Partner spotlight: Switzerland


Switzerland and UN Women share a fundamental commitment to gender equality. As a strong champion of gender equality, Switzerland engages with UN Women on issues such as women’s economic and political empowerment, including reducing and eliminating the gender pay gap; prevention of violence against women and girls; and gender equality in governance, national planning and budgeting. Switzerland’s support of UN Women has enabled the entity to strategically focus on advocating for women’s rights in conflict zones and gender mainstreaming in the UN system for greater coherence and effective­ness to achieve gender equality.

Funding from Switzerland has prioritized regular resources and has remained consistent, providing a strong financial centre that allows UN Women to strengthen functions essential to support delivery of its tripartite mandate. In addition, Switzerland has been the largest contributor to the Fund for Gender Equality (FGE), a unique global mechanism dedicated exclusively to promoting women’s eco­nomic and political empowerment.

In 2018, Switzerland was UN Women’s second-largest contributor of regular resources with USD 16.2 million and the fifth-largest contributor of total resources with USD 18.7 million. Between 2011 and 2018, the Swiss Government has contributed an aggregate amount of USD 150.2 million to UN Women.

Switzerland provides financial support to strengthen the functions of UN Women, enabling its normative engagement with other Member States as well as its UN-system coordination and operational capacity. As a member of the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC), Switzerland has also helped to support innovative and effective equal pay policies and practices around the globe.

Together we have achieved

Tajik crew producing Swiss hard cheese, semi-hard cheese ‘Mutschli’ and curd together with Maike Oestreich in the village dairy of Präz. Photo: UN Women/ Zarina Urakova

From the Alps to the yurt: Swiss cheese meets Tajik milk bowls
The Cheese Exchange, a UN Women initiative, brought entrepreneurial Tajik and Swiss women cheese makers together to share skills and develop new dairy products for Tajikistan.

Magda Alberto participates in a workshop about women's political participation. Photo: Bogotá Women's Secretariat

In the words of Magda Alberto: “The idea of a more just, democratic society … comes hand in hand with equality for women”
Magda Alberto is a young feminist and member of the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group in Colombia. She advocates for the inclusion of women in the Colombian peace process and was part of the Women and Peace Summit in 2013 and 2015, which led to the formal recognition by the parties of women’s role in the Colombian peace process.

Coumba Diaw. Photo: UN Women/Assane Gueye

From where I stand: “They said that a woman couldn’t run for elections…I proved them wrong”
Coumba Diaw is the only female Mayor in the Louga region of Senegal. She grew up listening to a rhetoric that restricted women from participating in politics and public life. But that didn’t stop her. Today she makes other elected officials aware of the importance of women’s leadership.

Elena Kochoska. Photo: UN Women Europe and Central Asia/Rena Effendi

In the words of Elena Kochoska: "Women bear a double burden because of their gender and disability”
Elena Kochoska is a vocal advocate for persons with disabilities in North Macedonia. She participated in UN Women–organized training and mentoring sessions on gender-responsive budgeting. Thereafter, she prepared a cost-benefit analysis showing the benefits of including children with disabilities in mainstream education.

Rubia Akter.  Photo: UN Women/Tapati Saha

From where I stand: Rubia Aktar
Rubia Aktar migrated to Abu Dhabi, looking for a decent life. After working for six months as a domestic worker for little pay and not enough time to rest, she returned to her village in Bangladesh with no savings. Today she owns a small tailoring cooperative, after receiving economic reintegration training and grant support.