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UN Women - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

Taskforce on WomenWatch

  • WomenWatch Report 2009
  • Background
  • Terms of Reference
  • Strategic Objectives
  • Examples of activities
  • Membership and Methods of Work
  • Contacts
  • Links

  • WomenWatch Report 2009


    WomenWatch ( is the joint website of the United Nations Inter-agency Network on Women and Gender Equality. It provides a gateway to websites of the United Nations (linking to 43 entities) and access to information on what the United Nations entities are doing to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. WomenWatch is utilized by Governments, NGOs, United Nations entities, global and regional bodies, academics, women’s groups and networks, and interested individuals. It is one of the most well utilized websites in the United Nations. For users not familiar with the United Nations, it provides an important introduction to the work of the United Nations in promoting gender equality.

    Terms of Reference

    Examples of activities

    • WomenWatch has developed a directory of UN gender resources - an online database-driven mechanism, which provides links to web sites and webpages, and in some cases to specific documents, produced by UN system entities in a number of critical areas. Sections on the directory include Women of the World: Regions and Countries; the Critical Areas of Concern (from the Beijing Platform for Action; Statistics and Indicators; UN Media Resources; Gender Training Tools and Resources, Gender Mainstreaming. Millennium Development Goals and Women Working at the United Nations.

    • In preparation for the ten-year review and appraisal of implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action during the 49th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (2005) 11 on-line discussions were organized by members of the Inter-agency Network on WomenWatch.

    Membership and Method of Work

    WomenWatch is managed by a Task Force of the Inter-Agency Network, led by the Division for the Advancement of Women.

    A Policy Advisory Group (currently comprised of the Gender Focal Points in DPI, FAO, ILO, ITU, Regional Commissions - ECA, ECE, ECLAC, ESCAP, ESCWA, and Regional Commissions New York liaison Office - UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNIFEM, INSTRAW and DAW) meets once a year in conjunction with the annual IANWGE meeting to provide overall policy and management advice, coordination and support.

    Meetings at working level are held in New York as needed, with participation of Liaison Offices of entities based outside New York.

    An informal network of web managers of IANWGE members has been formed to: increase communication and knowledge sharing through meetings and online collaboration; discuss technical issues; facilitate the improvement of WomenWatch; support individual webmasters throughout the system as necessary; and share information on websites. An online platform has been set up to accommodate remote participants as well, including password-protected areas and online discussion groups / mailing lists. Concrete outcomes of this collaboration include the definition of a common format for UN-wide gender-related RSS news feed as well as a considerable increase in additions to the WomenWatch directory of resources.

    Funding for the website is provided by members of IANWGE as well as external donors. The need to secure sustained funding has been identified as a priority of the Task Force.


    Task Manager: Sylvie Cohen (DAW)


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