Dutch development cooperation policy has a long history of providing support for women's rights and gender equality worldwide. It has used a range of instruments for this purpose over the past several decades, at both central government and through its embassies. While funding priorities have changed over the years, some themes have been policy constants and are still part of the current focus. These include empowering women and strengthening their leadership, promoting women's economic participation (access to work) and political participation, and combating violence against women. These policies aim to bring about tangible changes and to enhance the rights and opportunities of women and girls in the Global South. Another constant is the use of a mix of instruments and programmes, both targeting specific activities and mainstreaming gender in other activities. At the same time, there have been shifts in the forms of support for strengthening women's organisations, movements and networks. This paper will briefly discuss the modalities and instruments that have been used, the choices that have been made, and the lessons that have been learned.
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