EU-UN Women hand in hand for gender equality and women’s empowerment – World

Ten years ago, the European Union and UN Women established a strong and long-standing partnership to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women at global, regional and national levels. Since then, this partnership has continued to grow and strengthen. As women’s rights and gender equality come under increasing attack, the partnership between the EU and UN Women is more important than ever.

“10 years on, the EU-UN Women strategic partnership is more important than ever to advance gender equality and women’s rights at all levels, from local and regional to global. In the face of interrelated international crises, our work to achieve gender equality is vital for a peaceful and sustainable world. – UN Women Executive Director, Sima Bahous

“All forms of sexual violence are a heinous crime. The EU is working with partners globally to eliminate conflict-related sexual violence, to place victims with their families and communities at the centre, and to call for accounts to the authors. And UN Women is a most valuable partner in doing so.” – High Representative/Vice-President of the EU, Josep Borrell

“The EU is committed to leading the fight for the right of women and girls everywhere to feel safe, to be empowered through education and to participate in all forms of public life. UN Women is a key partner in these efforts. Whether advocating for the security and equality of Afghan women or contributing to the success of the Spotlight Initiative, the EU and UN Women are together accelerating progress towards an equal world, in line with the action plan for gender equality III. – European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen

“We can drive change through persistent and coordinated efforts with multiple stakeholders. We have proven this through the Generation Equality Forum, which provides a harmonized platform for working on gender equality with civil society organizations, governments and international partners such as UN Women. Implementing the EU Gender Equality Strategy and the Gender Equality Action Plan III contributes to building a world where all women and girls, in all their diversity, can grow, lead and be free. We put equality at the heart of all EU policies and initiatives, including for the green and digital transition, and we ensure that women’s rights and gender equality remain at the heart of any solution to crisis.” – European Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli

Our collaboration is also evident in our commitment to the Generation Equality Forum organized by UN Women and co-organized by France and Mexico in partnership with civil society and youth. The EU has been an invaluable supporter and partner in pushing the agenda forward and continues to lead by example through its work as co-lead of the Gender-Based Violence Action Coalition and the Call to action on protection from gender-based violence in emergencies.

A key contribution to the Generation Equality Forum includes the EU’s commitment to implement the Gender Equality Action Plan III, the EU’s ambitious policy framework for gender equality in external action. Together, we have worked in over 90 countries around the world to push for transformative change. We have worked to achieve stronger global norms and standards in gender equality, gender-responsive laws, policies and institutions, access to services for survivors of gender-based violence, production and use of sex-disaggregated data, as well as women’s political participation and leadership.

The EU and the UN working hand in hand in full partnership within the framework of the Spotlight Initiative in 26 countries and 6 different regions, is one of the largest investments ever made for eliminate violence against women and girls and is already showing impressive results.

The impact of COVID-19 has exacerbated gender inequalities, increasing violence against women and girls, slowing progress in all areas of life, including employment, health and employment. education.

Progress towards a more equal world is not linear and we must remain vigilant and engaged everywhere. Some of today’s crises, from Ethiopia and Yemen to Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine; all have seriously reversed this progress. Often, narratives around war and crisis are still blind to women’s experiences. We will continue to address the structural causes of gender inequality and gender-based discrimination, including by actively engaging men and boys to challenge harmful and negative gender norms and stereotypes.

We will continue to work within the framework of the key priorities of the strategic plan of the European Union and UN Women. These include strengthening women’s leadership, governance and participation in public life, women’s economic empowerment, ending violence against women and girls, peace and security, humanitarian action and disaster risk reduction, as well as climate change and digitalisation, innovation and technology.

On 20 May 2022, the EU and UN Women reaffirm their commitment to continue implementing the 2012 Memorandum of Understanding and to ensuring an inclusive approach enabling like-minded partners and allies to work together for full equality and women’s rights, including with EU Member States and UN agencies. In today’s multipolar world, the EU-UN partnership, and that with UN Women, is of particular political importance.

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Mara R. Wilmoth