Women and Gender Equality

UNMISS Assessment Team Leader Ragini Kumari

Twenty years ago, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, underscoring the importance of women’s involvement in peace and security issues. Since, the UN has prioritized gender parity in peacekeeping, peacemaking, and conflict prevention. “Peace Is My Mission” celebrates the impact women are making in UN peacekeeping and special political missions around the world as they serve in civilian, military, police and justice and corrections roles, and invites more women to join the UN to help it achieve all its peace and security mandates.

People in an audience holding hands.

Promises to keep: Meeting the Nairobi Summit commitments

In 2010, the General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution to merge four parts of the United Nations system into UN Women.

Four women sitting together talking.

The question is not whether women can lead as capably as men. Instead UN Women asks why is women’s leadership invisible? How women lead for the wellbeing of all, in just five stories. 


Gender equality is a fundamental human right as well as a cornerstone of a prosperous, modern economy generating sustainable inclusive growth. However, women around the world continue to be paid less than men. Globally, the gap in earnings between men and women stands at about 20%. On this first International Equal Pay Day, we must acknowledge that equal pay is still far from a reality. UN Women explains more about the gender pay gap. This first observance is also notable as it comes while the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has heightened inequalities at work and at home. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has put over 11 million girls at risk of not returning to school, threatening decades of progress toward girls’ education and gender equality.

Composite of two photos of women against holding video cameras against a bright yellow background.

Women play critical roles when humanitarian crisis occurs. UN Women advocates for the urgent need to support women in humanitarian action. Women share their perspectives by video.

Three girls walking side-by-side on a mountain path.

UNESCO, UNICEF, and partners are launching Building Back Equal: Girls Back to School Guide. The guide aims to help policymakers and practitioners in Ministries of Education address the gender dimensions of COVID-related school closures. It provides recommendations to ensure continuity of learning while schools are closed, and to establish plans for reopening schools in a way that is safe, gender-responsive and child-friendly, and meets the needs of the most marginalised girls.

When boys are valued more highly than girls, pressure to have a son is intense. The preference for sons over daughters may be so pronounced that couples will go to great lengths to avoid giving birth to a girl or will fail to care for the health and well-being of a daughter they already have

women make face masks

Salwa, 35, has survived child marriage, three abusive husbands, crushing poverty and years of grinding conflict. After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she also endured starvation. But now, only months after joining a women’s safe space and learning to sew, she is building a new life for herself thanks to a safe space established by UNFPA and the Yemeni Women’s Union.

Ms. Bangura walks with two women and looks at the camera with sad eyes.

Zainab Bangura is the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi and worries for the health and safety of her staff and the populations they serve in the face COVID-19. As UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict from 2012-17, Zainab talks of the secondary trauma she felt after taking in the pain of countless accounts of rape inflicted on women and girls as a weapon of war in this 5th episode of Awake at Night.

Close-up of a woman.

UN Women portrays Maya Tutton, who with her sister, started the Our Streets Now campaign against public sexual harassment, the most common form of violence against women and girls.

women's march in Nepal

In Focus: International Youth Day

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, young people across the world are demanding a fairer, more inclusive world for women and girls.

collage of black women leaders

Meet six black women, who are leaders and trailblazers in their countries and communities.