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Women Empowerment at United Nations

On July 2, 2010, the General Assembly voted unanimously to form a dynamic new entity called the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). The new entity brings concurrently four United Nations offices focusing on gender equality; the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW). UN Women became functional in January 2011.

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UN WOMEN main roles:

Help the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and other inter-governmental bodies in developing policies.
To assist Member States in implementing these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial help to those countries that request it and to forge effective partnerships with civil society.
To hold the UN system accountable for its own commitments to gender equality, including regular monitoring of system-wide progress.

Cover the Necessities of the World’s Women

Over many decades, the UN has made considerable improvement in promoting gender equality, including through landmark agreements such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Yet gender imbalances remain deeply entrenched in every society. Women lack access to decent assignments and face occupational segregation and gender wage gaps. They are too often denied access to basic education and health care. Women in all regions of the world suffer violence and intolerance. They are under-represented in political and economic decision-making processes. Even though women remain a minority of combatants and perpetrators of war, they increasingly suffer tremendous disadvantages.

For many years, the UN has encountered severe challenges in its efforts to foster gender equality globally, including inadequate funding and no single identified driver to direct UN activities on gender equality issues.

UN Women was created to address such challenges, with the purpose of equipping women and girls a powerful voice at the global, regional, and local levels.

Grounded in the vision of equality glorified in the UN Charter, UN Women, among other issues, works for the:

  • Elimination of prejudice against women and girls;
  • Empowerment of women; and
  • The accomplishment of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of growth, human rights, humanitarian action, and peace and security.

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Evaluation and Performance 

The goal and role of evaluation in UN Women is to improve accountability, report decision-making and contribute to learning on the best ways to reach women’s empowerment and gender equality through operational and normative work.

UN Women carries out evaluations in the thematic and administrative implementation areas outlined in its Strategic Plan and produces reports with their findings. The Evaluation Office also develops policies and methodologies to mainstream gender equality and human rights attitudes and approaches in the evaluation practice.

UN Women promotes coordination and accountability in the UN System through evaluation in three main areas:

  • By promoting joint evaluations on gender equality and functioning as a repository of evaluations in the UN system on gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  • By drawing on the possibilities provided by UN system-wide evaluation processes (i.e. DaO and UNDAFs) for generating evaluative information on the UN system’s contribution to gender equality; and
  • Actively contributing to the work of the UNEG for the inclusion of a gender equality perspective in UN evaluations through the growth of procedures and accountability frameworks.


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