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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 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 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 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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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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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 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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As the world learns to live with COVID-19, to emerge from the current crisis, and to “build back better”, UN Women will launch Plan for Equal, a visionary but practical roadmap for putting gender equality, social justice, and sustainability at the centre of the recovery. It will feed into UN Women’s Generation Equality Forum and Action Coalitions, aimed at accelerating commitment, action, and financing for gender equality.
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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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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 paper examines the case for investing in free universal childcare services in North Macedonia in order to reduce gender inequality in employment, labour market activity and earnings; promote higher human capital through greater enrolment of children in early childhood learning and development; and ensure equal access to all children in formal childcare as to foster the life chances and well-being of young children.
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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.
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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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This discussion paper presents a costing analysis for a set of family-friendly services and transfers: income protection for children, people of working age, and older persons; universal health coverage; and early childhood care and education and long-term care services. The costing shows that such a package is affordable in many countries.
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The 2019 “World survey” is focused on the reasons for the high levels of income poverty and time poverty among women and contains an analysis of the rationale for taking an integrated policy approach to addressing the double bind experienced by women in that regard, as a timely and relevant means of achieving sustainable development, in particular in low-income contexts.
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This study contributes to the policy debate on early childhood education and care (ECEC) expansion in the Kyrgyz Republic, and shows an estimated cost of providing universal childcare, it’s employment impact on men and women, as well as the tax revenue implication from the increased employment. The report argues that access to quality, formal ECEC plays a crucial role from the perspective of children as beneficiaries and parents as primary providers of care.
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This publication shows that economic growth is an inherently gendered process and that gender-based inequalities can, in fact, be barriers to shared prosperity. It argues that, for growth to be gender-equitable and truly inclusive, the pattern of growth must create decent work and productive employment for women and men. This would require policymakers to rethink the role of macro-level economic policies, including trade, industrial, macroeconomic, finance, and investment policies.
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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.