United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

UNIFEM South Asia Office

About  UNIFEM

Mission

UNIFEM provides financial and technical assistance to innovative programmes and strategies to foster women’s empowerment and gender equality. Placing women’s security and human rights at the centre of its efforts, its programme strategy is designed and guided by an empowerment framework. This is based on promoting women’s rights, opportunities and capacities. As a knowledge provider on gender mainstreaming, UNIFEM places high priority on developing strategic knowledge products and services (KPSs) and building its capacity to facilitate knowledge and action networks. Within the UN system, UNIFEM continues to prioritize the mainstreaming of gender within the Secretary-General’s reform agenda, through the common country assessments (CCA), the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), and other mechanisms aimed at increasing coordination and joint programming among United Nations organizations. Linking women’s issues and concerns to national, regional and global agendas by fostering networks and alliance building across governments and civil society, it plays a strong advocacy role, concentrating on fostering a multi-sectoral policy dialogue on women's empowerment.

 

Mandate

  • Support innovative and experimental activities benefiting women in line with national and regional priorities.

  • Serve as a catalyst, with the goal of ensuring the appropriate involvement of women in mainstream development activities, as often as possible at the pre-investment stages.

  • Play an innovative and catalytic role in relation to the United Nations overall system of development cooperation. (GA Resolution 39/125)

 

Goals

UNIFEM’s Corporate Goals

With the overall goal of realizing women’s human rights and security, UNIFEM globally focuses its activities on achieving the following four goals: 

  • Reducing feminized poverty and exclusion
  • Ending violence against women
  • Halting and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS amongst women and girls
  • Achieving gender equality in democratic governance in times of peace and in recovery from war

 UNIFEM South Asia Regional Goal

In South Asia where entrenched poverty and exclusion of women remains a predominant factor that continues to hinder all aspects of women’s lives, UNIFEM’s primary focus is on:

Reducing feminized poverty and exclusion through the realization of women’s’ human rights and human security.

This goal has three areas of focus and twelve identified outcomes.

 

Core strategies

 The A B C D E strategy guiding UNIFEM’s work:

  • Advocacy and policy dialogue to support stronger implementation of commitments to gender equality;

  • Building sustainable knowledge and action networks that bring women’s  organizations, governments, United Nations organizations and other actors  together to mainstream gender more effectively into policies and programmes;

  • Capacity-building of women’s governmental and non-governmental organizations to influence the priorities, policies and programmes that affect their lives;

  • Disseminating knowledge on emerging issues and innovative solutions towards gender equality through effective use of new and traditional information and communications technologies and materials;

  • Experimentation on the ‘how to’ of achieving gender equality through strategic piloting so that concrete experience can inform mainstream strategies.

UNIFEM’s work is guided by the Beijing Platform for Action, and the Outcome Document of Beijing + 5, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and the development agenda outlined in the Millennium Development Goals. In South Asia, it is also guided by the regional mandates, which emerge from the South Asian regional ministerial meetings to follow up on the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. Since 1996, UNIFEM has been organizing these meetings biennially in partnership with Governments of the region.