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This brief analyses the extent to and ways in which countries in sub-Saharan Africa have made extensive use of social protection instruments to confront the economic and social fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on a unique data set of national social protection strategies from 30 countries in the region, it finds that while a significant number of strategies acknowledge gendered risks and vulnerabilities, few include specific actions to address them. The brief concludes with a set of recommendations.
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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the strategic needs of women and girls and must encompass enacting new laws and amending or repealing laws which are outdated, inconsistent with constitutions, or discriminate against them.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 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 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 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 September 2021 edition of the UN Women impact stories is dedicated to women, peace, and security. These impact stories illustrate part of UN Women’s work on implementing the WPS agenda through programming and partnerships that support the meaningful participation and leadership of women in building long-lasting peace in Bangladesh, the Central African Republic, Georgia, and Lebanon.
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The pandemic has tested and even reversed progress in expanding women’s rights and opportunities. “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2021” presents the latest evidence on gender equality across all 17 Goals, highlighting the progress made since 2015 but also the continued alarm over the COVID-19 pandemic, its immediate effect on women’s well-being, and the threat it poses to future generations.
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UN Women’s highlights from 2020–2021 samples our top 2020 results showing how UN Women has effectively delivered for women and girls around the world, and presents some of the people who have inspired us most over the past year.
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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 global report presents results of the Safe City and Safe Public Spaces for Women and Girls initiatives from a range of cities across the globe. It illustrates what governments, grassroots women, women’s organizations, and other community partners can do to implement interventions that form part of a comprehensive approach to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and sexual violence against women and girls in public spaces.
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This publication discusses ways to broaden the scope of gender-responsive procurement from a focus on only promoting women’s enterprises to also including gender-responsive enterprises. The publication aims to inspire a transformative conceptualization of gender-responsive procurement that supports both equal market opportunities for women’s enterprises and equal outcomes for women in the labour market and the business environment.
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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 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 edition of the “UN Women impact stories” series features six briefs aligned with each of the Generation Equality Action Coalition themes, to mark the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, 30 June – 2 July 2021. The Action Coalitions are global, innovative, multi-stakeholder partnerships that are mobilizing governments, civil society, international organizations, and the private sector to deliver tangible impact on gender equality and women and girls’ human rights by 2026.
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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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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 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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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.