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 every sub-region, UNIFEM (now part of UN Women) supports efforts to introduce and strengthen legislation against gender-based violence, including domestic and sexual violence, trafficking in women and forced marriage, and to ensure that all forms of violence against women are criminalized. UNIFEM also assists efforts to implement these instruments, including through the allocation of sufficient budgetary resources to end violence against women. UNIFEM facilitates the efforts of gender advocates, including women parliamentarians, for the creation and implementation of laws and policies to end violence against women.Hide
UN Women supported new or amended anti-violence legislation in India, Maldives, Mexico, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Viet Nam - on a range of forms, including sexual harassment in the workplace, domestic violence, femicide, acid violence, and sexual offences. In both Viet Nam and Uganda, elements of anti-violence legislation have been incorporated into larger Family Development and Justice, Law and Order strategies, respectively.Hide
UNIFEM, now part of UN Women, in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders, supported the introduction and strengthening of legislation against gender-based violence, including laws against domestic and sexual violence, rape and family law provisions in, for instance, Cameroon, Colombia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sierra Leone, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.Hide
UN Women Egypt in close collaboration with the National Council for Women (NCW) supported the comprehensive review of the Personal Status Laws (family laws) and Penal Code to analyze the impact of such laws on women's ability to View More
UN Women Egypt in close collaboration with the National Council for Women (NCW) supported the comprehensive review of the Personal Status Laws (family laws) and Penal Code to analyze the impact of such laws on women's ability to access justice for all forms of violence. The process brought together multiple actors in the justice chain, including members of the judiciary, prosecution, police, social affairs, in addition to specialized councils to develop draft laws and/or amend existing ones to prevent violence against women, punish perpetrators, and ensure the rights of survivors. As a result of several rounds of consultations by national stakeholders, a draft comprehensive law on violence against women, that aims to support a comprehensive response to survivors of violence, including the provision of support and protection services, was developed and will be submitted to parliament by the NCW.
UN Women has been advocating for the passage of The Anti-Domestic Violence Law, introduced to parliament in 2015 and still under review. In January 2017, the law was presented to discussion in front of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, however it failed to pass the committees. The strengths of the draft bill include provisions for services for domestic violence survivors, protection orders (restraining orders) and penalties for their breach, and the establishment of a cross-ministerial committee to combat domestic violence. However, the law does not set penalties for committing the crime of domestic violence, does not repeal provisions in the Iraqi Penal Code that condone domestic violence (such as weaker penalties for ‘honor crimes’), and prioritizes reconciliation over justice.In November, an amendment to the Personal Status Law (No. 188 of 1959) was proposed that would allow men to marry girls as young as 9 years old. The bill indicates that when issuing decisions on personal status issues, the court should follow the rulings of religious scholars for Sunni or Shiite sects, depending on the husband's faith (i.e. the Scholars' Congregation at the Shiite Endowment Diwan or Scholars' Fatwa Council which represents Sunni jurisprudence). The efforts of CSO’s, women activists, women committee in the parliament and UN agencies including UN Women led to the withdraw of the draft law from the parliament agenda by mid-November.
UN Women first acted through supporting the civil society in its advocacy efforts to align draft law no 103.13 with international norms and standards, and more especially through supporting the memorandums of the coalition Printemps de la Dignité composed of 25 NGOs throughout the national territory. The coalition is specialized in advocating to the government and to the Parliament on laws and public policies related to EVAW, and has developed a Memorandum on each of the expected reforms and defended their arguments before the Ministry of Justice. UN Women has supported the coalition providing it with tools and guidance on international norms, laws and strategies to EVAW.
UN WomenPalestine supported national counterparts to develop a Family Protection Bill (FPB) in line with international human rights standards. UNW's support included technical advice to the technical committee that was formed by the Council of Ministries to work on the FPB. UNW also facilitated the engagement of the CSOs in this process through sensitizing partners on the rights of CSOs to take part in this process and supporting CSOs simultaneously by providing them with technical and financial support to advocate for the adoption of a responsive bill. UNW has also supported the justice sector strategy to identify legislative priorities for the years 2017- 2022 , which included the penal code, the personal status law, the family protection bill, cybercrime law and others.
