Status of women in the United Nations system

Among its other responsibilities, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) is mandated to lead, promote and coordinate accountability for the work of the United Nations (UN) system on gender equality and the empowerment of women. It does so, among other things, by monitoring and reporting on the status of women in the UN system, and advocating for their equal representation at all levels and in all occupations.

Progress to achieve the equal representation of women across levels and everywhere in the UN system requires a multi-pronged approach based on evidence and analysis. The equal representation of women at all levels is first attained through the selection, appointment and advancement of women. It is then facilitated by an organizational culture that is conducive to and supportive of their success. And, finally, it is sustained by ensuring systematic and meaningful accountability.

This publication provides a snapshot of trends and statistical data on various aspects of the representation of women in the UN system, including system-wide accountability, as well as findings related to organizational culture and examples of entity practices. Thirty-five entities provided data to UN Women, which was used in this publication in three sections: “Representation of Women”, “Selection, Appointments, Career Advancement, and Separations” and “Accountability and the Way Forward”. Of these, 27 entities also completed a survey that informs the section on “Organizational Culture”.

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Bibliographic information

Subject area(s): Gender equality and women’s empowerment; Gender equality and inequality; Gender mainstreaming; UN system coordination; Accountability in the UN system; Women in the UN system

Resource type: Best practices; Data/statistics

UN Women office involved in publication: UN Women Headquarters

Publication year: 2016

Number of pages: 36

Publishing entities: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)