Women 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. 

Apande Dut, member of a female farming group

“In the Dinka language, there is a saying: men eat first, then women, then children. But here we, as women, we eat beside the men.” Apande Dut smiles as she says this, sitting with a large group of women under the shade of a mango tree, shelling peanuts while nursing her children. The women are all members of a female-dominant farming group in the town of Rumbek, South Sudan. Up until 2018, both Apande and her fellow community member and friend, Agok, farmed on their own, but their farming knowledge was limited and with such difficult farming conditions, the food grown was never enough. Through sessions led by FAO, the group received agricultural tools, information and trainings on agronomy, as well as business skills that translated into higher production and diversification of their produce. 

A small bowl of saffron

The IFAD-funded Rural Development Programme in the Mountain Zones in Morocco has empowered the women of Azilal by helping scale-up their saffron business and by providing training.

Three girls wearing facemasks balance multiple bottles on their heads.

As the coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, in developing countries it’s rural girls who are proving to be the most vulnerable to abuse during economic collapse and lockdown.

cover artwork

Every day, hundreds of thousands of girls around the world are subjected to practices that harm them physically or psychologically, or both, with the full knowledge and consent of their families, friends and communities. The practices reduce and limit their capacity to participate fully in society and to reach their full potential. UNFPA's flagship report The State of World Population 2020 examines the effects of three widespread practices: female genital mutilation, child marriage and son preference.

illustration of female scientist

Named after pioneer physicist and Nobel Prize laureate Marie Skłodowska-Curie, the IAEA Programme aims to inspire and to encourage young women to pursue a career in nuclear sciences and technology and non-proliferation.

women and men with masks on the street

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to roll back gains in women’s economic opportunities, widening gender gaps that persist despite 30 years of progress. Well-designed policies to foster recovery can mitigate the negative effects of the crisis on women and prevent further setbacks for gender equality. What is good for women is ultimately good for addressing income inequality, economic growth, and resilience, says the IMF.