UN Women Lebanon, in cooperation with several activist civil society organizations, supported a campiagn in 2016 to repeal article 522 of the Penal Code related to rape-marriage, which releases the perpetrator in case he marries the victim. In June 2017, the campaing efforts were materialized with the approval of the Parliament to repeal the article.
After the promulgation of the revised Family Code, United Nations agencies mobilized to disseminate texts and laws favorable to women's rights (the Family Code, the Parity Act, the Child Protection Act, the View More
After the promulgation of the revised Family Code, United Nations agencies mobilized to disseminate texts and laws favorable to women's rights (the Family Code, the Parity Act, the Child Protection Act, the Act on the Punishment of Sexual Violence and the Act on the Protection of Persons Living with HIV), The Maputo Protocol on Gender and Development, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN Security Council resolutions (notably Resolution 1325) during the 16 Days of Activism campaigns in November 2017, Amani Festival in February 2018 and Women's Month in March 2018. A draft bill on the reparation and compensation mechanism for victims of sexual violence has been submitted to the Senate. The agencies support the government in the process of reviewing the national strategy to combat sexual and gender-based violence and the national action plan 1325.
Senegal has a legal framework favorable to the elimination of gender-based violence through the law against excision, the law on parity, the law for nationality, the Senegal Emerging Plan, the National Strategy for Equity and Gender Equality, the National Strategy for the Promotion of Rights and Protection of Children.
In the continued efforts to support the implementation of the CEDAW and other international and regional normative frameworks on women’s human rights, in 2017 the UN Women supported the evaluation of the 6-years implementation of the law. The evaluation has provided several insights and evidences of the best practices and lesson learnt that informed the Government in how to improve the procedures and promote new responses to face the challenges of the implementation of the GBV law. This analysis has provided key elements for the monitoring of the national goals for eliminating GBV in alignment with international human rights and gender frameworks and provided guidance’s to where the actors responsible for the application of the law should improve to better tackle this phenomenon in Cabo Verde. The Evaluation of the Implementation of GBV Law has been a powerful instrument of discussion and analyses, UNW supported the government by presenting the final results to public and stakeholders. The conducted evaluation has shown, that, even so, challenges persist, including with the moroseness of judicial responses and in the institutionalization of victim support services, geared toward their sustainability thereof.
Thanks to the support of development partners including UN Women and a draft law against female circumcision submitted to the National Assembly (NA) of Mali by the PACTE Group, the idea of a law against GBV was formed on the initiative of a working commission composed of national and international organizations under the aegis of the NGO ACORD Mali supported by UN Women. The Government of Mali through the Ministry of Women has taken the lead through the National Programme to Combat the Practice of Excision (PNLE). A committee to monitor the law was set up by ministerial order and this committee delegated a technical team of five national and international experts (two lawyers and an anthropologist from Mali and two volunteer Canadian legal advisors) to draft a bill against GBV in Mali. The Ministry of Gender and the Ministry of Justice will bring this draft bill before the Government and the National Assembly.
In humanitarian settings, the capacity and the level of ownership of police forces as a primary protection actor on violence against women issues has significantly increased in 2017. Their increased commitment and actions in the field translating the humanitarian principles and national standards in coordination with other humanitarian actors resulted in gender-based violence cases received by gender desk officers at police stations. UNWOMEN also started to work with judicial actors on VAW in 2017 through magistrat training, and it is expected that further collaborative work with Ministry of Justice will continue in 2018 to strengthen their capacity to treat cases with sensitivity and full understanding of the VAW issues
Except for the 2014 Amendment of the Elections Law of Liberia which calls for the list of candidates from political party or coalition to have no less than 30% of its members/candidates from each gender, there are 3 key laws still before the National Legislature for passage; Domestic Violence Law, Land Rights Law and the CRC.
The Constitution of 25 November 2011 and all subsequent texts support the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, including the quota law which grants a certain number of elective and nominative places to women the 1325 decree 2017 on the retention of girls in school. All these texts exist but the effectiveness of their application remains problematic.
GUINEA CONAKRY, TOGO, CHAD
Knowledge production and advocacy on violence and maternal health
In Guinea Conakry, about 100 health workers have been trained on GBV and its consequences.
