Women and Gender Equality

A woman uses an axe.

Roads are an essential means of transporting food and other essential items to vulnerable communities throughout The Gambia. Improving The Gambia’s network of feeder roads is an important means of enhancing food security and advancing social and economic development across the country. More than 200 local women have been employed in construction works linked to a UNOPS project that is doing just that – with the construction team comprising more than 60 per cent women.

Illustration of a couple among different women’s hygiene products.

UNFPA calls attention to the needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls amid the global coronavirus pandemic, and the efforts needed to secure their health and human rights.

A woman at a health clinic with people looking in from the doorway.

As COVID-19 takes a staggering toll on people, communities and economies everywhere, not everyone is affected equally. Women, who account for the largest share of front-line health workers, are disproportionately exposed to the coronavirus. As countries are on lockdown and health systems struggle to cope, sexual and reproductive health services are being side-lined and gender-based violence is on the rise. On 11 July, World Population Day, the United Nations aims to raise awareness about the sexual and reproductive health needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls during the pandemic.

indigenous women around a table with craftwork

Since March 2020, Guatemala has recorded more than 600 COVID-19 deaths and over 11,000 infections. Amidst this crisis, indigenous women have continued to use their voices, knowledge and capacities to assist their communities and adapt their livelihoods. To build back better, their needs and concerns, but also their leadership must be placed at the centre of COVID-19 recovery plans. Boosting indigenous women’s entrepreneurial abilities can be transformative for them and their communities, and by extension, the entire country.

A woman wearing a hijab stares at a poster that reads STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.

UN Women indicates that domestic violence is one of the greatest human rights violations.  Some 243 million women and girls (aged 15-49) have been subjected to sexual or physical violence by an intimate partner in the last 12 months. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, this number is likely to grow. Increases in interpersonal violence during times of crisis are well documented. UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged all Governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women part of their national response plans.  Over 140 Governments have supported this call.

drawing of young woman with hand up, saying STOP

Five unexpected, and critical, takeaways from UNFPA’s flagship 2020 State of World Population report. Without urgent action, the situation for women and girls could worsen.

Join UN Women in speaking up and taking action for a future without violence against women.

UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and Academy-Award winning actor Nicole Kidman raises awareness on ending violence against women during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

A man and a little girl play with toys.

When fathers share the care

A group of women huddle and put their hands together.

Girl students disappear from class in Malawi when they were married off or became pregnant. Boys also dropped out, but the trend was much more worrying for girls. Some 42 per cent of girls are married while still children, according to recent statistics. Some 29 per cent of girls aged 15-19 have already begun childbearing. Both marriage and pregnancy contribute to high drop-out rates in the country. UNFPA provides comprehensive sexuality education to students.

A woman crouches her head and covers her face with her hand.

Already a dramatically under-reported crime, conflict-related sexual violence has been further obscured by this pandemic. COVID-19 hampers the possibility of survivors to report sexual violence and further exacerbates the existing structural, institutional and sociocultural barriers to reporting such crimes. On this International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the United Nations stands in solidarity with survivors. A virtual event will take place on 19 June 2020 (10 a.m. EST) to mark the observance. Watch live on UN WebTV.

The Shadow Pandemic: Domestic violence in the wake of COVID-19

A deadly #ShadowPandemic of domestic violence is surging in the wake of COVID-19. Violence against women and girls has intensified in countries around the world.

More women in peacekeeping means more effective peacekeeping. The theme for this year’s International Day of UN Peacekeepers: “Women in Peacekeeping: A Key to Peace”, also marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. UN Peacekeepers are now facing one of their greatest challenges - supporting and protecting the people in the countries they are based in during the COVID-19 pandemic. Women peacekeepers are on the front lines implementing mission mandates while contributing as an integral part of the COVID-19 response.

Women are at the heart of care and response efforts for the #COVID19 pandemic.

Profiles of two women facing each other.

The persistence of obstetric fistula, one of the most serious injuries that can occur during childbirth, is a tragic sign of social injustice and inequity in developing countries.  This failure of health systems could grow greater in times of COVID-19. This International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, the theme is:  "End gender inequality! End health inequities! End Fistula now!". Efforts to end fistula should continue. Universal access to quality maternal health care, preventive measures, and increased attention to affected women and girls should be a priority right now.

illustration of island with different sized boats along shore

When it comes to unpaid work, not everyone is in the same boat. What does your boat look like? Let’s find out…