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Coming to the end of 2021, UN Women published on its website some highlights from the period 2020-2021, to reflect on past actions and to look forward to the next year.
The years 2020 and 2021 were marked by the Covid-19 pandemic. It soon became very clear that the pandemic worsened gender inequalities everywhere, to the point that the term “shadow pandemic” was coined to describe the rise in violence against women worldwide. During the pandemic, UN Women efforts “have been directed at raising the alarm on the particular ways in which COVID-19 impacts women and girls, with solid evidence, quickly marshalled response, and specific expert advice provided to governments and partners”, said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka UN Women Executive Director.
In the last year, the main achievements of UN Women were multifaceted and in different areas of interventions. Globally, it has been promoting gender balance in elections, sponsoring voter education campaigns and advocating for gender equality at the core of national plans for development and peace. Despite the profound pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, UN Women continued to propel improvements in women’s income, access to decent work and economic autonomy. Moreover, it has supported women, especially from rural areas, struggling with the natural disaster and weather shifts produced by climate change.
In addition, UN Women issued seminal data and policy briefs on the COVID-19 pandemic – particularly in relation to women’s greater losses in labour markets – and it supported over 4,000 data producers and users to build capacities to measure gender differences. It also launched the first global database compiling comparable data on women’s representation in local government in 133 countries.
Finally, UN Women launched the Generation Equality Campaign, which brings together governments, civil society, youth, businesses and UN organizations to advance common goals and an ambitious agenda for change.