Consultants on Gender and Development
Nassaulaan 5
The Netherlands
+31 (0)70 365 57 44


New management Femconsult29 January 2018
We would like to inform you that Angélique Verweij is leaving Femconsult as Managing Director due to changed family responsibilities. She regrets to leave the organisation but is proud of the organisation’s results in the past years in strengthening and promoting gender equality and women’s rights. She would like to thank the consultants, the partners and clients, the Femconsult team and Board for the great cooperation. The team and the Board would like to thank Angélique for her contribution to Femconsult’s work and wishes her success in her feature endeavours.

We are proud to announce that Joke Manders and Monique Mekenkamp, whom most of you know already, have been appointed by the Board to take up the leadership of Femconsult, effective from January 1, 2018. Joke Manders has been working for Femconsult for over 12 years as Project Manager and in-house gender expert. Her new position will be Managing Director Gender & Development, whilst also continuing her work as gender expert. Monique Mekenkamp joined Femconsult two years ago as Manager FWC & Business Development and will continue as Managing Director Business Development. In their new positions they will focus on their own complementary expertise and experience, with joint responsibility for the overall management of Femconsult. Joke and Monique have already been working closely together and with the team, which will ensure a smooth transition.

With Joke and Monique in place as Managing Directors, the Femconsult team and Board are looking forward to continue to work with you to deliver a broad range of quality consultancy services and to promote gender equality worldwide.
EU Gender Analysis Support3 July 2017
From June onwards, one of Femconsult staff members is part of the team contracted by AETS to carry out tasks under the European Commission’s project “Gender Analysis Support” (under BFC 2013 Lot 07 Multi). Gender equality is enshrined within the European Union (EU) legal and political framework. The EU and its Member States are at the forefront of the protection, fulfilment and the enjoyment of human rights by women and girls and strongly promote them in all external relations, also beyond development cooperation.

The main objective of the Gender Analysis Support is to provide technical support to the EU staff at headquarters and Delegations to strengthen the inclusion of gender equality and girls' and women's empowerment in all EU external cooperation instruments and across development cooperation sectors. For instance by advising on appropriate gender analysis to inform decisions and programme approaches, and aligning Action Documents to the Gender Action Plan 2016-2010 (GAP-II) on transforming the lives of girls and women through EU External Relations.

The Gender Action Plan II 2016-2020
The EU aims at a world where the rights of girls and women are claimed, valued and respected by all, and where everyone is able to fulfil their potential and contribute to a more fair and just society for all. The GAP II on gender equality and girls' and women’s empowerment provides the framework for the European Commission's (EC), the European External Action Services' (EEAS) and European Member States' (MS) approach to gender equality through external relations, in 2016-20. It aims to place gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women at the heart of the EU’s external actions, focusing on four pivotal areas - three thematic and one horizontal:

- Ensuring girls’ and women’s physical and psychological integrity
- Promoting the economic and social rights / empowerment of girls and women
- Strengthening girls’ and women’s voice and participation
- Shifting the Commission services’ and the EEAS’ institutional culture to more effectively deliver on EU commitments.
Report on Effectiveness of SDCs Engagement in the field of Gender Equality 3 July 2017
Femconsult has been awarded the assignment to deliver a “Report on the Effectiveness (RE) of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) Engagement in the field of Gender Equality”. Since 2003, SDC adopted a gender policy which embraces three elements: 1) all projects and programmes considered for funding should undertake a gender analysis, 2) SDC is committed to fund projects and programmes specifically targeting gender equality and women’s empowerment, and 3) SDC promotes gender equality and women’s advancement within SDC.

