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 Afghanistan, in partnership with Civil Society Organizations and the Government, UN Women, supports 11 Women Protection Centers (WPCs) and 5 Family Guidance Centers (FGCs) in provinces of Bamiyan, Baghlan, Daikundi, Jawzjan, Kabul, Kandahar, View More
In Afghanistan, in partnership with Civil Society Organizations and the Government, UN Women, supports 11 Women Protection Centers (WPCs) and 5 Family Guidance Centers (FGCs) in provinces of Bamiyan, Baghlan, Daikundi, Jawzjan, Kabul, Kandahar, Kunar, Laghman, Nangarhar, Parwan, Samangan and Takhar. The WPCs provided 24-hour safe refuge, legal aid, health care, education (basic literacy), vocational training, psychosocial services and support for reunification with their families, while the FGCs provided mediation, family counselling, and referral to WPCs and legal aid services. The WPCs and FGCs support more than 2,500 VAW survivors annually.Hide
The programme of work to develop the Essential Services Package has been a partnership between UN Women, UNFPA, WHO, UNDP and UNODC. The 5 modules comprising the package, identify the essential services to be provided by the health, social View More
The programme of work to develop the Essential Services Package has been a partnership between UN Women, UNFPA, WHO, UNDP and UNODC. The 5 modules comprising the package, identify the essential services to be provided by the health, social services, police and justice sectors as well as guidelines for the coordination of Essential Services and the governance of coordination processes and mechanisms. Service delivery guidelines for the core elements of each essential service have also been identified to ensure the delivery of high quality services, particularly for low and middle income countries for women and girls experiencing violence. This is being supported by the development of other tools including an implementation manual and a monitoring and evaluation framework for the implementation of the guidelines in different contexts. Negotiations are underway for the formalization of a UN Joint Global Programme on Essential Services for Women and Girls Subject to Violence by the five agencies for Phase II of the work to implement the guidelines in up to ten countries.Hide
In Albania, UN Women has worked with civil society groups, the government and media to stop human trafficking that feeds the sex trade. A national campaign has raised awareness, including through a powerful anti-trafficking video broadcast on View More
In Albania, UN Women has worked with civil society groups, the government and media to stop human trafficking that feeds the sex trade. A national campaign has raised awareness, including through a powerful anti-trafficking video broadcast on national television. A 30-member Advisory Media Forum supports professional and ethical reporting among journalists by providing information and training, and tracking gaps in accuracy of reporting. Since employment or small enterprise by women can be among the most critical elements of successful reintegration for trafficking survivors, UN Women has helped service providers in shelters stress economic empowerment as core to their assistance.Hide
In Jordan, through the support of the Governments of Norway, UN Women - in partnership with UNFPA and UNICEF - implements the second phase of the joint project “Hemayati: Promoting Women and Girls’ Health and Well-being”. The View More
In Jordan, through the support of the Governments of Norway, UN Women - in partnership with UNFPA and UNICEF - implements the second phase of the joint project “Hemayati: Promoting Women and Girls’ Health and Well-being”. The project is also implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD), Ministry of Health (MoH) and partner NGOs including the Jordanian Women Union and Un Ponte Per (UPP). The project’s overall aim is to increase sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) survivors’ access to comprehensive lifesaving protection services, including health, psychosocial and legal services. Building on a successful first phase (2013-2014), the second phase of the project is being implemented in five governorates of Jordan (Amman, Irbid, Zarqa, Mafraq and Maan) benefiting from the expertise of all participating UN agencies and partners. The objective is to bring all the services necessary for women and girls who have experienced violence in a one-stop shop to ensure that they receive quality, survivor-centered support when they need it most.Hide
UNIFEM, now part of UN Women, contributed to improved policies and service delivery for women survivors of violence, through its work with National Women’s Machineries, including in Ghana, Liberia and Peru; increased access to legal assistance in Ethiopia, Fiji and the Occupied Palestinian territory (oPt); and strengthened police response in Nigeria. UNIFEM deployed teams in post-earthquake settlements in Haiti to provide referrals for survivors of violence.Hide
UN Women together with ILO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNODC, OHCHR and WHO supported the preparations for and successful conclusion of CSW 57. This included the convening of a high level side event with the Secretary General and the Heads of 11 UN agencies to discuss ending violence against women which resulted in a joint statement, available at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2013/3/joint-statement-by-heads-of-un-agencies-on-ending-violenceHide
