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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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In the first “gender alert” since the Taliban took over Kabul on 15 August 2021, UN Women brings gender data and analyses on the impact of the rapidly evolving context on women’s rights in Afghanistan.
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UN Women partnered with the Inter-Parliamentary Union to prepare a handbook on gender-responsive law-making. This handbook aims to serve as a resource for lawmakers from around the world for designing gender-responsive laws. Such law-making should address the strategic needs of women and girls and must encompass enacting new laws and amending or repealing laws which are outdated, inconsistent with constitutions, or discriminate against them.
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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 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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This edition of the “UN Women impact stories” series includes stories of UN Women’s selected programmes to end violence against women and girls across the world, highlighting the impact of our work and the partnerships that make it possible.
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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 manual provides step-by-step guidance to Parties to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on integrating gender issues and promoting gender equality in the design of transformative land degradation neutrality (LDN) projects. It builds on work launched by UN Women, the UNCCD, and the International Union on the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in advising governments on transformative efforts to avoid, reduce, and reverse land degradation through gender- and socially equitable means.
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Globally, more than 2.5 billion women and girls are affected by discriminatory laws and the lack of legal protections. This policy strategy seeks to fast track the repeal of discriminatory laws in 100 countries between 2019 and 2023, focusing on six thematic areas, and will address the legal needs of more than 50 million women and girls.
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This discussion paper views the whys and hows of feminist engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals in a broader context: the key UN-related processes from the time women began getting involved with them in the 1970s. It was produced for the UN Women flagship report, “Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, and released as part of the UN Women discussion paper series.
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This research paper explores the gender dimensions of biodiversity conservation and the global norms on gender equality and natural resource management within the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The paper further identifies the main entry points for strengthening gender considerations in decisions of the Parties to the CBD and in the implementation of the Convention, as well as in the future work of Parties and other stakeholders.
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This paper aims to give a broad overview of marriage and relationship recognition by exploring the extent to which the legal institution of marriage in western jurisdictions has changed to reflect gender equality. It draws on key illustrative examples, including the gendered division of labour, division of assets on divorce, the introduction of same-sex marriage, as well as examples from the expanding “menu” of relationship recognition.
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This publication summarizes the discussions of the Expert Group Meeting, held on 5–6 June 2018 in Nairobi, and highlights a set of actionable recommendations to support the accelerated gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UN Women, UN Environment, and UN-Habitat prepared the report and recommendations as a contribution to the 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
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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.
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Access to justice is critical for the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “A practitioner’s toolkit on women’s access to justice programming” was developed by UN Women, UNDP, UNODC and OHCHR to stimulate bolder gender-responsive justice interventions. It harnesses experiences, lessons learned, and promising practices for creating non-discriminatory and inclusive justice systems, empowering women and girls to claim and fully realize their rights.
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The purpose of the corporate evaluation was to assess UN Women’s contribution from 2011 to 2017 towards women’s ability to “lead and participate in decision-making at all levels”, and to provide evidence from past practice to inform its future strategic planning and implementation in this area. It analysed UN Women’s contribution across its integrated mandate at the global, regional, and country levels against four criteria: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability.
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More than one third of the Earth’s land is currently degraded, affecting 2.6 billion people. Land degradation impacts men and women differently, making it imperative to address the persistent gender inequalities that fuel women’s extreme poverty. This paper analyses land degradation with a gender perspective and concludes with recommendations for the gender-responsive implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification.
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This policy brief outlines the gains and gaps in gender-responsive constitution-making over the years, and the policy lessons that can be drawn from these for ongoing constitutional and post-constitutional reforms.
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This strategy harnesses UN Women’s long-standing commitment to indigenous women and represents the organization’s first official frame of reference for bringing its programming to scale in a coherent and consistent manner across the organization, to deliver on indigenous issues at global, regional, and country levels.
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This research report, the second edition to ‘The Full View: Advancing the goal of gender balance in multilateral and intergovernmental processes’ (2013), examines developments in women’s participation in decision-making processes and expands on the lessons learned from the first report. It includes a set of recommendations for Parties, observers and the secretariat to the UNFCCC on ways to advance the goal of gender balance to promote women’s voice and agency.