Diakonia - People change the world
In Guatemala, Diakonia and its partner organizations are supporting women’s rights projects. Photo: Markus Marcetic

Gender equality

Diakonia works to achieve gender equality through challenging unequal, patriarchal structures and attitudes. This work encompasses all people, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity.


Women as actors of change

Income Generating Activities are a necessary starting point to enable women to engage in the Strategy for Change. Women who have control over their own finances are more likely to invest in health and education to the benefit of the whole family, and are also less likely to stay in abusive or violent relationships.

Violence against women by states, communities and the family is not decreasing. 90 percent of all violence, be it domestic, sexual abuse, war crimes, socio-cultural harmful practices, etc., is committed by men. Thus, when we speak of gender-based violence, the main issue is men’s violence, the root cause of it being inequality in power relations between men and women.

Men’s involvement crucial

Our main focus is the protection of women’s rights and physical and mental integrity, e.g. combating female genital mutilation. But current gender power relations cannot be changed without the active participation of men, and we are placing more emphasis on their involvement.

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) is another important area, as well as promoting the role of women in conflict.

Women often targets

In situations of armed conflict, Diakonia emphasises the importance of the equal participation of women in all efforts to maintain or bring about peace and security, and the importance of ensuring that women play a greater role in all decision-making regarding conflict prevention and resolution. Women and girls are often targeted in armed conflict, with sexual violence being used as a weapon of war in many recent conflicts.