Womenwatch is the central gateway to information and resources
on the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women
throughout the United Nations system, including the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations
Secretariat, regional commissions, funds, programmes, specialized
agencies, and academic and research institutions. The portal contains a directory of resources on selected topics including the critical areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for Action, statistics and indicators, gender mainstreaming and online clearinghouses on themes currently on the United Nations global agenda, such as climate change. Recent developments also include UNGENews, a real-time news feed of all United Nations news on gender equality and empowerment of women. Multi-lingual sections of Womenwatch are currently being developed, with the objective to make the Womenwatch directory of resources as multi-lingual as possible, i.e. available in all UN official working languages, English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian.
Womenwatch is a joint
United Nations project created in March 1997 to provide an internet
space for global gender equality issues and to support implementation
of the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action. It was founded
by the former entities UN Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), United Nations
Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and United Nations International
Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women
(INSTRAW) that have now merged into UN Women. Since 1997, the intergovernmental
mandate has expanded, for example through the outcome document
of the Twenty-third special session of the General Assembly
in June 2000 and Security Council resolution 1325 of October
2000. Womenwatch was showcased at the World Summit on the Information Society Tunis in 2005 as an example of successful inter-agency collaboration and networking within the United Nations. Recently, Womenwatch's social media-connected UN gender equality news feed (UNGENews) was included in a best practice exhibition of innovative tools for information sharing during the 2010 ECOSOC High-level Segment at UN Headquarters in New York.
Womenwatch is managed by a taskforce
of the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE), led by UN Women. A Policy Advisory Group meets once a year and is currently comprised of the
Gender Focal Points in the UN Secretariat's Department of Public Information (DPI); Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); International Labour Organization (ILO); International Telecommunication Union (ITU); Regional Commissions
(Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), and Regional Commissions New
York Office), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UN-Habitat), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), and
UN Women. Funding for the website is provided by members of
IANWGE as well as external donors.