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.

UN Women has been releasing annual reports on their work on empowering women and creating gender equality since 2010. To view the latest report, click here.


To view past reports,
click here.

The main roles of UN WOMEN are:

  • Support the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and other inter-governmental bodies in formulating policies.
  • 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. If you would like to find more information about UN Women, please click here. 

Meeting the Needs of the World's Women

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 aboutUNWomen World Offices.

Grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the UN Charter, UN Women, among other issues, works for the:

  • Elimination of discrimination against women and girls;
  • Empowerment of women; and
  • Achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.

Implementation & Evaluation

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:

  1. By fostering joint evaluations on gender equality and serving as a repository of evaluations in the UN system on gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  2. By drawing on the opportunities offered by UN system wide evaluation processes (i.e. DaO and UNDAFs) for generating evaluative information on UN system contribution to gender equality; and
  3. Actively contributing to the work of the UNEG for the inclusion of a gender equality perspective in UN evaluations through the development of guidelines and accountability frameworks.

Further information aboutUNWomen 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

- Evaluation on UN Women's work on Increase Women’s Leadership and Participation in Peace and Security and Humanitarian response and Prevent Violence against Women and Expand Access to Services

UN Women and the GEAR Campaign

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

  • Establish meaningful, systematic, and diverse civil society participation
  • Demand a dynamic and relevant agenda for UN Women
  • Pressure donors to aim for $1 billion in funding and meet their commitment to "core, multi-year, predictable, stable and sustainable" contributions
  • Seek powerful, capable and effective leadership at every level

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

For information about the GEAR website launch, please click here.
For information about the GEAR Call to Acton, please click here.