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Gender equality

About gender equality and UNICEF

© © UNICEF/NYHQ2006-2551/Giacomo Pirozzi

UNICEF’s mission is to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF aims, through its country programmes, to promote the equal rights of girls and women and to support their full participation in the social, political and economic development of their communities.

UNICEF recognizes the human rights principles of equality and non-discrimination as central to the consideration of gender equality and believes that gender-based discrimination is one of the most ubiquitous forms of discrimination that children face. The organization promotes equal outcomes for girls and boys, and its policies, programmes, partnerships and advocacy efforts seek to contribute to poverty reduction and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through result-oriented, effective, innovative and well-coordinated action that achieves the protection, survival and development of girls and boys on an equal basis. The organization seeks to engage boys and men in transforming gender relations towards more gender-equal societies. UNICEF strives to mainstream gender equality in all of its work, with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as a principal reference, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) as the other important underpinning of the organization’s mandate and mission. UNICEF recognizes the mutually supportive relationship between the CRC and CEDAW.  

The importance of integration of gender in humanitarian programming to ensure an effective response is reflected in UNICEF’s policies and guidance for humanitarian action. The Core Commitments for Children in Emergencies (CCCs) guides the work of UNICEF in its humanitarian response. 

In 2010, a pivotal year for gender mainstreaming in UNICEF, UNICEF issued its Policy on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Girls and Women. A three-year Strategic Priority Action Plan for Gender Equality: 2010-2012 (SPAP) built on lessons learned, and outlined organizational priorities, activities and benchmarks to advance UNICEF’s gender equality efforts. The SPAP, launched globally in June 2010, operationalized the gender policy. The Gender Action Plan (GAP) 2014-2017, and the upcoming GAP 2018-21, specifies how UNICEF will promote gender equality across all of the organization’s work at the global, regional and country levels, in alignment with the UNICEF Strategic Plan. The GAP elaborates the gender dimensions of the programmatic results across the outcome areas of the Strategic Plan along with the relevant indicators for measuring success. It also specifies the steps UNICEF is undertaking with regard to institutional effectiveness in implementing the programmatic work on gender, through commitment of resources and strengthening of staffing, capacity and systems.



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