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Niger - Gender Equity Reinforcement Project - Project Completion Report (PCR)
The situation in Niger during project appraisal can be summarized as follows: 63% of the population lived below the poverty line, and women were the most affected. Yet they represented over 50% of the population. This was reflected concretely in a number of gender gaps in areas such as education, health, access to resources, social rights, participation, or policy making. The situation of women was also marked by a high fertility rate (7.1 children per woman), the persistence of early marriages and harmful traditional practices, and very limited access to ICTs. To correct these imbalances and situations, the Government developed a Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), which focused on the promotion and development of human resources, especially women. The Government also adopted a law on quota aimed at achieving a 20% minimum of women in elected office, at least 20% of women in Government and at least 25% of women in State administration. To implement these policies, the main donor interventions were: Phase I of the Niger Gender Initiative financed by the UNFPA, the Village Water Supply Programme financed by the French Development Agency (AFD), the Community Development Programme financed by AFD and the Women’s Credit and Savings Project financed by USAID. The Bank contributed to the implementation of these policies through the following two operations: the Poverty Reduction Project approved in 1998 and the Education Project II approved in 2003. All these operations were consistent with the country’s development strategy, and were complementary to each other. The PREG project aimed to complement interventions by the Bank and other donors by mobilizing public opinion on gender inequalities, improving the working conditions of the Ministry for the Advancement of Women, and building the capacity of its staff to strengthen the Ministry’s leadership in gender issues in Niger, as well as by financing specific activities to help bridge the existing gaps.