International Women's Day 2017


The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme celebrates today International Women’s Day supporting the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and their theme “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50:50 by 2030.”

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UNV works to ensure gender equality and the empowerment of women from both an institutional and a programmatic perspective. We wish to use this occasion to feature the rich variety of ways UN Volunteers around the world contribute to SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Below you can find a collection of stories that showcase the positive impact of UNV and UN Volunteers towards gender equality and women’s empowerment in a wide range of ways and locations.

The work of UN Volunteers towards gender equality

Almost 2,000 female UN Volunteers currently serve in the field with UN entities worldwide. They perform all kinds of assignments, from human rights officers to humanitarian relief experts to logistics to medical doctors, in more than 60 countries. On top of it, every year 7,000 female UN Online Volunteers complete assignments... Read more

A partner's perspective: UN Volunteers working for UN Women in Eastern and Southern Africa

A mixture of 300 international and national UN Volunteers have served with UN Women over the past six years. A third of them continue to work across the world in UN Women’s programmes for peace and development...

Fighting gender-based violence: A day in the life of a UN Volunteer

In this video (full version here,) Phan Thanh An, a national UN Volunteer in Viet Nam, is offering his countrymen a way to live without domestic violence. In Asia and the Pacific, the joint regional programme “Partners for Prevention” aims at ending violence against women through the involvement of men and boys to change attitudes, practices and social norms... Read more

Women as agents of change after a natural disaster: UN Volunteers serving in Ecuador after the earthquake

After the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Ecuador in April 2016, affecting the lives of around 720,000 people and with almost 30,000 people having to seek refuge in temporary camps, UNV mobilized 24 UN Volunteers to support the emergency response in the affected areas of the country. Of these, 11 were deployed with UN Women... Read more

Photo story: UN Volunteers provide legal aid to poor women in Bangladesh

Voices from the field


Josephine Monger provides education on rape and sexual exploitation to girls in Liberia. She serves as a national UN Volunteer Field Monitor with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)... Read more      Anita Bianchi is a UN Youth Volunteer in Private Sector Development with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sudan. "Because women are engaged in economic activity does not always mean that they have decent work," she says... Read more


During the emergency response to the earthquake of April 2016 in EcuadorMichelle Pazmiño served with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to promote the participation of women... Read more      Based in Goma, a city in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, UN Volunteer Serena Ricci is assigned to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to ensure the protection of refugees... Read more