UN Women

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, is a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women.

UN Women became operational in January 2011.[2] President of Chile Michelle Bachelet was the inaugural Executive Director, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is the current Executive Director.[1] As with UNIFEM previously, UN Women is a member of the United Nations Development Group.[3]

UN Women
Emblem of the United Nations
UN Women Logo
Formation2 July 2010
TypeUN entity
HeadquartersNew York City, United States
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka[1]


In response to the UN General Assembly resolution 63/311, in January 2006 the Secretary-General presented the report A/64/588, entitled Comprehensive Proposal for the Composite Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. In his report, the Secretary-General resolved that, rather than relieving other parts of the United Nations system of their responsibility for contributing to the promotion of gender equality and women's empowerment, the new entity should seek to sharpen the focus and impact of the gender equality activities of the entire United Nations system. Additionally, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon estimated that approximately $125 million per annum were needed for operating costs and "start-up" capacity at the country, regional, and headquarters levels. Moreover, an additional $375 million per annum were needed in the initial phase to respond to country level requests for programmatic support.[4]

After years of negotiations between UN member states, women's groups, and civil society, on 2 July 2010 the General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution 64/289, thus creating UN Women by merging the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW); the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW, established in 1976); the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI, established in 1997), and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM, established in 1976). Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced at the founding of the movement that he is "grateful to Member States for having taken this major step forward for the world's women and girls. UN Women will significantly boost UN efforts to promote gender equality, expand opportunity, and tackle discrimination around the globe."[5]

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women, speaking at Girl Summit 2014 (14538232760)
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women

On September 14, 2010, it was announced that former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet was appointed as head of UN Women.[6] Various countries supported the creation of the body and welcomed Bachelet as chief.[7] During General Debate at the opening of the 65th General Assembly of the United Nations, world leaders commended the creation of the body and its intention to "empower women", as well as welcoming Bachelet's position as the inaugural head.[8] On March 11, 2011, John Hendra of Canada and Lakshmi Puri of India were appointed as first Deputy Executive Directors at the level of UN Assistant Secretary-General.[9]

The provisions set forth by resolution 63/311 on system-wide coherence, adopted by the General Assembly on 2 October 2010, constituted the blueprint for UN Women. Seeking to strengthen the United Nation's institutional arrangements for gender equality and women empowerment, resolution 63/311 supported the consolidation of four distinct parts of the UN system that focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment into a composite entity to be led by an Under-Secretary-General. Moreover, the resolution requested that the Secretary-General produce a proposal specifying the mission statement of the composite entity and its organizational arrangements, including an organizational chart, funding, and the executive board to oversee its operational activities.[10]

Structure and functioning

Resolution 64/289 determined that the entity should be headed by an Under-Secretary-General, to be appointed by the Secretary-General in consultation with member states, for a term of four years, with the possibility of renewal for one term.

The organization is governed by a multi-tiered intergovernmental governance structure in charge of providing normative and operational policy guidance. The General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, and the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) constitute the governance structure that sets forth the normative policy guiding principles of the Entity. The intergovernmental governance structure in charge of providing operational policy guidance to UN Women includes the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the organization's Executive Board. The latter consist of forty-one members, elected by the Economic and Social Council for a term of three years and distributed as follows:

  • Ten from the Group of African States
  • Ten from the Group of Asian States
  • Four from the Group of Eastern European States
  • Six from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States
  • Five from the Group of Western European and Other States
  • Six from contributing countries. Four seats will be selected by and from the top ten largest providers of voluntary core contributions to UN Women. The remaining two seats will be allocated to two developing countries not members of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (DAC/OECD). These two countries will be selected by the developing countries not members of the Development Assistance Committee among the top ten providers of voluntary core contributions to the entity.
IWD 2014- Parade, official launch, and UN Women stall (14229457541)
UN Women and UNICEF staff participating in the IWD 2014 parade. Photo: UN Women/Marni Gilbert

The resources required to fund all normative processes are obtained from the Entity's regular budget and approved by the General Assembly, whereas the budget for service operational processes and activities at all levels are funded from voluntary contributions and approved by the Executive Board of UN Women.[11]

Current Executive Board composition

The 2015 Executive Board, elected in 2014, consists of:[12]

  • Africa: Algeria, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Malawi, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Togo
  • Asia-Pacific: Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Maldives, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Solomon Islands, Thailand, United Arab Emirates
  • Eastern Europe: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia, Poland, Russian Federation
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
  • Western Europe and other States: Germany, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey
  • Contributing Countries: Denmark, Mexico, Spain, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United States of America


