UN Women South Asia Office


The UN Women Strategic Plan, 2008-2011 provides strategic policy and management direction for UN Women to increase its development effectiveness, strengthen strategic partnerships and mobilize resources for the next four years.  

The overarching goal of the Strategic Plan is directed towards facilitating the implementation of national commitments to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in stable and fragile states

View Online - http://www.unifem.org/attachments/products/UNIFEM_SP_2008-2011_eng.pdf 

In South Asia, UN Women’s strategy focuses on excluded women for the period 2008-09. This includes women survivors of VAW (including trafficking), HIV positive women, women home-based workers (HBWs), women migrant workers and rural women. UN Women’s work will build on their leadership and capacity to advocate for relevant policies and programmes, budgets and processes.  

UN Women’s Strategic Plan, 2008–2011 outlines strategic policy and managerial directions for UN Women's work from 2008 to 2011, to increase its development effectiveness, strengthen strategic partnerships and mobilize resources for the next four years. 

UN Women will be working towards the following eight outcomes:  

Outcome 1:

Increased number of national development strategies that incorporate gender equality in line with national commitments to women’s empowerment and human rights.

Outcome 2:

Increase in the numbers of Constitutions, legal frameworks and processes that promote and protect women’s human rights. 

Outcome 3:

Greater number of formal and informal justice systems promote and protect women’s human rights, at national and local levels. 

Outcome 4:

Increase in the number of budget processes that fully incorporate gender equality. 

Outcome 5:

Gender equality experts, advocates and their organizations or networks effectively demand the implementation of gender equality dimensions in national laws, policies and strategies 

Outcome 6:

Women who are subject to exclusion and/or discrimination are able to successfully advocate for having their priorities incorporated in relevant national policies, programmes, budgets, and processes. 

Outcome 7:

Key policy, service delivery and media institutions create enabling institutional environments to promote and protect women’s human rights in line with global, regional and national agreements 

Outcome 8:

Community-level initiatives generate effective models for advancing women's human rights & eliminating gender inequality


Focus area: To reduce feminized poverty and exclusion, UN Women’s programmes focus on:

  • Engendering the PRSP processes, National Action Plans, statistical systems, National Development Plans, and reporting on the MDGs  

  • Developing national and local capacities in gender responsive budgeting, leading to more equitable budgetary allocations

  • Highlighting women’s work and their economic contributions by engendering Census exercises

  • Building women’s capacities and improving their access to larger markets and financial products and services.

  • Building the capacity of networks and institutions of home based and informal sector workers to promote rights and security of women workers

  • Establishing a new discourse in protecting and promoting the rights of women migrant workers as well as highlighting their contribution

  • Moving women up the value chain of production

  • Engendering micro-finance institutions and business development services to effectively support women producers

  • Building capacity of key policy makers to address women’s concerns within trade frameworks

  • Supporting rehabilitation of women’s livelihoods in disaster recovery processes, working in partnership with multiple stakeholders


Policy Conference on Home-based Workers of South Asia on Women, Work and Poverty, jointly organized by SEWA Ahmedabad and UN Women South Asia, 18th - 20th January 2007, New Delhi.

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Focus Area: To achieve gender equality in democratic governance in times of peace and in recovery from war, UN Women focuses on:

  • Promoting and strengthening women’s leadership to ensure their equal rights in building nations, while shaping constitutions, policies and resources that affect their lives and choices

  • Facilitating the development of gender sensitive governance frameworks, during peace processes and post conflict reconstruction

  • Advancing gender sensitive policies and legal frameworks through inter-governmental regional accountability mechanisms on women’s rights

  • Facilitating accountability to BPFA, CEDAW, MDGs and SC1325 throughout the region

  • Increasing the incorporation of a gender perspective into reporting and implementation of international treaties and obligations, in particular CEDAW

  • Building capacity to report, monitor and implement CEDAW

  • Increasing capacities to access justice and support services

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Focus Area: Ending Violence against Women (EVAW)

Women’s human rights are central to all UN Women programmes. At the same time, a number of programmes focus specifically on building capacity, raising awareness and facilitating compliance with globally agreed norms and standards to advance women’s human rights. 

  • Facilitating the formulation and implementation of  gender sensitive legislation and policies at national and regional levels.

  • Factoring in issues of VAW in MDG reports and action plans, National Development Plans and UNDAF.

  • Strengthening the capacity of key national and regional institutions to effect and implement national EVAW policies, legislation and action plans.

  • Promoting the integration of human rights standards, norms and protocols in the work of law enforcement agencies. and civil society, to protect the rights of women, including trafficked women and survivors of other forms of VAW.

  • Facilitating multi-sectoral responses to violence against women involving multi-stakeholder groups, including men, UN organizations, inter-faith groups, private sector, and mass media.

