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Heterogeneous impacts of an unconditional cash transfer programme on schooling: evidence from the Ghana LEAP Programme

The paper uses data from a quasi-experimental evaluation to estimate the impact of the Ghanaian Government’s unconditional cash transfer programme on schooling outcomes. It analyses the impacts for children by various subgroups – age, gender, cognitive ability – and finds consistent impacts. There are differences across gender, especially on secondary schooling, with enrollment significantly higher for boys 13 years or older. For girls, the effect of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme is to improve current attendance among those who are already enrolled in school (across all age groups). The authors found a significant effect on the expenditure on schooling items such as uniforms and stationary for these groups, which helps to explain the pathway of impact because these out-of-pocket costs are typically important barriers to schooling in rural Ghana and most of Africa.

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The Millennium Development Goals report 2015

This report presents data and analysis evaluating the progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It proves that, with targeted interventions, sound strategies, adequate resources and political will, even the poorest countries can make dramatic and unprecedented progress. The report also acknowledges uneven achievements and shortfalls in many areas. The work is not complete, and it must continue in the new development era.

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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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Breaking the silence on violence against indigenous girls, adolescents and young women

This inter-agency study highlights that the forms and nature of violence that women and girls experience are shaped and influenced by the often multiple forms of discrimination they face. They can be based on factors such as age, ethnicity, geographic location, or disability, and intersect with gender inequality and discrimination. In the case of indigenous girls, adolescents and young women, the broader contexts of discrimination against indigenous peoples such as colonial domination, continued discrimination, limited access to social services, dispossession from ancestral lands and militarization issues increase their vulnerability to violence and limit their ability to seek protection and recourse. The study, the first of its kind, reviews existing quantitative and qualitative data on the prevalence and incidence of the types of violence which have already been documented in relation to these groups in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Three countries were selected, one per region, to illustrate the findings. In addition to stressing the need to address the ‘statistical silence’ around violence against indigenous girls and women by enhancing efforts around data collection and analysis, the existing information presented in the report provides a solid case for the need to strengthen efforts to protect the rights of indigenous girls and women.

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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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Gender sensitive remittances and asset-building in the Philippines

This publication aims to add to the remittances for development discourse, as an input into policy, programme and services development. It offers information and sex-disaggregated data on remittance flows, patterns, recognizing the differences between women and men as senders and recipients of remittances. The study considers how these gender dimensions intersect with specific social and economic contexts so that programmes are responsive to the needs at different levels – local, national, international, as appropriate and in a collaborative manner among key stakeholders. The study recommends emphasis on the meaningful participation of women migrant workers in decision-making processes on remittance-oriented initiatives, not merely as remittances senders and investors but beneficiaries and protagonists of development.

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2009 World survey on the role of women in development

The World Survey on the Role of Women in Development is the flagship publication of the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women. It is presented to the Second Committee of the General Assembly at five-yearly intervals. The 1999 World Survey focused on globalization, gender and work and the 2004 World Survey addressed women and international migration. The General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to update the World Survey on the Role of Women in Development for the consideration of the General Assembly at its sixty-fourth session; noting that the survey should continue to focus on selective emerging development themes that have an impact on the role of women in the economy at the national, regional and international levels. The theme for the World Survey in 2009 is “Women's control over economic resources and access to financial resources, including micro-finance”.

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Occupied Palestinian territory Sabaya programme evaluation report

Initiated in 2004 in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Sabaya was UNIFEM's (now UN Women's) largest programme in the occupied Palestinian territory, benefiting more than 25,000 Palestinian rural and marginalized women both in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Through the establishment and rehabilitation of women's centres, the four-year programme empowered and protected rural women by developing their skills socially, economically, academically and legally, thereby promoting their participation in decision-making within their communities. It now has become a model for community development. Conceived as a tool to support the work of development practitioners, the UN Women Sabaya Programme Evaluation Report sets forth lessons learned and key recommendations for the implementation of community-based women's development programming. It aims at promoting community-led initiatives for advancing women's human rights and eliminating gender inequality through the generation of intervention models like Sabaya.

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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:“Strengthening public institutions in favour of equality and to combat discrimination: creation of an equality law in El Salvador”

The publication provides findings from the recent evaluation of 'Strengthening Public Institutions in Favour of Equality and to Combat Discrimination: Creation of an Equality Law' in El Salvador, a programme supported by UN Women's Fund for Gender Equality. It is hoped that readers will benefit from the experience of the programme and its efforts that successfully contributed to the recent approval of the Equality Law in El Salvador. This report details the communication, alliance-building and advocacy strategies that contributed to the new law . Conclusions, lessons learned and recommendations are outlined to support similar initiatives and activities for passing national laws on gender equality around the world.