During this study, Femconsult will assess the effectiveness of SDC’s engagement in gender equality and to highlight areas of success or in need of improvement. The RE on Gender Equality shall account for effects induced and concrete qualitative and quantitative results achieved by the bilateral, multilateral and institutional engagements of SDC with clear aims targeting gender equality. The conclusions of this RE should enable SDC to reflect on successes and challenges in mainstreaming gender equality in view of further improving the effectiveness of SDC’s work and instruments in relation to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Femconsult has composed a team of gender experts, including two in-house staff members, who will carry out this assessment of SDC’s engagement in gender. The team will look into a number of selected engagements of SDC with gender as principal goal, with gender equality as a significant (transversal) theme and on policy dialogues. These engagements will be selected from SDC’s database following agreed upon criteria in order to ensure representation of SDC’s project portfolio. Data collection, including assessment of projects, conducting in-depth interviews and survey(s), will be undertaken followed by the analysis of data, triangulation and writing up the Technical Report. Ultimately also a Public Report, reflecting the results, challenges and the way forward for SDC, will be published to inform the Swiss parliament and public. The assignment will be carried out between May 2017 – June 2018.
Gender Resource Facility1 June 2017
The Gender Resource Facility (GRF), which is operational since the summer of 2014, provides expert advice, technical assistance and knowledge services on gender equality and women’s rights to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its embassies and partners. The GRF operates under contract with MFA and is implemented by a consortium of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and Femconsult. During the past year support to several MFA departments, embassies and partners has been provided in relation the the spearheads of Dutch Foreign Policy: Water, Food Security, Rule of Law, Sexual Reproductive health Rights. As well as cross-cutting issues like Climate Change, Private Sector development, gender mainstreaming.

For further information and publications of GRF click on the link below:
Publication with FLOW (2012-2015) results on women’s rights and gender equality now available 29 March 2017
In 2012 the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs created a new programme, Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW), a successor to the MDG3 Fund. The 34 projects under FLOW 2012-2015 are implemented in over 100 countries.

The grantees have worked tremendously with their partners and sub-grantees on improving gender equality and women’s rights worldwide. They did this by focusing their efforts on at least one of the main thematic priorities of FLOW: peace and security, economic self-reliance and political participation. The diverse FLOW projects have contributed to increased leadership of women and girls, strengthened women’s rights movement/organisations, improved women’s rights in policy and legislation, behaviour change of male and female) beneficiaries and participants, and improved livelihoods. A community has been created which will carry on striving for gender equality and women’s rights.

A booklet has been developed and can be downloaded under the 'more information button' below. Read more ˅
FLOW’s implementation and the monitoring of the 34 projects was managed by a consortium of PwC and Femconsult. The booklet contains a selection of the most distinctive and interesting activities and results to be shared with the public. In the preface of the publication the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Lilian Ploumen wrote ‘The Netherlands supports civil society organisations that champion women’s rights’, whilst emphasizing that gender equality is not something that exclusively benefits women and girls, but gender equality benefits both men and women, which is in line with Femconsult’s mission and vision.

Also an inspirational video clip has been produced by Makmende Media, which features three beneficiaries that have been supported by FLOW grantees CREA, Breakthrough and Gender at Work in India and Kenya. Check out the clip at:
Blue Gold program celebrates International Women's Day in Bangladesh 1 January 2017
The Blue Gold program celebrated International Women’s Day on the 8th of March with a rally and discussion sessions in rural Bangladesh. Women and men from water management organisations, staff from BWDB and DAE, local government representatives, local religious leaders and students of nearby schools and colleges participated in the rally. More than a thousand people joined the marches in the coastal districts Patuakhali, Khulna and Satkhira to raise their voice for women’s rights.

Blue Gold is a collaboration program between the Governments of Bangladesh and the Netherlands. The program is implemented by the Ministry of Water Resources, through the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) and the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE). It started in March 2013 and extends over a 7+ year period, until June 2020. Its operations concentrate on twenty-two polders in four coastal districts of south-west Bangladesh: Patuakhali, Barguna, Khulna and Satkhira. The overall objective is to “reduce poverty for 170,000 households living in 115,000 ha of selected coastal polders by creating a healthy living environment and a sustainable socio-economic development.Read more ˅
Stimulating the participation of women within these interventions is an important part of the Blue Gold program in order to ensure that both men and women benefit and achieve more gender equity. For example, Blue Gold promotes that at least 40 percent of the membership of Water Management Groups (WMGs) are made up of women, and that the elected women in the boards of the WMGs (which is at least 30%) better participate in WMG decision-making.

Femconsult provides gender expertise to the Blue Gold Program, supporting the current national gender coordinator Roksana Begum. She explains that it is important to mark this international day of celebration to make Bangladeshi women more aware of their rights. ‘This is a remote area of Bangladesh’, Roksana says, ‘Most of the women don’t know about the importance and background of International Women’s Day.’ While the women initially felt shy about joining the rally, they eventually enjoyed meeting and talking to others who showed interest in the discussion groups that were organised by Roksana’s team.

