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)
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
In March 2012, the Asia-Pacific Regional Coordination Mechanism Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (TWG-GEEW), co-chaired by ESCAP and UN WOMEN, established a Working Group on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). The Working Group strengthens interagency cooperation and collaboration in support of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the region and provides a forum to address issues related to this agenda, including sexual violence in conflict situations. ESCAP and UN Women provide a joint secretariat for the Working Group, which also supports the Regional Advisory Group in implementing its workplan to advance the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the Asia-Pacific region.Hide
In Nepal, UN Women in close collaboration with the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, supported the activation of 28 District Coordination Committees (DCCs) in the five development regions of the country to implement the NAP on 1325 and 1820. UN Women also supports proposal submissions to the Nepal Peace Trust Fund for implementation of the NAP on 1325 and 1820.Hide
UNDP, UN WOMEN and UNICEF have collaborated on a number of initiatives, including: development of “Integrated Responses to Gender-Based Violence in Serbia" to be implemented in 2013-2014 with funding from UN Trust Fund to end Violence against Women; the joint programme “Every Safe Home: Supporting Thailand towards Effective Implementation of Protection of Domestic Violence Victims” aimed at strengthening coordination, capacity-building and public awareness to end violence against women in public and private spaces; and integration of GBV in the security sector reform process of Guinea.Hide
UN Women has provided an array of support to implement laws and policies and improve access to services. Such support has included: formalization of multi-sectoral mechanisms with 13 departments led by the Ministry of Justice in Morocco; One-stop centres and shelters for survivors of violence in Afghanistan, Burundi, Ethiopia, DRC, Guatemala, Mozambique, OPT, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Tunisia; increased police capacities to respond in Ethiopia, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Thailand; and access to justice to end impunity in Argentina, Brazil, India, Kosovo, Lao PDR, Tanzania, Zimbabwe; institutionalization of national standards for sheltering services, sustainability of the Mehwar Centre and establishment of the comprehensive service centre -Al Hayat Centre in the State of Palestine; legal aid services in Zimbabwe; joint support with UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA and PAHO to the Domestic Violence Office of the Supreme Court of Justice in Argentina; and at the request of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, facilitated a capacity assessment for the deployment of female officers to the borders, support for an equal treatment and equal opportunity policy and together with the Liberia National Police developed a Gender Sensitive Basic Curriculum for Recruits. In Nepal, UN Women supported dissemination of standard operating procedures on violence against women for distric level police and supported the establishment of POURAKHI (an organisation of women migrant workers, now functional in 15 districts) who assist migrant workers who have faced abuse.Hide
In October 2012, on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN WOMEN –co-hosted a high-level event in New York to address the issue of child marriage and called for renewed global action to end the practice.Hide
UNICEF and UNMIL collaborated with Ministry of Gender and Development in Liberia to convene a retreat on Child rape in October 2012. Also in Liberia, UNFPA supported the Ministry of Gender and Development to collaborate with civil society groups to launch and build capacity of the GBV observatory to help raise awareness of the referral pathway and issues rlated to teenage pregnancy, early marriage and rape. Several advocacy initiatives were undertaken by THINK and CEP (UNFPA funded partners) to address the issue of SGBV, including strengthening of six networks and four community outreach sessions. Dialogue was initiated with traditional leaders and men’s and women’s groups to address harmful Traditional Practices, resulting in the Ministry of Internal Affair’s announcement that FGM is prohibited and prosecutable. UN Women continues to expand the Peace Huts, emphasizing the role of women as peace builders and recognizes their key role in engaging with local authorities for prevention, increasing women’s voice and supporting them in engaging with authorities to improve access to justice, and provide active accompaniment of women and girls who are survivors of violence.Hide
The priority theme of the 57th Commission on the Status of Women CSW (2013) is Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. Several UN agencies have undertaken initiatives to mobilise on the topic, with UN Women leading the CSW process. UN Women, UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF and WHO co-organized a first-ever Expert Group Meeting hosted in Bangkok with the support of ESCAP on prevention of violence against women in lead up to CSW. An on-line discussion on CSW 57th Session priority theme was organized from the 23rd July to the 3rd August 2012, with multiple stakeholders; and an Inter-agency consultation process for ongoing preparations for CSW 57th Session was established with UNDP, UN ESCAP, UNICEF, UNFPA, OHCHR, UNODC, ILO, WHO to ensure a coordinated UN System approach.Hide
UN Women drafted and submitted two Secretary-General’s reports on “Intensification of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women” (A/67/220), and “Trafficking in women and girls” (A/67/170). Technical inputs and expertise was also provided to the co-chairs of the General Assembly’s 67th Session on the resolutions on “Intensification of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women” (A/RES/67/144) and “Trafficking in women and girls” (A/RES/67/145), respectively, as well as to Member States more generally. Negotiations on the two resolutions were monitored throughout the GA 67th Session. Negotiations on the General Assembly’s resolution on “Intensification of global efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilations” (A/RES/67/146) were also monitored.Hide
In Latin America, OHCHR and UN Women, together with the Spanish Federation of Human Rights Organizations and the Carlos IIII University of Madrid supported the formulation of a regional Protocol for the investigation of Femicide. The protocol will assist in strengthening national capacities to investigate, prosecute, punish and redress femicide. The Protocol will be promoted through, inter alia, regional and international human rights mechanisms. In Kosovo, OHCHR supported the development of a national action plan on Security Council resolution 1325.Hide