Women and Gender Equality

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…

Asabe Danjuma together with some of the cooperative members.

Empowering and protecting rural women in the time of coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic will uniquely affect women in many ways. To respond effectively to the crisis, leaders around the world must take into account gender-dynamics of the outbreak’s impact. Paying attention to women’s needs and leadership will strengthen the #COVID19 response.


Two women in protective gear speak to two women without face masks.

UNFPA reports significant levels of lockdown-related disruption over 6 months could leave 47 million women in low- and middle-income countries unable to use contraceptives, leading to a 7 million additional unintended pregnancies. Other projections include an additional 31 million cases of gender-based violence, an estimated 2 million more cases of FGM over the next decade than would otherwise have occurred, and an estimated 13 million more child marriages over 10 years.

Three girls in front of a laptop.

The International Girls in ICT Day aims to encourage girls and young women’s interest in the technology sector. Today, the Secretary-General tells girls and young women “the world cannot afford to lose your talent”. ITU encourages to counter the COVID-19 imposed distance by staying connected through online celebrations. Let's turn current constraints into opportunities to demonstrate the power of technology. The Girls in ICT portal remains the central hub for sharing activities with the Girls in ICT community by mapping virtual celebrations.

Women in protective gear preparing lunch.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) reports how disease outbreaks affect women and men differently. Pandemics worsen existing inequalities for women and girls. Women represent 70 percent of the health and social sector workforce globally. They are also most susceptible in times of crisis due to the higher risk of domestic violence. Therefore, it is essential to include women at all levels of the response and recovery efforts, including decision-making. UN Women encourages Governments take five specific measures.

Natawan Pintho, an immigration officer at the airport in Bangkok, Thailand.

Half the world is under stay-home orders, that means four billion people in 90 countries. COVID-19 has impacted us all, but most of the decisions taken are by men and the voices we hear are often male. Yet, the majority of front-line health workers are women. The care burden on women has grown exponentially. UN Women is bringing the voices of women on the front lines of the pandemic. Here are some s(h)eroes who are out there, every day, protecting and serving their communities.

One of the oldest and most atrocious weapons of war is rape, but now the courage of survivors is creating a new transformation marked by healing, justice and peace.

Paying attention to women’s needs and leadership will strengthen the COVID-19 response. Globally, women make up 70 per cent of workers in the health and social sector, and they do three times as much unpaid care work at home.

woman in protective gear

Beyond a health issue, the COVID-19 pandemic is a profound shock to our societies and economies, with women at the heart of care and response efforts. As frontline responders, health professionals, community volunteers, transport and logistics managers, scientists and more, women make critical contributions to address the outbreak. The majority of caregivers, at home and in our communities, are also women. UN Women is bringing up-to-date information and analysis on how and why gender matters in COVID-19 response.

Illustration of people calling for gender equality

As we usher in the new decade and take stock of global progress on women’s rights, UN Women makes a call to join in achieving gender equality through these simple everyday actions. 

Engineer trainees huddle

Young female trainees in Zambia's Heavy Equipment Repair training programme smash gender stereotypes by showing their motivation and encouraging female participation.