The mandate and functions of UN Women consist of the consolidated mandates and functions of the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, the Division for the Advancement of Women, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, and the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women. In addition, the entity must lead, coordinate, and promote the accountability of the United Nations system in its work on gender equality and women's empowerment. The goal of UN Women is to "enhance, not replace, efforts by other parts of the UN system (such as UNICEF, UNDP, and UNFPA), which will continue to have a responsibility to work for gender equality and women's empowerment in their areas of expertise."[2]

In accordance with the provisions of resolution 64/289, UN Women will work within the framework of the UN Charter and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, including its twelve critical areas of concern and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, as well as other applicable UN instruments, standards and resolutions that address gender equality and the empowerment and advancement of women.[11]

UN Women's main thematic areas of work include:

In late 2013, a series of ads, developed as a creative idea for UN Women by Ogilvy & Mather, used genuine Google searches to reveal the widespread prevalence of sexism and discrimination against women[21] The ads featured the faces of four women and where their mouths should be were Google auto-complete suggestions. The suggestions were all sexist or misogynist.[22] A similar campaign was also run to raise awareness for gay rights.[23]

Also in late 2013, UN Women launched a constitutional database that examines constitutions through a gender lens. The first of its kind, this database maps the principles and rules that guarantee, deny, or protect the rights of women and girls around the world. This tool for gender equality and human rights activists is annually updated and searchable, and provides a comprehensive overview of the current status of provisions relevant to women's rights and gender equality across various countries throughout the world. Users can search though the database by keyword, and legal provisions are grouped into 16 categories that were carefully defined by reviewing the constitutions from a human rights perspective.[24]

UN Women is one of the lead agencies in coordinating International Women's Day events[25] as well as the Commission on the Status of Women.[26]

The year 2015 has marked a number of significant milestones, such as the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action,[27] which was the focus of the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) from 9–20 March 2015,[28] where global leaders took stock of progress and remaining challenges for implementing this landmark agreement for gender equality and women's rights. UN Women played an active role in major intergovernmental negotiations and processes including the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa in July 2015, the outcome of which was strong on the need to adequately fund gender equality and incorporate it in development planning,[29] as well as the negotiations and successful adoption of the new post-2015 development agenda on 25 September 2015.[30] The new global development roadmap includes a stand-alone goal on gender equality and women's empowerment (Sustainable Development Goal 5),[31] and mainstreams these priorities throughout all 17 goals.[32]


Sustainable Development Goal 5
Sustainable Development Goal #5- Gender Equality

UN Women is empowered to:[2]

  • support intergovernmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards, and norms
  • help UN member states implement the above standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it and to forge effective partnerships with civil society
  • enable member states to hold the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender equality, including regular monitoring of system-wide progress

See also


  1. ^ a b "Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka from South Africa appointed as new UN Women Executive Director".
  2. ^ a b c "Frequently Asked Questions". UN Women - Asia and the Pacific. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  3. ^ "UNDG Members". Archived from the original on 2011-05-11.
  4. ^ "Report on the Secretary General: Comprehensive proposal for the composite entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women". United Nations. 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
  5. ^ "Welcome to UN Women". Unwomen.org. 2010-07-02. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
  6. ^ *"Michelle Bachelet's Appointment to Head UN Women Widely Applauded" Archived 2011-06-11 at the Wayback Machine, Inter Press Service
  7. ^ "General Debate: 65th Session". Gadebate.un.org. 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
  8. ^ The various speeches from all the world leader from 23-25 & 27–30 September 2010 are listed at http://gadebate.un.org/
  9. ^ "UN Women Assistant Secretaries-General Appointed".
  10. ^ "Resolution on 6/311 on system-wide coherence". United Nations General Assembly. 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  11. ^ a b "Resolution on 64/289 on system-wide coherence". United Nations General Assembly. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  12. ^ "Executive Board". UN Women. 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  13. ^ UN Women Leadership and political participation, November 5, 2015.
  14. ^ UN Women Economic Empowerment, UN Women, November 5, 2015.
  15. ^ UN Women Ending Violence against Women, November 5, 2015.
  16. ^ UN Women Humanitarian Action, UN Women, November 5, 2015.
  17. ^ UN Women Peace and Security, UN Women, November 5, 2015.
  18. ^ UN Women Governance and National Planning, UN Women, November 5, 2015.
  19. ^ UN Women 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, UN Women, November 5, 2015.
  20. ^ UN Women Leadership and political participation, UN Women, November 5, 2015.
  21. ^ UN Women ad series reveals widespread sexism, UN Women, October 21, 2013.
  22. ^ Google's auto-complete spells out our darkest thoughts, The Guardian, Oct 22, 2013.
  23. ^ UN Campaign Reveals Shocking, Depressing Gay Google Auto-Complete Function, Huffington Post, Oct 24, 2013.
  24. ^ UN Women Constitutional Database UN Women, December 13, 2013
  25. ^ UN Women International Women's Day editorial package March 1, 2014
  26. ^ UN Women CSW In Focus UN Women, November 5, 2015
  27. ^ Beijing+20 UN Women, March 23, 2015
  28. ^ UN Women at CSW59 In Focus UN Women, March 23, 2015
  29. ^ Financing for Gender Equality In Focus UN Women, November 5, 2015
  30. ^ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development UN Women, November 5, 2015
  31. ^ SDG 5, Women and the Sustainable Development Goals UN Women, November 5, 2015
  32. ^ Women and the Sustainable Development Goals UN Women, November 5, 2015

