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The cost of agricultural productivity in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda

Women form a large proportion of the agricultural labour force in Sub-Saharan Africa and thus play a vital role in ensuring family nutrition and food security. In Eastern and Southern Africa, agriculture continues to be a key engine for local and regional economies, represents a critical source of income and ensures food security and nutrition. However, as has been widely documented, gender-based inequalities in access to and control of productive and financial resources inhibit agricultural productivity and reduce food security. A new study measuring the economic costs of the gender gap in agricultural productivity in three African countries provides further evidence that reducing the gender gap plays a significant role in poverty reduction and improved nutritional outcomes. The report provides a unique quantification of the costs in terms of lost growth opportunities and an estimate of what societies, economies, and communities would gain if the gender gap in agriculture is addressed. The findings of this report are striking, and send a strong signal to policy makers in Africa as well as development partners that closing the gender gap is smart economics. Consider this: closing the gender gap in agricultural productivity could potentially lift as many as 238,000 people out of poverty in Malawi, 80,000 people in Tanzania, and 119,000 people in Uganda.

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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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Gender equality, child development and job creation: how to reap the ‘triple dividend’ from early childhood education and care services

This brief synthesizes research findings, analysis and policy recommendations for realizing the triple dividend from early childhood education and care (ECEC) services. ECEC services have come to occupy an important place on the global policy agenda. While some developed countries have long invested in this area, a growing number of developing countries are following suit. As those who carry out the bulk of childcare—as unpaid caregivers as well as service providers in day-care and preschool institutions—women have a huge stake in this issue. However, the implications for women, as mothers or childcare workers, have been insufficiently reflected in the work of international organizations and many national-level policies that tend to focus mainly on children.Well-designed investments in ECEC services can have major economic and social pay-offs for families, individuals and societies at large by: (a) facilitating women’s labour force participation, (b) enhancing children’s capabilities and (c) creating decent jobs in the paid care sector. But this triple dividend is not automatic. It needs to be built into service design and delivery. This brief discusses different mechanisms for financing, delivering and regulating ECEC services and highlights promising avenues for realizing the triple dividend. It argues that the key is high-quality childcare that is available, affordable, accessible and compatible with the needs of working parents.

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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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Tackling the gender pay gap: from individual choices to institutional change

Sixty-five years after ILO Convention no. 100 on equal remuneration, the gender pay gap remains pervasive across all regions and most sectors, and policy debate continues on how to close it. Policy attention has focused on women’s own behaviour and choices, but women have been investing more in their education and participating more continuously in employment without reaping the expected benefits. It is time to focus instead on changing the environment in which women are making choices. This brief focuses on policies needed to change employment arrangements. This would involve: 1) raising and extending floor under wages to reduce the penalties associated with being at the bottom of the wage hierarchy; 2) improving the valuation of women’s work through strengthening legal and collective regulation; 3) extending gender pay audits and action plans; 4) improving women’s employment opportunities by developing progression opportunities in female-dominated jobs and sectors, and 5) enabling mothers to remain in, or return to, employment. Policies to close the gender pay gap need to be developed in tandem with policies to reduce inequality overall, promote social justice and extend state support to working parents.

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Supporting women's empowerment and gender equality in fragile states: research brief — Sudan

This brief is one in a three-part research series produced by UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality (FGE) – a global gender equality fund which awards competitive grants and technical assistance to women-led civil society organizations around the world. Focusing on grantee case studies in Sudan, this brief offers a more nuanced look at the real-time opportunities and barriers to women’s economic empowerment in fragile contexts, including what is working, what is not and what is needed to help women realize greater empowerment, equality and inclusive development. Through area-based research and a compilation of grantee good practices and lessons learned, this brief offers insight into the local gender dimensions of fragility and a set of recommendations to help scale strategies and interventions that work for women and their communities. In this series, the FGE also presents: 1) Findings of the FGE’s perceptions survey research, conducted in 2015 with over 1,200 rural, displaced and refugee women in Guinea, Lebanon and Sudan; 2) A programme-oriented framework for understanding empowerment as a set of four components working together: productive resources, personal resources, institutional relations and interpersonal relations.

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Supporting women's empowerment and gender equality in fragile states: research brief — Lebanon

This brief is one in a three-part research series produced by UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality (FGE) – a global gender equality fund which awards competitive grants and technical assistance to women-led civil society organizations around the world. Focusing on grantee case studies in Lebanon, this brief offers a more nuanced look at the real-time opportunities and barriers to women’s economic empowerment in fragile contexts, including what is working, what is not and what is needed to help women realize greater empowerment, equality and inclusive development. Through area-based research and a compilation of grantee good practices and lessons learned, this brief offers insight into the local gender dimensions of fragility and a set of recommendations to help scale strategies and interventions that work for women and their communities. In this series, the FGE also presents: 1) Findings of the FGE’s perceptions survey research, conducted in 2015 with over 1,200 rural, displaced and refugee women in Guinea, Lebanon and Sudan; 2) A programme-oriented framework for understanding empowerment as a set of four components working together: productive resources, personal resources, institutional relations and interpersonal relations.

