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Drawing on a unique global dataset of nearly 5,000 measures adopted by 226 countries and territories in response to COVID-19, this UN Women and UNDP report finds that government responses paid insufficient attention to gender dynamics, though instances of innovation hold important lessons for gender-responsive policymaking during crises. The report analyses the factors that led to a strong gender response, generating key lessons for resilience and preparedness for future shocks.
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In the first “gender alert” since the Taliban took over Kabul on 15 August 2021, UN Women brings gender data and analyses on the impact of the rapidly evolving context on women’s rights in Afghanistan.
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UN Women partnered with the Inter-Parliamentary Union to prepare a handbook on gender-responsive law-making. This handbook aims to serve as a resource for lawmakers from around the world for designing gender-responsive laws. Such law-making should address the strategic needs of women and girls and must encompass enacting new laws and amending or repealing laws which are outdated, inconsistent with constitutions, or discriminate against them.
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UN Women’s highlights from 2020–2021 samples our top 2020 results showing how UN Women has effectively delivered for women and girls around the world, and presents some of the people who have inspired us most over the past year.
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This paper examines the characteristics of past and contemporary feminisms and dissects the issues with periodizing feminism in terms of “waves”. Part two focuses on understanding the most recent wave of feminist activism by considering its antecedents and main characteristics. It presents three case studies of movements in the Global South; the cases of Brazil, India, and Malawi illustrate some of the ideas, campaigns, and organizational forms of “new feminists”.

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This brief provides evidence of the different ways in which women’s rights organizations have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the predicament that many of them face of increased relevance and demand at the same time as civic closure, restrictive work conditions, and diminishing funding. The brief also identifies a set of recommendations to strengthen these organizations in the immediate term and to pave the way for a more equal future.
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Under the framework of the UN Joint Global Programme on Essential Services, UN Women, together with UNODC and the IAWP, have developed a handbook on gender-responsive police services for women and girls subject to violence. The handbook is based on and complements existing global and country-specific handbooks and training materials for law enforcement and covers areas such as gender-responsive police investigations, prevention, intersectionality and institutional change.
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In this paper, we propose a conceptual framework to discuss two interrelated realms: backsliding on gender equality policies and the emerging political space for feminist responses to this backsliding. We illustrate our framework with empirical observations from three Central and Eastern European countries: Croatia, Hungary, and Poland. We aim to contribute to an understanding of the gendered aspects of de-democratization and the functioning of illiberal democracies.
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This handbook, produced by UN Women and the ILO, provides practical guidance and examples of how to address violence and harassment against women in various work settings. The handbook includes: background on the issues, relevant international and regional policy and legal frameworks, the role of state and non-state actors, social dialogue, situations in which women are more exposed, how to respond, and entry points for prevention.
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This discussion paper views the whys and hows of feminist engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals in a broader context: the key UN-related processes from the time women began getting involved with them in the 1970s. It was produced for the UN Women flagship report, “Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, and released as part of the UN Women discussion paper series.
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TRANSFORM Issue no. 12 focuses on UN Women’s contribution to women’s political participation and leadership from 2011 to 2017. It summarizes learning from past practices that can inform and strengthen future work in this area. It also addresses UN Women’s strategic niche in promoting women’s political participation and leadership in the context of the UN Secretary-General’s call for the United Nations Development System reform to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.
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This discussion paper examines the impacts of shifting policies in relation to family reunification and internal dispersal on the experiences of female Syrian asylum seekers in Germany. It sheds light on how female Syrian asylum seekers and recognized refugees have coped with diverse challenges before arriving, during long-lasting separations, after subsequent reunifications in Germany, or after arriving alone.
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The purpose of the corporate evaluation was to assess UN Women’s contribution from 2011 to 2017 towards women’s ability to “lead and participate in decision-making at all levels”, and to provide evidence from past practice to inform its future strategic planning and implementation in this area. It analysed UN Women’s contribution across its integrated mandate at the global, regional, and country levels against four criteria: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability.
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Identifying fiscal space for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is increasingly recognized as a priority by all development actors. This innovative working paper produced by ILO, UNICEF and UN Women considers options for 187 countries to support an expansion of public investments, especially for social investments.
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This strategy harnesses UN Women’s long-standing commitment to indigenous women and represents the organization’s first official frame of reference for bringing its programming to scale in a coherent and consistent manner across the organization, to deliver on indigenous issues at global, regional, and country levels.