European Year for Development

European Year for Development


United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)

UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

About us

UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to implement these standards. It stands behind women’s equal participation in all aspects of life, focusing on five priority areas: 

  • increasing women’s leadership and participation;
  • ending violence against women; 
  • engaging women in all aspects of peace and security processes;
  • enhancing women’s economic empowerment;
  • and making gender equality central to national development planning and budgeting.

UN Women also coordinates and promotes the UN system’s work in advancing gender equality

Empowering Women - Empowering Humanity: Picture It!

Almost 20 years ago, 189 countries adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a visionary roadmap for women's rights and empowerment. Much has been achieved since, but much more needs to be done and can be done. A world in which gender equality is a reality: Picture it!

Our vision on development aid in 3 questions

Why should we care about development aid?

Gender equality is a basic human right. Its achievement moreover has enormous socio-economic ramifications. Empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth. Yet gender inequalities remain deeply entrenched in every society. Women lack access to decent work and face occupational segregation and gender wage gaps. They are too often denied access to basic education and health care. Women in all parts of the world suffer violence and discrimination. They are under-represented in political and economic decision-making processes. UN Women addresses such challenges.

What is the added value of the EU as a global player?

The EU and UN Women are working together on gender equality and women's empowerment in many parts of the world. In 2012, the EU and UN Women signed a Memorandum of Understanding which lays the groundwork for a dynamic partnership both in terms of policy dialogue as well as joint programming. Current joint activities between UN Women and the EU include programmes on increasing accountability in financing for gender equality, on enhancing women's participation in peace-building and post-conflict planning; and on women's empowerment in the South Mediterranean Region.

How can each of us make a difference?

UN Women plays a leading role in supporting improvements in global norms and standards that accelerate the realization of gender equality. We provide expert knowledge and evidence, advocate for critical issues, convene key stakeholders, and engage with UN Member States to build consensus and forge agreements on new commitments.UN Women is joining forces to ignite a global movement for gender equality, women’s empowerment and the human rights of women and girls.

Press contact

Alena Kern
Partnership Analyst

Twitter - @UN_Women