The European Union in Zambia – both through the EU Delegation and its Member States – has had a strong and historic presence in Zambia for more than 40 years. Through EU Member State bilateral programmes and instruments such as the European Development Fund, billions of euros have been invested in improving health, education, agriculture, governance, road-building and much more.
In 2016, there was close collaboration between the EU and Member States on a number of strategic issues. One of the most important of these is gender, in which the EU and a number of EU Member States are making increasingly significant investments in Zambia under the umbrella of the EU Gender Action Plan 2016-2020, which aims to accelerate action on gender equality around the world.
Ambassador Alessandro Mariani, Head of the European Union Delegation to Zambia and COMESA, said:
"The last decade has made it very clear that Zambia's long-term development and vision to become a prosperous middle-income country by 2030 relies on Zambian women being able to realise their full social, political and economic potential.
"The results we have seen in 2016 are inspiring us to become more determined to put gender equality at the heart of the European Union's development relationship with Zambia and the wider region. Accordingly, gender equality is increasingly embedded – in 2017 and beyond – in our policy dialogue, our approach to human rights, and forthcoming investments in energy, commercial agriculture, regional trade and the fight against gender-based violence."
Results from currently active projects
Reporting on the first year of implementation of the Gender Action Plan in Zambia includes existing projects active in 2016 (future reporting will focus on results from new programs). In Zambia, gender-sensitive projects active in 2016 and funded by the EU and EU Member States are worth around 451m euros.
Below are 12 key results from a range of active projects supported by the European Union and Member States – find out more by visiting the websites for missions to Zambia from Germany, Finland, Ireland, Sweden and the UK on gender issues or click on the link to the Infographic below.
Between 2013 and 2016, 3,402 gender-based violence cases were brought to court (Finland and UK). Between 2014 and 2016, 17,852 women got access to legal aid (EU Delegation, Finland & Germany)
260 traditional chiefs have denounced or banned child marriage in their chiefdoms since 2014 (UK)
With support from Sweden, two fast-track, gender-based violence courts in Lusaka and Kabwe were up in running in 2015 and 2016, the first of their kind in Africa. In 2015, 371 new GBV cases were received by the National Legal Aid Clinic (Sweden)
Between 2012 and 2016, 43,950 pregnant or lactating women and 126,706 childrenbenefited from nutrition programmes (UK, Ireland & Sweden)
286,456 additional women and girls using contraception between 2012 and 2016 (UK)
Between 2011 and 2016, there were 3,082,319 new users of improved sanitation, over half of them women (UK)
In Zambia's 2016 elections, 332 female candidates were supported for political office through NGOs – 48 parliamentary candidates, 241 councillors and 43 mayors. (EU Delegation & UK)
1,043 female secondary-school students in Zambia's most rural Provinces (Luapula, Muchinga, Western and Northern) were supported with bursaries between 2013 and 2016 (Ireland)
Between 2013 and 2016, more than 315,000 women received training in agribusiness (Germany & Sweden)
126,390 women accessed a new financial service between 2012 and 2016 (Sweden & UK)
In 2015 and 2016, 73,843 women had benefited from electricity connection subsidies (Sweden)
Between 2010 and 2016, 225,000 households received a cash transfer, benefitting around 1 in 5 of Zambia's extremely poor population, over half of them women. (Finland and UK Social Cash Transfer Scheme).
The EU Gender Action Plan 2016-2020 commits the European Commission, the European External Action Service and Member States to ensure that at least 85% of our new projects significantly support gender equality by 2020. In Zambia, we are on track to reach this target. In 2017 and 2018, the EU Delegation and EU Member States will be designing and implementing new projects in Zambia that incorporate gender equality as a significant or principal objective in nutrition, tackling violence against women and children, sustainable commercial agriculture, job creation and renewable energy.
Credit picture: UNICEF/Zambia