UN Women - Study Guide


UN Women is also known as The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. This entity was born in January 2011. It leads, coordinates and promotes the accountability of the United Nations system in its work on gender equality and women’s empowerment. The goal of UN Women is to support intergovernmental bodies in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms, help UN member states implement the above standards and enable member states to hold the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender

Therefore, the UN Women is a UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. The main role of the UN Women is:

  • To support inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms.
  • To help Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, and to forge effective partnerships with civil society.
  • To lead and coordinate the UN system’s work on gender equality as well as promote accountability, including through regular monitoring of system-wide progress.

For many years, the UN has faced serious challenges in its efforts to promote gender equality globally, including inadequate funding and no single recognized driver to direct UN activities on gender equality issues. UN Women was created to address such challenges. Grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the UN Charter, UN Women, among other issues, works for the:

  • elimination of discrimination against women and girls;
  • empowerment of women; and
  • achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.
Photo credit:  YWCA

Photo credit: YWCA

TOPIC A: "Eradicating sexual violence against women"

Women oppression has always been present in our History and it is still undeniable in our present society. Women have been deprived of political, economical and basic human rights for a long time. Despite the fact that multiple advances have been achieved, there are still multiple steps to take forward.

Sexual violence has been and still is the most used weapon against women, endangering their lives, physical and personal integrity and health. Even though most countries have adopted legislation to tackle explicit sexual violence such as rape or sexual assault, this kind of violence encompasses a wider sphere. In fact, what many would claim, the root cause of this problem - sexism and the establishment of a patriarchal society that isolates women from the rest of the society - have not been tackled in a structured, organized and coherent way.

TOPIC B: "Straightening girls education and empowerment in the global economy"

Teenage pregnancy, child marriage and traditional women roles force thousands of girls all over the world to leave school before graduating or turning 18. As a consequence of early drop-out, those women and girls cannot be financially independent from their male relatives or husbands, and thus isolates them from the rest of the society. Additionally, girls and women that were subject to leaving school before graduating, find it harder to progress in their professional life.

Additionally, women in general, find more difficulties than men to develop their careers due to gender stereotypes and gender discrimination. The 'glass ceiling' should be inconceivable in the 21 century, and therefore, urgent measures should be taken to address and eradicate gender discrimination and other gender stereotypes.

Photo credit:  Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock