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The effect of gender equality programming on humanitarian outcomes

Despite a number of developments in policy and practice aimed at integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment into humanitarian action, what remains missing is a strong evidence base that demonstrates just how gender equality programming is essential to ensuring an effective, inclusive, rights-based humanitarian response. To address this gap, UN Women—on behalf of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Reference Group on Gender in Humanitarian Action and with co-funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada—in 2013 commissioned the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex to undertake a research study, titled “The Effect of Gender Equality Programming on Humanitarian Outcomes”. Its aim was to assess whether or not such programming has improved humanitarian outcomes and, if so, why. This report presents the findings of this research, based on interviews with more than 2,000 crisis-affected households gathered for four case studies conducted in Kenya (the Dadaab refugee camps and the county of Turkana), Nepal and the Philippines. Drawing on both the qualitative and quantitative data collected, researchers were able to develop a unique new methodology for assessing the degree to which gender equality and women's empowerment has been integrated into humanitarian programmes, using inputs from the beneficiaries themselves. The report presents overall findings, draws comparative conclusions across the four case studies and discusses practical recommendations for integrating gender equality programming in future humanitarian interventions in ways that strengthen effectiveness and inclusiveness.

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Hearts and minds: women of India speak

This report acknowledges the “lived experiences” of women and girls in India at the grassroots level and ensures that the voices of those who remain socially, economically and geographically marginalized are meaningfully reflected in the emerging post-2015 development discourse and agenda. The analysis contained in this report is based on in-depth interviews with women and focus-group discussions with almost 200 elected women representatives. The report addresses issues that resonate with women all over the globe, such as women's empowerment, poverty, employment, health and education. The key findings from this report can be used to influence the global agenda setting, ensuring that the post-2015 framework does not make the same mistakes that the MDGs did.

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Transforming the national AIDS response

Statistics on HIV and AIDS present a stark reality. Today, after over 25 years of working to combat this pandemic, over 30 million people are living with HIV, half of them women. Women’s infection rates are rising, often dramatically, outpacing those of men in many countries particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The single most important strategy in preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS is empowering women and girls and guaranteeing their rights to prevention, treatment, care and support. But there are other important strategies and actions that can be taken, at different levels, to eliminate the myriad barriers that keep them from exercising these rights. This resource guide provides examples of national strategies, from transforming national and local institutions in order to break through the silence and stigma that surround AIDS and HIV, to working with communities to change attitudes and behaviours that facilitate its spread. They show what can be done when women and men living with HIV are engaged and empowered to make their needs heard and to help design solutions.

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Exploring the dynamics and vulnerabilities of HIV transmission amongst sex workers in the Palestinian context

This publication aims to emphasize the importance of strengthening the current national HIV and AIDS policy in the oPt, dispel stigmas attached to sex work and call for greater efforts to prevent sexual exploitation and support reintegration. The operational research publication features inputs and testimonies collated from 243 respondents (28 sex workers, 63 key informants, 64 clients, and 88 university students) during face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions from March to June 2010. It provides a formative look into sex work in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem). Through the collection of both quantitative and qualitative data from individuals with primary or secondary knowledge on sex work, the research serves to address the protection gaps pertaining to this issue and associated vulnerabilities to HIV and AIDS in the oPt.

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Final external evaluation report:“Dalit women’s livelihoods accountability initiative” in India

This publication provides findings from the recent evaluation of the 'Dalit Women's Livelihood Accountability Initiative' supported by the UN Women's Fund for Gender Equality and illustrates how the programme contributed to changing the lives of marginalised Dalit women in Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in India. As a result of this programme thousands of Dalit women are more socially, economically and politically empowered and are now benefiting from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. The report also details the strategies used and outlines the lessons learned and recommendations that can support similar initiatives to hold governments to account for their commitments to gender equality around the world.

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Women out loud: How women living with HIV will help the world end AIDS

Half of all people living with HIV are women, yet many are under served or do not know their status. Despite the many successes we have seen, women still face inequalities that will keep the AIDS response from reaching its full potential. 'Women out loud' amplifies the voices of women living with HIV so that their knowledge is shared and acted upon. This is essential to achieve the 10 targets of the 2011 United Nations Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS. As this report testifies, women’s leadership, resilience and good practices to transform societies are widespread. What is needed now is stronger support for women’s full participation in the response to HIV, and better data to track progress as it relates to women. This requires a concerted effort to promote and protect the rights of women and of all people living with HIV. When women speak out, we must listen carefully, and act with solidarity and commitment to transform words into action.

