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In 2021, the Independent Evaluation Service condcuted the corporate evaluation on UN Women’s policy advaocy work. The evaluation team assessed the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and coherence of UN Women’s policy advocacy work to deliver high-impact and transformative results in line with the UN Women Strategic Plan 2018–2021. Findings from this evaluation are expected to contribute to strategic decision-making, organizational learning and accountability, and implementation of the UN Women Strategic Plan 2022–2025.
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Gender mainstreaming continues to be the core strategy for accelerating progress on gender equality and the empowerment of women. This handbook aims to encourage and support more systematic and effective gender mainstreaming for the achievement of gender equality throughout the United Nations system and within all sectors.
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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 report summarizes the Global Annual Gender Focal Point Meeting held on 18–20 October 2021. Gender Focal Points met to exchange good practices and were provided with capacity building and training, tools and knowledge exchange, and opportunities to learn from leaders and experts from the UN system, civil society, and academia on how to drive change across the UN system.
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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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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 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 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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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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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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This global report provides a synthesis of the work of UN Women during 2020 to ensure a gender-sensitive response to the COVID-19 pandemic in ending violence against women, economic empowerment, leadership, gender data, and humanitarian contexts.
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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 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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UN Women leads and coordinates a United Nations system–wide network of more than 300 gender focal points. The Global Annual Meeting of Gender Focal Points and Focal Points for Women in the United Nations brings the network together in person and supports the gender focal points in their ongoing work to enhance gender parity and an enabling environment in their respective entities. This report provides a summary of the 2020 global annual meeting, key conclusions and best practices from the sessions.
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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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Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, shrinking working hours, increased care burdens, and heightened violence have exacerbated the challenges that women and girls face. Unless action is taken, by 2021 around 435 million women and girls will be living in extreme poverty, including 47 million pushed into poverty as a result of COVID-19. This publication presents the latest evidence on the multiple impacts of the pandemic on women and girls.
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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.