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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the strategic needs of women and girls and must encompass enacting new laws and amending or repealing laws which are outdated, inconsistent with constitutions, or discriminate against them.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 policy brief explores the ways in which being a migrant accentuates the risks of women and girls to various forms of gender-based violence at all stages of migration and examines how this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The brief concludes with a set of recommendations on how to reduce the risks of gender-based violence and improve the provision and coordination of essential services for women and girls.
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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 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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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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Analysing data from 11 national household surveys, this research found that, while women typically earn less than men and pay more in transfer fees, the average remittance amounts they send are the same as or even greater than those of men, implying that they tend to remit a larger portion of their earnings than do men. The research also showed that migrant women are more dependent on in-person cash transfer services to send remittances.
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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 guidance note highlights the emerging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women migrant workers, focusing on the key challenges and risks they face. It makes recommendations in the context of the economic and social response and recovery packages that governments are putting forward, supported by examples of existing good practices from around the world.
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Social protection is a universal human right and a key element of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. While this right unequivocally applies to migrants, irrespective of migration status, migrant women in particular often remain excluded. Against this backdrop, this policy brief discusses the barriers that migrant women face in accessing social protection and provides recommendations for States to meet their obligation to overcome these, particularly in relation to health care, maternity protection and essential services for victims and survivors of violence.
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This paper concerns the implications of migration within Central America for family life. Focusing on the case of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, it shows how Nicaraguan families develop strategies based on a history of informal and flexible caregiving. While these informal strategies allow families to navigate the challenges migration and family separation entail, they also contribute to continued vulnerability and reinforce the gendered burdens of caregiving within transnational families.
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Are we on track to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls? This report brings together the latest available evidence on gender equality across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, underscoring the progress made as well as the action still needed to accelerate progress.
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This report outlines the current context with respect to the problem of violence against women migrant workers. It provides information on the measures taken by Member States and activities undertaken within the UN system to address this issue and ensure the protection of migrant women’s human rights.
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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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A two-page brief providing an overview of UN Women’s “Policies and practice guide on gender-responsive implementation of the Global Compact for Migration”.
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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 paper investigates how women’s right to live free from violence operates in the context of insecure immigration status. It identifies a tension between human rights and immigration control that is present in theory, policy frameworks, and migrant women’s lived experiences. It contends that this tension has led to a proliferation of rights’ statuses for migrant women who are exposed to intimate partner violence.