Business and philanthropic partners

UN Women is thankful to all our business and philanthropic partners for their support of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Some of our partners are Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Elizabeth Arden, Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundation, Procter & Gamble, PROYA Cosmetics Co. Ltd, Rockefeller Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, and Zonta International Foundation.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

To deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) we need better gender data. Even the most basic information on women and girls is often lacking: when they are born, how many hours they work, if and what they earn, whether they’ve experienced violence, and the cause of death. We have virtually no gender-disaggregated data on issues that disproportionately affect women and girls. This perpetuates women’s being undervalued in society and ensures huge potential goes untapped.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced USD 80 million of funding in support of programs that boost gender equality, including programmes that aim to close the gender data gap. Part of this funding is dedicated to UN Women’s flagship programme initiative “Making every woman and girl count”. The programme is being implemented across 12 countries over five years and supports the monitoring and implementation of the SDGs through better production and use of gender statistics.

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

(return to top)

Elizabeth Arden

To further the cause of women’s empowerment championed by Ms. Elizabeth Arden herself, the iconic beauty brand launched the March On campaign in support of UN Women in March 2018. The campaign is embodied by the brand’s Storyteller-in-Chief, Reese Witherspoon—Academy Award–winning actress, producer, and entrepreneur, and co-founder of the Time’s Up initiative—who has been a passionate advocate for women.

To introduce the March On platform, a limited-edition lipstick in Elizabeth Arden’s signature red has been sold around the world, with 100 per cent of the proceeds benefiting UN Women. Under the multi-year commitment, the brand has pledged USD 1 million. The funds will support women’s issues around the world, sustain global programming while leading directly to the increased responsiveness and sustainability of field-level activities, and advocate for women and girls to help make their equal participation a reality. Future March On initiatives will be announced in the coming months.

(return to top)

Ford Foundation

UN Women’s partnership with the Ford Foundation spans multiple countries and projects while focusing on areas critical to gender equality and women’s empowerment. In the past, the Foundation’s support has included advancing evidence-based advocacy in China, and mainstreaming gender-responsive budgeting in India. The partnership has achieved strong results; for example, our work in India resulted in the gender-responsive analysis of agriculture and urban development sectors, which led to evidence generation on gender-responsive budgets, plans and programmes.

The Ford Foundation’s current contributions include supporting UN Women in responding to the outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil, building socio-economic resilience and protection of Syrian women refugees and vulnerable Lebanese women in host communities that are affected by the Syrian crisis, strengthening gender-responsive budgeting in India and Sri Lanka, conducting anti-domestic violence work and youth leadership trainings in China, and advocating on accelerating change to end child marriage and early unions in Latin America and Caribbean.

(return to top)

Open Society Foundation (OSF)

Agriculture is one of the most important areas of women’s work globally, with more than one third of employed women working in the agriculture sector. Yet agricultural policies and investments tend to be gender-insensitive. While women farmers are at the forefront of coping with the impact of climate change and natural disasters, they usually have the least access to critical information that could help them.

UN Women’s flagship programme initiative on “Women’s empowerment through climate-resilient agriculture” is based on UN Women’s experience that strengthening resilience requires an integrated approach that simultaneously addresses the structural barriers women farmers face within the context of a changing climate. OSF’s funding is directed towards the “Global policy support project”, which is supporting the implementation of the flagship programme by developing methodologies to assess the gender gap and improve data collection, providing technical assistance, building global and regional partnerships, convening communities of practice, and ensuring knowledge management.

OSF is also supporting UN Women’s flagship report “Progress of the world’s women 2018–2019: Families in a changing world”, which seeks to answer how laws, policies and public action can support families in ways that enable women’s rights to resources, bodily integrity and voice.

(return to top)

Procter & Gamble

UN Women’s partnership with Procter & Gamble (P&G) spans multiple countries and includes programming as well as advocacy initiatives. Currently, P&G is supporting UN Women’s flagship programme Initiative “Stimulating equal opportunities for women entrepreneurs”. Leveraging P&G’s expertise as an industry leader in implementing gender-responsive procurement policies, and its global network, UN Women and P&G are collaborating at a global level to bring best practices and thinking on gender-responsive procurement to key suppliers of P&G. The partnership includes a special focus on building an inclusive business environment for women, and supporting women entrepreneurs, especially small-scale suppliers, to access corporate value chains, including that of P&G, with programmes currently in place in Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.

