Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Raising the bar with global standards

Setting global norms and standards is a critical step towards action to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment. Through annual meetings of key UN bodies as well as other intergovernmental negotiations, UN Women offers expertise and evidence, good practices and lessons learned to help governments make commitments that are fully aligned with women's rights. We call for specific attention to be paid to gender equality and for gender dimensions to be integrated across all issues fundamental to human progress.

Celebrating a landmark

The 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action charged governments and people around the world with achieving gender equality and women's empowerment. It remains a landmark commitment, and UN Women seized its 20th anniversary to step up action to make all parts of its far-reaching vision real in women's lives.

Advancing regional commitments

Preparations for Beijing+20 included not only 167 in-depth national reports, but also progress reviews for all regions. In the Arab States region, for example, UN Women joined the League of Arab States and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia in 2015 to conduct the region's most comprehensive review of Beijing to date-21 out of 22 countries participated. It reaffirmed member state commitment to all 12 areas of concern in the Beijing Platform for Action and explicitly committed to provide resources to implement it.

The aspirations and actions set in motion this year will influence generations to come.

DR. PHUMZILE MLAMBO-NGCUKA, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director

Putting gender equality at the centre of new and historic agendas

UN Women has been the major global advocate and maker of the substantive case for putting women and girls at the centre of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, slated for completion at a summit of heads of state and government in September 2015. Governments responded to our early call for a gender equality goal as well as the integration of gender equality considerations in targets under other goals of the agenda.