Gender equality and inclusive electoral and socio-economic practices are crucial for the establishment of a functioning democracy. Participation, inclusion and citizenship rights are just as fundamental to the success of a functioning democratic state as are elections, systems of check and balances and a range of political parties. Despite the continuous denial of such rights from the concerned authorities, women across the Middle East, Africa and Asia have increasingly been raising their voices with an intention of entering the democratic process. In May 2005, Gender Concerns International recognized the need and supported these initiatives by organizing an international conference in Cairo, Egypt. Since then, Gender Concerns International has implemented several programmes aimed at achieving gender equality, such as all female election observation missions across the globe.
Gender Concerns International advocates proportional representation of ethnic and cultural minorities into Dutch political and policy making structures. We believe that the progressive integration of minorities into national and international representative bodies is key for social harmony and societal balance.
Women are particularly affected by disasters, according to the World Health Organisation. There is an account of over seventy five percent of displaced persons which are particularly vulnerable to reproductive and sexual health problems, all the while taking on the roles of caretakers in the post-disaster context and losing their sources of income. As such, the consequences of disasters are larger for women as in their newly-acquired roles they might loose their mobility, effectively preventing them from exercising their rights. Disasters bring about increased rates of sexual and domestic violence of which women are more frequent victims. In response to a flood that hit Pakistan in 2010, together with its Pakistani partner organizations Aurat Foundation and Paiman, the Dutch Pakistani Community in the Netherlands and the Women for Water Partnership, Gender Concerns International launched the People to People campaign to help the flood victims and provide them with the necessary relief aid.
In the last 20 years, the majority of the poorest countries have suffered from war. After establishing peace, almost half of these countries relapsed in the former state of conflict. Most post-war reconstruction strategies, which aim to help the whole population in the area of conflict, neglect the uniqueness and different needs of disparate groups in the society. Often women are one of such groups.