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Supporting women's empowerment and gender equality in fragile states: research brief — Guinea

This brief is one in a three-part research series produced by UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality (FGE) – a global gender equality fund which awards competitive grants and technical assistance to women-led civil society organizations around the world. Focusing on grantee case studies in Guinea, this brief offers a more nuanced look at the real-time opportunities and barriers to women’s economic empowerment in fragile contexts, including what is working, what is not and what is needed to help women realize greater empowerment, equality and inclusive development. Through area-based research and a compilation of grantee good practices and lessons learned, this brief offers insight into the local gender dimensions of fragility and a set of recommendations to help scale strategies and interventions that work for women and their communities. In this series, the FGE also presents: 1) Findings of the FGE’s perceptions survey research, conducted in 2015 with over 1,200 rural, displaced and refugee women in Guinea, Lebanon and Sudan; 2) A programme-oriented framework for understanding empowerment as a set of four components working together: productive resources, personal resources, institutional relations and interpersonal relations

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Shelters for women and girls who are survivors of violence in Ethiopia

Despite legislative and institutional provisions to women and girl survivors of violence in Ethiopia, support for the rehabilitation and reintegration of survivors is still limited. Women and girls still lack access to coordinated, quality services and as a result, continue to be affected by the psycho-social impacts of violence. This publication is a study commissioned by UN Women Ethiopia to assess the availability, accessibility, quality and demand for rehabilitative and reintegration services for women and girl-survivors of violence in Ethiopia. This national assessment further examines the existing referral systems, both at national and regional levels, along with other response mechanisms in place to present good practices, major challenges and recommendations.The assessment will add to the evidence-base for planning and development of appropriate interventions by state actors and other development partners, by identifying and mapping the existing rehabilitative and reintegration service centers; and compiling an inventory of their services, gaps and current barriers.

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The full view: ensuring a comprehensive approach to achieve the goal of gender balance in the UNFCCC process

This research report builds on an earlier report published in May 2013 entitled, ‘The Full View: Advancing the goal of gender balance in multilateral and intergovernmental processes’, which highlighted best practices and lessons learned from various sectors to promote women’s voice and agency and proposed a set of recommendations on ways to advance the goal of gender balance by parties and observers to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This second edition examines developments in the equal participation and representation of women in decision-making processes and seeks to expand on the lessons learned for the achievement of positive outcomes to promote women’s voice and agency

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Promoting women's participation in the extractive industries sector: examples of emerging good practices

The extractive industries remains a male-dominated industry as compared to the other industries in Africa. It is important to involve women in it because women have the same “right to development” as men, so if extractive industries diminish their access to economic and social development, this human right has been violated. Since women are also often the linchpins of their communities, with key roles in ensuring the health, nutrition, education and security of those around them, investing in women and assuring their participation is not only key for their own development, but also for the socioeconomic development of their families and communities. A documentation of good practices on gender and the extractive industries will therefore help guide governments, the private sector, civil society organizations and other stakeholders in developing policy, programmes and legislation that will do a better job of addressing challenges facing women affected by—and hoping to benefit from—the extractive industries sector. This publication on emerging good practices is a valuable contribution to exploring solutions and taking them to scale to engender the extractive industries in Africa.

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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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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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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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UNCT Moldova: gender scorecard narrative report

The UNCT Gender Scorecard is one of three system‐wide accountability mechanisms that has been introduced in the UN, aiming at measuring gender equality in UN programming processes across eight dimensions, which encompass 22 indicators that following the UNCT planning cycle, that in combination are a holistic measure of UNCT performance. This report gathers rankings through the Scorecard and reveals that comparing with other the countries, the UNCT Moldova got higher scores for such areas as planning, partnerships, capacities, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation, quality control and accountability processes, whilst for programming and decision‐making processes there are room for improvements.

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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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Delivering development justice? financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The “supremely ambitious and transformative vision” embodied in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a goal to achieve gender equality for all women and girls and a re-commitment to governments’ human rights obligations. At the same time, governments have agreed to a range of strategies for financing the Agenda that arguably undermine their ability to fulfil women’s human rights and advance a just and gender-equitable model of development. This paper critically evaluates this potential contradiction with a focus on the key financing strategies of trade and investment liberalization, sovereign debt resolution, international private finance, and public-private partnerships, as well as the role of the global partnership for development. Recommendations are made to better align financing targets with the objective of supporting the enjoyment of women’s human rights. Finally, the paper reflects on the inherent limitations in the 2030 Agenda and the need for an urgent shift to a model of development justice.

