In Focus

The following are special compilations of news, speeches, feature stories, videos and social media content focused around special events and topics.

In Focus: World Refugee Day

A refugee woman with her children in Zaatari Refugee camp in Jordan. Photo: UN Women/Christopher Herwig

There are 25.4 million refugees around the world today, and nearly half are women and girls. On 20 June, World Refugee Day, we are honouring the resilience and determination of refugees worldwide. Read more»

In Focus: Women and girls in sport

On 8 May 2018, the HeForShe Flash Tournament brought together women's soccer teams from eight universities in Mexico. Photo: UN Women/Dzilam Méndez

Sport has the power to change lives. By teaching women and girls teamwork, self-reliance, resilience and confidence, sport is one of the great drivers of gender equality. Women in sport defy gender stereotypes and social norms, make inspiring role models, and show men and women as equals. Read more»

In Focus: International Girls in ICT Day

More than 80 girls from acrossAfrica came together in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for training in coding. The project is being implemented by UN Women and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) sponsored by the Danish government.  UN Women/Faith Bwibo

With technology playing a role in all kinds of careers, from art and history to law, primary teaching and graphic design, learning tech skills at a young age will set girls up for economic independence. And, the ICT sector needs more girls and women. Read more»

In Focus: UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63)


This year, the 63rd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63), the UN’s largest gathering on gender equality, is taking place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 11 – 22 March 2019. It will focus on the theme, “Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”. Read more»

In Focus: International Women’s Day 2019

International Women's Day: "Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change"

The theme for International Women’s Day (8 March) this year, “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”, puts innovation by women and girls, for women and girls, at the heart of efforts to achieve gender equality. Join us to celebrate women and girls, their limitless imagination, their joyous dreams and their boundless strength. Read more»

In Focus: International Day of Women and Girls in Science

In Viet Nam, young women look through microscopes. Photo: UN Women/Pham Quoc Hung

On International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we're celebrating women and girls who are leading innovation. Join us to call for actions to remove all barriers that hold them back. Read more»

In Focus: Orange the World, #HearMeToo

Orange the world: #HearMeToo

For the 16 Days of Activism, this compilation features the stories of some of the brave women and men who are paving the way for a safer, more equal and better world for all. Join them as they say #HearMeToo. Read more»

In Focus: Women, peace and security

A woman crafts in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. Photo: Christopher Herwig

To create lasting peace, we need women’s voices. Meaningful participation means that women are at the table when negotiations are taking place, women’s interests and lived experiences are fully reflected in peace processes, and that women are equally considered in recovery efforts in the aftermath in conflict. Read more»

In Focus: International Day of Rural Women

A woman walks through greenery in Guatemala. Photo: UN Women/Ryan BrownThis year, on International day of Rural Women on 15 October, we are calling for better public services, including health care, education, childcare and shelters, on which millions of rural women depend; and laws, policies and budgets to improve their livelihoods and well-being. We stand in solidarity with rural women and their organizations everywhere as they seek to influence the decisions that shape their lives. Read more »

In Focus: International Day of the Girl Child

Young girls from Mtakataka Secondary School in the District of Dedza, Malawi. Photo: UN Women/Karin Schermbrucker On International Day of the Girl Child (11 October), themed “With Her: A Skilled Girl Force”, join UN Women as we stand with girls everywhere as they inspire, innovate and take charge of their own future. Read more»

In Focus: 73rd session of the General Assembly

United Nations General Assembly Hall. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown As global leaders come together for the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, UN Women will bring women’s voices and priorities to the forefront and call for tangible actions to achieve gender equality. Read more»

In Focus: World Humanitarian Day 2018

A woman in a refugee camp in Cameroon learns to write. Credit: UN Women/Ryan Brown Today, an unprecedent number of people live in crisis situations. In every region of the world, natural disasters, armed conflict, violent persecution and disease outbreaks have uprooted millions of people. On World Humanitarian Day, 19 August, we bring you updates on two of the world’s most pressing crises: the Syria emergency and the Rohingya emergency, and a glimpse at what happened in the aftermath of the hurricanes in the Caribbean. Read more»

In Focus: Creating space for youth voice, choice and safety

Celebrating Women’ Strength Festival - March 2018 (for International Women’s Day) Dancers from New Cambodian Artists pose for a photo.  Photo: UN Women/Sreynich Leng On 12 August we’re celebrating International Youth Day under the theme Safe Spaces for Youth. This means creating civic and political spaces where young people can shape the decisions that impact their lives; having them at the centre of peacebuilding and climate action; and ensuring that online and offline spaces for youth are inclusive, diverse and free from violence. Read more»

