These notes and links might be useful for those who have seen the UNA Coventry presentation on Women, Gender Equality and the UN.
UN founded in 1945 following failure of League of Nations to prevent second world war.
“Peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet”
Search for equality > Nothing about women
Search for women > WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED…to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women…
Security Council and P5
Established in Chapter V of UN Charter
Wars since UN founded
Veto by P5
Article 27 requires concurring votes from the permanent members
Article 2 of Charter begins
1 The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
7 Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948
Eleanor Roosevelt oversaw the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It was accepted by the UN General Assembly 10 December 1948.
This is now called Human Rights day
No special provisions for women. Women mentioned twice:
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
UN Commission on Human Rights
Eleanor Roosevelt served as the first chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights
The CHR was strongly criticised for allowing countries with poor human rights records to be members.
It was replaced by the UN Human Rights Council in 2006.
UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
The Human Rights Council has 47 members elected for staggered three-year terms on a regional group basis. The headquarters of the United Nations Human Rights Council is in Geneva, Switzerland.
It works closely with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights
Michelle Bachelet is the High Commissioner.
Declaration on Human Rights Defenders
Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Adopted by General Assembly 1998 after 14 years of negotiations.
Women human rights defenders
Women human rights defenders (WHRDs) are all women and girls working on any human rights issue (“women defenders” and “girl defenders”), and people of all genders who work to promote women’s rights and rights related to gender equality.
It also includes any civil society actors who may not self-identify as human rights defenders or those who work on non-traditional human rights fields (journalists, health workers, environmental activists, peacebuilders, private actors, development and humanitarian actors, etc.). It includes lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activists, as issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity are part of achieving gender equality. Many other terms may be employed by individuals to identify themselves and their work in these areas for a variety of reasons, including those related to the context and/or languages in which they work where translations may vary.
Women & Gender Equality
About UN Women
Full name: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
Created in 2010 by General Assembly.
The global champion for gender equality, working to develop and uphold standards and create an environment in which every woman and girl can exercise her human rights and live up to her full potential.
They are partners for advocates and decision-makers from all walks of life, and a leader in the effort to achieve gender equality.
Actors, sportsmen and other prominent personalities to draw attention to work of UN Women.
Get Involved & Campaigns
Anyone can help to promote the campaigns using social media, running events or raising money.
UN Women UK
Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
Established in 1946
The CSW is instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
Meet every year in New York
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
Key global policy document on gender equality and the empowerment of all women
Produced at Fourth World Conference on Women in September 1995
Set out how to remove the systemic barriers that hold women back from equal participation in all areas of life, whether in public or in private.
Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse within UN System
UN = Worlds largest universal multilateral international organization
The United Nations, with offices in 193 countries and 37,000 employees, is the world’s largest universal multilateral international organization. It inspires people from around the world to join its mission of maintaining peace, advancing human rights and promoting justice, equality and development.
Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse within UN System
As part of the UN’s new strategy to combat sexual exploitation and abuse, this issue is for the first time being acknowledged as a system-wide one, which requires a common approach. Therefore, as part of his strategy, the Secretary-General has asked Agencies, Funds and Programmes to adopt new measures and strengthen existing ones to better prevent, detect, report and take action against personnel, who commit these inexcusable and abhorrent acts. The vast majority of staff from UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes are deployed worldwide, often in extremely dangerous environments and facing hardship themselves, to help vulnerable populations and provide humanitarian assistance, promote human rights and help countries advance towards sustainable peace and development.
Making progress toward achieving gender parity within UN
Gender Parity Strategy
World leaders pledge to eliminate sexual exploitation and abuse; UN chief outlines course of action
UN Special Coordinator Preventing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
Victims Rights Advocate
Abuse by Peace Keepers
Fresh allegations of sexual abuse made against UN peacekeepers in Central African Republic
Web page dated 2016
Conduct in Field Missions
Peace Keepers pledge they will not tolerate anyone committing or condoning a crime, and in particular, crimes of sexual exploitation and abuse.
Sustainable Development Goals
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Declared in 2015
17 Goals & 169 targets
SDG 5 Achieve Gender Equality & Empower All Women and Girls
Goal 3 Good Health and Well-being
Goal 10: Reduced inequalities
Goal 16: Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions
UN Women and COP26
EU & UN Spotlight Initiative
To eliminate violence against women and girls
The European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) have embarked on a new, global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG) – The Spotlight Initiative.
The Initiative is so named as it brings focused attention to this issue, moving it into the spotlight and placing it at the centre of efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
An initial investment in the order of EUR 500 million was made, with the EU as the main contributor. Other donors and partners were invited to join the Initiative to broaden its reach and scope. The modality for the delivery is a UN multi- stakeholder trust fund, administered by the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, with the support of core agencies UNDP, UNFPA and UN Women, and overseen by the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General.
Join us in partnership so that this bold and transformative Initiative is matched by equally ambitious political action, resources and knowledge. We invite everyone to visit www.spotlightinitiative.org to learn more about the world’s largest targeted effort to end all forms of violence against women and girls.