External links

Aishwarya R. Dhanush

Aishwarya Rajinikanth Dhanush (born 1 January 1982) is an Indian film director. She is the elder daughter of actor Rajinikanth. She made her feature film debut with 3 (2012) starring her husband Dhanush. She has occasionally done playback singing.

In August 2016, Aishwarya was selected as India's goodwill ambassador for the UN Women organization.

Ana Falú

Ana María Falú (born 1947) is an Argentine architect and a social activist for human rights and for women's rights. She has been Regional Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM; now part of UN Women) for the Andean Region (2002–2004) and for Brazil and the Southern Cone Countries (2004–2009). She is a researcher and Professor at the National University of Córdoba (UNC), where she is the Director of the Housing and Habitat Research Institute (INVIHAB). In the field of feminist action, she promoted numerous institutional initiatives and contributed to the establishment of women's rights to the city, to housing, and to the habitat. She is co-founder of the Women and Habitat Network of Latin America, of the Centro de Intercambio y Servicios para el Cono Sur Argentina (CISCSA), of UNC's Interdisciplinary Program of Women's and Gender Studies (PIEMG), and of Articulación Feminista Marcosur, among other areas of action in favor of women's rights. In 2013 she won the Feminist Career Award together with other Argentine women.

Anne Hathaway

Anne Jacqueline Hathaway (born November 12, 1982) is an American actress and singer. One of the world's highest-paid actresses in 2015, she has received multiple awards, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a British Academy Film Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award. Her films have earned $6.4 billion worldwide, and she appeared in the Forbes Celebrity 100 in 2009.

Hathaway graduated from Millburn High School in New Jersey, where she acted in several plays. As a teenager, she was cast in the television series Get Real (1999–2000) and made her breakthrough as the protagonist in her debut film, the Disney comedy The Princess Diaries (2001). Hathaway made a transition to adult roles with the 2005 dramas Havoc and Brokeback Mountain. The comedy film The Devil Wears Prada (2006), in which she played an assistant to a fashion magazine editor, was her biggest commercial success to that point. She played a recovering alcoholic in the drama Rachel Getting Married (2008), which garnered her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She followed this with roles in the commercially successful romantic films Bride Wars (2009), Valentine's Day (2010) and Love & Other Drugs (2010).

In 2012, Hathaway starred as Selina Kyle in her highest-grossing film The Dark Knight Rises, the final installment in The Dark Knight trilogy. That year, she also played Fantine, a prostitute dying of tuberculosis, in the musical romantic drama Les Misérables, for which she earned multiple accolades, including an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She went on to play a scientist in the science fiction film Interstellar (2014), the owner of an online fashion site in the comedy film The Intern (2015), the White Queen—a role she first played in Alice in Wonderland (2010)—in Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) and a haughty actress in the heist film Ocean's 8 (2018). Hathaway has also won an Emmy Award for providing her voice in The Simpsons, sung for soundtracks, appeared on stage, and hosted events.

Hathaway supports several charities. A board member of the Lollipop Theatre Network, an organization that brings films to sick children in hospitals, she advocates gender equality as a UN Women goodwill ambassador. She is married to businessman Adam Shulman, with whom she has a son.

