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In this case study series, UN Women and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange join forces to assemble practical fact sheets on a diverse selection of innovative financing instruments that have been launched across developed and emerging markets by a range of entities, with the intent to reduce gender gaps.
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Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 74/235 on women in development, in the present report, the Secretary-General considers global evidence and trends and reviews and assesses measures taken at the national level, since 2019, regarding gender-responsive poverty eradication, social protection, and labour market policies; women’s labour and human rights and ending gender-based discrimination; women’s entrepreneurship; women’s and girls’ unpaid care and domestic work and women’s paid care work; gender-based violence and sexual harassment; universal access to healthcare services, including sexual and reproductive health; and the right to education throughout the life cycle, taking into account the impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in these areas.
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This report provides a detailed history and analysis of the survivor-centered social, legal and political strategies that were employed by those involved in the Sepur Zarco case—a landmark 2016 verdict by a Guatemalan court, convicting two former military members of crimes including sexual violence, sexual slavery, and domestic slavery committed against Maya Q’eqchi’ women near a military rest outpost in Sepur Zarco during Guatemala’s internal armed conflict.
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This toolkit serves as an introductory reference for those working on care as a means to achieve gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls, and the Sustainable Development Goals and to promote the rights and wellbeing of care providers and recipients. It follows the “5R framework for decent care work”: Recognize, reduce, and redistribute unpaid care work, and reward and represent paid care work.
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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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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 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 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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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 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 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 brief presents emerging evidence on the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the care economy. It highlights key measures needed to address the increase in unpaid care work as a result of the pandemic, ensure adequate compensation and decent working conditions for paid care workers, and enable the participation of paid and unpaid caregivers in the policy decisions that affect them.
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Across the world, the care of children continues to be primarily provided by women and girls, and such a burden constrains their ability to participate equally in employment and social and political life, and to earn an income commensurate with that of men. The goal of this research is to measure and value women’s contribution to the economy through their unpaid care and domestic work responsibilities in the Republic of Serbia.
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How are women’s employment outcomes shaped by domestic and caregiving responsibilities? Drawing on a global dataset and new indicators developed by UN Women and the International Labour Organization, this paper provides insights into the distribution of domestic and caregiving responsibilities within various types of households—insights that are critical at this juncture when policies and programmes are being designed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic fallout.
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We know that violent extremism has gendered impacts. But how do gendered power relations influence violent extremism, including why individuals join extremist groups, how these groups function, and what beliefs they hold? UN Women and UPDP commissioned this research volume of expert analyses to explore how unequal gender power structures, including masculinity, fuel and shape violent extremism in South and Southeast Asia.
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This handbook provides practical guidance, elaborated with case studies, on how additional fiscal space can be created for a universal social protection system. The analyses should help governments on how they can increase spending on priority sectors for women, children, and vulnerable groups.