Gender Equality

Young African American woman worker at overseas shipping container yard.

Globally, women’s participation rate in ports is only 18%. UNCTAD’s TrainForTrade port management programme is helping to bridge the gender gap by empowering more women in ports.

Data show that restricting access to abortion does not prevent people from seeking abortion, it simply makes it more deadly. As UNFPA’s 2022 State of World Population report reveals, nearly half of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended, and over 60 per cent of these unintended pregnancies may end in abortion. A staggering 45 per cent of all abortions are unsafe, making this a leading cause of maternal death. Almost all unsafe abortions occur in developing countries, and UNFPA fears that more unsafe abortions will occur if access to abortion becomes more restricted.

Major Zharare, Captain Wilson and a group of other women

Major Winnet Zharare is the first Zimbabwean to receive the prestigious UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award for her outstanding efforts to integrate gender perspectives into peacekeeping.

Three women sit on the floor around a mound of folded, bright pink, cloth pads.

Menstruation is intrinsically related to human dignity. For millions, this most natural of the reproductive cycle functions can equate to abuse, stigma, missed opportunity and loss of dignity. To support menstrual health and hygiene, UNFPA has included thousands of kits as part of the humanitarian response to conflict and natural disasters. Menstrual Hygiene Day seeks to advance menstruation as a biological process and to eliminate feeling fear or shame or being exposed to more vulnerabilities. It also raises awareness of period poverty, or the inability to afford menstrual supplies.

Girls in a classroom

An annual UNESCO gender report, analysing data from 120 countries in primary and secondary education, shows that in the early years, boys perform better than girls in mathematics but, this gender gap disappears later. This research confirms that the gender gap in learning has closed even in the poorest countries. And in some countries, the gap is now reversed. However, biases and stereotypes are still likely to affect learning outcomes. Boys are still far more likely to be overrepresented among the highest performers in mathematics in all countries.

father jumping while playing with his kids in the yard

Ahmed Fakih, 38, a life skills teacher and Douaa Affarah, 31, a Business Administration student, have been married for seven years and have two children – Juri and Nasser. “Since the day of our engagement we have been fostering a small society built on equality,” explained the couple. Although they live in a conservative society, the couple have worked hard to create a different environment and upbringing for their children, away from gender-discriminatory ideas and norms. Ahmed Fakih enjoys being equally involved in his children’s upbringing. "Marriage is an institution based on cooperation, management and participation between the wife and the husband, including for the father to have a primary role in caring just like the mother. This does not detract from his manhood and would not put him in an inferior position as some might think," Ahmed says.

Portrait of a woman sitting outdoors.

From an FGM survivor to a practitioner to now an advocate working to eliminate the practice in her community, Priscilla Nanagiro is among 60 community activists working with a UN Women.

Girls in orange hijabs sit lined up outdoors.

As part of UNFPA’s Dear Daughter campaign, women in the internally displaced persons camp on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia, learn about the harmful effects of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Problems always arise when a woman forces her way into a man’s world. Men will wonder “what is she doing here, why doesn’t she cook or sew?” Entrepreneur, Takhmina Bakhronova, broke into the male-dominated taxi business in Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe – introducing innovations that have left her competitors standing. See the full multimedia story on ILO's Voices - a platform with first person perspectives on the world of work.

Anne Hathaway, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, at the opening session of the SDG Action Zone entitled "The Big Picture."

Why does the portrayal of women scientists and engineers in films and in the media matter? Would you say that there's a conscious effort to change the numbers and images of women characters as scientists and engineers? What concrete actions can content creators put in place to support and promote strong female characters and role models? Geena Davis, Academy Award winning Hollywood actor, founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and ITU's Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT, answers these questions in an exclusive interview with ITU.

A female community worker in protective gear checks the temperature of another woman

The second wave of COVID-19 in India brought unprecedented losses. UN Women and health sector experts answer frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and how it impacts women and girls in India.

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted women’s employment not only because they make up the majority of the hardest hit sectors but because mothers have been feeling more pressures at home due to lockdown measures and school closures.  Have a listen to Isabel Torres, co-founder and CEO of Mothers in Science, which aims to raise awareness of the career obstacles faced by mothers in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) and advocates for workplace equality and inclusion. UNDP’s Chats with STEMinists is a podcast series sharing conversations with people working to advance girls and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. 

Who decides whether or when you can have sex? Watch what people on the streets of Paris had to say and join the conversation. As the Generation Equality Forum drew leaders and activists from around the world, UNFPA highlights the critical importance of realizing bodily autonomy for all.