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UN Women is based in New York City (USA), with regional and country offices throughout the world. It operates under the authority of the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the Commission on the Status of Women, and is led by an Executive Director. The Executive Director reports to the Executive Board, – consisting of 41 members with equal regional representation – ECOSOC and the General Assembly (through ECOSOC), which are the primary decision-making bodies overseeing UN Women’s work.

UN Women’s core responsibilities include:

  • Supporting inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms
  • Helping UN member states implement these standards, providing suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, and to forge effective partnerships with civil society
  • Leading and coordinating the UN system’s work on gender equality as well as promote accountability, including through regular monitoring of system-wide progress.

Creating UN Women

In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 64/L.56 to create the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women – UN Women. The goal was to maximise the impact of the UN’s entities dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment, bringing together their work and areas of expertise. In particular, UN Women brought together four UN entities:

iconLockWant more? Read Hilary Charlesworth and Christine Chinkin’s “The creation of UN Women”

How does it help tackle violence against women?

UN Women works to assist member states and inter-governmental bodies, including the UN system as a whole, to implement the main human rights treaties and standards relating to women’s right to equality in international law, mainly:

UN Women concentrates its work to tackle gender-based violence by focusing on:

Other examples of UN Women’s work to eliminate violence against women include:

Global Knowledge Platform to End Violence against Women

UN Women created the Global Knowledge Platform to End Violence against Women to raise awareness and coordinate the different actors working to end violence against women. To achieve these goals, three interrelated websites have been developed:


UN Women Training Centre

UN Women created its own Training Centre, offering courses, programmes and resources on issues related to their priorities – including on eLearning Campus and a knowledge-sharing platform, Training for Gender Equality Community of Practice. Designed to be accessible to everyone, including civil society actors, each resource is available in different languages.
Specific resources related to violence against women include:

Progress of the World’s Women: research and data

Through the collection and publication of research and data, UN Women aims to support civil society and governments to develop laws, policies and strategies to effectively tackle violence against women and achieve gender equality. This also includes coordinating related data collection throughout other UN entities to ensure gender statistics are used in all areas of policymaking.
Some of UN Women’s work includes:


iconStarCivil Society Engagement: Civil Society Advisory Groups

UN Women organises Civil Society Advisory Groups at the global, regional and national levels to act as consultative bodies on policy, programming, intergovernmental and operational activities.

The aim of setting up civil society advisory groups is to build on existing close relationships and increase strategic dialogue with civil society partners at global, regional and national levels and to formally recognize civil society as one of our most important constituencies – providing a dynamic source for innovative initiatives, ideas and policy perspectives to assist UN Women in achieving its strategic goals. Closely linked is the vital political role played by civil society in advancing shared objectives in promoting women’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women. Together these groups form a strategic and substantive network of eminently qualified persons with diverse experience and expertise, perspectives and knowledge in any or all of UN Women’s priority areas. They are provided with a web platform to facilitate communications among and between the groups and individuals.

iconLockWant more? Guiding principles for UN Women’s Civil Society Advisory Groups and list of local UN Women offices

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