Via UN Women:
The establishment of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women — to be known as UN Women — is a result of years of negotiations between UN Member States and advocacy by the global women’s movement. It is part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact.
“I am grateful to Member States for having taken this major step forward for the world’s women and girls,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement welcoming the decision. “UN Women will significantly boost UN efforts to promote gender equality, expand opportunity, and tackle discrimination around the globe.”
UN Women merges and will build on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system which focus exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment:
- Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW, established in 1946)
- International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW, established in 1976)
- Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI, established in 1997)
- United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM, established in 1976)
UN Women will have two key roles: It will support inter-governmental bodies such as the Commission on the Status of Women in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms, and it will help Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, as well as forging effective partnerships with civil society. It will also help the UN system to be accountable for its own commitments on gender equality, including regular monitoring of system-wide progress.
“UN Women will give women and girls the strong, unified voice they deserve on the world stage. I look forward to seeing this new entity up and running so that we — women and men — can move forward together in our endeavour to achieve the goals of equality, development and peace for all women and girls, everywhere,” said Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro.
I sincerely hope that the remit of UN Women includes all self-identified women, regardless of their genital configuration, chromosomal karyotype or any other arbitrary marker favoured by mainstream society. However, having learned the hard way that the word women defaults to meaning cis women, I have emailed for clarification. As and when I receive a reply, I’ll update this post.