March 8 is International Women’s Rights Day, and Monaco is in the forefront of supporting gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, as set out by the United Nations as part of its Sustainable Development strategy.
The right to education and economic empowerment are central to the vision of the Monegasque Cooperation and the Principality, through the Directorate of International Cooperation and the many projects it works with on the ground.
In its partner countries, for example, in Burundi, the Principality of Monaco, in partnership with UNESCO, provides schooling and vocational training for 2,000 girls in vulnerable situations. At the same time, their mothers, grouped in associations, benefit from literacy classes and activities enabling them to generate income for their families.
In Niger, the Monegasque Cooperation supports microcredits to enable vulnerable women to acquire, for example, a flock of sheep, while in Northern Mali, with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, Monaco’s involvement enables 1,000 women living in rural areas to develop market garden activities.
The Monegasque Cooperation also assists women in health matters, notably to improve maternal and child health in the Kolda region of Senegal. In partnership with the African NGO AMREF, under the “Stand Up for African Mothers” programme to train 15,000 midwives in Africa, the Monegasque Cooperation backs digital training to help make it possible to reduce the very high maternal and infant mortality rates in the region.
Help is also provided to the World Food Programme in Madagascar for women living in the south of the island, who are particularly affected by chronic malnutrition. Through the project, more than 2,400 pregnant women receive nutritional support and iron and folic acid supplementation each year, which reduces stunting and cognitive development problems in unborn children. (Feature image: The UNFPA project in Madagascar allows pregnant and breastfeeding women to receive suppor ©JMBernard/REALIS/DCI)