The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme was established by the UN General Assembly in 1970 and is administered by UNDP. Free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity are the foundation of volunteerism. Volunteerism serves the cause of peace and development by enhancing opportunities for participation by all, particularly women. Since the start of its operations, UNV has supported the UN system by mobilizing volunteers for peace and development all over the world. More than 6.500 UN Volunteers served in 2017. In its resolution 70/129 of December 2015, the UN General Assembly reaffirmed that volunteerism can be a powerful and cross-cutting means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
UNV works within the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) framework for Empowerment and Equality (UNDP, 2008) which is based on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (as well as other human rights treaties) to promote equality, peace and development.
In partnership with governments, civil society organizations and UN agencies, funds and programmes, UNV contributes to gender equality by raising awareness as well as the prevention and elimination of violence against women through advocacy, integration and mobilization of volunteers.
The Liberia National Youth Volunteer Service has 67 national volunteers working in health centres, hospitals and schools to promote reconciliation, peace education, gender equity in schools and awareness-raising of it in the health sectors. In one district, the local women’s organization has found major supporters in male national UNV Volunteers (NUNVs); in another, the NUNVs have supported a local programme (“men and women as partners to end violence against women”), and community members report that the occurrence of gender-based violence and rape has significantly decreased. Working alongside existing structures, or strengthening local organizations and movements, has been an effective strategy to discuss sensitive or “unpopular” subjects, such as traditional gender inequality.Hide
Through the joint project, Partners for Prevention: Working with Boys and Men to Prevent Gender-Based Violence in Asia-Pacific, UNV and UNFPA, together with their partners, are mobilizing boys and men as allies for ending violence and discrimination against women and girls as well as advancing gender equality. Women’s advocates and women empowerment groups are further strengthened in their participatory capacities and leadership skills to enhance the effectiveness of their efforts.Hide
In Asia Pacific, the Partners for Prevention (P4P) - an inter-agency initiative of UNDP, UNFPA, UNIFEM, now part of UN Women, and UNVs- which works with men and boys to prevent gender-based violence– has developed a comprehensive set of research tools on gender-based violence, including questionnaires, research protocols, and training manuals for the “Gender-based Violence Prevention and Masculinities” Collaborative Research Project for Asia and the Pacific. These tools have been shared with partners in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. In Cambodia, the research findings on GBV and masculinities are informing a public awareness campaign. P4P is also developing the capacity of national partners in China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Papua New Guinea to conduct research in this area, in order to develop evidence-based programs and policy initiatives to address GBV across the region. Networks of practitioners have been established in South Asia and Southeast & East Asia to support the civil society and UN advocates to implement initiatives on GBV prevention through work with men and boys.Hide
Applying Social Media Tools for the Prevention of Gender-based Violence: Lessons learned from social media communication campaigns to prevent gender-based violence in India, China and Viet Nam’; was launched and disseminated by P4P in 2013. This resource consolidates learning from the P4P initiative ‘Engaging Young Men through Social Media for the Prevention of Violence against Women’. “Let’s Talk Men 2.0” film series7 launched in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka with accompanying tools for discussion facilitators.Hide
In Asia-Pacific, the work of the inter-agency initiative “Partners for Prevention” (P4P) was ongoing. Engagingmen.net (www.engagingmen.net) is a website where practitioners can share resources and learn about training opportunities. “Partners for Prevention” (P4P) organized several training sessions to support national social media campaigns in China, India, and Indonesia. Demand Media, a leading online media company and expert in developing social media platforms, provides pro bono support for the national campaigns. In December 2010, P4P organized a meeting with various stakeholders from Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Fiji, the Philippines and Vietnam, who work to engage boys and men for ending violence against women. The participants agreed to work together to develop regional curricula and a collective approach for knowledge creation and sharing across the region. In December 2010, the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) “Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Children” met in Port Macquarie, Australia, where male parliamentarians from 13 countries signed a pledge to take action in their own countries and to stand together as a collective group to advocate for more actions for violence prevention among their peers. “Partners for Prevention” is supporting the Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians as a collaborative partner with AFPPD and UNFPA. “Partners for Prevention” and AFPPD are conducting research on the challenges that parliamentarians face in moving prevention policy forward, and on ways to support them in their role in preventing violence.Hide
UNV captures sex-disaggregated data.
There is increasing momentum to address the evidence gap on the impact and effectiveness of volunteerism for sustainable development. The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) View More
UNV captures sex-disaggregated data.
There is increasing momentum to address the evidence gap on the impact and effectiveness of volunteerism for sustainable development. The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) is UNV’s flagship publication, produced every 3 years. The SWVR 2018 considers how volunteerism and community resilience interact across diverse contexts. It adds to the evidence on inclusive, citizen-led approaches to resilience building – including from a gender lense. It examines how wider actors can build from communities’ self-organization in a complementary way, nurturing the most beneficial characteristics of volunteerism while mitigating against potential harms to the most vulnerable, including women and girls.
The largest-ever cross-country study on men and violence in Asia and the Pacific11 was launched by P4P, in September 2013, providing critical new evidence on men’s use of violence in the region. A UN Women, UK Aid and UNFPA-supported study on individual, institutional, legal and policy responses to VAWG in Nepal, was launched on 10 December.Hide
As per its Strategic Framework 2018-21, UNV supports members states in developing legislation that promote volunteerism and volunteer action. Emphasis is put on mainstreaming gender into these policies and legislation.
As per its Strategic Framework 2018-21, UNV supports members states in developing legislation that promote volunteerism and volunteer action. Emphasis is put on mainstreaming gender into these policies and legislation.Hide
A report “Making a Difference: An assessment of Volunteer Interventions Addressing gender-based violence in Cambodia” has been developed by a national UN Volunteer, analysing interventions where volunteerism plays a significant role in the prevention and response to violence against women.Hide