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 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
Establishment and strengthening of community mechanisms for the prevention of sexual violence. Support for "Break the Silence" and "HeForShe" campaigns, thousands of people have been reached by awareness View More
Establishment and strengthening of community mechanisms for the prevention of sexual violence. Support for "Break the Silence" and "HeForShe" campaigns, thousands of people have been reached by awareness messages on the fight against sexual violence, mainly through the involvement of community radio stations.
Senegal benefits from the commitment of communities and state institutions in the fight against gender-based violence. This community dynamic, supported by territorial and administrative authorities and elected officials at local level, strengthens the efforts of sectoral ministries to put an end to violence.
Men’s Alliance has increased on fighting GBV in Cabo Verde thanks to UNW’ support. During White Ribbon Association – Cabo Verde’s second GA, organized in partnership with UNW, a new board and President has been elected the event there was also a renewing of its members and provide a moment of reflection on the future of the Association. The opening ceremony was attended by the President of the Republic of Cabo Verde Mr. Jorge Carlos Fonseca, in his capacity of the national champion of the HeForShe campaign, who emphasized the importance of the men’s role in achieving gender equality in the country and in the world. Other individualities, such as the President of the National Assembly, representatives of political parties, Presidents and representatives of Civil society organizations, the Minister of Family and Social Inclusion, the UN Resident Coordinator, the Attorney General of the Republic, USA Ambassador and media, have attended to the event. Aligned with the HeforShe, the main lines of intervention of the Network are focused on the challenge that strives for everyone not to remain silent about gender-based violence, to assess men attitudes, language and actions, the education of young people, especially young men. UNW supported also the elaboration and presentation of the new 4 Years Strategic Plan of the Laço Branco Cabo Verde.
UN Women has adopted a systematic strategy to involve men and boys in GBV projects to have both a significant impact on prevention and repression and to encourage men and boys to be allies to support advocacy for the adoption of the draft law against GBV. A network of young girls operating throughout the territory from North to South, bringing together educated and uneducated young people, is committed to acting as a relay at the community level to inform, raise awareness and encourage their peers to disclose acts of violence but also to refer and accompany survivors to available rescue services. This network has a website with courses on GBV in French and national languages to inform and raise awareness among young people.
Another notable development around prevention is the review of the Police Code of Conduct. Indeed, GBV is common in the security forces. These acts are characterized by harassment, abuse of authority either on fellow police officers or civilian women. The country programme, in partnership with the national police authorities, has begun the process of revising the police code of conduct to include a GBV prevention and control dimension.
UWN Cameroon worked in the humanitarian settings, awareness raising activities in different forms reached a great number of women, men, girls and boys including traditional and religious leaders who maintain significant influence over social norms and behaviours at the community level, on gender-based violence, girls' education, importance of women's economic empowerment, early/forced marriage and other relevant issues. These community outreach activities were not only prevention measures but also served as a first step to inform the population on available GBV services and to encourage them to report cases in the social environment that traditionally silences the survivors of violence.
UN Women Liberia continue to conduct series of community engagement including community dialogues, the conduct of the socio-cultural audit consultative session in 6 counties with high prevalence of SGBV cases, and capacity building training for about 83 Women and Children Protection Officers, 65 prosecutors, city solicitors and court officials and 81 health workers. A total of 905 persons (478 women and 427 Males) have been reached in 2017 with targeted SGBV Messages) 2,700 youths were also reached through awareness raising and sensitization information.
In recognition of the high impact activities implemented by UN WOMEN's Niger office in recent years, it enjoys the commitment of communities (men's clubs, multidimensional clubs), institutions such as CENI (National Independent Electoral Commission), social nets, National Assembly, sectoral ministries (Gender, Hygiene and Sanitation) in the fight against gender-based violence. The results achieved by the men's and multidimensional clubs (men, women, religious and local leaders) to raise awareness among more than 10,000 people about GBV, gender, and the promotion of women's rights is a successful community model imitated by several actors
CHAD, BENIN, GUINEA, TOGO
The Community Response
In Chad, hundreds of community leaders were trained and oriented on their roles and responsibilities in the fight against GBV, maternal and child mortality through the committees to combat maternal, newborn and child morbidity and mortality. Thanks to the commitment of mayors.