Danai Gurira

Danai Jekesai Gurira (; born February 14, 1978) is an American actress and playwright of Zimbabwean descent best known for her starring roles as Michonne on the AMC horror drama series The Walking Dead (2012–present) and as Okoye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Gurira is also the playwright of the Broadway play Eclipsed, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award.

Domestic violence

Domestic violence (also named domestic abuse or family violence) is violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation. It may be termed intimate partner violence when committed by a spouse or partner in an intimate relationship against the other spouse or partner, and can take place in heterosexual or same-sex relationships, or between former spouses or partners. Domestic violence can also involve violence against children, parents, or the elderly. It takes a number of forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, reproductive, and sexual abuse, which can range from subtle, coercive forms to marital rape and to violent physical abuse such as choking, beating, female genital mutilation, and acid throwing that results in disfigurement or death. Domestic murders include stoning, bride burning, honor killings, and dowry deaths.

Globally, the victims of domestic violence are overwhelmingly women, and women tend to experience more severe forms of violence. They are also likelier than men to use intimate partner violence in self-defense. In some countries, domestic violence is often seen as justified, particularly in cases of actual or suspected infidelity on the part of the woman, and is legally permitted. Research has established that there exists a direct and significant correlation between a country's level of gender equality and rates of domestic violence, where countries with less gender equality experience higher rates of domestic violence. Domestic violence is among the most underreported crimes worldwide for both men and women. Due to social stigmas regarding male victimization, men who are victims of domestic violence face an increased likelihood of being overlooked by healthcare providers.Domestic violence often occurs when the abuser believes that abuse is an entitlement, acceptable, justified, or unlikely to be reported. It may produce an intergenerational cycle of abuse in children and other family members, who may feel that such violence is acceptable or condoned. Many people do not recognize themselves as abusers or victims because they may consider their experiences as family conflicts that got out of control. Awareness, perception, definition and documentation of domestic violence differs widely from country to country. Domestic violence often happens in the context of forced or child marriage.In abusive relationships, there may be a cycle of abuse during which tensions rise and an act of violence is committed, followed by a period of reconciliation and calm. Victims of domestic violence may be trapped in domestic violent situations through isolation, power and control, traumatic bonding to the abuser, cultural acceptance, lack of financial resources, fear, shame, or to protect children. As a result of abuse, victims may experience physical disabilities, dysregulated aggression, chronic health problems, mental illness, limited finances, and poor ability to create healthy relationships. Victims may experience severe psychological disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Children who live in a household with violence often show psychological problems from an early age, such as avoidance, hypervigilance to threats, and dysregulated aggression which may contribute to vicarious traumatization.

Emma Watson

Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson (born 15 April 1990) is an English actress and model. Born in Paris and brought up in Oxfordshire, Watson attended the Dragon School and trained as an actress at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts. As a child artist, she rose to prominence after landing her first professional acting role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, having acted only in school plays previously. Watson appeared in all eight Harry Potter films from 2001 to 2011, earning worldwide fame, critical accolades, and around $60 million.Watson continued to work outside of the Harry Potter films, appearing in the 2007 television adaptation of the novel Ballet Shoes and lending her voice to The Tale of Despereaux (2008). Following the last Harry Potter film, she took on starring and supporting roles in My Week with Marilyn (2011), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) and The Bling Ring (2013), made an appearance as an exaggerated version of herself in This Is the End (2013), and portrayed the title character's adopted daughter in Noah (2014). In 2017, she starred as Belle in a live-action adaptation of the musical romantic fantasy film Beauty and the Beast. Her other roles include Regression (2015), Colonia (2015) and The Circle (2017).

From 2011 to 2014, Watson split her time between working on film projects and continuing her education, studying at Brown University and Worcester College, Oxford and graduating from Brown with a bachelor's degree in English literature in May 2014. Her modelling work has included campaigns for Burberry and Lancôme. As a fashion consultant, she helped create a line of clothing for People Tree. She was honoured by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 2014, winning for British Artist of the Year. That same year, she was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill ambassador and helped launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which calls for men to advocate gender equality.


HeForShe (often referred to as He for She) is a solidarity campaign for the advancement of gender equality, initiated by UN. Its goal is to achieve equality by encouraging all genders to partake as agents of change and take action against negative stereotypes and behaviors. Grounded in the idea that gender inequality is an issue that affects all people—socially, economically and politically—it seeks to actively involve men and boys in a movement that was originally conceived as "a struggle for women by women".

