Partner spotlight: European Union
UN Women and the European Union (EU) have been collaborating to empower and protect the rights of women and girls since UN Women was established. Following the signing of a partnership agreement in 2012, their cooperation has deepened at all levels. This was reaffirmed in 2016, with both partners agreeing to further stepping up collaboration for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment worldwide.
Joint advocacy and awareness-raising activities have included comic and cartoon competitions “Gender Equality: Picture It!” in the European Union, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Ukraine, in partnership with EU delegations. From the previous European Commission, the President as well as all male Commissioners joined in 2016 UN Women’s HeForShe movement.
EU contribution agreements signed for programmes and projects 2012–2019 (including contributions channeled through other agencies):
USD 292.2 million
Countries covered by EU–UN Women programmes: more than 70
In 2017, the European Union together with the United Nations launched the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year partnership to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. The initiative, launched with a seed funding commitment of EUR 500 million from the European Union, represents an unprecedented global effort to invest in gender equality and women’s empowerment as a precondition and driver for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2019, the European Union was the largest contributor to UN Women’s other resources with USD 84.4 million.
In 2020, the European Union adopted a new Gender Equality Strategy and is currently designing the new Gender Action Plan 2021–2024 and vowing to systematically screen development funding to ensure that assistance helps transform the lives of girls and women worldwide, among other commitments.