22
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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 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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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 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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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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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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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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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 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 discussion paper reviews literature on homeworkers in global supply chains from 2000 to 2017. The review was guided by the following questions: What are the vulnerabilities of homeworkers in global supply chains? What mechanisms exist to provide legal and social protections for homeworkers and to secure their livelihoods? How have homeworkers made gains through organizing and agency, and what challenges do they continue to face in this area?
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How macroeconomic policies are designed and implemented is recognized as crucial to advancing women’s economic empowerment. This discussion paper highlights why it is important to have in place a gender-responsive economic environment.
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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 paper investigates the extent to which financial services offered through posts may serve women in the developing world better than financial institutions (FIs). We find evidence that posts do seem to include women to a greater extent than FIs. We conclude that a more deliberate attempt at the financial inclusion of women by postal operators has the potential to yield even more success in this regard.
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This study explores the shocks experienced by households and the coping strategies employed by them in Ecuador, Ghana and Karnataka, India. It emphasizes the role of assets, showing how these may be directly lost as a result of a shock or may be used as part of a coping strategy. It finds that women and men living in the same household may experiences shocks differently and use different coping strategies.
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This study constitutes a pioneering effort to measure whether women accumulate physical and financial assets as either remittance managers or migrants themselves. Based on household asset surveys in Ecuador and Ghana, the authors find that women have fared as well as men in their ability to acquire assets through remittances or savings earned abroad, but overall, a relatively small share of migrant households are able to accumulate assets, a finding requiring the attention of policymakers.