UN Women forms part of the United Nations and its purpose is to focus on rebalancing gender inequalities and bring around empowerment for women and their human rights.
UN Women works on a broad scale to target every area of society where gender inequality is still a serious problem. Some of these areas of inequality rise from the developing world but scarily many of these issues are still prevalent in developed countries.
The organisation upholds and implements the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were agreed upon by the Member States in 2015 towards a unified goal of bringing an end to poverty, inequality and to promote prosperity whilst seeking to protect the environment by 2030. It’s belief is that by working together with the Member States and their governments, the vision of the SDGs will come to fruition and thus accelerate the process of full equal rights for women.
UN Women leave no stone unturned and they focus on all areas of life where women would be a powerful asset but where their voice is at present unheard. Their website documents the areas they tackle (please click on this link to read full description) and these are:
- Leadership and Political Participation: Women are inadequately represented in both public and civil office as well as in areas of academics. Similarly they insufficiently appear in roles of leadership and as voters.
- Ending Violence Against Women: Violence against women is widespread and in every walk of life. Violence against women ranges from emotional, physical and sexual abuse and some times lead to death. All result in compromising women’s ability to participate and contribute to society as well as compromising their physical and mental well being.
- Peace and Security: Women and girls tend to be the most affected by war and civil unrest. They hold the highest refugee status and suffer the brutal face of war crimes, yet they are not partaking in peaceful negotiations which means they are absent from reshaping laws in this area.
- Humanitarian Action: Women are more often than not the first responders to crisis. They are capable and strong and due to these strengths they are integral to preparing for humanitarian crises, yet they are at present not represented in crisis prevention strategies.
- Youth and Gender: To continue the move towards female equal rights the youth of today, male and female, need to be educated on human/equal rights to pave the way for an equal future.
- Governance and National Planning: Implementing national plans, policies and strategies are how governments start to put into practice the vision of the SDGs so it is essential that women play a role in putting these procedures in place.
- HIV/AIDS: Due to the unequal power dynamics between men and women many females do not live with the right to choose safe sex for themselves. Because of this the spreading of HIV and AIDS is widespread. Women who contract HIV or AIDS in many countries have even less rights than they started with. They live with a new stigma and are often excluded from society.
UN Women has active programmes for all of these areas of inequality providing education and training for women. They also work with governments, finance partners, civil society groups, parliamentarians and academic organisations to be revising legislation and raising awareness and understanding for how and why women should be integrated into all areas of life. UN Women works to see global action take place for gender equality by forming agreed standards between the Member States. It also provides financial support and expertise to help Member States see these standards to fruition. It also works in partnership with other sectors of the UN, such as UN AIDS, to bring about change. To read an in depth account of how they work please click here.
If you would like to be involved in supporting UN Women please go to their “get involved” page here.