"He for Her", Mobilizing Men to Promote Women's Rights
In Benin, Chad, community radios support the activities of men's clubs for training on violence prevention, promotion of the SSRAJ and the rights of girls and women.
In Togo, the "Papas Champions" continue their activities to prevent violence.
In Chad, Guinea, Benin and Togo, 464 women and adolescent girls were taken in charge
Sexual and Reproductive Health for Adolescents and Youth and the fight against violence in schools and in the informal sector
In Togo and Benin, 568 girls and boys in schools and in the non-formal education system, 200 parents were sensitized. Conferences and debates are organized through the production of teaching materials. Apprentices have also benefitted from this awareness targeting the improvement of their SRH, prevention and management of violence and the prevention of early pregnancies.
A VAWG reporting watchdog committee system has been set up in the Dantokpa market (the largest market in West Africa). They are made of groups of 5 men and women per sector in the market for a more effective fight against violence. At the end of the year, 20 cases of violence, rape, with or without sequestration are denounced by these committees and legally prosecuted
The safety of the girls working in the market, often between the ages of 14 and 24, is ensured throughout the year at the "House of Hope" (ME), built a Christian Association. 1458 girls are benefitting from it. Among them are sex workers and sexually Active girls in the Marketplace who After a psychological support are also referred to Saint Luc hospital for complete health care.
UN Women has embarked on a number of prevention and awareness raising campaigns and advocacy such as View More
UN Women has embarked on a number of prevention and awareness raising campaigns and advocacy such as “Take a Stand” initiative.
Internally, within the UN system, UN Women is coordinating closely with other UN agencies on issues related to Prevention of and Reporting on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (by UN personnel)
In addition to this, we have UN Women Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) focal points in all of our six regions whose roles within UN Women are to:
UN Women Egypt in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Solidarity developed the capacities of over 1500 women community workers across Egypt, capitalizing on their facility to reach women and men in rural and remote areas, to View More
UN Women Egypt in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Solidarity developed the capacities of over 1500 women community workers across Egypt, capitalizing on their facility to reach women and men in rural and remote areas, to raise the public’s awareness, through conducting house calls, awareness raising meetings, and other means, on the various forms of violence against women and their social and legal ramifications. The community workers also serve as a vital tool for disseminating information on the support services provided by credible organizations for women victims/survivors of violence. In addition, UN Women Egypt in collaboration with Care International Egypt supported the formation of a network of over 400 young volunteers (both women and men) and developed their capacities to engage community members; over 2600 members reached, utilizing innovative context sensitive approaches, such as interactive community theater, shadow theater, graffiti art in addition to conventional methods, such as door-to-door campaigns, to raise societal awareness of various forms of violence against women, change negative attitudes and beliefs of men towards violence against women, and the gender norms that normalize and justify gender inequality and violence.
UN Women succeeded in establishing the Iraq National Steering Committee for the Women Peace and Humanitarian Fund with high level leadership and representation from the government in addition to the UNRC as co-chair and membership of women civil society, the donor community and the UNCT. UN Women, as WPHF Technical Management and Secretariat at global and national levels, convened the first Steering Committee meeting in March. The National Steering Committee, will be in charge of providing strategic direction, oversight and coordination of implementation of their portfolio, including: provide a platform for partnership, coordination, advocacy and resource mobilization at the national level; manage the WPHF allocation for Iraq; monitor progress and provide oversight on project performance. UN Women has succeeded in securing funding of $2 million for Iraq from the governments of Canada and the UK. A call for proposals is expected to be announced in the second quarter under the guidance of the NSC.