On the HeForShe website, a map—which uses a geo-locator to record global engagement in the campaign—counts the number of men and boys around the world who have taken the HeForShe pledge, and was used as UN Women worked towards its goal of engaging one million men and boys by July 2015, a goal which they failed to meet. The campaign website also includes implementation plans for UN agencies, individuals and civil society, as well as those on university and college campuses, both through online and sustained engagement. Lastly, the He for She campaign shows progress towards their goal is by highlighting the work many of the He for She campaign supporters have done.

"Initially we were asking the question, 'Do men care about gender equality?' and we found out that they do care", said Elizabeth Nyamayaro, senior adviser to the executive director of UN Women. "Then we started to get a lot of emails from men who signed up, who now want to do more."

Impact Guru

Impact Guru is a donation based crowdfunding platform that offers global crowdfunding solutions for NGOs, social enterprises, startups and individuals. It was launched by Maneka Gandhi, Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development, Government of India in September 2015.Impact Guru has mobilized ₹600 crore (US$83 million)for various NGOs and social enterprises in more than 15 countries.

Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir

Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir (pronounced [ˈiɲcɪpjœrk ˈsoulrun ˈcistlatouhtɪr]; born 31 December 1954) is an Icelandic politician from the Social Democratic Alliance, formerly Minister for Foreign Affairs 2007–2009 and leader of the Alliance 2005–2009. She served as representative of UN Women to Turkey and designated regional director for Europe and Central Asia. Since July 2017 she serves as Director of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Resolution 54/134). The premise of the day is to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence; furthermore, one of the aims of the day is to highlight that the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden. For 2014, the official Theme framed by the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women, is Orange your Neighbourhood. For 2018, the official theme is "Orange the World:#HearMeToo".

International Women's Day

International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. It is a focal point in the movement for women's rights.

A New York textile factory caught on fire on 8 March 1908, with the owner trapping his female workers inside to prevent them from striking with other factory workers. He had been forcing them to work 10-hour days, making fabric of mauve and lilac color. 129 workers died in the fire. The colors of the fabric they were working on were chosen as the symbol of the international women's rights movement. After the Socialist Party of America organized a Women's Day on February 28, 1909, in New York. At the 1910 International Socialist Woman's Conference suggested German revolutionary Clara Zetkin proposed that 8 March be honored as a day annually in memory of working women. The day has been celebrated as International Women's Day or International Working Women's Day ever since. For women at that meeting, the day was about demanding the right to work without discrimination.After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917, March 8 became a national holiday there. The day was then predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted by the feminist movement in about 1967. The United Nations began celebrating the day in 1975.Commemoration of International Women's Day today ranges from being a public holiday in some countries to being largely ignored elsewhere. In some places, it is a day of protest; in others, it is a day that celebrates womanhood. International Men's Day is celebrated on November 19.

Muniba Mazari

Muniba Mazari (Urdu: منیبہ مزاری‎; born 3 March 1987) is a Pakistani artist and activist.

She uses a wheelchair due to injuries sustained in a car accident at the age of 21 which makes her Pakistan's first wheelchair-using model. She is also the National Ambassador for UN Women Pakistan.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (Zulu pronunciation: [pʰumziːle m̩lamboᵑǀʱuːkʼa]; born 3 November 1955) is a South African politician and United Nations official, and is currently serving as the Executive Director of UN Women with the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Mlambo-Ngcuka served as Deputy President of South Africa from 2005 to 2008, as the first woman to hold the position and at that point the highest ranking woman in the history of South Africa. During her period as deputy president of South Africa, she oversaw programmes to combat poverty and ensure the poor benefit from the advantages of a growing economy.

Sriti Jha

Sriti Jha (born 26 February 1986) is an Indian television actress who appears in Indian soap operas. She rose to prominence with her roles in the shows Jiya Jale, Jyoti, Dil Se Di Dua... Saubhagyavati Bhava?, Balika Vadhu and Kumkum Bhagya. She won the Indian Telly Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role for portraying Pragya Arora in Zee TV's Kumkum Bhagya.

United Nations Development Fund for Women

The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM, from the French: Fonds de développement des Nations unies pour la femme) was established in December 1976 originally as the Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade for Women in the International Women's Year. Its first director was Margaret C. Snyder, Ph.D. It provides financial and technical assistance to innovative programmes and strategies that promote women’s human rights, political participation and economic security. Since 1976 it has supported women's empowerment and gender equality through its programme offices and links with women's organizations in the major regions of the world. Its work on gender responsive budgets began in 1996 in Southern Africa and has expanded to include East Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central America and the Andean region. It has worked to increase awareness throughout the UN system of gender responsive budgets as a tool to strengthen economic governance in all countries.

