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.
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.
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.