Established by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1973, the UNFPA promotes development and poverty reduction policies and programmes through the use of population data. Its work operates around the two frameworks: the International Conference on Population and Development's Programme of Action and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It focuses work around the three areas of reproductive heath, gender equality, and population and development strategies. Its integrated approach recognizes the crosscutting nature of population trends, development, and gender as well as the effect of gender on humanitarian emergencies, climate change, and HIV/AIDS.
Through the collection of gender-sensitive data and the promotion of legal and policy reform, the Fund seeks to bring gender issues to wider attention, end gender-based violence, and engage both men and women on the promotion of gender equality and improved reproductive health. Within the coordinated, inter-agency response to disasters, the UNFPA also provides supplies and services with an emphasis on the special needs of women and youth.
Citing gender equality as not only one of the MDGs, but as a driver of all 8 development goals, UNFPA addresses gender inequalities and rights violations through a gender framework that incorporates 4 strategic linkages: girls' education, women's economic empowerment, women's political participation, and the balancing of reproductive and productive roles.
The UNFPA's work in the area of gender equality and women's empowerment is grounded in international law and agreements, namely, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and UN SCR 1325.
In 2007, the UNFPA released its Strategic Framework for Gender Mainstreaming and Women's Empowerment 2008-2011. The framework outlines UNFPA's policy and programme priorities in the areas of sexual and reproductive health, and population and development as well as for the empowerment of women and girls, and for gender-mainstreaming its mandate.
For more information, please visit the official UNFPA website.