Addressing global challenges requires a collective and concerted effort, involving all actors. Through partnerships and alliances, and by pooling comparative advantages, we increase our chances success."
- Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

Women, Girls and Population

The United Nations has a vast mandate to address gender inequality and womens's empowerment. At the heart of this is a web of international agreements and principles, including those relating to the Fourth World Conference on Women, the International Conference on Population and Development and the Millennium Development Goals, that commit the entire global community to addressing the rights and needs of women and girls.

The United Nations Foundation works together with the Uniteed Nations and other partners to promote gender equality and empower women and girls, with a particular focus on reproductive and sexual health and rights, adolescent girls and women's economic empowerment.

Reproductive Health Advocacy

In 2012, there were new opportunities for the United Nations Foundation to contribute to key international conferences on international reproductive health and family planning. In particular, the London Summit on Family Planning (July 2012) brought together partners from around the world to mobilize global policy, financing, commodity, and service delivery commitments to provide access to voluntary contraception to 120 million more women around the world. The Foundation conducted a wide range of public-facing and behind-the-scenes activities in support of the summit and has been asked by the summit’s core partners (the United Kingdom Department for International Development, the Gates Foundation, UNFPA and the United States Agency for International Development) to play a significant role in the follow-up activities to ensure progress is made against the summit’s commitments. An additional component of the Foundation’s support included launching a pillar for the MDG Health Alliance dedicated to reproductive health and family planning. The Alliance is committed to accelerating improvement in the health-related Goals, and this pillar will aim to ensure universal voluntary access to a full range of contraceptive methods, services and information for women and girls.

UN Adolescent Girls Task Force

Since its inception, the United Nations Foundation has invested millions of dollars in integrated programmes to address the rights and needs of adolescent girls. These investments have achieved programme and policy results, strengthened United Nations capacity and commitment, increased support and laid the foundation for an evidence base on why and how to invest in girls.

The United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Adolescent Girls, which is co-chaired by UNFPA and UNICEF and includes the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), WHO and UNHCR, works to support the United Nations and its partners in advancing policies and programmes for adolescent girls.

With funding from the Packard Foundation, the United Nations Foundation has enabled the Task Force to integrate a focus on adolescent girls in the work of the United Nations. In 2012, the Task Force began to develop a strategy for long-term sustainability, including resource mobilization, business and communications plans; continued to develop technical programme guidance materials on how to reach the most marginalized adolescent girls; provided technical support to and cultivated interest from countries to develop adolescent girl programmes, resulting in over 10 new concept notes from country programmes; hosted events that promote girls’ issues on the global agenda; took on collective advocacy; and increased coordination among the agencies involved. The Foundation also provided funding support for the Global Coordinator for the Task Force.

During 2013, the UN Foundation disbursed through UNFIP more than $225,000 to UNFPA to support the work of the UN Adolescent Girls Task Force - a group of six UN agencies working to fulfil the human rights and potential of adolescent girls, including their education, health, right to live free from violence, leadership development, and economic opportunities.

Girl Up Campaign

Launched by the UN Foundation in September of 2010, Girl Up has evolved into both an advocacy and fundraising campaign. To date, the Girl Up campaign has mobilized about $2.7 million for adolescent girl empowerment programmes managed and implemented by UN agencies in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Liberia and Malawi.

In addition to contributions from individuals, the Girl Up campaign has been supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Levi Strauss, Johnson & Johnson, American Express and Caterpillar Inc., among others.