In-Depth

UN South Sudan
Photo: UN South Sudan

Promoting women and gender in decision-making

Through our global and African networks, UNDP works to ensure women have a real voice in all governance institutions, from the judiciary to the civil service, as well as in the private sector and civil society, so they participate equally with men in public dialogue and decision-making and influence the decisions that determine the future of their families and countries.

  • Over 350 women from rural Kenya were trained on leadership skills ahead of the country’s general election in 2013, while in Nigeria, 2,043 female politicians and candidates were equipped with skills to engage in electoral processes at the national and state levels in 2011. 
  • UNDP's technical support contributed to the adoption of national visions and development strategies that take gender considerations fully into account by a number of countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, the DRC, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Zambia.

Reducing poverty among women

Equality between men and women is more than a matter of social justice - it is a fundamental human right. But gender equality also makes good economic sense. When women have equal access to education and go on to participate fully in economic life, they are a key driving force against poverty.

  • With support from UNDP, UN Women and Liberia’s Ministry of Gender and Development, the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund established 13 markets across the country and has trained 500 women how to read and write.
  • Under a programme launched by UNDP in 2003 at the request of Burkina Faso's National AIDS Council, 142 civil society organizations and six national networks are working to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country. Since January 2009, HIV/AIDS education sessions have reached some 150,680 people, more than half of whom are women.

Bolstering the role of women in tackling crisis situations

UNDP enables women to participate in peacebuilding efforts and promotes post-crisis livelihood opportunities benefitting men and women equally, enhancing political, social and economic empowerment and access to justice for women in armed conflict and disaster settings.

  • UNDP helped set up twelve community centres in the two, war-affected Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, providing women with leadership training, as well as mediation, literacy classes, financial advice, business skills training and other services.

Promoting access to energy for women and helping them contribute to sustainable development

UNDP involves African women in environmental planning and management and delivers energy and environment services to poor women across the region. We leverage financing for women’s organizations in Africa working on climate mitigation and adaptation, and harness their local knowledge to protect, sustain and manage the environment and its resources.

  • In Burundi, thanks to a reforestation and livelihoods programme led by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and UNDP, around 1,300 women and 100 men, all economically vulnerable, are taking part in reforestation activities and have re-timbered 116 hectares of forest over two years.
  • More than 30,000 people in Mali, primarily women and youth, gained access to renewable energy with support from UNDP, and women and youth associations are generating revenue managing solar dryers, cookers and water heaters, while young volunteers have learned to install and maintain solar panels.
Related Publications
Fast Facts: UNDP and Gender in Africa

Through our global and African networks, UNDP works to ensure women have a real voice in all governance institutions, from the judiciary to the civil service, as well as in the private sector and civil society, so they can participate equally with men in public dialogue and decision-making and influence the decisions that will determine the future of their families and countries.

Women, HIV/AIDS, Property and Inheritance Rights: The Case of Ethiopia

The research explores what are the key economic, social and political factors that discriminate against or promote women's property and inheritance rights and what sort of gender specific insecurities have emerged from the rapidly spreading HIV/AIDS epidemic in Ethiopia.

Africa Adaptation Programme Experiences: Gender and Climate Change

This paper focuses on the links between gender and climate change adaptation and highlights strategies UNDP's Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP) used to mainstream gender into climate change adaptation policy and increase women's engagement in decision-making.

View More Women's Empowerment Publications