Women and Gender Equality

Around the world and through the decades, we have all shared in the global struggle for gender equality.

woman cutting fabric

The world has made unprecedented advances, but no country has achieved gender equality. Legal restrictions have kept 2.7 billion women from having the same choice of jobs as men. Less than 25% of parliamentarians are women. One in three women experiences gender-based violence. International Women’s Day, 8 March, is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women. This year’s theme, I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights, is aligned with UN Women’s campaign marking the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Let’s make 2020 count for women and girls everywhere!

Women in orange uniforms, work with machinery on the street.

The UNFPA initiative aims to eliminate the degrading and hazardous practice of manual cleaning of public sewer systems and help the women employed gain financial independence. 

Afro-Ecuadorians and Afro-Colombian refugees use traditional arrullo rhythms and song to open a conversation about gender-based violence.

Young women of African descent in class

The Youth Leadership School for young people of African descent in the Latin America and Caribbean region seeks to strengthen young people’s technical and entrepreneurial skills. Around the world, people are finding new ways to remove the barriers to fundamental rights. By blending tech solutions with the wisdom and knowledge of UNFPA’s network of partners, these innovations are changing lives, at scale. UNFPA is partnering with innovators to accelerate progress for women and girls. More in this collection of stories.

An illustration of a woman protecting herself from a man.

Violence against women is a human rights violation that takes place every day around the world. UN Women shows us how we may better recognize it and seek or offer help.

woman with bodyright (b) symbol on her neck

The Internet can be a hateful, hostile place, particularly for women, girls, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ and other marginalized communities, who are more likely to have their images abused online. Online misogyny and violence is a widespread human rights violation. This is why UNFPA is launching bodyright, a brand new “copyright” for the human body. It demands that images of our bodies are given the same respect and protection online as copyright gives to music, film and even corporate logos. Claim your bodyright...and let’s end online violence.

silhouettes of women's faces on an orange background

Before COVID-19, a different pandemic was already threatening the lives and well-being of people around the world: violence against women, impacting at least 1 in 3 women and girls. Now, a new report from UN Women, which brings together survey data collected in 13 countries across all regions, confirms the severity of the problem. Despite its persistent prevalence, violence against women is preventable. UN Women experts offer 5 recommendations for action.

An image of shattered glass that reads “The Virtual is Real”

Just as gender-based violence takes on many insidious forms, so does digital gender-based violence: image-based abuse aka non-consensual sharing of intimate images or “revenge porn”, cyberstalking, online harassment, sextortion, online trafficking, doxxing. The perpetrator could be a stranger on another continent or someone next door targeting sexuality against her. Marginalized groups, including people with disabilities and LGBTQI individuals, may be even more vulnerable. UNFPA presents the stories of survivors during the 16-days of activism against gender-based violence campaign.

drawing of women marching with flags

From 25 November to 10 December, the United Nations is marks the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence under the global theme: “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”

woman walking up stairs in damaged building

As governments, humanitarian actors, and peacebuilders meet at the UN to discuss the women, peace and security agenda, watch this space for news, updates and voices of women peacebuilders.

woman working on an artwork

War, violent conflict, terrorism and violent extremism have different and devastating consequences for women and girls. In the face of these, women all over the world lead movements to prevent conflict, restore peace and rebuild communities. The women, peace and security agenda was formally established in 2000 by a unanimous Security Council decision. This year’s Security Council’s annual open debate on women, peace and security will focus on investing in the contribution of local women to peacekeeping, peacebuilding and transitional settings during and following UN peace operations.

Illustration of a young woman

More than 217 million women and girls in the world who want to avoid getting pregnant aren’t using effective contraceptives. UNFPA helps countries increase access to voluntary family planning.

UN Women is committed to #StayandDeliver in Afghanistan, where recent rollbacks on women’s rights have evoked fear for Afghan women and girls. UN Women Afghanistan Deputy Representative Alison Davidian breaks down this urgent situation, highlighting key areas for action to support the immediate and long-term needs of Afghan women and girls. 

2022 laureates

UNESCO and the L'Oréal Foundation unveil the winners of this year’s International Prize for Women in Science, which honours five eminent women scientists with exceptional careers from the five regions of the world.