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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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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the strategic needs of women and girls and must encompass enacting new laws and amending or repealing laws which are outdated, inconsistent with constitutions, or discriminate against them.
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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 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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The “Feminist plan” maps the ambitious and transformative policies—on livelihoods, care, and the environment—that are needed to build a more equal and sustainable future. To get there, it calls for context-specific policy pathways, tailored political strategies, and financing. The plan identifies key levers that can create change and the actors at global, national, and local levels that need to take action to move towards this vision.
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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 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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On its 25th anniversary, the UN Trust Fund launches its annual report for 2020, which highlights the results of funded civil society and women’s rights organizations despite the challenges of COVID-19. During 2020, UN Trust Fund grantees adapted swiftly to help protect and support women and girls during the unprecedented global crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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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 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 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 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 focuses on women in leadership. Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, is crucial to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. These stories feature some of the women leaders who are paving the way.
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The IPU–UN Women “Women in politics: 2021” map presents global rankings for women in executive, government, and parliamentary positions as of 1 January 2021. The data shows all-time highs for the number of countries with women Heads of State or Heads of Government, as well as for the global share of women ministers.
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The pandemic has exposed and exacerbated existing gender data gaps that undermine our ability to intentionally craft gender-responsive policies and programmes. Filling these data gaps poses a significant challenge as many data collection efforts have been disrupted due to COVID-19 control measures, but without addressing these gender data gaps and collection obstacles, we cannot fully understand or mitigate the gendered impacts of the pandemic.
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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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The Gender Equality Working Group of the Sustainable Development Goal 3 Global Action Plan on Healthy Living and Well-being for All, chaired by UN Women, along with the Gender and Health Hub at the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health, developed a guidance note and a checklist of key actions to respond to gender-related barriers to vaccine access for countries to prioritize in COVID-19 national deployment and vaccination plans.