Gender equality

Gender equality

ESCWA is committed to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, which are central to human rights and to achieving sustainable and equal development.

Women in the Arab region face numerous obstacles influenced by deep-rooted discrimination, patriarchal attitudes and gender stereotypes, all of which have been compounded by ongoing conflict, protracted occupation and stifling economic conditions that exacerbate women’s disadvantaged position in the region.

Despite strong momentum towards gender equality and considerable achievements in women’s empowerment, Arab countries rank lower on gender equality indicators compared to societies with similar levels of development worldwide. Arab women still lag behind in terms of political participation, labour force participation, equality and sex-based discrimination. The prevalence of all types of violence against women and girls remains a key concern, with weak data on the issue, limited services for survivors, and a lack of comprehensive laws to address violence in the private and public spheres.

ESCWA supports its member States in promoting gender equality and the advancement of women at the legislative, policy and programmatic levels through the translation of global normative frameworks into region-specific actions within the following areas:

  • Gender justice and the law
  • Violence against women
  • Women, peace and security
  • Women’s economic empowerment

ESCWA unpacks normative frameworks and examines regional responses to international agendas, highlighting key achievements and underscoring major challenges so as to develop recommendations for policymakers and other national stakeholders to address gaps and align policies with international standards.

ESCWA develops training packages and contributes to capacity-building efforts to transform knowledge, good practices and related skills into innovative online and in-person awareness-raising sessions and training programmes to support countries in developing national strategies, policies and action plans relevant to implementing and reviewing global commitments, including those under CEDAW and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

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