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Abebi teaches in a Nigerian primary school with no electricity or water and with no working toilet.

Public services

Public services should meet the needs of all people, irrespective of their gender, age, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation and social context.

For many women living in poverty, access to high-quality public services is an essential route to improve their own lives and those of their communities. Public services have the potential to create more equal societies: if public services effectively serve women’s needs, women will be better able to access economic opportunities and exercise their rights. However, too often public services are inadequate and under-resourced, and instead of supporting the empowerment of women and girls, they reproduce the structures that exclude them.

We believe in the need for public services that are gender-responsive, meeting the needs and priorities of women and girls. Gender-responsive public services should be:

  • Publicly financed, to ensure the greatest possible access for the people who need them;
  • Delivered by governments, not private corporations, and equally available and accountable to all;
  • Gender responsive and inclusive, irrespective of a person’s age, location, background, sexual orientation, disability status, and so on; and
  • Quality, focusing on the four standards of availability, accessibility, acceptability and adaptability.

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