SDG Aaccelerator

Welcome to the SDG Accelerator #PolicyHack on GENDER EQUALITY

The SDG Accelerator #PolicyHack is a two and a half day event aiming to create a space for the development of new tools and innovations tackling gender equality challenges. We want you to bring in your individual skills and professional experiences in order to brainstorm, discuss and find solutions together. We are looking for bright minds from all walks of life in order to find innovative and sustainable solutions to the proposed challenges.

Discover the Challenges

Transparency in public innovation funds


Out of the 100 best startups ranking in 2017 in Switzerland, only 11 have women CEO or co-founders. The gender gap regarding access to innovation funds and the lack of inspiring role models for girls to embrace tech careers could be some of the key reasons. According to the FONDETEC Annual Report 2016, women earn half the amount of money men do in innovation. This questions the transparency of public funding processes for startups in Switzerland, but also questions the attribution of funds from a gender equality perspective. In order to move towards equal treatment, action is required to improve the systems and processes of public fund attribution to innovation startups. 

Girls in engineering

According to recent statistics, around 20% of Swiss baccalaureates in the field of physics and applied mathematics are awarded to women. As research has shown, stereotypes and gender bias associated with technical and engineering topics are still strongly anchored in people’s minds in Switzerland. The transition from lower secondary education to high school functions as an early and major filter in the educational and professional trajectory of girls and boys. So, how can we positively impact young women’s aspirations, achievements and confidence and offer them equal incentives to choose technical and engineering studies and careers?

Empowering future female change makers

Women have always been changemakers. Women in every country, in every community, are pushing for progress. Due to socioeconomic conditions and limited access to quality education, a lot of girls around the world grow up without knowing about what job opportunities are available to them. Universities, non-profit sectors and different stakeholders are building e-learning platforms to provide fair and equal access to education for all. Unfortunately, most of the time, children aren’t aware of such learning opportunities. E-learning can be the enabling factor that provides the practical knowledge and skills that help one’s potential flourish, and empower girls economically. How can we ensure that girls are benefitting from the digital revolution as equally as boys? How can digitalisation provide them with more choices with their future career prospects? How to promote self-directed learning among girls in remote areas and developing countries? 

Changing perceptions

As the level of visibility and recognition of the gender equality cause has increased over the past decades, there seems to be a paradoxical growing disbelief, annoyance, even sometimes even anger amongst a segment of the male population. Gender-based discrimination is perceived as not relevant to them, because they don’t experience its consequences first-hand and because some of them think that it imposes unnecessary constrains to their lives. We believe that the main reason for this phenomenon is a lack of understanding of what reality truly is like for people facing systemic discrimination. Changing these perceptions seems crucial in order to bring them on board with gender equality-related debates and progress, and thus it leads us to the following question: how can we involve more people who are not facing direct discrimination in their daily lives to ensure better and more inclusive behaviors, and ultimately achieve equal opportunities for all genders?

Positive advertising

The use of gender-based stereotypes in advertising and marketing reinforces rigid gender roles that result in far-reaching negative consequences for society. There are currently no standards or guidelines available for brands and agencies internationally or in Switzerland. Adherence to rigid gender roles and patriarchal norms limits men, women and LGBTQI individuals in their rights and opportunities. This is evidenced by existing gender bias and discrimination throughout society (home, employment, government). How could brands and agencies promote gender equality and avoids the use of gender-based stereotypes? The challenge aims at developing standards and guidelines for products and advertising that attempt to promote gender equality.