Women and Gender Equality

Someone wearing a UNFPA vest sits at the bedside of a patient.

In Palestine, it is widely understood that vulnerability to breast cancer can be hereditary. As a result, some women avoid getting screened because they fear a breast cancer diagnosis could affect their daughters’ marriage prospects. Women with breast cancer have also faced gender-based violence and abandonment. A recent UNFPA study showed that breast cancer stigma is a major cause of delayed detection and treatment.

Illustration of two women hugging a third wearing a shirt that reads “believe survivors”.

UN Women shines a light on the need for funding, essential services, prevention and data that shapes better-informed responses to violence against women and girls.

UNFPA aid worker helping a mother with children at a shelter

Women and girls in Honduras are at high risk in the aftermath of Hurricane Eta. More than 400,000 women have been directly affected by the widespread destruction and are now left without access to essential health services. More than 1.6 million people throughout the country have been affected. Some 12,000 are now staying in shelters, a precarious situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. UNFPA is supporting a rapid needs assessment and working to restore access to sexual and reproductive health services.

woman in hospital bed

One stillbirth happens every 16 seconds. That’s about 2 million babies stillborn every year. What makes these deaths even more tragic is that the majority could have been prevented through quality care during pregnancy and at birth. Beyond the devastating loss of life, the psychological and financial costs for women, families and societies are severe and long lasting. Here are the answers to key questions about stillbirths.

Chief Inspector Doreen Malambo from Zambia, who serves as the Gender Adviser at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), has won 2020 UN Woman Police Officer of the Year Award, in honour of her work supporting vulnerable groups, such as women, girls, children, and people with disabilit

Women peacekeepers paint a mural of a dove and the world.

The UN Security Council marks two decades since the landmark resolution 1325, which for the first time, enshrined the essential role of women in securing and maintaining peace. Peace is a prerequisite for health, equality and human security. Women are working against tremendous odds to build and sustain peace, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. UN Women supports the global ceasefire called by the Secretary-General and the feminist organizations on the ground: disarmament, arms control and shifting military spending to social investment.

women dancing

‘How we learned to dream again in Rwanda’

Though women are active agents of peace, their leadership remains largely unrecognized. UN Peacekeeping continues to push for their full, equal and meaningful participation in peace processes.

A woman smiles and holds her arms out with a crowd behind her.

Today, the UN Security Council marks 20 years since the historic vote that recognized, for the first time, the unique impact conflict has on women and the critical role they play in conflict prevention and resolution. The Council will convene its annual Open Debate on resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security to ensure a COVID-19 response that is truly inclusive and rooted in the power of women-led peace, as a transformative opportunity towards a more, sustainable and equitable world. Watch the debate on 29 October, at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

Pakistani women at work

In Pakistan, women are major contributors to agricultural production and food security for their families, but like many other nations, the COVID pandemic has exacerbated an already alarming gender gap there. Mina Dowlatchahi, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Representative to Pakistan, explains to Charlotta Lomas, how the UN agency is supporting women in the countryside, despite the corrosive impact of the pandemic. 

Oumou Kalsoum Diop with her camera followed by young woman with microphone

Teen. Girl. Activist.

Heimy Arguedas Madrigal and her baby

Rural women, nature and development: An agenda to advance towards just, inclusive and, resilient societies

Rimu Sultana Rimu

“Teaching girls how to read and write is one of the biggest ways I can make a difference,” says Rimu Sultana Rimu, an 18-year-old peace activist, who is part of the Young Women for Leadership (YWL) network in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, one of the world’s largest refugee settlements. She runs workshops on women and youth participation in peacebuilding, educates young women about their rights, using theater and radio broadcasts. UN Women spoke with Rimu on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325, which continues to shape the agenda for women, peace and security.

report cover graphics

What do data tell us about progress towards the commitments made in the Beijing Platform for Action 25 years ago?

A woman stands outdoors next to a blackboard with girls sitting on the floor facing her.

A UNESCO report released on the International Day of the Girl Child shows that 180 million more girls have enrolled in primary and secondary education since 1995. However, despite an increase across all levels of education, girls are still more likely to suffer exclusion than boys, and this is further exacerbated by the current pandemic. It therefore remains vital for governments to tackle persisting discrimination to achieve equality for the next generation of girls, argues the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report.