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This paper proposes replacing the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Gender Inequality Index with two new gender indexes: the Global Gender Parity Index and the Women’s Empowerment Index. The proposal builds on a review of concepts of gender equality in the capability approach that underpins UNDP’s human development paradigm and the relevant international policy frameworks. It also implements current proposals for reform.
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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 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 discussion paper assesses the evidence base of the “men for gender equality” field in light of three aspects of its emergence as a field, namely: its un-interrogated use of the category of “men”, its recourse to social psychological accounts of gender norms, and the implications of its NGO form for its ability to collaborate with and be accountable to resurgent intersectional feminist mobilizations.
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The MeToo movement and much other work have increased public attention on sexual harassment. Yet, many workers still await adequate protection and enjoyment of their rights. This discussion paper focuses on sexual harassment of workers in the informal economy, with a focus on farmworkers and domestic workers. The paper provides suggestions for action by governments and civil society organizations for a world of work free from sexual harassment.
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This advocacy paper seeks to reflect and progress dialogue on the connections between sexual harassment and sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA). It advocates a rethinking of current approaches, including that centring survivor voices and understanding their common causes and dynamics is necessary for elimination.
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This discussion paper aims to address the limited scope of discussions and actions relating to the lives of women with disabilities and sexual harassment. It calls for centring the knowledge of women and girls with disabilities in all efforts to end sexual harassment in the world of work and on campus. It contributes to the development of intersectional approaches for addressing sexual harassment as it manifests in the lives of women with disabilities.
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The digital revolution brings immense potential to improve social and economic outcomes for women. Yet, it also poses the risk of perpetuating existing patterns of gender inequality. This report begins by outlining a conceptual framework for understanding the mutual shaping relationship between gender and technology. It then focuses on three areas to identify opportunities and risks in the digital revolution: education, work, and social/welfare services.
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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 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 paper examines how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has been integrated into the national debate on gender equality in Ecuador. It identifies which policies from the Agenda have been taken into account and which have been rejected. It also examines how the actors involved in clarifying the scope of these policies—women’s movements, sexual diversity organizations, public officials, and UN agencies—have coordinated their activities with the Agenda.
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This working paper provides a basis to review the barriers, risks, and opportunities related to gender and the accessibility and utilization of digital finance, and to help identify pathways that could be leveraged for potential impactful investment returns for women.
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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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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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This study addresses the percolation and domestication of the United Nations’ “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – Transforming our World” in Germany with a view to understanding its impact on domestic gender equality policies. Concentrating on federal-level policymaking, the main finding of the study is that the 2030 Agenda and SDG 5 have, as of yet, not had a discernible impact on domestic gender equality struggles.
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This discussion paper provides an updated analysis of gendered economic inequality in high- and middle-income countries. A review of the literature demonstrates that such an analysis needs to explicitly recognize that gender, poverty, and (economic) inequality are intrinsically linked. It was produced for UN Women’s flagship report, Progress of the World’s Women 2019”, and also released as part of the UN Women discussion paper series.
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This publication intends to support policy makers, employers, and activists by sharing UN Women’s work on this topic and offering new guidance on policy and practice on sexual harassment.
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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 examines the impacts of shifting policies in relation to family reunification and internal dispersal on the experiences of female Syrian asylum seekers in Germany. It sheds light on how female Syrian asylum seekers and recognized refugees have coped with diverse challenges before arriving, during long-lasting separations, after subsequent reunifications in Germany, or after arriving alone.