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)
A workshop, organised in partnership with WHO, UNAIDS and UNIFEM, now part of UN Women, , was held in Kenya in December 2010 to address the integration of gender-based violence into national AIDS strategies.Hide
Former UNIFEM now part of UN Women provided advisory services for the development of the National Action Plan to Implement Measures for the Elimination of Domestic Violence and Protection of Victims of Domestic Violence (2011-2012) in Georgia; the Multi-Sectoral National Action Plan on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in St. Kitts and Nevis; the National Gender-Based Violence Plan of Action (2010-2013) in Belize and Gender Based Violence, Responses and Complaints Protocols in Grenada and Belize; for the formulation of Kosovo’s Draft Strategy and Action Plan against Domestic Violence; and for Nigeria’s development of the Action Plan to Promote enactment of anti-GBV legislation. In Burundi, advocacy for the implementation of the National Strategy to Fight against sexual gender-based violence resulted in national budget allocations to the Ministry of Gender and the Ministry of Justice, including to establish sexual gender-based violence focal points in 6 ministries.Hide
Advocacy and assistance by former UNIFEM now part of UN Women contributed to: improved policies and service delivery for women survivors of violence in Kazakhstan, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Haiti, Pakistan; increased access to legal assistance in Algeria, Kenya, Morocco, FYR Macedonia, Colombia, Argentina and Thailand; and economic empowerment initiatives for women survivors of violence in Morocco and Georgia. Additionally, in the context of the International Conference on the Role of Security Organs in Ending violence against women and girls in the framework of the UNiTE to End Violence Campaign, 12 African countries adopted the Kigali Declaration on the Role of Security Organs, reaffirming their commitments for action to continue building on best practice to expand justice and services for survivors in the continent.Hide
In December 2010, UNDP and UN Women organized a workshop in Kampala, attended by several experts on transitional justice issues and reparation, focusing also on gender, with the objective to initiate a more integrated UN approach to reparations.Hide
Implementation continued of the multi-country programme of UNIFEM now part of UN Women on community-based peacebuilding and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence in Timor Leste, Liberia, Uganda, and Haiti. The joint programming initiative under the Inter-agency Task Force on Violence against Women works to develop the capacities of national stakeholders to achieve specific international commitments.Hide
Former OSAGI, now part of UN Women, led and coordinated the preparation of the annual Report of the Secretary-General on women and peace and security (S/2010/498), which was presented to the Security Council during a Ministerial-level Open Debate (26 October 2010) to mark the tenth anniversary of the adoption of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000). The report included as an annex a set of indicators for use at the global level to track the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). A major recommendation of this report relates to the development of a framework to guide the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) over the next decade.Hide
With sponsorship from the Government of Norway, OSAGI, now part of UN Women, collaborated with INSTRAW and ECLAC, to develop an online training course entitled Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) in Latin America and the Caribbean to be distributed by the Peace Operations Training Institute (POTI). A second course on the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) in Africa, is being finalised for distribution. The courses will provide students with an overview of the resolution as well as context-specific issues and challenges that impact effective implementation, and will outline the process of developing a National Action Plan on resolution 1325 (2000).As chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Women, Peace and Security former OSAGI and UNIFEM- now both part of UN Women, in consultations with Member States and UN entities, led and coordinated the development of both the framework and the set of indicators to track the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).Hide
Former UNIFEM now part of UN Women launched the Global Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls Programme in Cairo, Kigali, New Delhi, Quito and Port Moresby. Potential measures may include stronger laws and policies against violence in public spaces; training for urban planners, grass-roots women's groups and police; special audits to identify unsafe areas; mass media campaigns on "zero tolerance" for violence against women; activities to engage local communities, men and adolescents of both sexes; and reviews of public sector budgets so that adequate resources are spent on making public areas safe for women and girls. Collecting reliable data will be an important aspect of the Safe Cities programme in order to highlight the problem and identify solutions. Other work to make cities safer for women and girls included support to establish the Social Watch Observatory on Violence against Women in El Salvador; and engagement with transportation unions to address violence against women and harassment in public transportation in Haiti. Community-level awareness raising initiatives were supported in Morocco and Yemen; and traditional, local and religious leaders were mobilized in Cameroon and Sudan to become advocates and champions in the fight against gender-based violence. In New Dehli (India) a project implemented in partnership between UN-HABITAT and former UNIFEM (part of UN Women) has supported the development of a strategic framework for Delhi on safety, entry point being women’s safety. A non-governmental organization, Jagori, has been developing a stakeholder interview template as part of the work on developing a strategic framework for the Delhi government on the seven pillars/institutions which are responsible for enhancing women’s safety in public spaces (urban planning and design of public spaces; provision and maintenance of public infrastructure and services; public transport; policing; legislation, justice and support to victims; education; civic awareness). Jagori and UN Habitat consultant have been holding a series of consultations with key stakeholders.Hide
In Asia-Pacific, the work of the inter-agency initiative “Partners for Prevention” (P4P) was ongoing. Engagingmen.net (www.engagingmen.net) is a website where practitioners can share resources and learn about training opportunities. “Partners for Prevention” (P4P) organized several training sessions to support national social media campaigns in China, India, and Indonesia. Demand Media, a leading online media company and expert in developing social media platforms, provides pro bono support for the national campaigns. In December 2010, P4P organized a meeting with various stakeholders from Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Fiji, the Philippines and Vietnam, who work to engage boys and men for ending violence against women. The participants agreed to work together to develop regional curricula and a collective approach for knowledge creation and sharing across the region. In December 2010, the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) “Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Children” met in Port Macquarie, Australia, where male parliamentarians from 13 countries signed a pledge to take action in their own countries and to stand together as a collective group to advocate for more actions for violence prevention among their peers. “Partners for Prevention” is supporting the Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians as a collaborative partner with AFPPD and UNFPA. “Partners for Prevention” and AFPPD are conducting research on the challenges that parliamentarians face in moving prevention policy forward, and on ways to support them in their role in preventing violence.Hide
The former Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues (OSAGI, now part of UN Women) raised the question of violence against women and girls, including the crime of sexual violence in conflict situations, on various occasions; brought violations of women’s human rights to the attention of the Secretary-General of the United Nations; and the Special Adviser in her advocacy efforts urged various stakeholders to join the UNiTE campaign to end violence against women and to end impunity for perpetrators.Hide