UN Women partnering with UN Volunteers


Since 2010, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) has been partnering with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to promote gender empowerment around the world. The partnership is a continuation of prior collaboration with the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). Some 371 UN Volunteers have served with UN Women and UNIFEM in 68 countries over the past ten years, supporting their mission to "advance gender equality around the world and create an environment in which every woman and girl can exercise her human rights and live up to her full potential".

UN Volunteer Andrea Medaas (Norway) and a member of the Phaie community in the Chinguluwe Extension Planning Area go over traditional agriculture tasks divided by gender, during a monitoring and evaluation visit to Salima District in Central Malawi. (UNV Malawi, 2016)

UN Volunteers are experienced personnel available to support UN Women’s mandate. They work within communities to pursue gender-sensitive humanitarian and development programming, and social mobilization for behavioural change. UN Volunteers advance UN Women’s efforts to strengthen women’s economic empowerment and promote sustainable livelihoods.

I have worked with a number of UN Volunteers. They are motivated and passionate to make a difference for women and girls, and they energize our work with the fresh ideas that they bring. --Shoko Ishikawa, UN Women Representative, Viet Nam

There are currently more than 100 serving UN Volunteers who directly support gender equality and the empowerment of women in UN Women’s field projects and programmes. This includes UN Volunteers involved in responses to gender-based violence (Viet Nam, Indonesia), the promotion of sexual and reproductive health (Cameroon, South Sudan), behavioural changes and social norms (Guatemala, Afghanistan), reconciliation and healing (Kenya, Mali) and gender mainstreaming in projects and policies that focus on peacebuilding, youth, disaster risk reduction and humanitarian operations throughout the world.

In addition to their commitment to UN Women’s mandate, UN Volunteers support the organization in its regional joint-programme with UNDP and UNFPA, Partners for Prevention (P4P), that focuses on the prevention of violence against women and girls in Asia and the Pacific.

We find UN Volunteers committed, competent and compassionate in the way they carry out their work. --Zebib Kavuma, UN Women Kenya Country Director

Through their willingness to serve at community level, UN Volunteers promote gender equality and women’s empowerment to improve social mobilization of communities, advocating for women’s equal involvement in local development, contributing to women’s sustainable livelihoods, and encouraging societal transformation. UN Volunteers also build the capacity of institutions to advance gender sensitive humanitarian and development programming and increase women’s participation in leadership.

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