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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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The report presents the evidence-based business case for gender-responsive procurement. It makes the case for companies to rethink their procurement practices, framing gender-responsive procurement as a way to create social and economic value amid increasing economic uncertainty.
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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 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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UN Women’s tenth anniversary publication, “A decade of daring”, celebrates the milestones of the organization’s first 10 years.
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This working paper analyses how women leaders at the national and subnational levels of government managed COVID-19 response and recovery from January 2020 through March 2021. The paper finds that women decision-makers demonstrated effective leadership, rapid response, and implemented socially inclusive policies and provides recommendations on how to ensure women’s participation and contribution to the pandemic response and recovery.
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This publication discusses ways to broaden the scope of gender-responsive procurement from a focus on only promoting women’s enterprises to also including gender-responsive enterprises. The publication aims to inspire a transformative conceptualization of gender-responsive procurement that supports both equal market opportunities for women’s enterprises and equal outcomes for women in the labour market and the business environment.
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The guidance note discusses key concepts and norms about violence against women in politics, including definitions and normative frameworks, and provides practical guidance for addressing violence against women in politics at country level through different interventions.
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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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The IPU–UN Women “Women in politics: 2021” map presents global rankings for women in executive, government, and parliamentary positions as of 1 January 2021. The data shows all-time highs for the number of countries with women Heads of State or Heads of Government, as well as for the global share of women ministers.
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UN Women organized an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on “Data and violence against women in politics” (VAWP) on 4–5 December 2019, in New York, as a part of its ongoing efforts to tackle this issue. This report provides an overview of the expert discussions and the key takeaways identified during the meeting. It also highlights key discussion points to inform future efforts to collect data on VAWP.
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This brief shines a light on the critical role of women’s leadership in responding to COVID-19 and preparing for a more equitable recovery. In addition to considering the pandemic’s immediate impacts on women’s political participation, the brief demonstrates the opportunity to “build back better” by including and supporting women, and the organizations and networks that represent them, in the decision-making processes that will ultimately shape the post-pandemic future.
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This primer highlights practical ways Members of Parliament (MPs) and parliamentary staff can take action to ensure COVID-19 response and recovery decision-making addresses women’s needs.
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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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The “Women in politics: 2020” map, created by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women, presents global rankings for women in executive, government, and parliamentary positions as of 1 January 2020. It shows all-time highs for the number of countries with women Heads of State and/or Heads of Government, and for the global share of women ministers, parliamentary speakers, and parliamentarians.
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In alignment with the United Nations Youth 2030 Strategy, UN Women’s Youth Plan of Action 2019–2021 constitutes the implementation strategy of UN Women’s Youth and Gender Equality Strategy. It seeks to empower young women, young men, and non-binary people through an intergenerational, intersectional approach, focusing on shifting social norms, supporting policy change, fostering girls’ leadership, and amplifying their voices through effective partnerships.
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The “Women in politics: 2019” map, created by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women, depicts global rankings for women in the executive and parliamentary branches of government as of 1 January 2019. The map shows progress towards gender equality in these areas at regional and national levels.
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This report provides a summary of the discussions of the Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on violence against women in politics (VAWP), held on 8–9 March 2018 in New York. It contains key points and priority actions to inform interventions to address violence against women in politics.
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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.