On July 2, 2010 the General Assembly voted unanimously to create a dynamic new entity called UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). The new entity brings together four United Nations offices focusing on gender equality; UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW). UN Women became operational in January 2011.
Over many decades, the UN has made significant progress in advancing gender equality, including through landmark agreements such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
Yet gender inequalities remain deeply entrenched in every society. Women lack access to decent work and face occupational segregation and gender wage gaps. They are too often denied access to basic education and health care. Women in all parts of the world suffer violence and discrimination. They are under-represented in political and economic decision-making processes. Even though women remain a minority of combatants and perpetrators of war, they increasingly suffer the greatest harm.
For many years, the UN has faced serious challenges in its efforts to promote gender equality globally, including inadequate funding and no single recognized driver to direct UN activities on gender equality issues.
UN Women was created to address such challenges, with the aim of providing women and girls a powerful voice at the global, regional and local levels.
Further information about UNWomen World Offices
Grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the UN Charter, UN Women, among other issues, works for the:
The purpose and role of evaluation in UN Women is to enhance accountability, inform decision-making and contribute to learning on the best ways to achieve women’s empowerment and gender equality through operational and normative work.
UN Women carries out evaluations in the thematic and organizational performance areas outlined in its Strategic Plan and produces reports with their findings. The Evaluation Office also develops guidelines and methodologies to mainstream gender equality and human rights perspectives and approaches in the evaluation practice.
UN-Women promotes coordination and accountability in the UN System through evaluation in three main areas:
Furher information about UNWomen evaluation
Tools and Resources
- A Manager's Guide to Gender Equality– and Human Rights–Responsive Evaluation. This practical, online guide aims to help those initiating, managing and/or using gender equality (GE)– and human rights (HR)–responsive evaluations.
- UN’s joint programmes in the area of gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment.
- Analytical Overview of Joint UN Gender Programme Portfolio
The GEAR campaign, a network made up by over 300 women´s organization and other civil society organizations, including Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, played an essential role in the efforts of the formation of UN Women.
Call to Action
The UN Secretary General has promised to deliver strong results for women worldwide and civil society will be present throughout this process to monitor and hold the SG accountable to his commitments to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Photo: Representatives of the Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) Campaign hold up a petition urging the General Assembly to establish a new women's entity. Source: United Nations