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This working paper features data and analyses of women’s representation in 133 countries and areas. The paper considers the impacts of legislated quotas and electoral systems in local elections on women’s political participation and identifies remaining data gaps on women’s political participation in local government, including data disaggregation, underused electoral data, and the need for new data collection tools.
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This brief analyses the extent to and ways in which countries in sub-Saharan Africa have made extensive use of social protection instruments to confront the economic and social fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on a unique data set of national social protection strategies from 30 countries in the region, it finds that while a significant number of strategies acknowledge gendered risks and vulnerabilities, few include specific actions to address them. The brief concludes with a set of recommendations.
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This report asks what needs to change in the approach of the United Nations system as a whole to make significant practical progress on gender equality in disaster risk reduction by 2030. It asks how the United Nations system, and each individual entity, can better support Member States to empower women and promote women’s leadership in disaster and climate risk governance to underpin risk-informed sustainable development that leaves no one behind.
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This publication summarizes the key challenges women-owned and women-led businesses are facing when competing for public procurement opportunities and presents the main approaches and policies that have made a difference across the globe. Examples from several countries are highlighted, including Dominican Republic, Chile, Colombia, Kenya, South Africa, and United Arab Emirates.
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This paper argues for investing in free universal high quality childcare services in order to reduce gender inequality in earnings and employment. It estimates the employment-generating and fiscal effects of investing in free universal childcare in Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, and the United Republic of Tanzania. The study estimates the total costs of investing in childcare services to increase the enrollment (coverage) rate for children in formal childcare services to different target levels.
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This guidance tool aims to explain the practical steps towards enhancing the quality of women’s land rights data and statistics for data producers, analysts, and researchers. In doing so, it addresses critical gaps in the quality of the design, collection, analysis, management, and dissemination of data and statistics on women’s land rights. This tool is for use by data producers and data users alike.
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This policy brief presents entry points for the application of gender-responsive budgeting to COVID-19 support and recovery packages. Drawing on country examples, the brief provides recommendations on the use of gender budgeting tools to identify gaps in policy responses and direct spending towards gender-responsive COVID-19 support and recovery packages.
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This policy tool is designed to document the extent to which gender inequalities in the labour market are being exacerbated by the pandemic, thereby informing a better understanding on how to protect workers and promote a gender-responsive economic recovery. The tool will also help identify policies for improving working conditions in female-dominated economic sectors and promoting greater inclusion of women workers in new promising sectors, thus widening their opportunities.

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UN Women continues to argue that it is important to ensure that adopted economic stimulus and recovery package are gender-responsive. Packages must be implemented in a way that does not disproportionally and negatively impact women and girls. Policies adopted in response to the COVID-19 crisis must identify areas that macro-level policies can effectively target to address gendered impacts of the crisis. This policy tool is specifically designed to achieve this.
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UN Women has emerged as a global leader in the promotion of the care economy, and this work has highlighted the urgent need to invest in childcare facilities through private and public partnerships to reduce women’s unpaid care work and to allow women to take an active role in the economy. This policy tool provides a blueprint for making a policy case for sustained investment in the care economy.

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The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated existing gender data gaps that undermine our ability to intentionally craft gender-responsive policies and programmes. Filling these data gaps poses a significant challenge as many data collection efforts have been disrupted due to COVID-19 control measures, but without addressing these gender data gaps and collection obstacles, we cannot fully understand or mitigate the gendered impacts of the pandemic.
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As the world learns to live with COVID-19, to emerge from the current crisis, and to “build back better”, UN Women will launch Plan for Equal, a visionary but practical roadmap for putting gender equality, social justice, and sustainability at the centre of the recovery. It will feed into UN Women’s Generation Equality Forum and Action Coalitions, aimed at accelerating commitment, action, and financing for gender equality.
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Health emergencies such as COVID-19, and the response to them, can exacerbate gender inequality and derail hard-won progress not only on SDG 3 but on all the SDGs. This paper draws insights from emerging data and shines a spotlight on the long-term impact of the crisis on the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The paper concludes by outlining policy priorities drawn from the evidence presented.
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Analysing data from 11 national household surveys, this research found that, while women typically earn less than men and pay more in transfer fees, the average remittance amounts they send are the same as or even greater than those of men, implying that they tend to remit a larger portion of their earnings than do men. The research also showed that migrant women are more dependent on in-person cash transfer services to send remittances.
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This study serves as an evidence-based instrument that demonstrates how leveraging attitudinal change can be used as a critical tactic towards advancing gender equality. The findings have the potential to inform policymakers, advertisers, private sector leaders, civil society, and decision-makers on challenging discriminatory attitudes and gender roles that perpetuate gender inequality and women’s subordinate status in society.
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UN Women’s response to COVID-19 includes policy advice and programmatic interventions along five priority areas: Gender-based violence, including domestic violence, is mitigated and reduced; social protection and economic stimulus packages serve women and girls; people support and practice the equal sharing of the burden of care; women and girls lead and participate in COVID-19 response planning and decision-making; and data and coordination mechanisms include gender perspectives.
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How are women’s employment outcomes shaped by domestic and caregiving responsibilities? Drawing on a global dataset and new indicators developed by UN Women and the International Labour Organization, this paper provides insights into the distribution of domestic and caregiving responsibilities within various types of households—insights that are critical at this juncture when policies and programmes are being designed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic fallout.
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This paper examines the case for investing in free universal childcare services in North Macedonia in order to reduce gender inequality in employment, labour market activity and earnings; promote higher human capital through greater enrolment of children in early childhood learning and development; and ensure equal access to all children in formal childcare as to foster the life chances and well-being of young children.
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This research paper explores the connection between gender and age inequality and disaster risk, examining evidence at a global level, and in three case study countries: Nepal, Malawi, and Dominica.
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This handbook provides practical guidance, elaborated with case studies, on how additional fiscal space can be created for a universal social protection system. The analyses should help governments on how they can increase spending on priority sectors for women, children, and vulnerable groups.