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 Mauritania, UN Women supported gender equality advocates for the implementation of the Africa UNiTE campaign, and a draft law for the prevention and punishment of violence against women was presented in November 2011, to members of the government, more than 50 national non-government organizations, and to the main donors and technical partners. This draft law constitutes a key advocacy tool for bringing about legislation on eliminating gender-based violence and mainstreaming this issue into national policies. In Algeria, UN Women continued to support the advocacy efforts of some members of the non-government coalition for the criminalization of violence against women, which contributed to the submission of a draft law making gender-based violence a criminal offence. In January 2012, it was reported that the Algerian Parliament Bureau reviewed the draft law and decided to submit it to the next session of Parliament for discussion. In Morocco, UN Women supported the Spring Time for Dignity Coalition, which led it to develop its communication and advocacy strategy and finalize the preparation and update of its Memorandum on the gender-sensitive reform of the penal code in light of the provisions of the new constitution adopted in July 2011. In Afghanistan, UN Women provided technical assistance and substantive support to the Afghanistan Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) Commission to support the implemention of the Law on EVAW. OHCHR/UNAMA also supported the implementation of the new law by undertaking monitoring, advocacy and capacity-building activities.Hide
The Supplement to the Handbook for Legislation on Violence Against Women: “Harmful Practices” Against Women was published, and its final version is available on the website of UN Women in all UN official languages, at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/vaw/v-handbook.htm#handbook_supp. This Supplement should be read and used together with the Handbook for legislation on violence against women. Hard copies were also produced.Hide
In Bolivia, under the umbrella of the UNiTE Campaign, the Interagency Gender Group, coordinated by UN Women, and the Ministry of Justice and multiple stakeholders worked together for the adoption of the Supreme Decree declaring 2012 year of No violence against Women. This decree will enable to reform legislation in order to include concepts such as femicide and sexual harassment as well as improving services for women victims of violence. UN Women provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)’ shelters’ technical committee to provide comments to the first national by-laws for the establishment of shelters. UN Women has supported the adoption of stronger legal frameworks and policies addressing violence against women (VAW) through ASEAN mechanisms, as well as by supporting national level efforts. In China, Indonesia and Thailand, UN Women and other UN agencies jointly assist the governments to establish multi-sectoral coordination systems to respond to and prevent VAW with the UN EVAW Trust Fund grant. For example, in a project of the UN Country Team in Thailand funded by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, UN Women, along with UNFPA, OHCHR, and UNDP, is working with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security to achieve effective implementation of Thailand’s Domestic Violence Victims Act (DVVA) through pilot programmes, monitoring and evaluation, and public awareness activities. In El Salvador, UN Women offered technical support prior to the approval of the Law on Equality, Equity and Eradication of Discrimination against Women.Hide
UN Women developed, as requested by the Secretary-General and in collaboration with DPKO and UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict, early warning indicators of conflict-related sexual violence, to be adapted to relevant country-based contexts, integrated into existing and emerging early warning systems, and used by a broad range of protection actors. These indicators were endorsed by the UN Action Steering Committee and will be rolled out in 2012.Hide
In Colombia, prior to the adoption of the Victim and Land Restitution Law, UN Women provided technical assistance to the government to incorporate a gender perspective and promoted regional consultations with women`s organizations and a public hearing at the National Congress. This law recognizes that women are among the most vulnerable victims and therefore they need to receive special attention in the provision of medical and physiological services, access to education and restitution of their properties.Hide
UN Women supported the Afghanistan Ministry of Women’s Affairs to collect data on violence against women (VAW) and set up a web-based database and coding system on VAW. UN Women and UNDP supported an assessment of gender-based violence (GBV) Prevalence, Trends, Legal Recourse, Impact Focusing on Conflict and Transitional Period in ten selected districts of Terai, Nepal. GBV was found to be widely prevalent during the conflict and the transition phase. Recommendations were made to various government and development agencies and non-governmental organizations.Hide
UN Women organized for community-led programming at the country level, such as in Liberia with its continued support to women’s peace huts, where women volunteers refer survivors of gender-based violence to medical, psychosocial and justice services, carry out grassroots mediation to prevent conflict, and have even investigated cases of sexual violence and referred them to police stations; the development of referral pathways for survivors in Timor-Leste, in collaboration with other UN entities, local women’s organizations, and local succo chiefs; and the organization of neighborhood safety patrols near Haiti’s IDP camps along the same routes as the women use to go to school, the market, or water pumps, in order to mark out areas for improved lighting or police presence and encourage women and girls to report any instances of gender-based violence.Hide
The report of the High Level Panel on remedies and reparations for victims of sexual violence in the DRC was launched in March 2011. A joint follow-up project with UN Women was developed and is being implemented. It focuses on the development of small pilot initiatives in the areas of Bukavu and Shabunda, in close consultations with the victims and with the participation of the State. They include economic reinsertion initiatives; symbolic reparations and support for payment of court awarded damages.Hide
In partnership with DPKO and the Office of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, UN Women developed scenario-based pre-deployment training for military peacekeepers to prevent and respond to sexual violence, which were tested in several troop contributing countries, such as Nepal where 466 army personnel were trained. Both the Security Council, in resolution 1960, and the Secretary-General, in his annual report on conflict-related sexual violence, have encouraged member states to incorporate these modules into their regular training for peace operations.Hide
From 13 to 14 September 2011, the Regional Coordination Mechanism Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (RCM TWG-GEEW) (co-chaired by ESCAP and UN Women) organised and hosted the Inaugural Meeting of the Regional Advisory Group on Women and Peace and Security, during which the terms of reference were adopted and priority areas for action and support were discussed. The outcome was shared in an open session (“Priorities for Implementing United Nations Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in the Asia-Pacific region”). In addition, at its 2 September 2011 meeting, the RCM TWG-GEEW agreed to establish a UNiTE Working Group under its auspices, which is now working to implement the UNiTE Campaign in the Asia-Pacific region.Hide