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 2013, twenty-one countries, with the support of UN Women, took the critical step in adopting laws, policies and plans that provide the authorizing environment for concrete action to be taken to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. For example, in Bolivia, after 10 years of advocacy by the women’s movement and with the support of UN Women, the Comprehensive Law to Guarantee Women a Life Free of Violence was enacted, recognizing 16 forms of abuse, establishing new criminal offenses and making provision for comprehensive prevention and response measures.Hide
In December 2010, OHCHR and UN Women were tasked by the Secretary-General’s Policy Committee to develop a Guidance Note on reparations for victims of conflict-related sexual violence. The Guidance Note, which was informed by a study jointly commissioned by OHCHR and UN Women, provides policy and operational guidance for Member States, UN agencies, development actors, and civil society organizations on the topic, and will be finalized in the first quarter of 2014.Hide
UN Women, UN ECLAC and UNFPA held a sub-regional capacity development workshop in Paraguay – targeting mainly defense forces and civil society - on SCR 1325, with a focus on GVC and sexual and reproductive health. The workshop was based on View More
UN Women, UN ECLAC and UNFPA held a sub-regional capacity development workshop in Paraguay – targeting mainly defense forces and civil society - on SCR 1325, with a focus on GVC and sexual and reproductive health. The workshop was based on the curriculum that was developed on the issues for the Latin American and Caribbean region in 2012.Hide
The Asia-Pacific Regional Coordination Mechanism Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (TWG-GEEW), co-chaired by ESCAP and UN WOMEN, continued its engagement in support of the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda. The Thematic Working Group convened the “Second Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Regional Advisory Group on Women, Peace and Security” on 1-2 August 2013. The meeting provided a forum for the Regional Advisors to share experiences and good practices, as well as identify common concerns and strategies for accelerating progress in effective implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions. The meeting addressed the particular vulnerabilities of conflict-affected populations and concluded with recommendations on policies and strategies to strengthen implementation of the WPS agenda in Asia and the Pacific, including through national action plans to effectively protect women and girls in conflict situations.Hide
UNFPA and UN Women launched and rolled out the Joint Global Programme on Essential Services for Women and Girls subject to Violence. This Joint Programme is aimed at responding to the critical gaps and challenges that limit expanded access to quality multi-sectoral services for all women and girls victims/survivors of violence. With a particular focus on developing countries, the programme aims to achieve greater access for all women and girls who have experienced violence to a set of essential quality and coordinated multi-sectoral services. Under this initiative, a global experts meeting was convened, also in collaboration with WHO, in Bangkok, Thailand, in November 2013 to reach an agreement on the set of essential health services that are required to be provided to women and girls vulnerable to or that have been subjected to violence.Hide
In 38 countries, UN Women contributed to implementation of laws and policies, building capacity and improving coordination to expand access to health, justice, police and shelter services – fundamental responses to hold perpetrators accountable and provide better outcomes for survivors. For example, in the State of Palestine, UN Women contributed to 10 fully functioning Family Protection Units across the West Bank, resulting in a near four-fold increase in the number of women reporting abuse in 2013 over the previous year. In addition, UN Women supported two shelters and one multi-purpose centre for survivors.Hide
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
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
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
In Cambodia, with the support of UN Women, the 2nd National Action Plan to Prevent VAW has been drafted, with advocacy, capacity development, VAW costing and prevention being established as government priorities. A participatory mechanism for EVAW coordination in Cambodia has been also established, setting the ground for an integrated multi-sectoral approach.Hide