In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system, which focused exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment:
*Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW)
*International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)
*Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI)
*United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)
The main roles of UN Women are:
*To support inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms.
*To help Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, and to forge effective partnerships with civil society.
*To hold the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender equality, including regular monitoring of system-wide progress.
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action; UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (2000) and four subsequently adopted resolutions on women, peace and security: 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), and 1960 (2010); Millenium Declaration and Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).
UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.
UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to implement these standards. It stands behind women’s equal participation in all aspects of life, focusing on five priority areas: increasing women’s leadership and participation; ending violence against women; engaging women in all aspects of peace and security processes; enhancing women’s economic empowerment; and making gender equality central to national development planning and budgeting. UN Women also coordinates and promotes the UN system’s work in advancing gender equality.
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting and Violence against Women and Girls: Strengthening the Policy Linkages between Different Forms of Violence (2017)
UN Women Annual Report (2015-2016)
A Framework to Underpin Action to Prevent Violence against Women (2015)http://www2.unwomen.org/~/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/library/publications/2015/prevention_framework_unwomen_nov2015.pdf?v=1&d=20151124T225223
Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence (2015)http://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2015/12/essential-services-package-for-women-and-girls-subject-to-violence
Handbook for National Action Plans on Violence Against Women (2011)
Supplement to the Handbook for Legislation on Violence Against Women: “Harmful Practices” Against Women (2011)
In collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), DAW, now part of UN Women, organized an expert group meeting on legislation on harmful practices, which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 26 to 28 May 2009. The report of the meeting will supplement the model framework for legislation with specific recommendations and commentaries in relation to legislation on the forms of violence against women referred to as “harmful practices”, including child and forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and so-called “honour” crimes. DAW released the Handbook for legislation on violence against women (2009). The Handbook, intends to provide all stakeholders with detailed guidance to support the adoption and effective implementation of legislation which prevents violence against women, punishes perpetrators, and ensures the rights of survivors everywhere. It is hoped that the Handbook will be of use to government officials, parliamentarians, civil society, staff of United Nations entities and other actors in their efforts at ensuring that a solid legal basis is in place for tackling the scourge of violence against women. DAW also uploaded three videos on its website containing discussions on legislation on violence against women. On 4 March 2009, during the fifty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women, DAW organized a joint dialogue of the Commission on the Status of Women and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice on “Addressing violence against women through legal reform”.Hide
UN Women has been instrumental in ensuring that the Prevention against Domestic Violence Bill was adopted by the national Parliament in Kenya. This was a significant achievement, since Kenya previously did not have a specific law for prevention View More
UN Women has been instrumental in ensuring that the Prevention against Domestic Violence Bill was adopted by the national Parliament in Kenya. This was a significant achievement, since Kenya previously did not have a specific law for prevention and response to domestic violence.Hide
In Viet Nam in 2016, UN Women supports Legal Aid Department of Ministry of Justice to build a legal aid system sensitive to the needs of VAW survivors. This includes 1) technical assistance to legal drafters of the amended Legal Aid Law and to View More
In Viet Nam in 2016, UN Women supports Legal Aid Department of Ministry of Justice to build a legal aid system sensitive to the needs of VAW survivors. This includes 1) technical assistance to legal drafters of the amended Legal Aid Law and to develop joint UN recommendations together with UNDP, UNICEF, UNODC, UNAIDS, highlighting gaps with international normative frameworks; and 2) support to develop a guideline for legal aid providers, reflecting the legislative changes of the criminal laws in 2015 and promoting gender-sensitive and survivor-centred response based on international standards. Materials developed through the support to Judicial Academy and UNODC's handbook for legal aid providers on domestic violence cases will be utilized for this purpose.Hide
In Vietnam, UNODC supported the revision of the penal code and penal procedure code, promoting the incorporation of relevant international standards and norms, especially concerning violence against women. Similarly, With UN Women, UNODC View More
