Focus on Women

Mar 8, 2014

Pakistan: Skills training held for female community activists in Khyber Pass. Photo: UNDP/Pakistan

This year’s theme for International Women's Day, “Equality for women is progress for all” emphasizes how gender equality, empowerment of women, women’s full enjoyment of human rights and the eradication of poverty are essential to economic and social development. It also stresses the vital role of women as agents of development.

With the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) around the corner, International Women’s Day is also an opportunity to review the challenges and achievements in the MDG implementation for women and girls, as the Commission on the Status of Women will be doing from 10 to 21 March 2014.

Learn more about UNDP's work to empower women >

Struggle and Success

Our Stories

UNDP in Moldova
Ludmila Abramciuc is the first ever woman to head a renewable energy company in Moldova

Women Fuel Success in Moldova

Through assistance from the Energy and Biomass Project, as well as the Energy Efficiency Agency, Ludmila’s business has recently increased its output threefold.More 

 UNDP in Niger
Women participating in an extensive nation-wide sand encroachment programme by growing mesquite.

In Niger, groups of women fight against sand encroachment

Squatting among around 15 women wrapped in beautiful colourful fabrics, Bintou Bira, well over 60, picks up handfuls of sand and puts it into plastic bags. More 

UNDP in China
With UNDP's support, Luru-Dashima scarves have reached the world market

China: Mosuo women artisans reach world market

Luru-Dashima, a female artisan from the Mosuo community in southwest China, never imagined her hand-woven scarves would sit atop shiny shelves in Singapore.More 

UNDP in El Salvador
Angélica Méndez, trained to teach about HIV, is now a leader in her community.

In El Salvador, women leading the way in HIV/AIDS prevention

According to records of the Ministry of Health, there are 29,788 cases of HIV/AIDS in El Salvador. More 

UNDP in Lebanon
Women working in cultivating wild sage - Akkar North Lebanon

Lebanon: harvesting wild sage in Mejdel Akkar

High in the mountains of Mejdel Akkar in North Lebanon, Fadwa Diab and other women members of the Mejdel Akkar Cooperative harvest wild sage as part of a UNDP-supported initiative.More 

UNDP in Thailand
Rujirek Plubchang, founder of a Thai environmental community group

Preserving Wetlands in Thailand – One Woman’s Mission

For eight years, since establishing Lamphoo-Bang Krasorb Environmental Conservation Group Rujirek has been educating the community about good waste management practice.More 

UNDP in Georgia
Starting her own cleaning business was challenging for Tika Vetriakova, 29, a young entrepreneur from Georgia.

Georgia: Clean Start

Struggling through a challenging start-up, Tika discovered that she could receive help from the Batumi Business Incubator established in 2009 by UNDP and the local governmentMore 

UNDP in El Salvador
Ana Luisa Rodríguez de González has already served four terms as the mayor of Atiquizaya.

Women gain ground in El Salvador’s politics

Participation by women in politics is still in its infancy in El Salvador, but over the last 10 years progress had been made, and more and more women are to be found in political leadership positions. More 

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Photo Essay

UNDP in India

India: from 'slash and burn' to sustainable farming

A joint programme between UNDP and the Nagaland Government is introducing subsistence farmers like Atula to new kinds of sustainable agricultural practices.

View the photo essay here