UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) | IAS Target

UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)

IAS Target

UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, is a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women. UN Women became operational in January 2011. As with UNIFEM formerly, UN Women is a member of the United Nations Development Group.

Formation 2 July 2010
Headquarters New York City, United States

Governance structure

The organization is governed by a multi-tiered intergovernmental governance structure in charge of providing normative and operational policy guidance.
  • The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
  • The General Assembly
  • Economic and Social Council

The intergovernmental governance structure in charge of providing operational policy guidance to UN Women includes the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and the organization's Executive Board. The latter consists of forty-one members, elected by the Economic and Social Council for a tenure of three years.

Mandate

  • The consolidated mandates and functions of the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women
  • The Division for the Advancement of Women
  • The International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women.
  • The United Nations Development Fund for Women

In addition, the entity must lead, promote, and coordinate the accountability of the United Nations system in its work on gender equality and women's empowerment. The goal of UN Women is to "enhance, not replace, efforts by other parts of the UN system (such as UNICEF, UNDP, and UNFPA), which will continue to have a responsibility to work for gender equality and women's empowerment in their areas of expertise."
As per the provisions of resolution 64/289, UN Women will work within the framework of the UN Charter and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, including its twelve significant areas of concern and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, as well as other applicable UN instruments, standards, and resolutions that address gender equality and the empowerment and advancement of women.

Objectives of UN-Women

  • Enable member states to hold the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender equality, including regular monitoring of system-wide progress
  • Support intergovernmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, norms and global standards
  • Help UN member states implement the above standards, standing ready to provide suitable financial and technical support to those countries that request it and to forge effective partnerships with civil society

UN Women's focus areas of work include:

  • Ending violence against women
  • Humanitarian action
  • Governance and national planning
  • Economic empowerment
  • Peace and security
  • The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  • Leadership and political participation
  • HIV and AIDS

Also in late 2013, UN Women launched a constitutional database that examines constitutions through a gender lens. The first of its kind, this database maps the principles and rules that guarantee, deny, or protect the rights of women and girls around the globe. This tool for gender equality and human rights activists is annually updated and searchable, and provides a comprehensive overview of the current status of provisions relevant to women's rights and gender equality across various countries throughout the world.
UN Women is one of the lead agencies in coordinating International Women's Day events as well as the Commission on the Status of Women. The year 2015 has marked a number of significant milestones, such as the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which was the focus of the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) from 920 March 2015, where global leaders took stock of progress and remaining challenges for implementing this landmark agreement for gender equality and women's rights.
UN Women played an active role in major intergovernmental negotiations and processes included the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa in July 2015. The new global development roadmap encompasses a stand-alone goal on gender equality and women's empowerment (Sustainable Development Goal 5) and mainstreams these priorities throughout all 17 goals.

India and UN-Women

  • Union Cabinet has approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) b/w India and the United Nations Entity of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women).
  • The government of Odisha has been applauded by The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) for proposing a 33% reservation for women in Parliament and the State Assemblies.