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Our 12 Flagship Programming Initiatives sit within 5 strategic impact areas to help achieve gender equality. 
UN Women Programmes empower women and girls and give them a voice, to break down the barriers they face.

Women's political empowerment is focused on achieving equal opportunities, greater freedoms and capacity for women to control their own lives.

Women’s leadership in politics 

Women are still underrepresented in politics. This needs to change. Countries with female lawmakers spend greater resources on education and paid leave, contributing to an equal labour force.

As of February 2015, only 22 percent of all national parliamentarians were women and 15.8 percent of all parliamentary speakers were women.

As of January 2015, 6.6 per cent of all heads of state were women; 7.3 per cent of all heads of government were women; and women represented 17 per cent of all ministers, only a small increase from the 14.2 per cent they represented almost a decade earlier, in 2005.

Women's access to justice

Social norms, like patrilineal rules of inheritance, mean that globally women are left in positions of reduced power.

For instance, in Jordan, men are three times more likely than women to report having a legal dispute in the last five years. Of the households reporting disputes, 92% are headed by men and 8% by women. 

In 50 countries, the minimum legal age for marriage is lower for females than for males, while 60 countries limit the ability of women who marry foreign nationals to pass on their citizenship to their spouses or children.

Women's economic empowerment.
We work to drive jobs and income creation for women from vulnerable and unprotected territories.

Women's access to land

Women make up 43% of the agricultural labour force in developing countries, and do most of the unpaid care work, yet have less access to land than men.

According to the FAO (2011), if women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20 to 30 per cent. 

This could raise total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5 to 4 per cent, which could in turn reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12 to 17 per cent.

Equal opportunities for women entrepreneurs

We focus on increasing equal opportunities for women entrepreneurs through procurement, investment and supply chain policies. 
Women entrepreneurs in developed countries have demonstrated their ability to start and grow businesses more quickly than their male counterparts. In the US, women-owned firms are growing at more than double the rate of all their firms and have done so for nearly three decades. 

The rate of participation in entrepreneurship is 4 times greater for men than for women in the MENA/Mid-Asia.

Income security through decent work and social protection

We know the importance of women having easy access to income. Women play an essential role in the global labour market, and systems are still biased in favour of men.

In the Middle East and North Africa, 51% of young women between the ages of 15 to 24 years were unemployed in 2013 compared to 23% of young men. In some developing regions, 75% of women’s employment is informal and unprotected.

Elimination of violence against women.
Violence against women is a major obstacle to equality. It is neither acceptable, nor inevitable.

Prevention and essential services
We ensure the right support is available.

Global estimates show that over 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime, with this figure being as high as 7 in 10 in some countries.

Safe cities and safe public spaces 
We create safe spaces for women, and for entire societies.

Peace, security and humanitarian action, shaped by women in leadership positions.

Women’s leadership in crisis response
Placing the rights and needs of women and girls affected by humanitarian crises at the heart of humanitarian action.

In 2014, of the 80 million who were in need of humanitarian assistance, more than 75% were women and children. The average length of time that people worldwide remain displaced by crisis has increased to a staggering 17 to 25 years.

Gender equality of risk 
Women are at most risk of being negatively impacted by climate hazards.

Women’s engagement in peace, security and recovery 
We need women to be involved in humanitarian efforts.
The numbers of displaced people globally are higher than they have been since WWII.
Only 3% of peacekeepers are women, 10% of UN police, and as of 2012 fewer than 3% of signatories to peace agreements are women.

Planning and budgeting.
Gender equality in national budgeting and governance is essential to ensure gender equality globally.

Gender statistics for our development goals.
Increased and improved data on gender equality enables effective planning for the future.

Transformative financing for gender equality
Strengthening policy, planning and budgeting processes at national and local levels for improved government accountability, transparency and service delivery. The full and equal participation of women and civil society is central to achieve these objectives. Financing gaps for implementing national actions plans on gender equality are often as high as 90%.
Gender inequality in work costs low income countries USD $9 trillion per year.