A total of 255 beneficiaries (Jordanians and Syrians) have been reached from different subjects related to GBV and women’s’ rights through 11 awareness-raising activities. Social cohesion have been evident as a result of Including Syrians and Jordanians both in the awareness sessions. Under LEAP, UN Women and IFH organized five awareness raising sessions on protection and all forms of violence targeting 72 Syrian and Jordanian women and men. In addition, awareness of 154 Jordanians and Syrians were raised on issues related to early marriage and gender-based violence through scheduled plays ( through the Hemayati project). A discussion following the play between the audience and the moderator helped to clarify issues related to early marriage. This approach promotes women's and girl's self-expression and self-awareness, while providing them with skills to articulate changes they would like to see in their reality. A consultative writing process (“writeshop”) was developed with key stakeholders to ensure ownership of the messages that feed into the development of a toolkit to disseminate specialized legal knowledge relating to violence against women and girls among non-specialized audiences. the toolkit was launched in November aiming at familiarizing and sensitizing readers with current gaps, challenges and realities of VAWG in Jordan in order to start a social dialogue that can foster positive changes in attitudes toward women and girls, as well as promote and inform legislative and policy changes.
In 2017, UN Women MCO continued to develop its own initiatives, strengthened and broadened its support to CSOs, national partners and the private sector’s initiatives to prevent VAW. As a result, a wide audience was reached (more than 3 million people, including through regular tv spots on the main national tv channel) and was mobilized during sensitization efforts and numerous events organized all year-long, and largely intensified during the 16 Days campaign, with a specific focus this year on engaging men and boys through innovative communication campaigns. The MCO succeeded in engaging partner agencies through UNCT and the Gender thematic group, national Ministries (Women’s machinery, Ministry of Justice and Liberties, Ministry of Interior), national institutions (City councils and Wilayas in Marrakech and Rabat, the Parliament), multilateral organizations (European Union Delegation), CSOs, Universities, with young boys and girls, the media and the private sector (telecommunications, public transports).
UN Women Palestine office supported MA’AN (an NGO based in the Negev which focus on legal awareness and protection of women from West Bank and Gaza and Bedouin women who live in the Negev and are subject to Israeli jurisdiction) to conduct raising awarness workshops for the West bankers and Gazan women living in the Negev. Those women face challenging issues related to their legal status with the Israeli authorities (they hold a palestinian ID, but they live in Israel with their spouses without any legal document) and many suffer from family and intimate partner violence. During the reporting period UN Women Palestine office supported MA'AN to organize 14 raising awareness workshops and targeted women from the West Bank and Gaza. The workshop covered the following issues: family status laws, residency, legal and citizenship rights and access to social and health services and VAW. Similarly, 4 workshops were organized in the Negev targeted social workers on different issues; such as: VAW, legal rights of women from the West Bank and Gaza who are married to men from the Negev. Additonally UNW Palestine office supported MA'AN in the publication of two legal newsletter discussing concerns related to the legal status and legal rights of West Bank and Gaza women who live in the Negev. 450 copies of the newsletter were printed and distributed. UNW Palestine supported Al- Muntada ( a coalition of 17 women's organizations that work on combatting VAW) to lead a national advocacy campaign on VAW, including legal discirmination against women and the need to adopt a responsive FPB. The campaign included radio episodes, TV programmes, and field awareness sessions in differnet districts , which aimed at raising awareness of public and participants on women's rights, VAW and rights' gaps existing within the applicable legislative framework in Palestine, and building allies to advocate for the adoption of a gender responsive Family Protection Bill.
Within SAWASYA - UNDP / UN Women Joint Programme on Strengthening the Rule of Law: Justice and Security for Palestinian People, the PCHR (The Palestinian Center for Human Rights) conducted 30 awareness raising sessions targeted both males and females with awareness sessions on femicide, the so- called honour killing and women’s legal rights in remote and marginalized areas all over the Gaza Strip. Most of the interventions carried out within the project’s duration focused on providing legal awareness, awareness sessions about the so-called " honor killing" and femicide as a mechanism to prevent violence against women and engage men and youth mainly to advocate for women's rights- as a result of these interventions, 511 women and 247 men were targeted.
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