UN agencies, including UN Women and UNFPA, supported Governments, including those of Nepal and the Pacific Islands, to prepare their national priorities for negotiations during CSW 57. UN Women also promoted the implementation of the CSW Agreed Conclusions in Fiji through the national EVAW Task Force. In preparation for the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), ESCAP and UN Women jointly organized the “Asia-Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women”, 5-6 February 2013, in which senior-level representatives from 12 ESCAP Member States participated. The outcome of the meeting included recommendations on translating existing international legal and normative frameworks into effective national policy tools that address the obstacles and challenges in eliminating and preventing violence against women and girls in Asia and the Pacific.Hide
Leveraging existing accountability mechanisms for legal and policy action, UNAIDS, UNDP, UN Women and OHCHR jointly organized a briefing of the CEDAW committee on the link between HIV and violence against women.Hide
The "UNiTE" campaign was launched in 2014 by the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in the presence of great personalities of the DRC including the Personal Representative of the Head of State in charge View More
The "UNiTE" campaign was launched in 2014 by the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in the presence of great personalities of the DRC including the Personal Representative of the Head of State in charge of the fight against sexual violence. Supported by UN Women and UNFPA at the Office of the Personal Representative of the Head of State in charge of the fight against sexual violence, the "Break the silence" campaign led to series of trials (691 in 2016) and convictions (299 convictions in 2016) of high ranking military personnel. The establishment of effective coordination mechanisms including the Gender Thematic Group with its four thematic sub-groups (SGT VSBG, SGT Political Participation and Women's Leadership, SGT Empowerment of the Legal Status of Women, SGT Economic Empowerment of Women); UN Trust Fund resources made available to the PANZI Foundation for the holistic treatment of the fight against sexual violence; joint resource mobilization initiatives including the Joint Project to Combat Impunity, Support for Victims of Gender-Based Violence and Women's Empowerment in Eastern DRC "TUPINGE UBAKAJI" with UNDP, UNFPA , UNESCO; the joint project on prevention and coordinated responses to sexual violence in Ituri and North Kivu by UN Women, UNFPA, UNICEF and UNJHRO.
The Maternal and Child Mortality Reduction Support Program brings together four UN system agencies (UNFPA UNICEF WHO and UN Women) to eliminate gender-based violence that can affect the health of women, children and young girls especially during pregnancy and at the time of delivery. UN Women, OHCHR, UNESCO, UNICEF and UNFPA have joined forces around a coordinated action plan under the leadership of the Ministry of Women, Family and Gender, from 2016-2020 to put an end to all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls. UNDAF outcomes 6 and 8 focus on protecting vulnerable groups from violence and exploitation, and building institutional capacity under UNICEF leadership.
The UNiTE campaign/orange campaign and the 16 Days activism campaigns were spearheaded by UNW with a huge impact in social media and great visibility at the national level. By engaging the UN agencies, private and public sectors, the orange campaign in 2017 could reach and get closer to local communities and the intended target audience, being students of secondary schools and universities, leaders of local communities, media and private sector workers, it is comprised of around 20 NGOs as well as Members of Parliament, the Women Network Parliamentarians and the private sector. During the 16 days the movement calls to join forces in addressing specific problems regarding end violence against women and girls in Cabo Verde. Several activities were carried out such as: the Orange café with Journalists- Several journalists were invited to participate in the 16 Days of Activism actions to End Violence against Women and Girls across the country; School engagement - Campaign "16 days of activism against violence" starts with schools; Cabo Verde Parliamentarians dressed in orange for the 16 days of activism; Free HUGS - promoting the culture of non-violence in the capital city Praia offering free hugs to all;
Under the lead of UNW the interagency thematic group on human rights and gender has successfully implemented the UN Free & Equal campaign, positioning Cabo Verde has the first Africa country
Mali actively participates in the Secretary General's campaign for the elimination of violence against women every year. In November 2017 the campaign was launched by the Minister for the Advancement of Women under the leadership of UN Women with the participation of various agencies of the United Nations system, civil society organizations including young people.
UN Women supported the GBV specialist of ONE action in Mali for the mobilization of resources and the implementation of activities in the framework of the development of the national strategy to combat gender-based violence in Mali.
UN Women is an active member of the Network for Protection against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Mali. Within this framework, focal point training activities were organized at national and regional level in collaboration with UNFPA and UNICEF. Information feedback mechanisms have been put in place and sensitization sessions have been conducted on the radio and at the community level to encourage people to use these mechanisms, including the toll-free number 80 333 to disclose cases of abuse. sexual exploitation.