Indigenous women mobilizing for their rights

An indigenous woman paints a mural in her community in Guatemala. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown At a time of unprecedented human mobility, indigenous women are on the move too, often fleeing violence, environmental disasters and land encroachments that have eaten into their sources of food, water and way of life. The positive economic spin-offs of migration don’t always reach them. This year, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (9 August) will focus on the theme of “Indigenous peoples’ migration and movement”. Read more»

In Focus: Women and the SDGs

Gender equality is a right. Fulfilling this right is the best chance we have in meeting some of the most pressing challenges of our time—from economic crisis and lack of health care, to climate change, violence against women and escalating conflicts. Check out new data, stories, videos and more illustrating how and why gender equality matters across all the Sustainable Development Goals. Read more»

In Focus: Climate action by, and for, women

Aminata Traore works in the greenhouse of Sidibe Argo-Techniques in Katibougou Village, outside Bamako, Mali on November 3, 2013. Sidibe Argo-Techniques is growing watermelons, sweet peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables.   Photo: World Bank/Dominic Chavez Climate change is making our world more dangerous. Catastrophic storms, of increased frequency and strength, are destroying lives, homes and businesses. Severe droughts are stifling rural livelihoods. Sea level rise have put low-lying areas and island nations at risk. An additional 250,000 climate-related deaths per year are expected between 2030 and 2050 from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress. Read more» 

In Focus: International Day of Rural Women

Chandra Kala Thapa, one of many smallholder women farmers from Ranichuri village in Sindhuli district, was barely able to produce enough grains to feed her family. With support from the Joint Programme, she converted her field from grain production to high-value vegetables. “Now the prices are good and the money comes on time. This was not the case when I used to cultivate grains instead of high-value vegetables,” she says.   Photo: UN Women/Narendra ShresthaRural women make up over a quarter the world population and majority of the 43 per cent of women in the global agricultural labour force. They till the lands and plant seeds to feed nations. They ensure food security for their communities and build climate resilience. But when it comes to owning land, accessing agricultural inputs, financing and technologies for climate resilience, they are left far behind men. Read more »

In Focus: Empowering women to conserve our oceans

Women lead ocean conservation in Seychelles. Photo:  UN Women/Ryan BrownIn June 2017, the United Nations put a spotlight on oceans with the first-ever Ocean Conference. Read more»

In Focus: Indigenous women’s rights and activism

Debora Barros Fince. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown | Tarcila Rivera. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown | Mama Neema. Photo: UN Women/Deepika Nath | Pratima Gurung. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown. | Oralia Ruano Lima. Photo: UN Women/Rosendo Quintos On the occasion of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, UN Women spotlights the voices and activism of indigenous women from around the world, as they tackle the challenges of climate change, poverty, gender-based violence, armed conflicts and more. Read more »

In Focus: Women refugees and migrants

Burundian refugees in Democratic Republic of Congo. Around the world, people are on the move, half of them are women. In the lead-up to the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, we highlight the voices of women refugees and migrants. Read more »


2015 year in review

2015 year in reviewFrom the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action to the historic adoption of the SDGs with a strong gender equality focus, this timeline is a selection of some of the gender equality achievements, milestones and noteworthy moments from around the world this year. Read more »
See the 2014 timeline
See the 2013 timeline

Financing: Why it matters for women and girls

financing for development logoAhead of the high-stakes Third International Conference on Financing for Development, UN Women highlights the need for dedicated financing for gender equality to achieve transformative change. Read more »

Beijing critical areas of concern

Woman in India crosses bridgeFocused on each of the 12 “critical areas of concern” identified in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, comprehensive editorial packages are being published once a month from June 2014-June 2015. Read more »

Engaging men

Fiji men holding bannerAhead of the second MenEngage Global Symposium from 10-13 November in Delhi, India, we take a look at some of the ways UN Women is working with men and boys to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment. Read more »

Displaced women and girls lead and survive

On 28 October, the UN Security Council will focus on displaced and refugee women and girls in its annual Open Debate on women, peace and security, highlighting their struggles and urging action on international commitments. Read more »

Small Island Developing States

SIDS Conference logoAhead of the 3rd UN SIDS Conference in Samoa (1-4 September), read news, interviews and feature stories about UN Women's work to promote gender equality in Small Island Developing States. Read more »

Strengthening Women's Access to Justice

At the 67th General Assembly, UN Women called on Governments to show commitment and accelerate action to increase women’s access to justice while fostering a responsive justice system that advances women’s rights and participation. Read more »

UN Conference on Sustainable Development

The UN Rio+20 Conference brought Heads of State and Government to Brazil in June 2012. It appraised implementation, progress and gaps for agreements struck at the 1992 UN Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio, and beyond. Read more »