Women and Gender Equality

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.

Portrait of a woman in front of a chicken farm.

On International Day of Rural Women (15 October), the spotlight is on the urgent need for strengthening rural women’s sustainable livelihoods and wellbeing. They play a crucial role in agriculture and are at the front lines of responding to the pandemic even as their unpaid care and domestic work increased under lockdowns. Gender-responsive investment to expand basic infrastructure and healthcare services in rural areas has never been more critical. UN Women calls to support rural women to rebuild their lives after COVID-19 and to increase their resilience to better prepare for future crises.

A girl wearing a facemask faces her laptop.

UNDP commemorates Beijing+25, the most visionary agenda for achieving gender equality. COVID-19 crisis threatens to undo many of the gains on gender equality over the past 25 years. 

school girls laughing

Today’s more than 1.1 billion girls are poised to take on the future. However, progress for adolescent girls has not kept pace with the realities they face, and COVID-19 has reinforced many of these gaps. Under the theme “My Voice, Our Equal Future”, International Day of the Girl Child 2020 will focus on adolescent girls’ being free from violence, learning new skills and leading for change. Let’s seize the opportunity to be inspired by what adolescent girls see as the change they want, the solutions - big and small - they are leading in and demanding across the globe.

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.