Gender Equality

The challenge

Gender equality is a fundamental human right and a neccessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. However, gender inequality remains one of the most pervasive forms of discrimination in all development settings. While gender inequalities can affect anyone, impeding global progress towards achieving sustainable development, it is women who face the most discrimination.

The solution

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development envisions a world "of universal respect for human rigjts and human diginity" in which "every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality and all legal, social and economic barriers to their empowerment have been removed."

Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are central to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Gender equality is reflected in 45 targets and 54 gender-specific indicators of the SDGs. Achieving these targets and closing the gender gaps will therefore create a multiplier effect across all of the SDGs and accelerate their achievement.

With the largest operational platform within the United Nations system, working on the ground in some 170 countries and territories, our work and expertise are central to achieving the SDGs. This unique position has prompted UNDP to adopt the Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2021, which commits the organization to intensify its efforts to mainstream gender equality across all of its areas of work. 

Our role

  1. Removing structural barriers to women’s economic empowerment, including unpaid work
    Our work focuses on approaches that transform legal, policy and social norms to create a sustainable impact on women’s economic empowerment. This requires investing more in gender-responsive infrastructure, implementing policies that support equal redistribution of unpaid care and domestic work, equal access to assets and land and other such approaches.
  2. Preventing and responding to gender-based violence
    We works closely with governments and national and local institutions to address gender-based violence (GBV), one of the major impediments to both gender equality and sustainable development. In particular, UNDP supports efforts to ensure justice for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in crises and non-crises contexts by improving the skills and knowledge of police officers, judges, prosecutors, court administrators and military and religious leaders. 
  3. Promoting women’s participation and leadership in all forms of decision-making
    Our work focuses on increasing women’s participation and leadership in a broad range of institutions, including parliaments, political parties, public administration, judiciary and the private sector. We also works to address structural barriers to women’s leadership through support of gender equality laws and quotas and aims to strengthen women’s empowerment and leadership in the workplace through the Gender Equality Seal for Private and Public Enterprises.

  4. Strengthening gender-responsive strategies in crisis (conflict and disaster) prevention, preparedness and recovery
    We work to improve integration of gender equality issues in conflict prevention, disaster preparedness and crises response, and advance the women’s peace and security agenda. 

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