Promoting gender equality and women's empowerment requires well functioning and gender-sensitive institutions to support political, social and economic life. We monitor and support the development of effective mechanisms for gender equality through periodic reviews and research in cooperation with the Division for the Advancement of Women (now part of UN Women) and all regional commissions. UNECE actively participates in the work and task forces of the United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) on various aspects of the economics of gender.
National Mechanisms for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment
New research commissioned by UNECE draws a comprehensive picture of the diversity of types, mandates, roles and functions of national mechanisms for gender equality and women's empowerment. The two regional studies, one focusing mainly on the European Union and the other on South-East and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia - identify major trends in the institutional developments for gender equality which have taken place since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995. They enhance our understanding of both the enabling and constraining factors experienced by national mechanisms for the achievement of gender equality goals. Widespread legal reforms for gender equality are among the key achievements over the past fifteen years, but many hurdles remain. Among the key challenges for national mechanisms for gender equality is the need for a clear and strong mandate, sufficient resources and enhanced synergies among the diversity of mechanisms now in place.
National mechanisms for gender equality include bodies and institutions within different branches of the State (legislative, executive and judicial branches) as well as independent, accountability and advisory bodies. They include, but are not be limited to, the national machinery for the advancement of women within Government, inter-ministerial bodies (e.g. task forces/working groups or similar arrangements), advisory and consultative bodies with multi-stakeholder participation, gender equality ombudspersons, parliamentary committees and gender equality observatories.
“The key areas of success have been the areas where political will and determination met human and financial resources, well‐developed and implemented strategies and support and involvement of multiple stakeholders, including academia, the expert community, the media, NGOs and grassroots organizations” … Gaps and challenges arise “where political will to progress is missing, where data and indicators to monitor progress on gender equality is lacking, where funding is scarce, cooperation with civil society is weak, and where engagement of various stakeholders is insufficient”
Regional Study on South- East and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia
The studies are part of a project led by the Division for the Advancement of Women (now part of UN Women) which is implemented in collaboration with the United Nations regional commissions, and with the support from the Government of Italy. It aims to strengthen the collaboration and synergies between the different mechanisms at national level to facilitate achievement of the goals of gender equality and the empowerment of women (Project Website).