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Financing for gender equality in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals

This paper identifies a series of macro-level tools to create a supportive environment and generate the resources to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to gender equality. The paper argues that financing for gender equality can be self-sustaining because of the feedback effects from gender equality to economy-wide well-being. Among the tools related to targeted government spending are demand-stimulating macroeconomic policies to promote full employment and public investment. Two types of public investment are explored. Physical infrastructure investment, such as spending on clean water, sanitation and health clinics, can reduce women’s unpaid care burden. Social infrastructure investment, defined as investment in people’s capabilities, refers to the fundamental social, intellectual, and emotional skills, and health of individuals—or level of human development—a country relies on for its economy to function. Financing for gender equality in these areas is more properly seen as an investment that yields an income stream in the future due to the beneficial development and growth effects. The paper concludes by arguing to advance the SDGs, macroeconomic policy must be conducted through an equity lens with much more attention to its distributive effects.

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Trade liberalization, social policy development and labour market outcomes of Chinese women and men in the decade after China’s accession to the World Trade Organization

How trade liberalization affects women’s position in the labour market and what role public policy should play to make the process work better for women are among some of the most debated issues in academic communities and in policy-making arenas. This paper sheds light on these contentious issues by analysing the trends in labour market outcomes of women and men in China in the decade after its accession to the World Trade Organization. Using data from the 2002 China Household Income Project and the 2008 and 2010 Rural-Urban Migration in China project, the analysis shows that between 2002 and 2010, women’s labour force participation increased and rising women’s labour force participation was associated with a dramatic shift in labour allocation from agricultural labour to wage employment in industry and services. Moreover, women and men at all income quintiles experienced rapid wage growth. However, the benefits of economic success following the WTO succession were not evenly distributed between both women and men. The gender gaps in both earnings and low pay-rates actually increased. The paper concludes by noting that despite China's remarkable success in creating productive employment and reducing income poverty, economic growth alone is insufficient for achieving gender equality in the labour market.

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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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Falling through the net? gender and social protection in the Pacific

This paper examines the gender dimensions and implications of social protection in relation to rapid transformations in the globalizing economies in the Pacific region. The paper analyzes the dynamics of gender and social protection in three countries of the region – Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu – and explores how best to approach social protection so as to promote gender equality rather than risk re-inscribing prevailing gender inequalities. The paper emphasizes the need to move beyond bipolar divisions of customary and commodity economies or informal and formal economies to consider the everyday realities of making a living. Women will ‘fall through the net’ if social protection is unduly yoked to the public sphere of the state and the formal commodity economy in which women are marginalised. Women’s own perceptions of their contemporary situation and their agency as both individuals and collectives should be carefully heeded in finding creative solutions for gender equality in social protection for sustainable Pacific futures. The paper concludes by suggestion that efforts to ensure women's social protection in the Pacific need to be alert to the risks that women might 'fall through the net.'

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Are governments catching up? work-family policy and inequality in Latin America

This paper examines government policies that aim to balance work and family life, focusing on employment based leaves and early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in Latin America. The paper charts the policy reforms across the region in both maternity, paternity and parental leaves and ECEC services, focusing especially on services for 0–3-year-old children. To illuminate regional trends and best practices, it provides more detailed case studies of policy reforms in Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay, with regard to both policy design and implementation. Drawing from these case studies, the paper finds that Latin America is moving in an equity-enhancing direction, particularly in terms of social equity, both in employment-based leaves and in care services. Care policies have a window of opportunity to become equity-enhancing policies both in terms of socio-economics and gender. Because these policies are being defined and implemented against the backdrop of deep familialism and high degrees of social inequality, equity enhancement is a challenging policy goal. The paper concludes with identifying the key factors in that are important in designing equity-enhancing change in work-family policies.

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The gender dimensions of pension systems: Policies and constraints for the protection of older women

This paper documents the pervasiveness of women’s lack of income security in old age across a large number of countries, but also points to a number of important policy measures that can be taken to address gender pension gaps. It focuses on how pension systems interact with other social and labour market conditions over women’s life courses to increase or decrease gender inequalities in old age. It reviews pension systems to pinpoint the key sources of gender inequality in they way they are structured. The paper shows that crucial policy choices for the protection of women must take into account the conditions for entitlements in pension systems, the types of transfers that are promoted between women and men, the policy tools available to offset gender differences in paid work, earnings and unpaid work and the protection of the most vulnerable social groups through redistributive benefits. The paper concludes with some recommendations to make pension systems more gender equitable and suggests that policies aimed at achieving gender equality in pension rights and benefits need to work on several complementary fronts (including measures regarding pension system design, but also labour market regulation and the reconciliation of work and family life) and consider the diversity of women’s situation across social strata as well as across countries.

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