Netherlands promises two new funds to back advances in economic and political participation, combat violence, support sexual and reproductive rights

The Netherlands remains committed to increasing women’s economic independence and financial self-sufficiency. Equality between women and men is a guiding principle of foreign and development efforts, providing a basis for stability and economic prosperity. In 2016, the Netherlands plans to launch a programme called Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women to support women’s economic and political participation, and combat violence against women and girls in low-income and lower-middle-income countries. It will be the world’s largest fund of its kind. Another major fund will support advances in sexual and reproductive health and rights, since for women to have a voice and economic opportunities, they need to be able to make their own choices about sexuality and family planning. Speaking at the Global Leaders’ Meeting on 27 September 2015, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said: “Equality between women and men is also a guiding principle of our foreign and development efforts because gender equality provides a basis for stability and economic prosperity.” [ Speech ]