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Towards gender equality in humanitarian response: addressing the needs of women and men in Gaza

The already grave humanitarian situation caused by the 18-month-long blockade of the Gaza Strip was compounded by Israel's 23-day military offensive in December 2008 and January 2009. The social and economic repercussions spread across all sectors of Gazan society, but were also mediated by men's and women's gender roles and identities. Ignoring the different needs, capacities and contributions of women, girls, boys and men can mean that some segments of the population are overlooked, sometimes with destructive consequences. In the rush to provide humanitarian assistance, the appeal to pay attention to gender issues may seem irrelevant. However, it is crucial to ensure that the most necessary and appropriate assistance is offered to the population as a whole. This guidebook sets forth standards for the integration of gender issues from the outset of a complex emergency, aiming to enable humanitarian services to reach their target audience with the maximum positive effect. The main framework for this guidebook is based on the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) handbook on gender and humanitarian action, and it builds on the gender needs assessment survey conducted by the UN Inter-Agency Gender Task Force in March 2009. Main issues that arose from that survey were subsequently discussed in focus groups in various communities in Gaza in April and May 2009, organized by UNIFEM.The findings of the focus groups form the core of the data used in this guidebook.

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Transforming the national AIDS response: advancing women’s leadership and participation

Despite international commitments, HIV-positive women's participation and voices are largely missing from decision-making in the HIV and AIDS response. With very little and inconsistent monitoring of involvement by key stakeholders at global and national levels, this study, conducted in collaboration with the ATHENA network, sets out to locate where and in what ways, particularly women and those most affected by the epidemic, are participating in the response. It also assesses the opportunities for and challenges to that participation as well as identifies strategies that can be used to advance their full and meaningful participation at all levels. Based primarily on a series of in-depth interviews and consultations carried out with more than 100 key informants, including institutional leaders, women leaders and decision-makers as well as case studies, five key findings emerged from this review that argue for a more dedicated commitment to developing women as agents of change and active partners in defining and implementing solutions from the community to the global levels in order to transform the AIDS response. The study concludes with ten actionable recommendations — aimed at donors, national governments and other institutional leaders in the AIDS response — addressing the various systemic obstacles women face to their participation and the need for longer term commitments to increase resources to reduce women's vulnerability to HIV and AIDS.

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Manual: multi-sectoral approach to women’s rights in Africa

Even though many African governments have ratified international and regional human rights treaties and have made commitments to respect, promote and protect women's rights and to eliminate discrimination against women, the translation of these commitments into national laws, policies and programmes remains a challenge. As a response, UN Women has developed this manual as a methodological tool to promote the adoption and use of a multi-sectoral approach to achieve women's rights. Through practical guidance, the manual aims to support the African Union and its member states to fast track delivery on commitments to women's rights and empowerment. It introduces an implementation framework that promotes the integration of women's rights into all sectors of government and development endeavours. The framework also calls for inter-ministerial coordination to ensure improved efficiency, accountability, and communication across sectors; the establishment of a strong technical and advisory services unit at the regional and national levels; and an important and strengthened role for national machineries for women's affairs. Overall, the manual stresses the important role of government-led partnerships, such as with the African Union, donor countries, the United Nations system, civil society, organizations and unions, to make women's rights a reality.

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The future women want: a vision of sustainable development for all

Twenty years ago in Rio de Janiero, UN Member States unanimously agreed that “women have a vital role in environmental management and development. Their full participation is therefore essential to achieve sustainable development. Twenty years later, we still have a long way to go. In this publication UN Women highlights the commitments made on gender equality, and explores women's contributions to sustainable development and policy around the world. Focusing on priority areas—safe drinking water and sanitation; food security and sustainable agriculture; sustainable cities; decent work and the green economy; health and education—it details the actions needed to establish a gender-responsive development framework, and ensure an enabling environment for women's full participation in sustainable development.

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Essential services package for women and girls subject to violence

The United Nations Joint Global Programme on Essential Services for Women and Girls Subject to Violence, a partnership by UN Women, UNFPA, WHO, UNDP and UNODC, aims to provide greater access to a coordinated set of essential and quality multi-sectoral services for all women and girls who have experienced gender based violence. The Programme identifies the essential services to be provided by the health, social services, police and justice sectors as well as guidelines for the coordination of essential services and the governance of coordination processes and mechanisms. Service delivery guidelines for the core elements of each essential service have been identified to ensure the delivery of high-quality services, particularly for low- and middle-income countries, for women and girls experiencing violence. Taken together, these elements comprise the “Essential services package”.

