Timor-Leste: Supporting Gender Equality and Women’s Rights in Timor-Leste


Despite the constraints of being newly independent and one of the poorest countries in the world, Timor Leste has joined the global effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, including the goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women. The Joint Programme supported government efforts to protect women from violence and economic hardship and ensure their equal access to justice by assisting in the formulation of legislation and gender-sensitive budgeting, building capacity to prevent human trafficking, and improving services for victims of violence. 

The programme aimed at the following outcomes:

1. To improve the protection of women and girls by assisting in the formulation, adoption and implementation of legislation to uphold women's rights;

2. To reduce the vulnerability of women and girls by providing effective mechanisms to prevent human trafficking and by establishing a social protection scheme; and

3. To improve the social and economic situation of women and girls by ensuring a fair allocation of resources using gender-responsive budgeting. 

Main achievements included:
  • The Joint Programme assisted in the formulation, adoption and implementation of the Law Against Domestic Violence (passed in June 2010), and supported the development of the National Action Plans on Gender-Based Violence and Human Trafficking. Trainings and awareness-raising sessions were held for local councils, a number of which implemented anti-trafficking projects.
  • The programme supported the adoption and implementation of a gender-responsive budget, and reduced discrimination against women by ensuring equitable access to resources, services and ownership of assets. It protected women-headed households through conditional cash transfers and supported local Suco councils to make the needs of women and girls a priority.
  • The programme  supported outreach mechanisms to victims of violence through existing referral networks, leading to increased coordination of services and better practices. It supported the establishment and/or operation of shelters and referral centers and provided emergency shelter and psychosocial support to victims of gender-based violence and human trafficking. It also provided support to orphanages and NGOs in charge of providing legal assistance.
  • The development of standard operating procedures for national police, the prevention of human trafficking and referrals for victims of gender-based violence was widely perceived as one of the programme's strengths.


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Timor Leste.


The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 12 Dec 2008 - 31 Aug 2012
Net funded amount $4,955,000
Participating UN agencies IOM, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women
National partners Minister of Economy and Development
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