The slogan of this year’s International Women’s Day “Be Bold For Change” was printed in bold letters on the banners the women held, because it reflects the goals of the Blue Gold program as well. ‘Women in our program are actively involved in the decision-making process and we train them to take up leadership roles within the society’, Roksana explains. Some of the reactions from villagers along the route of the rally showed that women’s empowerment is an important issue in Bangladesh. According to Roksana some people initially laughed as the women walked by because ‘They don’t like to see women raising their fist in the air and using their voices to ask for change.’

As part of the IWD celebrations, BGP also organised discussion sessions in the same locations as the rallies. In Patuakhali, Khulna and Satkhira, a Local Government Representative (UP Chairman), WMG leader, religious leader, Roksana and other team members discussed the background and importance of IWD and best practice of Blue Gold gender activities. The participants showed their commitment to Roksana by raising their hands and agreeing that they will raise their voice against violence. Most of the local newspapers covered the news of Blue Gold’s IWD activities.

It was the first time the WMG members participated in International Women’s Day celebrations. While Roksana hopes to make it an annual event, she’s emphasizes that under the Blue Gold program women’s empowerment is a goal she and the Blue Gold team work towards every day of the year. ‘Though an International Woman’s Day is a great vehicle for change, one day a year is not enough’, Roksana explains.

Symposium on Gender and Development11 June 2016
On the 16th of June, 2016, Femconsult, Consultants on Gender and Development celebrated its 30th anniversary with the symposium "From Exclusion to Inclusion: Lessons learned and current challenges in advising on Gender Equality" in The Hague.

During the symposium keynote speaker Caroline Harper, Senior Research Fellow and Programme Head of Social Development at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London, gave a keynote speech. This was followed by an interactive panel discussion with gender consultants from various thematic backgrounds who regularly work with Femconsult. The panel shared challenges, best practices and lessons learned.

For the full report click on the link below:
FLOW: Funding Leadership Opportunities for Women (2012 - 2016)23 November 2012
The Femconsult-PwC team won the tender bid for the management of the € 80 million FLOW Fund (2012 – 2016). Femconsult in partnership with PwC has been awarded a contract by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs for providing technical expertise and support towards the administration, management and monitoring of the Netherlands FLOW Fund - Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (EUR 80 million) covering 34 multi-country projects (2012-2015). FLOW aims to strengthen the rights and opportunities for women and girls in developing countries and focuses on three priority themes: security (violence against women and UN Resolution 1325), economic empowerment (emphasis on food security, land, water and economic rights) and political participation. In all three themes, female partnership is seen as an important instrument.

FLOW is the successor of the very successful Dutch Government funded MDG3 Fund (2008 – 2012). The aim of the € 77 million MDG3 Fund was “Investing in Equality to support activities that lead to concrete results with regard to improved rights and opportunities for women”. The Femconsult-PwC team has also provided technical expertise and support towards the management and monitoring of this Fund. With the MDG3 Fund much more has been achieved than anyone thought possible. It has supported work from grassroots to the region to the global, enabling impact at multiple levels.

In November 2012, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands organized the “Women Moving Mountains” conference. All grantees from the MDG3 Fund and the FLOW Fund, about 60 participants from all over the world, met in The Hague to discuss the results including best practices and lessons learned of the MDG3 Fund.

Click on the link below for more information about the FLOW Programme:

MDG3 Fund successfully completed (2008-2012)21 November 2012
Femconsult in partnership with PwC has been responsible for the management of the MDG3 Fund (2008 – 2012).
The Netherlands Government funded € 77 million MDG3 Fund “Investing in Equality to support activities that lead to concrete results with regard to improved rights and opportunities for women and girls in developing countries” was successfully completed in July 2012. The Fund supported 45 projects, with activities in a total of 99 countries. As the results were very promising, a new fund called FLOW (Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women) succeeding MDG3 Fund was launched in 2011.

The MDG3 Fund especially contributed to the following priorities:
• property and inheritance rights for women;
• gender equality in employment and equal opportunities on the labour market;
• participation and representation of women in national parliaments and political bodies;
• combating violence against women.

Priority target groups were:
• women and girls in situations of conflict;
• marginalized women;
• adolescents.

Key lessons learned were discussed at the “Women Moving Mountains” conference in The Hague on 21 November 2012 organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, where the grantees from the MDG3 Fund and the FLOW Fund met. The aim of this session was to formally open FLOW and close MDG3 thanking all grantees and the fund management for their work.

Please find below the link to the power point presentation of the results of the evaluation study of the MDG3 Fund conducted by AWID: