UN Women was created in July 2010 in a historic moment. The UN General Assembly voted unanimously to merge four UN entities to create this new organization:
- DAW : Division for the Advancement of Women, established in 1946
- INSTRAW : International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, established in 1976
- OSAGI : Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, established in 1997
- UNIFEM : United Nations Development Fund for Women, established in 1976
The creation of UN Women is the result of tireless efforts by UN Member States and women’s rights advocates to have a single global organization that will champion the rights of women and girls.
A global body like UN Women has worldwide reach, sizable expertise and significant resources to accelerate progress on gender equality and the empowerment of women. Whether the issue is political leadership, peace building and conflict resolution, protection from violence or access to land, credit and decent jobs, UN Women provides a platform for activists to come together as leaders, advocates and agents of change.
All this can be attributed to an increasing realization worldwide that gender equality is not only a basic human right but has enormous socio-economic ramifications, forming the cornerstone for a prosperous society and nation.
UN Women advocates for the equal participation of women in all aspects of life, and focuses on five high priority areas:
- Increasing women’s leadership and participation;
- Ending violence against women and girls;
- Engaging women in all aspects of peace and security processes;
- Enhancing women’s economic empowerment;
- Making gender equality central to national development planning and budgeting