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A framework to underpin action to prevent violence against women

Violence against women is one of the most pervasive human rights violations in the world, rooted in gender inequality, discrimination and harmful cultural and social norms. It is also increasingly recognized as a public health issue that adversely affects the health of women. Due to sustained efforts by the women’s movement, governments and other stakeholders, the issue of violence against women is now positioned as a priority on global human rights, health and development agendas. Many of the responses to date to violence against women have focused primarily on intervening with affected individuals after the violence has occurred. Such strategies are essential to mitigate the devastating mental, physical, social and economic effects for women experiencing violence, ensure justice and accountability, and prevent its recurrence. It is important to continue to improve these responses. At the same time, there is also an increasing need to address the broader factors that contribute to prevalence at a population level, and to implement programmes that prevent such violence from occurring in the first place.

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Women migrant workers' human rights

UN Women's Transforming our Future series introduces brief thematic documents with the goal of raising awareness on the importance of addressing such problems as inequality, the legal framework that mandates women's human rights protection, as well as to promote solutions from all areas of society. This leaflet presents central international instruments for the protection of the human rights of women migrant workers, and describes the link between gender and migration.

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Policy and operational messages to support UN Country Teams in integrating human rights into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

The messages in this document are envisaged to provide a common understanding for the UN system on how human rights can be integrated and should inform the planning and programming process as well as policy guidance for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The messages focus on: a) how to align the SDGs with the country’s existing human rights commitments; b) how to fulfill the pledge to ‘leave no one behind’ and ‘reach the furthest behind first’; c) how to ensure active and meaningful participation in the preparation of the national SDG action plans; and, d) how to build robust accountability frameworks in the implementation of these national plans.

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The United Nations in Vietnam: 2008 One Plan annual report

The “One UN Initiative” in Viet Nam and the One Plan are in response to the Ha Noi Core Statement and, as outlined in the Report of the High-Level Panel on System-Wide Coherence, emphasize the need for the UN to move away from traditional service delivery and project implementation towards upstream policy advice. At the heart of the One Plan is the overall goal to enhance programmatic synergies amongst various UN interventions, eliminate any programmatic duplication and overlap, and deliver more effectively “as One”. The purpose of the One Plan Annual Report is to provide the Government of Vietnam and development partners with an account of how the implementation of the One Plan progresses. The report includes concrete examples on how the joint planning and programming process has led to a stronger and more cohesive UN by moving towards upstream policy advice in a number of key cross- cutting areas. The report also provides details on how resources from the One Plan Fund were allocated against the five Outcomes and corresponding Outputs of the One Plan.

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Mid-term review of the UN development assistance framework for Malawi (2008-2011)

In pursuit of economic growth and poverty reduction, the Malawi Government has articulated development goals in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS, 2006-2011), to which the UN’s Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF, 2008-2011) is aligned.The Mid-Term Review provides an opportunity for the UN country team to assess collective performance in respect of ‘delivering as one.’ The review has been carried out as a participatory, self-evaluation exercise focusing on UN programs and processes over the past two years; current MGDS-UNDAF alignment; and expected results for UNDAF implementation 2010/2011.

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One Programme annual report: Delivering as One pilot programme in Tanzania

This report covers the first year of implementation of the One Programme in Tanzania funded by the One UN Fund for Tanzania and Participating UN Agencies. The Joint Programmes approved and implemented during 2008 cover six programmatic areas and two further components have been developed for one office / change management and communication. This report consolidates the annual reports received from the Managing Agents of each of the Joint Programmes and the financial situation of the One Programme and the One Fund. A summary of key achievements and lessons learned from each Joint Programme are included as reported by the Joint Programmes themselves. Key implementation issues and lessons learned are summarized.

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Mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: reference guide to UN country teams

This document is designed as a reference guide for UN Country Teams (UNCTs), under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinators, that wish to support Member States and national stakeholders in adapting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to national contexts (“mainstreaming”) while protecting its integrity. The document covers eight implementation guidance areas that can serve as the basis for UNCT assistance at the national level, sub-national and local levels.

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Country-level needs for SDG implementation in Europe and Central Asia

In view of its interconnectedness, the new agenda of SDGs will require holistic approaches and coherent action by global, regional and country level actors. In order to ensure interlinkages between the regional and country levels, the ECA Regional UNDG Team undertook a consultation with ECA UN Resident Coordinators (RCs) and Country Teams (UNCT) through a survey to identify needs and requirements at country level with regard to SDG implementation. This document presents the finding of the survey as well as conclusions drawn.