UNW Cameroon has coordinated the UNCT SWAP scorecard process and the elaboration of action plan. The country office has been engaged in the implementation of the UNSWAP Scorecard plan and has succeeded in inscribing gender in the 2018 UNCT annual work plan. The office has also worked to mainstream gender in joint programs of the 2018-2020 UNDAF. The coordination of development support between the Government and technical partners has launched sector platforms; among the said Platforms, UN Women has been co-lead of the cross-cutting gender platform with the Ministry of women empowerment and also co-lead of the platform on social development with the Ministry of Social Affairs. Concerning the normative work, UN Women has supported the elaboration of the 6th Cameroon’s CEDAW report, coordinating with other UN agencies to input it and to make it a consensual report with other stakeholders (civil society, private sector…).UN Women coordinated the activities for 16 days campaign on violence against women and girls with the annual theme of “leave no one behind”. In the Far North region, GBV humanitarian working group under UN Women’s co-lead coordinated relevant activities with partners
UN Women Liberia Office celebrates the 25th of every month as Orange Day as part of the UN Secretary-General’s UNITE to End Violence Against Women. UN Staff wear Orange colors to raise public awareness and increase political will to address all forms of violence against women and girls. In 2016, UN Women collaborated with the More Than Me Academy (a school for vulnerable girls) to raise awareness on school related violence and a call for actions against those who exploit women and girls. Also, in 2017, UN Women in collaboration with UNMIL Gender Unit held a program at the UNMIL Headquarter for UN Staff as a means of raising awareness and getting staff to contribute to a world free from violence against women and girls. The SRSG reminded staff of the Secretary-General Zero Tolerance Against Sexual Exploitation & Abuse.
UN Women Liberia leads the Government of Liberia/United Nations Joint Programme on SGBV and HTP. The organization is working with community leaders, traditional leaders and paramount chiefs to address issues of Harmful Traditional Practices and other forms of violence that subject women to humiliation.
UN Women Liberia is a member of the National Gender Based Taskforce that meets once every month to discuss issues affecting women and girls and review County level action point for redress. The Taskforce recently protested the amendment of the 2006 Rape Law to make same bailable.
The organization is also part of the ressuscitation of the Inter-Agency PSEA Network. UNMIL had previously coordinated the network until their departure from Liberia
The MUSKOKA programme brings together four United Nations agencies, namely UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO and UN WOMEN. Through the FFM, simple, innovative and effective solutions are implemented to prevent maternal and infant mortality. Solutions to reduce maternal and child deaths include access to quality maternal care and skilled health personnel before, during and after childbirth. The added value of UN Women within the MUSKOKA mechanism is based on its mandate as an entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, more specifically on its focus on combating violence against women, a source of inequality, lack of access by women to decision-making processes and resources, but also a cause of endangering their lives, which is aggravated during pregnancy and childbirth following the prevention and response to such violence.
UN WOMEN has adopted a holistic approach: prevention and response. The objective of these activities is to promote and facilitate women's access to maternal health through:
- The creation of reproductive health service demands;
- The development of communication and mobilization campaigns;
- The implementation of strategies and actions against discriminatory practices and gender-based violence (GBV);
- Care for survivors of violence, identification of links between violence against women and maternal mortality and improvement of knowledge on the subject.;
- The men's club;
- The creation of multi-actor platforms;
- In addition, the impulse of the demand for maternal health services requires a good knowledge of the factors that cause difficulties in the relationship between women, girls and health workers in the regions of Maradi, Tillabery, Dosso and Tahoua;
- Rehabilitation of multimedia centre for access to information on GBV, gender, SSRJA, women's rights, etc;
- The involvement of religious, traditional and local leaders in the fight against GBV;
The results obtained:
- 10,000 girls and women, men sensitized on GBV, prevention of early pregnancies and reproductive health services through awareness caravans in Dosso, Maradi, Tillabéry and Tahoua;
- A traditional leader in Maradi has been identified as a champion in the fight against GBV in Maradi, where the highest rate of GBV is recorded in Niger;
- Two Muslim and Christian religious leaders were identified as champions in the fight against GBV in Niamey and Tahoua;
- More than 500 women, girls, boys and men in Dosso have increased access to information about GBV, the type of GBAS through the multimedia centre;
- More than 100 women and girls in Dosso have been trained on the use of INTICs for access to SRH information;
- More than 200 leaders have increased their sensitivity to GBV and SSR Dosso, Maradi, Tillabéry and Tahoua;
- More than 500 boys, men, and leaders recruited and committed within associations and clubs to fight GBV, women's rights and gender;
- A study on the satisfaction of SRH beneficiaries is currently being validated.
- All these achievements contributed to enlist men, women, girls and boys, decision makers, local and religious leaders for the respect of women's rights, girls' rights, gender and the fight against GBV.
