Gender Equality and Empowerment
About the Issue
In 2008, the UN Secretary-General launched the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign with the aim to raise public awareness and increase political will and resources for preventing and ending all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world.
Through its advocacy initiatives at the global, regional and national levels, the UNiTE campaign is working to mobilize individuals and communities. In addition to supporting the longstanding efforts of women’s and civil society organizations, the campaign is actively engaging with men, young people, celebrities, artists, sports personalities, private sector and many more.
- Adoption and enforcement of national laws to address and punish all forms of violence against women and girls, in line with international human rights standards.
- Adoption and implementation of multi-sectoral national action plans that emphasize prevention and that are adequately resourced.
- Establishment of data collection and analysis systems on the prevalence of various forms of violence against women and girls.
- Establishment of national and/or local campaigns and the engagement of a diverse range of civil society actors in preventing violence and in supporting women and girls who have been abused.
- Systematic efforts to address sexual violence in conflict situations and to protect women and girls from rape as a tactic of war and full implementation of related laws and policies.
A signatory to the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) India has a number of progressive laws that support gender equality and ending discrimination and violence against women. The Government of India was represented at the 2013 session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), where Member States committed to ending all forms of violence against women. They recognized that there is a need to address the economic and political underpinnings of violence; ensure access to justice; strengthen multi-sectoral approaches; and end harmful traditional practices that negatively impact women. Under the Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013, the Government of India has pledged to establish 100 One Stop Crisis Centres and the creation of a 1000 Crore Nirbhaya Fund to respond to Violence against Women and Girls. More recently, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2013 expands the scope of sexual and gender based crimes against women.
In support of the Secretary General’s campaign, the United Nations in India supports the Government of India’s efforts to end violence and discrimination against women, including by increasing political and social commitment to end discrimination.
Joint UN Advocacy to End Violence against Women
In November 2013, the UNCT in India launched the UN Joint India Advocacy and Communications Campaign to end violence against women and girls. This year the UNCT joined forces again to initiate both awareness generating campaigns and advocacy initiatives with over 6,300 participants. The use of social media enabled the UNCT to reach 1.6 million people globally. Major newspapers in India and around the world published over 175 articles covering a number of events which took place in November and during the 16 Days of Activism.
March 2015 – Theme of the Month
The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March during International Women’s Year 1975. In 2015, International Women’s Day will highlight the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments 20 years ago that sets the agenda for realizing women’s rights. This is the time to uphold women’s achievements, recognize challenges, and focus greater attention on women’s rights and gender equality to mobilize all people to do their part.
To this end, the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is the clarion call of UN Women’s Beijing+20 campaign “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!” Join governments and activists across the world in commemorating the ground-breaking Conference of 1995.
March 2014 – Theme of the Month
Coinciding with the International Women’s Day on 08 March, the United Nations in India is committed to joint advocacy activities during the month. In 2014, the United Nations in India launched the campaign Empowering Women, Inspiring Change.
November – Theme of the Month
Coinciding with the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November, the United Nations in India is committed to Joint advocacy initiatives to support the Secretary General UNiTE campaign.
On the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November 2014, UN Women, the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment, announced the appointment of tennis superstar and youth icon, Sania Mirza, as the South Asia Goodwill Ambassador.
13 November 2014: UN Women, the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment, announced the appointment of actor-filmmaker-singer, Farhan Akhtar, as the South Asia Goodwill Ambassador. Farhan is the first man to be chosen as the Goodwill Ambassador in the organization’s history.
Gender Equality a Pressing Development Challenge, Says UN Head in India
In an interview to UN Radio, Lise Grande, UN Resident Coordinator says that ensuring gender equality is one of the “most pressing” development challenges facing India today. India currently ranks 136 out of 186 countries in the UN’s Gender Inequality Index.
Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon (I, a woman, can achieve anything)
Tune into the launch episode on 24 May on All India Radio to follow a 52 episode radio serial by the Population Foundation of India, supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
A budget for women
[Date: 25 February 2014, Source: The Hindu (op-ed), Authors: Yamini Mishra, Gender Responsive Budget Specialist for Asia Pacific, UN Women and Dr. Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, Representative of UN Women’s Multicountry Office (MCO) for India, Bhutan, the Maldives and Sri Lanka]
Atlas shrugs: unequal gender colours fly
[Date: 19 March 2015, Source: The Financial Chronicle]
Harassment case against Pachauri: Complainant gives more evidence
[Date: 19 March 2015, Source: The Economic Times]
Ban on BBC film India’s Daughter to continue till April 15
[Date: 19 March 2015, Source: India Today]
Just not funny
[Date: 19 March 2015, Source: The Hindu (op-ed)]
Young wives, young mothers
[Date: 18 March 2015, Source: Mint]
Convened by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), 11 UN agencies including ILO, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNESCAP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNODC and WHO are working together to help strengthen political commitment to end violence against women and girls.