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This publication explores the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s economic empowerment in the tourism sector which has disproportionately affected women due to pre-existing gender inequalities and women’s predominance in the sector’s workforce. The document examines emerging research and data, identifies innovative responses across regions, and makes concrete recommendations for action to ensure that women’s economic empowerment is central to the COVID-19 response and recovery in the tourism sector.
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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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This policy brief provides a critical assessment of the “men for gender equality” field, and proposes new directions for programming and policy on men and boys. This includes moving away from a focus on individual men’s identities, attitudes and behaviours, and towards a greater focus on the structures and systems that sustain gender inequalities.
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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 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 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 report explores some key indicators of women’s economic empowerment in labour markets and women’s political participation and economic leadership in the Indian Ocean Rim region through three dimensions: resources, agency, and achievements. It highlights good practices, case studies, and challenges and opportunities for investments and initiatives, and provides key recommendations for Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Member States and other stakeholders to realize women’s economic empowerment in the region.
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This implementation package is a suite of practical resources and tools to support the implementation of the RESPECT Women: Preventing Violence against Women Framework. The package is built upon the global evidence base, expert recommendations and practitioner consensus to support policy makers and practitioners in developing ethical and effective VAW prevention programming.
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This brief presents emerging evidence on the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the care economy. It highlights key measures needed to address the increase in unpaid care work as a result of the pandemic, ensure adequate compensation and decent working conditions for paid care workers, and enable the participation of paid and unpaid caregivers in the policy decisions that affect them.
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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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This study serves as an evidence-based instrument that demonstrates how leveraging attitudinal change can be used as a critical tactic towards advancing gender equality. The findings have the potential to inform policymakers, advertisers, private sector leaders, civil society, and decision-makers on challenging discriminatory attitudes and gender roles that perpetuate gender inequality and women’s subordinate status in society.
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This brief provides background information on the root causes and risk factors that explain why violence against women occurs in the first place. It highlights how the context of COVID-19 is exacerbating those factors and the impact it is having on rates of violence against women and the ability to undertake evidence-based prevention work in the current context. It provides indicative interventions that can be undertaken during social distancing.
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How are women’s employment outcomes shaped by domestic and caregiving responsibilities? Drawing on a global dataset and new indicators developed by UN Women and the International Labour Organization, this paper provides insights into the distribution of domestic and caregiving responsibilities within various types of households—insights that are critical at this juncture when policies and programmes are being designed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic fallout.
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This publication focuses on training as preventive intervention. It discusses current thinking on what makes training effective and presents a new framework for standards. Transformative work involves building a values-based approach to sexual harassment and an audit/culture check to establish the shape of harassment therein, with training that links these two. Training must fit the specific context, be conducted by experts in gender inequality, and be conducted face to face.
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This handbook provides practical guidance, elaborated with case studies, on how additional fiscal space can be created for a universal social protection system. The analyses should help governments on how they can increase spending on priority sectors for women, children, and vulnerable groups.
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This discussion paper on cultural change needed to end sexual harassment offers inputs on training, victim-focused work, rational reporting and collective ownership. It recognizes the work of the global women’s movements that put the issue in the spotlight, the women who led the international clamour for recognition of their voices and accountability for all perpetrators.
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In this report, the Secretary-General underscores measures taken at the national level to incorporate a gender perspective into national sustainable development policies and strategies; promote sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth strategies that benefit women and active labour market policies on full and productive employment and decent work for women; eliminate gender-based occupational segregation and gender wage gaps; accelerate the transition of women from informal to formal employment; prevent and eliminate all forms of violence, discrimination and sexual harassment against women at work; and promote the reconciliation of work and family responsibilities.
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This discussion paper identifies some of the most prevalent custody and child maintenance regimes in cases of divorce, dissolution of a civil union, and separation of parents, and examines them with an emphasis on their impact on women’s rights and gender equality.
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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.