United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Item ID
UNAgency ID
Policy Framework

In its Medium-Term Strategy for 2014-2021, UNESCO accords priority to gender equality in all its fields of competence supported by a dual approach, gender specific programming and gender mainstreaming, in Member States and within the Organization. UNESCO is fully engaged in pursuing this commitment through concrete, substantive programmes and initiatives in all its fields of competence (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002272/227222e.pdf) as captured in an organization-wide “Priority Gender Equality Action Plan for 2014-2021”.


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) functions as a laboratory of ideas and a standard-setter to forge universal agreements on emerging ethical issues. The Organization also serves as a clearinghouse – for the dissemination and sharing of information and knowledge – while helping Member States to build their human and institutional capacities in diverse fields. UNESCO is working to create the conditions for genuine dialogue based upon respect for shared values and the dignity of each civilization and culture.


At its 197th session, UNESCO Executive Board adopted the Roadmap for UNESCO’s programme on preventing and addressing school-related gender-based violence (197 EX/SR.8)


Searching for Best Practices to Counter Human Trafficking in Africa: A Focus on Women and Children, Thanh-Dam Truong and Maria Belen Angeles, UNESCO 2005

Research papers prepared on “Women in the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”, (2004/2005)

Mail Address

7 place Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France

Areas of Work

UNESCO primarily addresses the following types of violence against women: inter-personal violence in and out of schools; trafficking in women; women in conflict and post-conflict situations (including the use of rape as a weapon of war). Activities cover various fields of education; the natural sciences; the social and human sciences; culture; and communications and information.

UNESCO has a two-pronged approach to violence against women:
1) A behavioural approach. Through education and with the help of ICTs, UNESCO seeks to build commitment to peace and non-violence in the minds of men and women. This includes the promotion of gender-sensitive human rights education and non-violent conflict resolution approaches. UNESCO’s Human Rights Education programme seeks to bring about a profound reform of education in order to transform attitudes and behaviours that condone violence. It touches upon curriculum development, in-service and pre-service training, textbooks, methodology, classroom management, and the organization of the education system at all levels.
2)A structural approach. Notably through its Social and Human Sciences and Culture Sector programmes, UNESCO looks at the structural causes of violence against women and seeks to encourage holistic and culturally appropriate policy responses towards their elimination.

Agency Type
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Feb 2017 - Apr 2018 | UNESCO

UNESCO continues to build capacity within the education sector to prevent and respond to school related gender-based violence (SRGBV). Orientation and training workshops on education sector responses to SRGBV, utilizing resources such as the UNESCO/UN Women  Global Guidance on Addressing School-Related Gender-Based Violence (English, French), were conducted with education personnel and partners in 2017 in the African region (West and Central Africa and Eastern and Southern Africa), the Caribbean and the Russian Federation.

Feb 2017 - Apr 2018 | UNESCO

To support education sector responses to early and unintended pregnancy (EUP)  while supporting the continuing education of adolescent mothers, UNESCO in Eastern and Southern Africa has carried out a 10-country situation analysis on EUP (conducted 2017; published 2018), the findings and recommendations of which will inform follow up country level actions for policy, programmes and advocacy.

Feb 2017 - Apr 2018 | UNESCO

To enhance global coordination and advocacy around school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV), UNESCO continues to co-chair the Global Partners Working Group on SRGBV with the UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI). There are now over 40 organizations represented in this group which convenes routine gatherings to exchange technical knowledge and resources and plan joint action including at global meetings, events and advocacy platforms, such as the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence).

Feb 2017 - Apr 2018 | UNESCO

To address institutionalized violence faced by adolescent mothers in the education sector who face discrimination on the basis of early and unintended pregnancy, UNESCO supported several countries in Eastern and Southern Africa (South Africa, Malawi, Lesotho, Uganda, Tanzania, Swaziland) at various stages in the review and development of national policies on prevention and management of learner pregnancy and reintegration of school aged mothers.

Feb 2017 - Apr 2018 | UNESCO

The UNESCO, UN Women and UNFPA Joint Programme on Empowering Adolescent Girls and Young Women through Education is, in Tanzania, supporting the reform of discriminatory legislations for adolescent girls and strengthening coordination mechanisms on violence against women and girls.

Drafting of the  UN-EU Spotlights Initiative for Nigeria, which will focus on fighting violence against women and sexual and reproductive health and rights.


Apr 2016 - Jan 2017 | UNESCO

On 14 April 2016, representative of UNESCO participated in the Round table “Trafficking in Human Beings” with a presentation entitled “Gender Perspectives of Trafficking in Human Beings”. Although trafficking affects both men and women, women and men are affected in different ways with respect to the types of trafficking they are subjected to, the forms of abuse they suffer from and the consequences thereof, women being subject more often to violence and sexual abuse. The discussion urged for an integrated and multi-sectoral approach.

Apr 2016 - Jan 2017 | UNESCO

In October 2016, UNESCO participated in the first US symposium on “Technology and Women: Protection and Peril” organized at the Evelyn Jacobs Ortner Center on Family Violence, University of Pennsylvania. The Symposium discussed inter alia the connectivity across offender's behavior, effects on victims, criminal justice intervention and ethical issues related to technology and violence against women.

Apr 2016 - Jan 2017 | UNESCO

On 3 October 2016, UNESCO organized a Round Table on “Education and Gender Equality: The Perfect Partners for Development - Reflections on child, early and forced marriage – effects on school drop-outs.” During the event, the 2016 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report Gender Review was also launched. The Round Table was part of UNESCO’s celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child and aimed at reflecting on the fundamental link between gender equality and education, with a specific focus on the impact of child, early and forced marriage on education prospects for girls.

Apr 2016 - Jan 2017 | UN Women;

UN Women collaborated with UNESCO to develop a guidance toolkit on prevention of and response to violence against women and girls in the educational sector: “Global Guidance on School-related Gender-based violence” in December 2016 (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002466/246651E.pdf). UN Women continues its collaboration with UNESCO to develop similar toolkits to engage the media and sporting organizations in prevention of and response to VAW.

Apr 2016 - Jan 2017 | UNESCO

On occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - 25 November 2016, UNESCO set up an Orange Zone at Headquarters and conducted a rich social media campaign on the effects of climate change in exacerbating violence against women and girls - a key theme for this year’s campaign on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Throughout the day, badges, informative postcards, posters and UNESCO publications were made available to all staff and visitors.