Regional and country coordination
UN Member States have called on UN organizations providing regional and national development programmes to coordinate and harmonize their efforts, including to support the achievement of national gender equality priorities. UN Women works to make sure that the reform of the United Nations development system provides a unique opportunity to leverage more coherent support in achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment.
At the regional level, UN Women and UN regional commissions assist efforts to uphold agreed gender equality norms, working through regional coordination mechanisms and UN Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG) teams. Across the regions, the Entity chairs/co-chairs dedicated interagency working groups on gender equality and the empowerment women, which focus on promoting joint action at the regional level in support of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as supporting the work of UN country teams on gender mainstreaming. At the country level, UN Women works with resident coordinators and other UN entities through UN country teams, leading gender theme groups, and actively engaging in joint results groups and joint programmes to strategically address gender-based inequalities.
A key focus has been on positioning gender equality strategically in the new generation of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, by placing it as a key common programming principle for the Cooperation Framework. Today, 69 per cent of all UNDAFs feature a gender-specific outcome-level result, and the Entity works to make sure that this remains squarely at the core of common programming by UN country teams.
Gender equality and the empowerment of women is also the number one area of concentration of joint development programmes implemented by UN entities. In 2017, 109 out of 371 joint programs focused on supporting the achievement of SDG 5. Jointly with UNFPA, UN Women led the UNSDG in developing a dedicated “Resource book on mainstreaming gender in UN common programming at the country level”.
Gender theme groups
Gender theme groups (GTGs) are interagency coordination mechanisms that aim to strengthen the collective approach and response by UN country teams. They provide policy advice, coordination on programming issues within the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, and technical support on gender equality and women’s empowerment. In 2018, jointly with UNFPA, UN Women led the UNSDG in updating the guidance on the functioning of these key instruments through the “UNSDG resource guide for gender theme groups”.
Promoting UN accountability at the country level
The new Development Cooperation Framework requires UN development entities to put gender equality at the heart of programming, driving the active and meaningful participation of both women and men, and consistently empowering women and girls, in line with the minimum requirements agreed upon by the UNSDG in the “UNCT System-wide Action Plan (SWAP) gender equality scorecard”. The scorecard is an accountability framework that promotes improved UN planning, programming, and results for gender equality and the empowerment of women in support of Member States’ efforts to achieve the SDGs. The scorecard is organized around seven dimensions: planning; programming and monitoring and evaluation; partnerships; communications and advocacy, leadership, and organizational culture; gender architecture and capacities; resources; and results. Each dimension includes performance indicators drawn from intergovernmental mandates.