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)
Issues # 5 and 6 of Words to Action, DAW’s (now part of UN Women) quarterly newsletter on violence against women, was produced with feature articles on sexual violence in conflict settings, and the vital role of CEDAW in eliminating violence against women.Hide
UNIFEM, now part of UN Women, continued advocacy related to Security Council resolutions 1888 and 1889. UNIFEM participated in UNCT programmes and other inter-agency initiatives in many countries, such as in the development of the UN Action-supported strategy on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.Hide
UNIFEM, now part of UN Women, as part of UN Action, contributed to the organization of a high-level colloquium on conflict-related sexual violence and peace negotiations, which shared its conclusions at a United Kingdom-hosted Security Council Arria formula meeting related to the Secretary-General’s report on Security Council Resolution 1820. UNIFEM continued to support activities to improve government and community police responses to sexual and gender-based violence in Darfur (with UNAMID).Hide
OSAGI, now part of UN Women, prepares regular annual reports of the Secretary-General on progress in the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), which also addresses the question of violence against women. It coordinated the preparation, and now supports the implementation of a United Nations system-wide action plan for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). The plan includes steps to prevent and respond to gender-based violence against women in armed conflict.Hide
As part of its work on women, peace and security, OSAGI, now part of UN Women, carries out research and analysis on gender-based violence against women in armed conflict, especially with a view to preparing reports for the Security Council. In collaboration with the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE), OSAGI coordinated the preparation of the Secretary-General's Study on Women, Peace and Security (2002), which also covers violence 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 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
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