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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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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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This brief details some of the ways safe city partners from different sectors, in a short six months, have taken action in line with the recommendations set out in UN Women’s Policy brief on COVID-19 and ensuring safe cities and safe public spaces for women and girls.
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The brief highlights trends and impacts of COVID-19 on women’s safety in transport. It includes examples of strategies put in place to provide safer transport modes for women and girls throughout the global pandemic, with a focus on availability, accessibility, and affordability, and makes recommendations on how different sectors can contribute to a comprehensive approach to improve women’s mobility.
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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 publication illustrates in a practical way how participating cities of the Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global Initiative are working to implement women’s safety approaches through the lens of intersectionality. These include a range of women-led solutions, from the creation of data, to integrated policies with meaningful participation of women’s rights organizations, to urban planning solutions that prioritize minoritized women, and prevention initiatives addressing discriminatory behaviours.
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This study, based on data from 59 low- and middle-income countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Southern Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa, finds that women and their families bear the brunt of growing income inequality and failures to adequately plan for and respond to rapid urbanization. The publication examines the effects of multidimensional poverty in urban areas, with women facing greater exposure to life in slum-like conditions than men.
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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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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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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.
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In this brief, learn more about how the New Urban Agenda strategically supports mainstreaming gender equality and women’s empowerment across all social development goals.