European Union-UN Women partnership in the spotlight

EU contribution agreements signed for programmes and projects (2012-2015):
USD 43.8 million
(EUR 38.9 million)

Countries covered by EU-UN Women programmes: 52

UN Women and the European Union (EU) have been collaborating to empower and protect the rights of women and girls since UN Women was established. Following the signing of a partnership agreement in 2012, their cooperation has deepened at all levels. This was reaffirmed in 2016, with both partners agreeing to further stepping up collaboration for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment worldwide.

EU and UN Women senior management routinely meet for policy exchanges and dialogue on women’s rights issues. Joint advocacy and awareness-raising activities have included a comic and cartoon competition “Gender Equality: Picture It!” celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 2015, as well as the President of the European Commission and all male Commissioners joining UN Women’s HeForShe movement.

The European Union signed on to UN Women’s COMMIT initiative in 2013, pledging concrete actions such as to pioneer a Europe-wide protection order for survivors of domestic violence, and doing so that same year. In 2015, the EU joined UN Women’s “Step It Up” campaign, also adopting a new gender Action Plan 2016-2020 and vowing to systematically screen development funding to ensure that assistance helps transform the lives of girls and women worldwide, among other commitments.

From 2012-2015, EU contribution agreements amounted to more than USD 43.8 million (EUR 38.9 million) for UN Women programmes in more than 50 countries around the world, consistently making it one of the organization’s strongest supporters.

Our solutions

Joint EU–UN Women programmes have led to measurable results in a variety of areas and made a difference in the lives of women and girls worldwide. Together, both organizations have pushed for gender-sensitive legislation and budgeting, provided life-saving services for women survivors of violence, and worked with communities to crush gender stereotypes.

The EU–UN Women Spring Forward for Women programme helped establish the Arab Women Parliamentarians Network for Equality, “Ra-edat”, which includes more than 130 former and current women parliamentarians from 12 countries, as well as the “Khadija” Arab Network, which facilitates knowledge exchange between women entrepreneurs. 

An EU-UN Women joint programme in Georgia has introduced innovative actions for women’s economic empowerment, benefitting women and girls from ethnic minorities, imprisoned women, and women residing in isolated settings as well as internally displaced and conflict-affected women. In Kyrgyzstan, through summer schools and special youth workshops, students and teachers have become gender activists in their schools and communities. Meanwhile, newfound entrepreneurs from minority groups have received training and support to build businesses and spur lasting recovery in post-conflict Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244).

Through advocacy for legislative reform and workshops for women migrant workers under a multi-country programme implemented in Mexico, Moldova and the Philippines—the world’s main women migrant worker corridors—UN Women is working with the EU to promote and protect rights. The EU and UN Women also established a joint fund to support 15 projects with civil society organizations working on gender equality in Chile.

In Africa, the EU and UN Women are supporting women and girls to play an active role in conflict prevention, peacemaking and peacebuilding in northern Nigeria, while training women in Liberia on literacy, entrepreneurship and other skills to enhance their physical and economic security.

In Solomon Islands, the EU and UN Women supported the development of a radio drama series that tells the fictional story of a woman running for elections to encourage more women to stand up and seek leadership positions. In Timor-Leste, the EU and UN Women forged partnerships with the Government and civil society stakeholders to prevent gender-based violence, including the “Safe Dili” awareness-raising campaign.