In Togo, the same study generated strong interest from partners. The United Nations system and UNFPA are taking a closer look at this phenomenon.
In Guinea, the capacities of 100 health providers were sensitized on violence in delivery rooms with the contribution of several local NGOs.
Chad has organized advocacy for the dissemination of the penal code through the training of community leaders on the provisions of the penal code and Law 029 prohibiting child marriage.
The UN Gender Theme Group for the Pacific, co-chaired by UN Women and UNFPA, revised its Terms of Reference to include responses to gender-based violence in emergencies, including the development of Surge Capacity for immediate response in humanitarian emergencies, as well as the development of government-NGO Communities of Practice on gender-based to facilitate capacity-building and prepraredness.Hide
UN Women supported the UN system through the Gender Score Card in 2015 but in February 2018 the gender focal points of the agencies were on gender accountability. In June and July 2017, there was a regional View More
UN Women supported the UN system through the Gender Score Card in 2015 but in February 2018 the gender focal points of the agencies were on gender accountability. In June and July 2017, there was a regional capacity-building workshop on gender mainstreaming and gender-based violence response in emergencies and humanitarian crises. Several agencies (UN Women, UNFPA, UNHCR, GenCap) took part. The revitalization of the One UN Gender Team allows a good readability of gender interventions in the DRC. Jointly, support was given to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Family for the organization of the forum of ministers and heads of gender division for the coordination of gender issues.
UN Women in Senegal, through its leadership ensured the coordination of interventions on the elimination of gender-based violence. Thus, the activities of the gender thematic group work to strengthen this momentum for the protection and health of women and girls.
In additional to mobilizing UN agencies to implement advocacy campaigns and of knowledge sharing, UN Women Cabo Verde has been able to engage different agencies in the elaboration of joint programme proposals to address gender inequality, including gender-based violence. Among projects in pipeline, there are 3 projects related to GBV, being one about Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights program (UN-Women, UNFPA, UNICEF), the second on human security and resilience (UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNODC), and the third one on GEWE, being GBV one out of the three domains. In the two first GBV is considered as one of the main issue to be addressed.
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
Through the Gender Theme Group, UN Women Liberia coordinates UN Support to the Government of Liberia, especially with international celebrations such as the International Women Day and the 16 Days of Activism. Besides, in 2018, UN Women is hosting a GenCap Advisor to strengthen the capacities of Gender Specialist within the UN System. The GenCap Advisor provides technical leadership and support to UNCT on Gender Equality programming as well as building the capacity to ensure that Gender specific needs are taken into consideration in the planning and the implementation of programes in Liberia. This includes mainstreaming gender in the development of the new UNDAF.
UN-Women Niger is the vice-chair of the thematic group. This status enables it to contribute to the coordination of activities on the elimination of gender-based violence, gender mainstreaming and women's rights.
The UN Women support the GTG to ensuring that the capacity of members are built to enable them better understand the issues of GEWE and GBV.
In 2017, through its chair of the Gender Thematic Group, UN Women Morocco organized several thematic sessions on EVAW issues for gender focal points of the UN System. A session was dedicated to the presentation and analysis of View More
In 2017, through its chair of the Gender Thematic Group, UN Women Morocco organized several thematic sessions on EVAW issues for gender focal points of the UN System. A session was dedicated to the presentation and analysis of the recently-adopted law on human traffiking, and was animated by UN Women's partner from the Ministry of Justice, the Magistrate in charge of criminal cases involving children and women. Another session was co-organized with UNFPA and the Ministry of Health to present its annual report on State of the World Population and the Ministry's sectoral programme on EVAW. Finally, the GTG served as a coordination platform for the 16 Days campaign and all agencies were invited by UN Women to commemorate together the International Day to End Violence Against Women and Girls that was organized on November 24, 2017, with a release of hundreds of ecofriendly orange balloons and with the presence of the Resident Coordiantor and the Ministry of Women's Affairs.
Issues # 5 and 6 of Words to Action, DAW’s (now part of UN Women) quarterly newsletter on violence against women, was produced with feature articles on sexual violence in conflict settings, and the vital role of CEDAW in eliminating violence against women.Hide