Over many decades, the United Nations has made significant progress in advancing gender equality, including through landmark agreements such as the†Beijing Platform for Action†and the†Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but its achievement has enormous socio-economic ramifications. Empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth.
Yet gender inequalities remain deeply entrenched in every society. Women lack access to decent work and face occupational segregation and gender wage gaps. They are too often denied access to basic education and health care. Women in all parts of the world suffer violence and discrimination. They are under-represented in political and economic decision-making processes.
For many years, the UN has faced serious challenges in its efforts to promote gender equality globally, including inadequate funding and no single recognized driver to direct UN activities on gender equality issues.
In July 2010, a new UN organisation for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment – UN Women, was established to created to address such challenges and consolidated the four existing UN bodies on women; United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) and Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI).
UN Women is a dynamic and strong champion for women and girls, providing them with a powerful voice at the global, regional and local levels.
Grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the UN Charter, UN Women, among other issues, works for the:
- elimination of discrimination against women and girls;†
- empowerment of women; and†
- achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.
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