Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Worldwide, 1.3 billion people are living in extreme poverty. Most of them are women. The international community has thus come to realize in recent years that political, economic, and cultural discrimination against women constitutes a central obstacle to social development. New policy guidelines of bi- and multilateral donors affirm that poverty reduction programs can succeed only if they take into consideration the existing social inequality between men and women. At present the concern is therefore a twofold one: to ensure that women have access to resources and rights and to initiate measures aimed at overcoming structural discrimination.
The paper examines the extent to which the National Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) called for in connection with the enhanced debt initiative are in line with this demand and contain an integrated gender perspective.
Involvement of poor, politically underrepresented groups in the PRSP process is intended to ensure that the current poverty-reduction programs take account of their interests. Women's organizations are also participating in these processes. There is, however, for the most part no systematic inclusion of women's positions.