Women's health

Women's health refers to the health of women, which differs from that of men in many unique ways. Women's health is an example of population health, where health is defined by the World Health Organization as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Often treated as simply women's reproductive health, many groups argue for a broader definition pertaining to the overall health of women, better expressed as "The health of women". These differences are further exacerbated in developing countries where women, whose health includes both their risks and experiences, are further disadvantaged.

Although women in industrialised countries have narrowed the gender gap in life expectancy and now live longer than men, in many areas of health they experience earlier and more severe disease with poorer outcomes. Gender remains an important social determinant of health, since women's health is influenced not just by their biology but also by conditions such as poverty, employment, and family responsibilities. Women have long been disadvantaged in many respects such as social and economic power which restricts their access to the necessities of life including health care, and the greater the level of disadvantage, such as in developing countries, the greater adverse impact on health.

Women's reproductive and sexual health has a distinct difference compared to men's health. Even in developed countries pregnancy and childbirth are associated with substantial risks to women with maternal mortality accounting for more than a quarter of a million deaths per year, with large gaps between the developing and developed countries. Comorbidity from other non reproductive disease such as cardiovascular disease contribute to both the mortality and morbidity of pregnancy, including preeclampsia. Sexually transmitted infections have serious consequences for women and infants, with mother-to-child transmission leading to outcomes such as stillbirths and neonatal deaths, and pelvic inflammatory disease leading to infertility. In addition infertility from many other causes, birth control, unplanned pregnancy, unconsensual sexual activity and the struggle for access to abortion create other burdens for women.

While the rates of the leading causes of death, cardiovascular disease, cancer and lung disease, are similar in women and men, women have different experiences. Lung cancer has overtaken all other types of cancer as the leading cause of cancer death in women, followed by breast cancer, colorectal, ovarian, uterine and cervical cancers. While smoking is the major cause of lung cancer, amongst nonsmoking women the risk of developing cancer is three times greater than amongst nonsmoking men. Despite this, breast cancer remains the commonest cancer in women in developed countries, and is one of the more important chronic diseases of women, while cervical cancer remains one of the commonest cancers in developing countries, associated with human papilloma virus (HPV), an important sexually transmitted disease. HPV vaccine together with screening offers the promise of controlling these diseases. Other important health issues for women include cardiovascular disease, depression, dementia, osteoporosis and anemia. A major impediment to advancing women's health has been their underrepresentation in research studies, an inequity being addressed in the United States and other western nations by the establishment of centers of excellence in women's health research and large scale clinical trials such as the Women's Health Initiative.

Women in Kiribati

Women in Kiribati are women who live in or are from the atoll nation of Kiribati. The role of Kiribati women is described in the publication Kiribati, A Situation Analysis of Children, Women and Youth (2005) as "largely defined by her age and marital status". Prestige is inherent to the married Kiribati woman, but she is considerably under the authority of her husband.

Women in Uruguay

Women in Uruguay are women who were born in, who live in, and are from Uruguay. According to Countries and Their Cultures, there is a "very high proportion" of Uruguayan women participating in the labor force of the South American country. The Uruguayan legislation maintains that the women of Uruguay have equal rights to power, authority, and privileges". In reality, however, women are still not occupying "higher economic, professional, political, social, and religious positions". In relation to the political arena, UN Women reported that a 2012 study made by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) ranked Uruguay as being "103rd out of 189 countries in terms of representation of women in Parliament". Uruguay low ranking is partly due to its low political participation of women: only 16% of members of Parliament are women as of 2014.

Women in Vanuatu

Women in Vanuatu are women who live in or are from Vanuatu. In relation to the labor force, based on data in 2006, Vanuatuan women workers comprised 49.6% of the workforce of Vanuatu.According to UN Women, women in Vanuatu play a significant role in the fields of "civil service and the public sector". Under the 30-year-long democracy of Vanuatu, the women of Vanuatu are under-represented in the political arena of Vanuatu. At any one time, there have been a maximum of two women members out of a total of fifty-two members of the parliament of Vanuatu. There were 3.8% of women in Vanuatu who held seats in said parliament. They are also under-represented at the local (provincial and municipal) levels of politics.Despite being under-represented in politics and making a living in a "male dominated and largely patriarchal society", the World Bank reported in April 2009 that Vanuatuan women are increasingly becoming involved in "private sector development and in the market economy".

United Nations System
Members and observers

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