icon icon icon icon icon icon icon

How the European Union Scored on Our Report Card

She Leads in Crisis Report Card

The following information was submitted by CARE offices in the countries reviewed in the report to provide additional context and detail.

How the European Union Scored on Our Report Card

A report card for the European Union's response to gender equality in humanitarian settings, showing that they scored 'Unsatisfactory' for indicators 1, 2, and 3.

What the European Union Is Doing to Support Women and Girls in Crisis

The EU humanitarian department (European Commission Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, or ECHO) has a gender policy and gender and age marker, for which an independent evaluation is currently being finalized. The 2013 policy titled Gender in Humanitarian Aid: Different Needs, Adapted Assistance was an important milestone, spelling out why gender matters in humanitarian crises, and how it should be implemented in line with humanitarian principles and a “do no harm” approach while being people-centered. Gender equality is a guiding principle of the policy, which focuses on promoting a gender-sensitive approach at a minimum and, where possible, gender-responsive approaches. ECHO’s main objective through its gender and age marker, introduced in 2014, is to ensure implementation of the policy through integrating gender and age considerations throughout ECHO-funded operations.

The new EU Gender Action Plan for External Action 2021–2024 (GAP III), released on November 25, 2020, aims for EU external action to be at least gender-responsive and, where possible, gender-transformative, stepping up the ambition. GAP III covers all forms of external action, including development cooperation, humanitarian aid and Women, Peace and Security (WPS). It also generally recognizes the key role of women Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and civil society in social norms change (in development cooperation), and gender mainstreaming will be part of job descriptions and performance evaluations of EU staff. However, it does not commit any funding to women CSOs, and that is a gap. The GAP III commitments are more limited where humanitarian aid is concerned. Similar to the ECHO gender policy, the commitments focus more on integrating gender-sensitive approaches throughout ECHO’s programs while aiming to be gender-transformative where possible. GAP III also stresses the importance of funding prevention and response to gender-based violence (GBV) in emergencies and stepping up funding for the minimum initial service package for women’s health. GAP III makes no commitments to fund gender-transformative work as part of the EU’s humanitarian aid but commits to working on this through integration of gender considerations in the EU’s triple nexus approach.

The EU also has a WPS Strategy and Action Plan for EU institutions and member states, and one of the indicators is on adequate, transparent and accessible funding for WPS work, including by CSOs (with indicators to track it). In addition, there is a commitment to institutionalize consultation with women from diverse backgrounds and CSOs in conflict-related settings.

Flagship initiatives include the EU–UN Spotlight Initiative on GBV, with over 500 million euros allocated; the EU’s co-leadership of the Action Coalition on GBV; and its commitment to field action through the Call to Action on Protection from GBV in emergencies.