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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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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 presents, through case studies, how leading public development banks (PDBs) have committed and are delivering on the gender equality agenda. The analysis covers what it takes to adopt gender-responsive principles, mechanisms, and tools, as well as foster gender mainstreaming approaches in the programming and funding cycles of PDBs. The publication concludes with 10 actions that PDBs can take now to enhance their commitments and practices.
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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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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 policy brief presents entry points for the application of gender-responsive budgeting to COVID-19 support and recovery packages. Drawing on country examples, the brief provides recommendations on the use of gender budgeting tools to identify gaps in policy responses and direct spending towards gender-responsive COVID-19 support and recovery packages.
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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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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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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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The digital revolution brings immense potential to improve social and economic outcomes for women. Yet, it also poses the risk of perpetuating existing patterns of gender inequality. This report begins by outlining a conceptual framework for understanding the mutual shaping relationship between gender and technology. It then focuses on three areas to identify opportunities and risks in the digital revolution: education, work, and social/welfare services.
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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 brief presents emerging evidence of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on women’s economic empowerment. It considers the immediate gendered economic impacts, including widening socioeconomic divides and shifting national and international priorities for the allocation of resources, as well as the long-term implications for women’s employment and livelihoods.
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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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The United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE), chaired by the Executive Director of UN Women, has responded to the call of the Secretary-General for coordinated action during the COVID-19 pandemic. This compendium captures key messages and efforts of UN entities as they address the gender dimensions of the pandemic, aligned with the five pillars of the UN framework for the immediate socioeconomic response to COVID-19.
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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 brief highlights emerging trends and impacts of COVID-19 on online and ICT-facilitated violence against women and girls (VAWG). It provides examples of strategies put in place to prevent and respond to online/ICT-facilitated VAWG and makes recommendations on how different actors can best address this issue. It is a living document that draws upon the knowledge and experience of a wide range of experts.
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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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This working paper provides a basis to review the barriers, risks, and opportunities related to gender and the accessibility and utilization of digital finance, and to help identify pathways that could be leveraged for potential impactful investment returns for women.
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Issue 15 of TRANSFORM focuses on governance and national planning (GNP), an area of work that has contributed to UN Women’s identity and for which it is recognized and valued. The evaluation of UN Women’s GNP portfolio from 2011 to 2017 assessed the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and extent to which human rights approach and gender equality principles were integrated adequately in UN Women’s approach to GNP.