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UNESCO Promotes Gender Equality

Gender Equality is one of UNESCO's two global priorities, with a commitment to promote equality between women and men across the Organization's mandate. Gender Equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundaton for the creation of sustainable and peaceful societies.

The Division for Gender Equality is responsible for ensuring the promotion of Gender Equality at UNESCO both in programming and in the Secretariat. This work is based on a two-pronged approach involving both gender-specific programmes and gender mainstreaming within UNESCO’s five areas of competence (Education; Natural Sciences; Social and Human Sciences; Culture; and Communication and Information), guided by the Priority Gender Equality Action Plan for 2014-2021

This document is also available in its entirety  in 6 languages: English - French - Spanish - Russian - Arabic - Chinese

Beijing +20: Re-thinking women's empowerment and gender equality in 2015 and beyond

In 1995, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) was adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women, and subsequently endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996. The Beijing Platform for Action, to which 189 countries committed themselves, constitutes a global framework for realizing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

The 20-year review of progress in implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (Beijing+20) takes place at a strategic moment: the global community is intensifying efforts towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and work on shaping a post-2015 development agenda and sustainable development goals (SDGs) is intensifying. The interlinked processes of the Beijing+20 review and the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda provide a critical opportunity to position gender equality and women’s empowerment at the center of the global agenda, both as an important end in itself and as an essential means for the achievement of sustainable development in all its dimensions.

At this critical moment, UNESCO celebrates International Women’s Day 2015 with the theme of "Re-Thinking Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality in 2015 and beyond". Click here to know more! 


The Online Annex to the fourth stand-alone report to the General Conference on UNESCO actions promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality covers the reporting period 2013 to 2015 and describes in full details strategic initiatives and key results achieved by programme sectors, field offices and institutes to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality, in the framework of the Priority Gender Equality Action Plan 2014-2021 (GEAP II). The report also highlights capacity building and advocacy initiatives, and policy and action-oriented research carried out by the Division for Gender Equality in the Office of the Director-General (ODG/GE). The document identifies key challenges and lessons learned before concluding with recommendations for moving forward.


  • Background Paper on Beijing +20

    What were the progress made since the Beijing Conference in 1995 and what are the challenges remaining? The answer is in our report!



    UNESCO's Gender Equality and Culture Report

    UNESCO’s recently published report on Gender Equality: Heritage and Creativity vividly demonstrates the need for deeper debate, research and awareness-raising on the need for equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for women and men, boys and girls in the fields of heritage and creativity.

  • UNESCO's Promise: Gender Equality - A Global Priority

  • The UNESCO Courier - Women conquering new expanses of freedom. Discover the numerous challenges taken on by the exceptional women who contributed to this issue.

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