Clark: Gender Mainstreaming, Envisaged Collaboration with UN Women

Feb 4, 2011

Remarks by Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator
Mainstreaming Gender through the Work of the Agencies and Envisaged Collaboration with UN Women
Joint Meeting of the Executive Boards
New York, 4 February, 3-6 pm

Today’s session offers the opportunity to discuss how best to mainstream gender through the work of UN Agencies and through collaboration with UN Women.

As the Chair of the UN Development Group and UNDP Administrator, it is a pleasure to welcome UN Women to the UN Development Group. Its establishment marked an historic milestone on the journey to gender equality around the world.

For the first time, the UN now has an agency with both normative and operational functions solely dedicated to advancing gender equality and women´s empowerment. It will give voice to women and gender issues in the global arena, and help ensure that all parts of the UN system do better in addressing these issues within their mandates.

UNDP is positioned to be a strong partner of UN Women. UNIFEM was as an associated fund of UNDP for many years, and has worked closely with us at the country level and on global campaigns and programmes.  

To be specific, UNDP and UNIFEM have worked together in more than fifty countries around the world, on total programme delivery of close to $300 million. That work has spanned governance, peace and security, women’s economic security and rights, political participation, violence against women, and HIV/AIDS.

We have jointly participated with UNIFEM in global initiatives, including UN Action against Sexual Violence, the Secretary General’s UNiTE Campaign, and IKNOW Politics.

I am advised that UNDP has been UNIFEM´s single largest partner on issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

UNDP brings to that partnership, which now transfers to UN Women, extensive knowledge and experience from our work in 166 countries and from our strong relationships with national partners.

In 89 countries, UN co-ordination on gender is undertaken by Gender Thematic Groups, under the overall authority of the Resident Co-ordinator. UN Women is now, or will soon be, leading many of these Groups in UN Country Teams.

UNDP’s International Assessment on what it will take to achieve the MDGs emphasized the importance of investing in opportunities for women and girls as a breakthrough strategy.
The MDG Acceleration Framework is a tool designed to accelerate progress. We look forward to working with UN Women to apply the framework in ways which ensure that MDG achievement is inclusive of women.

We invite UN Women to work with us in advancing the use of the Gender Marker - a tool for measuring the extent to which investments in programmes contribute to gender equality.  This tool was piloted for two years in UNDP, and rolled out in 2010.  We are supporting other agencies to adapt it for their own use.

We can also collaborate with UN Women on knowledge management and sharing. UNDP’s new and open knowledge sharing platform, Teamworks, can strengthen co-operation with and support to partner countries, and enhance global learning across our organizations.

Over the past year, UNDP has been providing management support to the establishment of UN Women’s structures.  We will be pleased to continue to do so for as long as that is helpful.

Each of the agencies presented on this podium has its respective mandates, comparative advantages, and different levels of field presence.  Working together is not new to any of us. Our efforts now need to be intensified, co-ordination needs to be increased, and synergies need to be found.

I understand that initial discussions have started between UNDP and UN Women on developing a joint guidance note for Resident Co-ordinators and Country Teams on how the UN Development System can best work together on gender-related issues at the country level.  This is something we hope to discuss with UNDG partners in the coming few weeks.

Working together, we can all do more to advance gender equality and women´s empowerment. Working together we have a more powerful voice and a larger pool of expertise and knowledge for programme countries to draw upon.  

Together we can support real change for women and their families around the world.

UNDP Around the world