What is UN Women?

April 18, 2024

Six months into the war, Gaza is facing a humanitarian crisis disproportionately impacting women and girls, according to a new report by UN Women.

About UN Women:

  • It is the United Nations (UN) entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
  • In 2010, the UN General Assembly created UN Women.
  • The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact.
  • A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.
  • The main roles of UN Women are:
    • To support inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards, and norms.
    • To help member states implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, and to forge effective partnerships with civil society.
    • To lead and coordinate the UN system’s work on gender equality as well as promote accountability, including through regular monitoring of system-wide progress.
  • It works globally to make the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) a reality for women and girls and stands behind women’s equal participation in all aspects of life.
  • Within countries that request its assistance, UN Women works with government and non-governmental partners to help them put in place the policies, laws, services, and resources that women require to move towards equality.
  • Grant-making Funds: UN Women provides grants to fuel innovative, high-impact programmes by government agencies and civil society groups through two funds—the Fund for Gender Equality and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. 
  • Commission on the Status of Women (CSW): A global policy-making body, the CSW is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women.
  • Aside from the CSW, UN Women offers regular information on women’s rights issues to the General Assembly, the ECOSOC, and the Security Council.
  • It maintains the UN Secretary-General’s database on violence against women, which tracks measures to end violence taken by UN Member States and UN organizations.