Gender Equality in Finnish Official Development Assistance (ODA) Policie

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Ulla Vesteri


Finnish development cooperation applies the Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) to challenge gender power relations in their projects conducted by an NGO, The Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland (SASK), in Indonesia. When following this paradigm, SASK expects to see some tangible results. This case study is based on documentary research as well as interviews and observation during a 2-week field trip in Indonesia. Documentary research included academic journal articles, government publications, and NGO reports. Interviewees included Indonesian beneficiaries, trade union members, as well as employers. This research also analyses whether the projects follow Women in Development (WID) or Gender and Development (GAD) paradigm. The Human Rights-Based Approach is likely to have some positive impact in terms of challenging power relations, which is also the main element of GAD. There is still work to be done to understand HRBA for both recipients and donors fully. The results from the field trip suggest that the projects end up with WID. The projects fail to challenge power relations, women and men are not treated equally or activities are organized to women only. HRBA has the potential to challenge gender power relations when understood and used correctly. More training about HRBA should be offered to both the Foreign Ministry's and NGO's staff. Gender equality friendly budget should be extended to all projects instead of only one project in which beneficiaries are all women.

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How to Cite
Vesteri, U. (2021). Gender Equality in Finnish Official Development Assistance (ODA) Policie. Journal of Human Rights and Peace Studies, 7(1), 123–146. Retrieved from
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