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This publication explores the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s economic empowerment in the tourism sector which has disproportionately affected women due to pre-existing gender inequalities and women’s predominance in the sector’s workforce. The document examines emerging research and data, identifies innovative responses across regions, and makes concrete recommendations for action to ensure that women’s economic empowerment is central to the COVID-19 response and recovery in the tourism sector.
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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 toolkit for identifying gender persecution in conflicts and atrocities provides a framework for recognizing and understanding illicit conduct that amounts to gender persecution to investigators, lawyers, advocates, documenters, first responders, and others who engage in identifying gender-based crimes or their victims in conflict and atrocity settings.
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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 brief describes the Women’s Resilience to Disasters programme, which proposes a comprehensive package to strengthen the resilience of women and girls with the goal of ensuring that the lives and livelihoods of women and girls are resilient to disasters and threats, contributing to sustainable, secure, and thriving communities.
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The pandemic has tested and even reversed progress in expanding women’s rights and opportunities. “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2021” presents the latest evidence on gender equality across all 17 Goals, highlighting the progress made since 2015 but also the continued alarm over the COVID-19 pandemic, its immediate effect on women’s well-being, and the threat it poses to future generations.
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This study highlights the laws and policies in G7 countries that impact the lives of women. It showcases the progress of 350 companies (largest 50 companies in each G7 country) against Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) indicators, underscoring the importance of WEPs as a framework in providing concrete steps to advance women’s economic empowerment in the workplace, marketplace, and community.
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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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This global report presents results of the Safe City and Safe Public Spaces for Women and Girls initiatives from a range of cities across the globe. It illustrates what governments, grassroots women, women’s organizations, and other community partners can do to implement interventions that form part of a comprehensive approach to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and sexual violence against women and girls in public spaces.
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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 paper uses harmonized collections of national labor force datasets to compare the size and shape of the paid care sector around the globe. The paper then explores the relationship between the size of the care sector and various measures of need for care, finding very little evidence of relationship. Finally, the paper explores wages and working conditions for paid care workers in a subset of countries for which data is available.
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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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This report presents key stakeholders’ perspectives around UN Women’s strategic plan 2022–2025 based on a survey conducted in 2020 as part of global, regional, and country consultations. The report covers key reflections on UN Women’s work to-date and strategies for achieving greatest impact, and for ensuring the next strategic plan navigates the entity well into its second decade and throughout the first half of the Decade of Action to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.
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This report explores some key indicators of women’s economic empowerment in labour markets and women’s political participation and economic leadership in the Indian Ocean Rim region through three dimensions: resources, agency, and achievements. It highlights good practices, case studies, and challenges and opportunities for investments and initiatives, and provides key recommendations for Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Member States and other stakeholders to realize women’s economic empowerment in the region.
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This report includes the main proceedings of UN Women’s Fifth Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global Leaders’ Forum on the theme “Integrated Action and Building to Scale: Safe and Empowering City and Public Space Initiatives with Women and Girls”. The report includes insights from a wide array of speakers, detailed rapporteur reports, key takeaways from programme sessions and participant discussions, good practices and tools, and links to several presentations.
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This discussion paper focuses on the interconnections between policies to move toward universal health care (UHC) as a key element of social protection and those to advance gender equality, women’s empowerment, and human rights. Based on an analysis of country experiences, it shows how gender is a key fulcrum on which all health system elements are leveraged and is hence central to achieving UHC.
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This report examines the roles of women in fisheries and aquaculture in countries of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and the challenges and opportunities for their economic empowerment. The report provides a set of recommendations for policymakers and other stakeholders to further advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in this sector.
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The pandemic has interrupted progress on gender equality, but it can be brought back on course. This year’s edition of “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot” brings together the latest available evidence on gender equality across all 17 Goals, underscoring the progress made, but also the progress interrupted as a result of COVID-19.
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Around the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic has created new risks and challenges to victims and survivors of trafficking and has also worsened the vulnerabilities of at-risk groups, especially women and children, to trafficking in human beings. Based on data collected through a global survey of survivors and frontline organizations, this publication analyses the emerging COVID-19 human trafficking trends and consequences and offers concrete policy recommendations to address them.
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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.