Including Gender in decentralized cooperation

The region of Isère in France is focusing on integrating gender equality as a transversal objective in their decentralized development projects in Senegal, Morocco and Palestine and has implemented special projects to improve the conditions of women.


Integrating gender in development projects does not necessarily mean to target women as a group. Instead, the notion of gender should be incorporated throughout the whole project cycle. How it should be included in activities depends on the specific objectives outlined for the projects and the challenges that may arise. An essential question is to consider is whether the implemented project also considers women and contributes to improving their specific conditions.


In all of its projects, the county of Isère has been focusing on the following:

–       Active participation of citizens in order to ensure sustainability of actions and to reinforce local democracy

–       Identifying and understanding the specific needs of women through individual and group interviews.

–       Identify key stakeholders in communities and build upon existing initiatives

–       Focus on ensuring citizens participation, by involving citizens in the monitoring-processes, the project management


The following projects are examples on what the county of Isère have done to improve women’s conditions in different countries:


  • Regions of Tambacounda and Kedougou (Senegal)

Project focusing on preventing and fighting gender based violence and defending women’s rights has been implemented contributing to creating centers for women victims of violence and supporting campaigns to prevent violence against women. This project also resulted in creating an exhibition in Isère to raise awareness on this issue.


  • Region of Tadla-Azilal (Morocco)

A project supporting women’s cooperatives has been implemented in the region of Tadla-Azilal, aiming to increase revenues of rural families and to valorize the role of women in the local development. Support has been provided to strengthen women’s knowledge in administrative and financial management, to improve quality of handicraft products and to valorize the products by making them more accessible for tourists.


  • Caravan for Women in the Province of Douars (Morocco)

To raise awareness on women’s rights, to empower women and promote women’s access to education and services, a caravan is organized every year in Douars in the region of Tadla-Azizal. The caravan is composed of around 120 volunteers specialized in different fields such as law and medicine and provides the public with information.  


  • Support to a women cooperative in Bethelehem

By providing technical training for women the project aims to improve women’s participation in the tourism industry. The courses have strengthened women’s knowledge in English, computer-skills, project-management and marketing of handicraft products.