  • Building the capacity of religious groups, men’s organizations, civil society and the private sector to effectively advocate against gender based violence.


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Regional Anti Trafficking Programme

UN Women promotes well-defined preventive, protective and rehabilitation strategies to combat trafficking. In keeping with the programme’s key objective of enhancing data and knowledge base on trafficking, UN Women has partnered with premier research institutions and human rights bodies in the region. Using an effective communications strategy, it works to prevent cross-border trafficking, to deter trafficking in tourist destinations, working closely with the media, law enforcement agencies and justice delivery systems.

Promoting increased regional cooperation to eliminate trafficking of women and girls, it  works to build the capacity of anti-trafficking networks.


UN Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence Against Women

The UN Trust Fund in support if Actions to Eliminate Violence Against Women was established by General Assembly resolution 50/166 in 1996 and is managed by the UN Women. The Trust Fund is the only multilateral grant-making mechanism that supports local, national and regional efforts to combat violence

v     Complete list of grantees in South Asia 1997-2006

    Complete list of Trust Fund Grantees in South Asia 1997 - 2006

  v     For more details check -  




Not a Minute Before - Brochure


In Nepal, Samajhdari: A Radio Program addressing the intersection between Violence against Women and HIV by Equal Access

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Select Episodes of the Radio programme

Frequently Asked Questions on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, supported by the UN Trust Fund to end Violence Against Women / UN Women (A Lawyers Collective Women's Rights Initiative

Click here for the FAQs (Part I)

FAQs (Part II)

Booklet on the PWDVA


The United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence Against Women  -2008 Call for Proposals


Deadline for submissions of the Concept Note is May 26, 2008 - Over


Annexe 1 Concept Note from FINAL

Annexe 2 Budget Summary FINAL

Annexe 3 Contact Information FINAL


2007 South Asia Call for Proposal - UN Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence Against Women ONLY FOR PROPOSALS FROM PAKISTAN AND MALDIVES

South Asia Trust Fund Call - 2007


Gender and HIV/AIDs

UN Women ensures that gender equality is the guiding principle in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It builds national capacities to review existing laws and policies related to HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment in order to identify provisions that need to be revised; it brings a gender equality and human rights perspective in its work with National AIDS Councils, UN Agencies, women’s and government organizations at regional and national levels; it spearheads holistic strategies to address HIV/AIDS, by drawing links to violence against women, feminized poverty and other vulnerabilities due to physiological, economic and socio-cultural reasons.

It plays a crucial role in catalyzing strategic linkages amongst diverse stakeholders, including women’s organizations, NGOs, community collectives, panchayat representatives, media agencies and the government. At the community level, UN Women works toward equality between women and men in an effort to lower HIV/AIDS prevalence rates and transform gender relations based on power.


Journey of Gender and HIV programme in UN Women South Asia, 2001-2008

2001- 2002


  • Under the first round of Project Accelerated Fund (PAF) Capacity enhancement of PWN, building partnerships catalytic work with CBOs, media and HIV groups.

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  • Joint UN CHARCA (Coordinated HIV/AIDS Response through Capacity Building and Awareness) project rolled off.

  • District wise gender training capacities were built under CHARCA.

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  • Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director, UN Women visited South Asia office and Railways projects

  • Chinese delegation visited India for railways project

  • Global evaluation of the Human Security Fund (HSF) project.

  • Gender desk operational with UN Women support in National Aids Control Organization (NACO).



  • First joint project with UNDP, Colombo on Women’s Inheritance and Property Rights (2007-2008).

  • As part of the project an Asia pacific Women’s court on Inheritance and Property Rights in HIV held as a curtain raiser in the 8th ICAAP (International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the pacific in Srilanka.

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  • Gender policy guidelines drafted for NACP III.

  • Gender audit of NACP III is proposed for the second and third quater of the year.



Catalyzing gender mainstreaming within the UN system, by building gender sensitivity into the Common Country Assessments and UNDAF processes, and the Millennium Development Goals.


Partnerships: UN Women works in partnership with governments, women’s organizations, the SAARC Secretariat, National Human Rights Commissions, Planning Commissions, statutory bodies, research institutions, civil society organizations, national and international NGOs, IFAD and the UN System, bilateral and multilateral agencies.

Within the UN System: UN Women catalyzes the recognition of women’s agency, the empowerment of women and gender justice within the UN system, by building gender sensitivity into the Common Country Assessments (CCA), the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) processes and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Guiding Principles

UN Women’s work is guided by the Beijing Platform for Action, 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 Millennium Development Goals. In South Asia, it is also guided by the Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRS) and the regional mandates, which emerge from the South Asian regional ministerial meetings held to track progress on the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. Held biennially, these review meetings, are co-hosted by governments, leading to the emergence of a consensus document, which includes a Plan of Action, listing regional priorities. 

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