UN Women acts on two fronts. It supports international political negotiations to formulate globally agreed standards for gender equality. And it helps UN Member States to implement those standards by providing expertise and financial support. UN Women also assists other parts of the UN system in their efforts to advance gender equality across a broad spectrum of issues related to human rights and human development.
Programme and Technical Assistance
Within countries that request its assistance, UN Women works with government and non-governmental partners to help them put in place the policies, laws, services and resources that women require to move towards equality. It draws on extensive knowledge and experience with which interventions work best in a given environment, and which do the most to unlock rapid national progress in attaining national and international commitments to women.
UN Women provides grants to fuel innovative, high-impact programmes by government agencies and civil society groups through two funds—the Fund for Gender Equality and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. A multi-donor initiative, the Fund for Gender Equality is dedicated to programmes that increase women’s economic opportunities and/or political participation at local and national levels. Managed by UN Women on behalf of the UN system, the UN Trust Fund works to stop all of the diverse forms of gender-based violence that undercut women’s rights around the world.
Commission on the Status of Women
A global policy-making body, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women. Every year, representatives of Member States gather at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide. read more »
Other Intergovernmental Processes
Aside from the Commission on the Status of Women, UN Women offers regular information on women’s rights issues to the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and the Security Council. It maintains the UN Secretary-General’s database on violence against women, which tracks measures to end violence taken by UN Member States and UN organizations. UN Women also backs efforts to advance international commitments to gender equality at intergovernmental negotiations around specific development issues such as migration and climate change.
Capacity Development and Training
UN Women shares its in-house expertise through a series of training programmes for national governments, often held in conjunction with other UN organizations. These strengthen national skills and capacities, including at women’s machineries, for actions to uphold women’s human rights, end violence against women, and integrate gender across national policies, programmes and budgets. One UN Women initiative is specifically devoted to assisting countries emerging from conflict in rebuilding capacities to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Expert Group Meetings
Expert group meetings help UN Women provide valuable inputs to the Commission on the Status of Women’s annual priority theme for discussions, and to flagship reports. Each group convenes leading experts to explore state-of-the-art research and analysis, identify good practices in achieving gender equality and develop independent policy recommendations. Experts come from academia, government, civil society, and UN or other regional and international bodies. read more »
UN System Coordination
UN Women leads and coordinates the overall efforts of the UN system to support the full realization of women’s rights and opportunities. It provides expertise on incorporating gender equality in the programmes of other UN organizations, and through regular monitoring helps the UN system stay on top of its internal commitments to women. As the chair of the UN Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality, UN Women helps orchestrate the efforts of 25 UN organizations to promote gender equality across the UN system.