Agencies of the UN: UNIFEM


Progress for Women Is Progress for All

UNIFEM is the women's fund at the United Nations. Established in 1976, it provides financial and technical assistance to innovative approaches aimed at fostering women's empowerment and gender equality. Today the organization's work touches the lives of women and girls in more than 100 countries. UNIFEM also helps make the voices of women heard at the United Nations — to highlight critical issues and advocate for the implementation of existing commitments made to women.

Placing the realization of women's human rights and security at the centre of all of its efforts, UNIFEM focuses its activities on four strategic goals:

- Reducing women's poverty and exclusion
- Ending violence against women
- Reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS among women and girls
- Supporting women's leadership in governance and post-conflict reconstruction

To pursue these goals, UNIFEM is active in all regions and at different levels. It works with countries to formulate and implement laws and policies to eliminate gender discrimination and promote gender equality in such areas as land and inheritance rights, decent work for women and ending violence against women. UNIFEM also aims to transform institutions to make them more accountable to gender equality and women's rights, to strengthen the capacity and voice of women's rights advocates, and to change harmful and discriminatory practices in society.

“Women want a world free from hatred, violence and poverty, a world of equal opportunities and rights, a world that is prosperous and secure for all.”
— Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director, UNIFEM

Two international agreements frame UNIFEM's work: the Beijing Platform for Action resulting from the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), known as the women's bill of rights. The spirit of these agreements has been affirmed by the Millennium Declaration and the eight Millennium Development Goals for 2015, combating poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy and gender inequality, and building partnerships for development. In addition, Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security is a crucial reference for UNIFEM's work in support of women in conflict and post-conflict situations.

UNIFEM - World Poverty Day

UNIFEM - World Poverty Day