11 of their small and medium-seized suppliers with the aim to enhance transparency in the supply chain through sustainability reporting. This partnership project has led to GRI’s launching of the Global Action Network for Transparency in the Supply Chain.