Focus on Women

08 Mar 2014

imagePakistan: 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

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

    Women Fuel Success in Moldova
    UNDP 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

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

    In Niger, groups of women fight against sand encroachment
     UNDP in Niger

    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

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

    China: Mosuo women artisans reach world market
    UNDP in China

    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

  • Women working in cultivating wild sage - Akkar North Lebanon

    Lebanon: harvesting wild sage in Mejdel Akkar
    UNDP in Lebanon

    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

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

    Georgia: Clean Start
    UNDP in Georgia

    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

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  • Ana Luisa Rodríguez de González has already served four terms as the mayor of Atiquizaya.

    Women gain ground in El Salvador’s politics
    UNDP in El Salvador

    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

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

International Women's Day - Statement by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark

This year’s International Women’s Day theme – Equality for Women is Progress for All – states a simple truth.  No country will reach its full potential if its female citizens do not enjoy full equality.  As the 2015 end date of the Millennium Development Goals nears, and as discussion on the next global development agenda intensifies, there is strong momentum for achieving development with equity, including by eradicating gender inequality and empowering women and girls.

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The fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 10 to 21 March 2014. The priority theme will look at challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls

UNDP side events for CSW
Women Rising
Aid for Trade, Uzbekistan

This project has been supporting women entrepreneurs in Uzbekistan who got together and created a cooperative. The women quickly managed to become profitable - increasing the income of their members.

Political Leadership in Africa

The African continent: 55 sovereign countries, 55 Heads of State, only 2 of whom are women.  This video provides inspirational insights from women in leadership roles in Africa and role models for all women.