Gender-Based Violence Sub-Working Group (GBV-SWG) is an inter-agency coordination group set up to ensure coherence in the humanitarian responses of partners in Nigeria. UN Women is a member of the group with UNFPA as the chair. During the reporting period, GBV partners together scaled up engagement with leaders and communities with sensitisation on GBV/SEA principles and during the 2017 16 Days of Activitism, GBV partners across the affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe held series of activities ranging from policy dialogues with leaders, engaging young people in and out of school through debates, public processions, town hall meetings, a series of activities with women's groups within women and girls friendly spaces, livelihood bazaar, radio talk shows among others to demand zero tolerance to GBV. At the close of 2017, the GBV partners took stock of their interventions; there were evidences that there is better understanding of the GBV protection situation and needs among partners, partners together reached 66,413 (27,005 women, 15,392 girls, 13,675 men and 10,186 boys) individuals with various interventions. Out of which 9,479 individuals received psychological first aid and various psychosocial support interventions, 1,682 accessed medical services and some 440 accessed other specialised services through case management and referrals. Overall from Janaury to November 2017, GBV sub sector partners together have collectively benefitted 797,640 (364,897 women, 188,347 girls, 148,066 men and 95,523 boys) individuals, reaching 80% of the overall target for 2017
The UNCT in Jordan - under the leadership of UN Women, in collaboration with the Jordanian National Commission for Women and in partnership with the civil society and members of the international community launched the 16 Days of View More
The UNCT in Jordan - under the leadership of UN Women, in collaboration with the Jordanian National Commission for Women and in partnership with the civil society and members of the international community launched the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence national campaign under the theme ‘Too young to marry’. Key highlights include:
- More than 1,374 people directly engaged in activities organized by UN Women– the majority of which were youth and those living outside the capital;
- around 350 events were organized in the country during the campaign, generating increased interest and discussions on the issue from different perspectives in participatory approach.
- 3.9 million users reached on social media through the various hashtags and social media content used. 375,349 social media users were reached only during the ‘orange hour’ which marked the beginning of the campaign on 25 Nov 2017 (hashtag ‘16daysjo’ trending on Twitter).
- Original song by The Voice winner Nidaa Sharara reached half a million views on Youtube.
- Systematic engagement of local-based initiatives, media professionals, youth movements and members of the international community.
- 3 policy papers presented during the dedicated event organized with judges and justice sector professionals.
UN Women strengthened its support to CSOs and national partners’ initiatives in the context of the UNiTE campaign. A focus was given to raise the awareness of boys and men through 11 initiatives that took place during the UNITE SG’s campaign : the launching event with the UNCT (orange balloons), 5 projects / activities were developed with CSOs for dedicated and intensified awareness-raising efforts during or close to the 16 Days of activism campaign (Aquarium, Zanka Bla Violence, ARMCDH, AMDF, Printemps de la Dignité) , 2 partnerships engaging the main written, tv and radio media for a 16-day coverage of the campaign (EcoMedias, 2M SOREAD), a digital awareness-raising campaign on UN Women Maghreb twitter account and UN Women Arabic Twitter and Facebook accounts and a communication campaign through weekly videos around the slogan « Because I am a man » that succeeded in reaching over 500K likes, shares and likes on Facebook alone and more than 32% of the audience share on TV broadcast. Three awareness-raising workshops on women’s human rights and gender-based stereotypes were held in three different cities towards youth (in a high-school (29 Dec), a fine arts institute (13 Dec) and a business and management school (26 Dec)) through the use of cartoons to initiate debate around these issues.
In 2017, UN Women Algeria used social networks to launch its largest 16 days EVAW campaign to date, impacting several millions of Algerians. Leveraging the potential of social media, 20 Algerian public figures - writers, singers, actors, scholars – and a leading mobile operator joined the 16 days campaign by taking position against GBV. UNW Algeria invited 20 national figures - writers, singers, actors, scholars - to speak up against violence towards women and girls. Their quotes were then disseminated across social medias between November 25 and December 10, in partnership with civil society organizations, major national media and other UN agencies. An advocacy video was also produced gathering the quotes and will be uploaded to Youtube in support of the 2018 16 days campaign. UNW also partnered with mobile phone operator Djezzy who sent bulk messages on GBV to its subscribers each of the 16 days. As a result, more than 16 million Algerians from all over the country received an awareness-raising message, which contained information on the 16 days campaign in both Arabic and French.
Within the 16 Days of Activism against GBV, UN Women in partnership with ABAAD and National Commission for Lebanese Women, launched the “LifeForLife” public campaign, which aimed to amend Chapter Seven of the Lebanese Penal Code. More specifically, the call is to amend the law that condemns any offender found guilty of sexual assault of a daughter, sister, granddaughter, nieces or any person of whom he has physical or legal custody with a life sentence in prison. Incest rape is one of the most dangerous and most widespread forms of rape and sexual assault in Lebanon.