Simultaneously, P&G is a founding member of UN Women’s Unstereotype Alliance, helping galvanize collective action to proactively address and eliminate gender stereotypes in advertising globally. P&G has already been leading the way with progressive portrayals of women and girls in advertising campaigns, and demonstrating the importance of men in promoting gender equality. P&G is also supporting UN Women’s “Tracking study on gender equality attitudes”, which will provide urgent data on attitudes towards gender equality and help inform corrective action through policy and education.

Previously, in the lead up to the 2016 Olympic Games, P&G’s leading feminine care brand, Always, supported UN Women’s innovative pilot programme, “One win leads to another”, in Rio de Janeiro. The community-based sports programme reached young women and girls, including some of the most-at-risk adolescent girls, and built their confidence and leadership skills, and improved their ability to influence decisions that impact their lives at all levels.

(return to top)

PROYA Cosmetics Co. Ltd

PROYA and UN Women’s partnership in China spans equal employment, labour protection, climate change and disaster risk reduction, and corporate social responsibility. PROYA has also supported the China Gender Fund for Research and Advocacy, which is advancing evidence-based advocacy and social dialogue on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the country.

A notable impact of the partnership was the production and dissemination of the research report “Gender dimensions of vulnerability to climate change in China” in English and Mandarin. The report made available new evidence of the differential impacts of climate change and disasters on men and women. At the time of publication, this knowledge product represented the most comprehensive research available on gender and climate change in China. The dissemination of the research findings by UN Women and UN Women’s partners resulted in more than 150,000 people’s enhancing their knowledge of the gender-differentiated impacts of climate change and disasters.

(return to top)

Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation supported UN Women by providing funding for grass-roots women to participate in the United Nations Global Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012. The initiative aimed to ensure rural women’s voices were heard and their concerns reflected in the international agreement negotiated at the conference. The Foundation also made an important contribution to the Rural Women Feed Africa programme, which seeks to enhance rural women’s food security by improving their access to resources, markets, finance and technology.

(return to top)

The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) and The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF)

UN Women’s partnership with The Coca-Cola Company’s global “5 BY 20” initiative aims to increase the empowerment of women entrepreneurs. Coca-Cola provided funding for UN Women programmes in Egypt, Brazil and South Africa to provide better access to business skills training and financial services, and to support networks of peers and mentors. The programme reached out and empowered more than 42,000 women across the three countries.

Currently, with the Foundation’s support, UN Women is working in Morocco to economically empower rural women, especially those who are most excluded, through the promotion and commercialization of agro-ecology products that are resilient to climate change.

(return to top)


UN Women and Unilever are collaborating to contribute to women’s empowerment in many areas, including in Unilever’s supply chain, through its consumer-facing brands, and via advocacy.

Currently, the multi-pronged partnership between UN Women and Unilever includes the following:

  • Developing and advancing evidence-based and human rights-based programmes to ensure that women and girls are socially, economically and politically empowered in the tea sector. This will inform the development of a catalytic “Global framework on women’s safety” in collaboration with multi-sectoral actors, including government authorities, UN agencies, women’s organizations, suppliers and other partners. The “Global framework” will be adapted in Unilever’s supply chain, and will extend into the wider tea industry and other commodities over time.
  • Co-convening the Unstereotype Alliance, which is galvanizing collective action to proactively address and eliminate gender stereotypes in advertising globally.
  • Supporting UN Women’s “Tracking study on gender equality attitudes”, which will provide urgent data on attitudes towards gender equality to inform corrective action through policy and education as well as through progressive portrayals of women and girls in advertising.

(return to top)

Zonta International Foundation

Zonta International and the Zonta International Foundation have been long-standing partners of UN Women and crucial allies in global efforts to end violence against women and girls. Zonta’s steady support and funding has enabled UN Women to develop and implement strategies to prevent violence in urban spaces and make cities safer, create school environments free of gender-based violence, and address the links between foreign labor migration and human trafficking in Nepal. Zonta-backed programmes make significant contributions to global knowledge on what works in stopping violence.

As a global advocacy leader, Zonta International has also pledged its support for the HeForShe campaign and is encouraging men and boys to join Zonta and UN Women in ending violence against women and girls.

(return to top)