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Delivering together facility for sustainable development

With the growing call for the UN development system to go beyond business-as-usual coordination and rise to the challenge to support implementation of the more ambitious and integrated 2030 Agenda, United Nations Development Operations and Coordination Office (UNDOCO) has reviewed the data and practice evidence, as well as the policy and resource mechanisms at its disposal, and established the Delivering Together Facility for Sustainable Development (DTF), to be operational in 2017. The DTF is set up as a flexible funding mechanism to provide seed funds to RCs and UNCTs, to help them leverage joined-up UN development system’s efforts in support of Member States implementing the 2030 Agenda. This document presents the design features, strategic framework, implementation arrangements and fund management of the DTF, which will become operational in 2017.

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Expanding health-care access in the United States

This paper focuses on the ways in which women in the United States are impacted by the 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (usually referred to as ACA or ‘Obamacare’). The ACA’s three main goals of expanding access, increasing consumer protections and reducing costs while increasing quality of services will improve coverage, access to services and types of services that benefit women (and men). However, universal coverage remains illusive due to employer-based insurance coverage that allows firms to make decisions about coverage type. This patchwork universalism is the result of political decisions to extend rather than transform the current health-care system and as such reproduces many of the previously existing problems of uneven costs and coverage. The paper argues the ACA is consistent with other sets of US social welfare and labour market regimes that stratify access to social protections by income, race/ethnicity and gender as well as provide individual states with administrative and policy authority. The paper concludes that the passage of ACA will vastly improve health-care coverage in the United States, however, will continue to leave millions of people uninsured.

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Gender equality and human rights

The achievement of substantive equality is understood as having four dimensions: redressing disadvantage; countering stigma, prejudice, humiliation and violence; transforming social and institutional structures; and facilitating political participation and social inclusion. The paper shows that, although not articulated in this way, these dimensions are clearly visible in the application by the various interpretive bodies of the principles of equality to the enjoyment of treaty rights. At the same time, it shows that there are important ways in which these bodies could go further, both in articulating the goals of substantive equality and in applying them when assessing compliance by States with international obligations of equality. The substantive equality approach, in its four-dimensional form, provides an evaluative tool with which to assess policy in relation to the right to gender equality. The paper elaborates on the four-dimensional approach to equality and how it can be used to evaluate the impact of social and economic policies on women to determine how to make the economy 'work for women' and advance gender equality. The paper suggests that there is a growing consensus at the international level on an understanding of substantive equality that reflects the four dimensional framework.

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Government of Albania - United Nations programme of cooperation 2012-2016: programme review 2015

This 2015 programme review report presents the progress and results achieved by national partners and supported by the United Nations in Albania under the four pillars of the Government of Albania – United Nations Programme of Cooperation (PoC) 2012-2016, namely: (i) Human Rights; (ii) Inclusive Social Policies; (iii) Governance and Rule of Law; and (iv) Regional and Local Development. Additionally, it provides a brief overview of the implementation challenges and lessons learned, potential forthcoming United Nations support to the country, and the preliminary financial position for the year 2015.

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Millennium Development Goals: 2015 progress chart

This chart presents the final assessment of progress towards selected key targets relating to each MDG. The assessment provides two types of information: progress trends and levels of development, which are based on information available as of June 2015.

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Looking back, leaping forward: moving from MDGs to SDGs in Europe and Central Asia

This report takes stock of the progress achieved in Europe and Central Asia under the MDGs with the aim to chart the elements that are crucial for a successful transition to the SDGs. It draws on the experiences derived from the implementation of the MDGs, but also addresses the new challenges and opportunities for integrated interventions that come with the much more complex 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The report is structured into three parts. First, it takes stock of the progress achieved in the implementation of the MDGs. It aims to identify the main challenges at the beginning of the MDG period, how these were addressed and what has been achieved. The second section places the MDGs in the context of the wider SDG framework by identifying the unfinished agenda under the MDGs and discussing how the areas covered by the MDGs are now reflected in the 2030 Agenda. The final section describes some of the initial steps that governments in the region are taking to implement the 2030 Agenda and the ways in which the regional UN system can support these efforts. It concludes by identifying and assessing a number of risks that may influence SDG achievement and stressing the importance of collaboration for successful implementation.

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