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 carried out advocacy on the situation and conditions of Palestinian women in Israeli prisons internationally, through multi-media, itinerant, and photo exhibit. In Algeria, UN Women supported the advocacy efforts carried out by the AVIFE non-government organization, which is part of the Wassila network, on domestic violence and its impacts on women and children both at national and local level: The second edition of the “Black Book” on domestic violence was published and workshops for non-government organizations were conducted in 3 regions. UN Women also supported the Ytto Foundation advocacy efforts to end forced marriage of minor girls and regularization of customary weddings in Morocco through caravans known as “Caravan of Peace, Equality and Citizenship.” In 2011, the caravan covered more than 20 villages in remote areas. A documentary film on this issue was also produced which had a powerful impact on decision-makers. As a result, the Minister of Justice has launched missions led by judges and court clerks to ensure registration of customary marriages and enrolment in vital statistics of children born out of such marriages. UN Women organized a regional seminar in Morocco with the participation of counseling centers from Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania. Participating non-governmental organizations acquired a better understanding of the importance of working in networks and of the process of campaigning, and have exchanged best practices on ending gender-based violence.Hide
Gender-based violence prevention has been integrated into urban upgrading through the Barrios de Verdad (Real Neighborhoods) World Bank project in Bolivia. The project operates in collaboration with UNIFEM, now part of UN Women, and DFID in sixteen poor neighborhoods in La Paz. Along with other activities the project built indoor sanitation facilities and street lighting to improve pedestrian mobility and women’s security, which are said to have decreased outdoor violence against women. Several urban transport projects financed by the World Bank now include in their design indoor sanitation facilities and street lighting to improve pedestrian mobility and women’s security.Hide
UN Women launched an initiative to celebrate the International Day on Violence against Women (25th November) directed to UN Staff in Algeria with the active involvement of all UN resident agencies, in particular UNHCR, UNFPA, UNIC.Hide
UN Women leads the MDG-Fund Gender programme in Morocco, a substantial joint programme involving 13 ministries and 8 UN agencies which has supported a coordinated multi-agency response to prevent violence against women and girls.Hide
In India, UN Women is supporting a social media campaign to engage young men for the prevention of violence against women and girls (VAWG) through the ‘MUST BOL’ campaign, a call to young people to examine violence in their lives and speak out against it. Must BOL has reached over 10,000 people through social media platforms. The campaign is being expanded from Delhi to other parts of India (see http://www.mustbol.in/campaign). UN Women also supported a One Million signature campaign in Pakistan focused on public awareness-raising on some of the pending legislations and for the effective advocacy and lobbying for pro-women legislations at the provincial level. The Elimination of VAWG Alliance provincial chapter was launched in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. See http://saynotoviolence.org/join-say-no/million-names-million-voices-break-silence-end-violence-against-women-girls?Hide
In the Dominican Republic, UN Women has printed and distributed 100 T- shirts with the UNITE logo. The Interagency Gender Group, to which UN Women is the leading agency in the Dominican Republic, organized a peer working breakfast on “role and responsibilities of the Media on ending violence against women” with Mass Media, led by the Argentinean journalist on gender Liliana Hendel.Hide
In the Caribbean, the UN Women-spearheaded Partnership for Peace (PfP) Violence Intervention Programme, which was approved in 2010 in Barbados during the launch of the UNiTE campaign, is operating in Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Belize and British Virgin Islands, It has been designed to encourage men to take accountability for their actions and to support them in achieving a violence-free lifestyle. This program is aimed at men who perpetrated violence against women and have been taken to court for this crime. To date 300 men have gone through this programme that uses a psycho-educational approach to show that violent habits can be replaced with respect, open communication and healthy relationships.Hide
UN Women in the Asia-Pacific region has partnered with UNDP, UNFPA and UNV for the Regional Joint Programme “Partners for Prevention: Working with Boys and Men to Prevent Gender-based Violence Regional Joint Programme, which takes a coordinated approach to support primary prevention of gender-based violence with the deeper involvement of boys and men.Hide
Issue # 10 of Words to Action, UN Women’s quarterly newsletter on violence against women, was produced, with a feature article on reparations for women who have been subjected to violence. UN Women supported an International Conference of Islamic Scholars (Ulemas) of West Africa, Egypt and Sudan on the position of Islam regarding harmful practices perpetrated on women, at the issue of which a regional fatwa (sharia law ruling) banning female genital mutilation was adopted. This fatwa has become a key instrument to raise the awareness of the population on this issue.Hide
In Algeria, UN Women provided support to the national mechanism for women human rights to carry out the national campaign on violence against women, under the framework of the Africa UNiTE campaign to end violence. For the first time, the civil society working on violence against women has been clearly invited by the Ministry to present their work and achievements and to join their efforts to address this issue.Hide