In Vietnam, UNODC supported the revision of the penal code and penal procedure code, promoting the incorporation of relevant international standards and norms, especially concerning violence against women. Similarly, With UN Women, UNODC conducted a gap analysis of Viet Nam's Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code providing research findings and key UN joint recommendations for strengthening effective responses to violence against women to the National Assembly.Hide
Former UNIFEM now part of UN Women provided technical support to stakeholders who contributed to the enactment of the Domestic Violence Bill in Grenada, the Ley Especial Integral para una Vida libre de Violencia para las Mujeres in El Salvador, the development of the Domestic Violence (Crime and Punishment) Regulation in Nepal and the adoption of new provisions in the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence in Albania.Hide
In Mauritania, UN Women supported gender equality advocates for the implementation of the Africa UNiTE campaign, and a draft law for the prevention and punishment of violence against women was presented in November 2011, to members of the government, more than 50 national non-government organizations, and to the main donors and technical partners. This draft law constitutes a key advocacy tool for bringing about legislation on eliminating gender-based violence and mainstreaming this issue into national policies. In Algeria, UN Women continued to support the advocacy efforts of some members of the non-government coalition for the criminalization of violence against women, which contributed to the submission of a draft law making gender-based violence a criminal offence. In January 2012, it was reported that the Algerian Parliament Bureau reviewed the draft law and decided to submit it to the next session of Parliament for discussion. In Morocco, UN Women supported the Spring Time for Dignity Coalition, which led it to develop its communication and advocacy strategy and finalize the preparation and update of its Memorandum on the gender-sensitive reform of the penal code in light of the provisions of the new constitution adopted in July 2011. In Afghanistan, UN Women provided technical assistance and substantive support to the Afghanistan Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) Commission to support the implemention of the Law on EVAW. OHCHR/UNAMA also supported the implementation of the new law by undertaking monitoring, advocacy and capacity-building activities.Hide
The Supplement to the Handbook for Legislation on Violence Against Women: “Harmful Practices” Against Women was published, and its final version is available on the website of UN Women in all UN official languages, at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/vaw/v-handbook.htm#handbook_supp. This Supplement should be read and used together with the Handbook for legislation on violence against women. Hard copies were also produced.Hide
In Bolivia, under the umbrella of the UNiTE Campaign, the Interagency Gender Group, coordinated by UN Women, and the Ministry of Justice and multiple stakeholders worked together for the adoption of the Supreme Decree declaring 2012 year of No violence against Women. This decree will enable to reform legislation in order to include concepts such as femicide and sexual harassment as well as improving services for women victims of violence. UN Women provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)’ shelters’ technical committee to provide comments to the first national by-laws for the establishment of shelters. UN Women has supported the adoption of stronger legal frameworks and policies addressing violence against women (VAW) through ASEAN mechanisms, as well as by supporting national level efforts. In China, Indonesia and Thailand, UN Women and other UN agencies jointly assist the governments to establish multi-sectoral coordination systems to respond to and prevent VAW with the UN EVAW Trust Fund grant. For example, in a project of the UN Country Team in Thailand funded by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, UN Women, along with UNFPA, OHCHR, and UNDP, is working with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to achieve effective implementation of Thailand’s Domestic Violence Victims Act (DVVA) through pilot programmes, monitoring and evaluation, and public awareness activities. In El Salvador, UN Women offered technical support prior to the approval of the Law on Equality, Equity and Eradication of Discrimination against Women.Hide
The Handbook for legislation on violence against women (UNDAW/DESA, 2010) was published and its final version is available on the website of DAW, now part of UN Women, http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/vaw/v-handbook.htm. Copies of the Handbook are available in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish. DAW and the Centre for Women at the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), held a sub-regional capacity-building workshop in Beirut, Lebanon on legislative frameworks to address violence against women for Government officials, Parliamentarians and representatives of non-governmental organizations from 7 countries in the Middle East. The objective of the workshop was to contribute to the adoption of comprehensive legislation on violence against women and its effective implementation.Hide
Through its ongoing work with parliamentarians, women’s machineries and the women’s movement, UNIFEM, now part of UN Women, continued to support efforts for legislative reforms including a law on domestic violence in Timor-Leste.Hide