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Enabling women’s contributions to the Indian Ocean Rim economies

The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) represents one of the world’s most diverse and dynamic regional communities. While the people of the Indian Ocean Rim come from a variety of backgrounds, they rely on interconnected environments, institutions and markets for their livelihoods. They are united by a shared commitment to the prosperity of the region through inclusive, sustainable economic growth and women’s economic empowerment. This report identifies some of the key trends and critical issues for the Indian Ocean Rim Association Member States to address in support of women’s substantive gender equality and economic advancement. It provides an overview of existing data on key aspects of women’s economic empowerment in Indian Ocean Rim countries using publicly available and comparable data. The report develops a simple baseline, primarily using data from 2010 onward in some of the areas that describe women’s participation in the economy and their opportunities for advancement in business and economic leadership. It also explores some of the key enabling factors that support women’s increased labour force participation and are associated with improvements in the terms and conditions of their employment, leadership and entrepreneurship.

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Gender, remittances and asset accumulation in Ecuador and Ghana

The central question motivating this study is whether processes of migration can contribute to women’s economic autonomy by facilitating their acquisition of physical and financial assets, either as migrants or as managers of remittances sent to their households. Drawing on representative national-level household asset surveys for Ecuador and Ghana, the authors find that 24 per cent of all households with migrants in Ecuador and 17 per cent in Ghana have acquired at least one asset through the use of remittances, predominantly international remittances. In Ecuador, where international migration is gender balanced, male and female international migrants are equally likely to send remittances to their households of origin; in Ghana, men are much more likely to be international migrants than women and predominate among the remitters. Remittances have contributed towards strengthening women’s ownership of assets (especially consumer durables) in both countries. In Ghana, most businesses acquired with remittances are owned by women, as are the majority of the residences so acquired. In Ecuador, women managers have benefited through the build-up of their savings and as joint owners of the homes built with remittances; also, return female migrants are more likely than their male counterparts to have acquired a home through their use of savings earned abroad. Nonetheless, a minority of migrant women and female remittance recipients are able to acquire assets. Enhancing the capacity of migrants to channel their foreign savings towards asset accumulation will require policy interventions at various levels, including a focus on their conditions of employment in destination countries (see Sustainable Development Goal, recommended SDG 8.8); reducing the cost of remittance transfers (recommended SDG 10.c); and specific policies to facilitate the acquisition of assets in the home country (recommended SDGs 1.4 and 5.a).

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Gender and financial inclusion through the post

Women form a disproportionately large share of the world’s unbanked population. Gender inequalities in employment and earnings mean that women have lower incomes, making them less able to open accounts in formal financial institutions. Moreover, women frequently do not have the collateral necessary to seek out loans from the formal financial sector. These factors combined with discrimination against women in financial markets mean that women are far less likely than men to have checking or savings accounts in their own names. Women’s microcredit and savings and loans groups have become important components of the development agenda in many countries. However, these groups have not been able to build the long-lasting linkages to formal financial institutions (FIs) necessary to scale up their access to funds and grow independently of non-governmental and aid organizations. The role of post offices in banking women has, however, gone largely unnoticed in this analysis. This paper investigates the extent to which financial services offered through posts may serve women in the developing world better than FIs. We find evidence that posts do seem to include women to a greater extent than FIs. The empirical analysis suggests that this is partly a function of widely distributed postal networks and the lower transactions costs in combination with cheaper services offered by the posts. We also find some evidence that this outcome may be a result of greater discrimination against women by FIs rather than systematic outreach to women by the posts. We conclude that a more deliberate attempt at the financial inclusion of women by postal operators has the potential to yield even more success in this regard.

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The Mehwar Centre: evaluation of policies and procedures

The Mehwar Centre opened its doors in February 2007 with the mission to address gender- based violence in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Since its opening, the centre has sheltered approximately 150 women and 40 children victims of violence. In 2010, after three years in operation, UN Women and the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs agreed to conduct a comprehensive review of the centre's policies and procedures in order to assess their effectiveness, efficiency and compliance with human rights standards, with the broader goal of developing them into a model for the establishment of other centres supporting women victims of violence in the oPt. The evaluation findings highlight achievements and results, as well as gaps and shortfalls in the formulation and/or implementation of the Mehwar Centre's policies and procedures. Based on these findings, comprehensive suggestions and recommendations were given for their improvement. Five priority areas were identified for focused action.

