UN Women Executive Board endorses the new Strategic Plan, 2018 – 2021


At its Second Regular Session, from 29 – 30 August, UN Women Executive Board endorsed the new Strategic Plan, 2018 – 2021. The Strategic Plan outlines UN Women’s strategic direction, objectives and approaches to support efforts to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030.  

Building upon the lessons learned from the previous Strategic Plan and the recommendations from the 20-year review and appraisal of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the new Strategic Plan envisions bold steps to respond to emerging challenges and opportunities, and to ensure that all women and girls benefit equally from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

With just 13 years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, which promises to leave no one behind and empower all women and girls, progress for women and girls remains uneven, slow and subject to reversal.  Based on the current trajectory, it will take 82 years to close the gender gap in political participation; 95 years to achieve gender parity in lower secondary education; and 170 years to close the economic gender gap[i]

UN Women’s new Strategic Plan outlines five main outcome areas that will guide the organization’s efforts to tackle the structural barriers to gender equality, for example, through the repeal of discriminatory laws; the transformation of discriminatory social norms and stereotypes, and the strengthening and support of institutions so that they can deliver equally for women and men. 

Through the new Strategic Plan, UN Women will: 

  • Continue to support efforts to strengthen and implement a comprehensive and dynamic set of global norms and standards; and ensure that
  • Women lead, participate in and benefit equally from governance systems;
  • Women have income security, decent work and economic autonomy;
  • All women and girls live a life free from all forms of violence; and
  • Women and girls contribute to and have greater influence in building sustainable peace and resilience, and benefit equally from the prevention of natural disasters and conflicts and humanitarian action 

The Strategic Plan leverages UN Women’s strengths, including the largest pool of expertise in gender equality and women’s empowerment in the UN and its longstanding relationship with women’s organizations, to guide the implementation of UN Women’s mandate of normative support, UN coordination and operational activities. It outlines key approaches for greater impact, such as the engagement of youth and men and boys, leveraging technology and innovation for women, and promoting South-South Cooperation. 

UN Women estimates that approximately USD 1.7 billion over four years will be required to fully implement the new Strategic Plan. 


[i] WEF, (2016). 2016 Global Gender Gap Report 2016.

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