21 March 2022

UNICEF Gender Policy 2021-2030

Reducing inequality strengthens economies and builds stable, resilient societies that give all individuals – including boys and men – the opportunity to fulfil their potential.  UNICEF builds partnerships across the global community to accelerate gender equality. In all areas of our work, we integrate strategies that address gender-specific discrimination and disadvantages.   UNICEF’s Gender Policy 2021-2030 (English, Arabic, French) and accompanying Action Plan 2022-2025 articulate UNICEF’s commitments to promoting gender equality across programmes, workplaces and practices around the world.   This means partnering with national health sectors to expand quality maternal care and support the professionalization of the mostly female front-line community health workforce. It means promoting the role of women in the design and delivery of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) ecosystems and supporting everyone’s right to clean, quality water and sanitation. And it means working with the education sector to ensure girls and boys of all ages thrive in their learning and find pathways to meaningful employment.  Recognizing that adolescent girls are consistently disadvantaged, especially in situations of crisis and conflict, UNICEF invests in five interlinked programmatic areas: adolescent health and nutrition; skills building to further their economic empowerment – as entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders; protection from violence and child marriage; quality menstrual health and hygiene services and disrupting taboos about menstrual health and social protection. Through the monitoring framework, UNICEF will track progress on programmatic and institutional gender results.   In everything we do, we strive to create opportunities for girls’ voice, power and agency.  
11 February 2022

The female frontline

11 February marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. To celebrate the occasion, we're paying tribute to the incredible contribution of women to the COVID-19 response globally.  The coronavirus pandemic has put unprecedented pressure on health workers. Some are working around the clock to care for patients. Others are increasing…, Warriors on the ward in Haryana, India, India’s health system has been stretched to the breaking point many times during the pandemic, with the bulk of the caring burden on women.  Women are estimated to make up to 30 per cent of doctors and more than 80 per cent of nurses and midwives. Medical staff in India and around the world have saved millions of lives, often while risking their…, Men, follow my lead, Mariam is a Malian refugee. She became the first woman to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the M’Berra refugee camp, in south-east Mauritania.  “We often face misinformation," says Mariam, as she speaks about life in the camp. “Many people are illiterate, so it's 'word of mouth' that prevails. It is thanks to vaccination that we can all get out of…, Putting patients first, "I live with my husband, three children and my mother, who is 80 years old. I was still breastfeeding when I started work at the COVID-19 intensive care unit,” says Jennifer Boateng, a Senior Pharmacist at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital in Ghana.  “I was truly terrified of contracting the virus and putting my family at risk,” she remembers. “…, No one is safe until everyone is safe, Female health workers from a clinic in Kupang, Indonesia, travel to local communities to hold vaccination events. Indonesia has felt the impact of the pandemic, with one of the highest death tolls worldwide.  More than 25,000 children have lost at least one parent to COVID-19.  Across Indonesia, the COVID-19 response is also being supported by…, On the ground at the world's largest supply and logistics hub for children, Etleva Kadilli is the Director of UNICEF’s Supply Division, where women represent more than half of the workforce in a traditionally male-dominated sector. In 2021, over $6.2 billion worth of goods and services was procured by UNICEF. The pandemic brought an exponential demand for COVID-19-related supply items, such as personal protective…, Life-saving information, Victoria is a social mobilizer in Yambio, South Sudan. She's part of UNICEF's Social and Behaviour Change programme, which engages children, youth and communities on issues that affect them.  Access to information is an enormous challenge in South Sudan. Insecurity, displacement, illiteracy, poverty, gender inequities and the fact that 83 per cent…, The kids are on board, Twelve-year-old Jessica from the Himalaya Boarding School in Kathmandu, Nepal, receives a COVID-19 vaccine from a female health worker.  Nepal’s health service is bolstered by more than 50,000 female community health volunteers .   Their role has extended during the pandemic, to include informing the public about preventative measures, such as…, Incredibly dedicated, Daria Shulha, 32, is a doctor at Kharkiv’s Infectious Diseases Hospital in Ukraine. “We see patients at the stage that it will take an incredible effort to bring them back to life,” says Daria.  The intensive care department where Daria works has six beds. Some of her patients have been hospitalized for several weeks.  “After such a long time, you…, Sharing science to reduce hesitancy, Young women in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, listen to UNICEF’s Bérangère Antoine explain how and why the COVID-19 vaccines work.    At a workshop, one participant shares: “I was afraid to get vaccinated until now. After the awareness session, the fear diminishes.” UNICEF's Bérangère Antoine explains the benefits of the vaccine against COVID-19 during a…, Big sister! V is for vaccinated, Tomilyn, 10, holds her newborn baby sister in Buéa Regional Hospital, Cameroon. She was delivered by one of the world's 1.9 million midwives, 93 per cent of whom are women.  COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of serious illness if women get COVID-19 during pregnancy .  Tomilyn says that she already understands the importance of vaccinations and…
09 October 2020

Towards an equal future: Reimagining girls’ education through STEM

The year 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most comprehensive global agenda for girls and women to date. We see today technological advances that we could only dream about 25 years ago, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas. Yet, despite progress, gender equality continues to be elusive. Some areas essential for the achievement of women’s empowerment, such as STEM, still lack women’s participation. This document seeks to call attention to the potential of STEM education to transform gender norms in the education system, to improve quality learning opportunities for girls, and to highlight key actions that can accelerate girls’ transition between education and technical expert jobs in STEM industries. Critically, STEM education also has the potential to contribute to personal empowerment, transformation of communities and nations, and building economies for the future. The evidence presented here provides a foundation for a call to action for global, national and regional actors. All stakeholders are called to work together to dismantle the barriers that girls face to develop the skills they need to become users, shapers and creators of scientific knowledge and new technologies. This will allow girls to choose the skills they want to learn and how to apply them, empowering them to contribute to a gender-equal world.   Please contact: pubdoc@unicef.org