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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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Evaluation of gender mainstreaming in United Nations peacekeeping activities (MONUC/MONUSCO) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

This evaluation report is a complementary report by UN Women to the evaluation of the UN Peacekeeping Activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo carried out in 2011-12 by the Inspection and Evaluation Division (IED) of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS). It provides an in-depth analysis of gender mainstreaming results in the Peacekeeping Mission along the following questions: 1) How effectively have human rights and gender equality been mainstreamed into the Missions’ operations? 2) To what extent have the Missions’ mandates and operations been contributing to the goals of Security Council resolutions, including those on women, peace and security and the rule of law? 3) What lessons have been learned in the Missions with respect to addressing human rights and gender equality, the rule of law and other major mandate areas? 4) What are the key challenges?

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CEDAW and Security Council resolution 1325: a quick guide

Established international norms and standards promote the protection of women during armed conflict and their participation in peace and security decision-making. Two sets of standards, UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security (UNSCR 1325), and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), are critical tools for moving the gender equality agenda forward in conflict and post-conflict situations. While both sets of standards are important in their own right, there is also a synergy between them that can enhance their implementation and impact. UNSCR 1325 helps to broaden the scope of CEDAW's application by clarifying its relevance to all parties in conflict and in peace. CEDAW, in turn, provides concrete strategic guidance for actions to be taken on the broad commitments outlined in UNSCR 1325. Drawing on these instruments together will enable advocates to maximize the impact of norms and standards for gender equality in all conflict and post-conflict interventions. This brief overview provides a basic introduction to each set of standards, as well as the context within which they were developed. It reviews the commonalities and potential strategic uses of UNSCR 1325 and CEDAW. It begins with a description of their shared gender equality agenda and includes a discussion of: 1) the ways that each set of standards can expand the reach of the other; 2) the application of the standards to the situation of women in the various stages of conflict and post-conflict reconstruction; 3) the significance and legal authority embodied in each set of standards; and 4) monitoring processes connected to UNSCR 1325 and CEDAW.

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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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Handbook for national action plans on violence against women

The Handbook for National Action Plans on Violence against Women brings together current knowledge on effective policy for the prevention of, and response to, violence against women, and concretely demonstrates how States have developed and implemented such policy in their own contexts. Although not a model plan itself , this publication sets out guidelines to help policy makers and advocates formulate effective plans. It is based on good practices in States' plans and the advice of experts from different countries and regions. It first outlines the international and regional legal and policy framework which mandates States to adopt and implement National Action Plans to address violence against women. It then presents a model framework for National Action Plans on violence against women, which sets out recommendations, accompanied by explanatory commentaries and good practice examples.

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Handbook for legislation on violence against women

The Handbook serves as a useful tool in supporting efforts to provide justice, support, protection and remedies to victims and to hold perpetrators accountable. The Handbook first outlines the international and regional legal and policy frameworks which mandate States to enact and implement comprehensive and effective laws to address violence against women. It then presents a model framework for legislation on violence against women, divided into fourteen chapters. Finally, the Handbook provides users with a checklist of considerations to be kept in mind when drafting legislation on violence against women. This Handbook intends to provide all stakeholders with detailed guidance to support the adoption and effective implementation of legislation which prevents violence against women, punishes perpetrators, and ensures the rights of survivors everywhere.

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Realizing women's rights to land and other productive resources

Women’s access to, use of and control over land and other productive resources are essential to ensuring their right to equality and to an adequate standard of living. Throughout the world, gender inequality when it comes to land and other productive resources is related to women’s poverty and exclusion. Barriers which prevent women’s access to, use of and control over land and other productive resources often include inadequate legal standards and/or ineffective implementation at national and local levels, as well as discriminatory cultural attitudes and practices at the institutional and community level. The purpose of this publication is to provide detailed guidance to support the adoption and effective implementation of laws, policies and programmes to respect, protect and fulfill women’s rights to land and other productive resources. It presents an overview of international and regional legal and policy instruments recognizing women’s rights to land and other productive resources, and discusses ways of advancing a human rights-based approach to women’s rights to land and other productive resources. It sets out recommendations in a range of areas accompanied by explanatory commentaries and good practice examples and case studies from countries. The publication is based on the results of an expert group meeting held in June 2012. It is hoped that the publication will be a useful tool for policy makers, civil society organizations and other stakeholders in their efforts to realize women’s rights to land other productive resources.

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