Helen Clark: Remarks, Gender in UNDP, Meeting of the Executive Board

31 Jan 2011

Introductory remarks by Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator
Agenda item 2 - Gender in UNDP
Meeting of the Executive Board
New York, 31 January 3-5pm


I am pleased to introduce the Oral Report on the implementation of the UNDP gender equality strategy and action plan.

I begin by emphasising that achieving gender equality and promoting women’s empowerment is not only a human right and a worthy goal in itself, but also that it makes economic sense, strengthens democracy, and enables long-term sustainable progress.  

This was clearly recognized by Member States at the recent MDG Summit, with the Outcome Document stating that “Investing in women and girls has a multiplier effect on productivity, efficiency, and sustained economic growth.”

UNDP’s Gender Equality Strategy is its road map for mainstreaming gender into each thematic area of our work, at the global and the country levels. It is important to senior management that our commitments under the Strategy are kept.

UNDP has now rolled out the Gender Marker system. It tracks the extent to which our expenditures addresses gender equality and the empowerment of women.

As well we have introduced results for gender mainstreaming into the corporate reporting tools and the individual performance management system.   

We are also boosting our capacity to provide quality technical advice on the gender dimensions of our thematic work.  Over the past few years UNDP has fielded more than ten senior technical advisors on gender to serve in crises countries; recruited specialised expertise on gender and elections; and is now strengthening its specialised technical capacity on the gender dimensions of environment and sustainable development.  

UNDP has plans to train its senior economists on gender responsive economic policy making.  

The 2010 Human Development Report introduced a new Gender Inequality Index. It looks at women’s status in the areas of labour force participation, civic participation, and through reproductive health-areas which are all critical to advancing human development.

Our commitment is to see gender equality fully integrated in UNDP’s work. The Associate Administrator will brief you further on our progress.

From this year, we welcome the opportunity to partner with UN Women to achieve our common objectives.

UN Women will provide a much-needed global voice for women, while strengthening accountability and co-ordination for gender mainstreaming across the UN system.  In doing so, it will boost the United Nations system-wide efforts to assist national partners to advance human development. UNDP has given support to the start-up of UN Women.

I conclude by thanking members of the Executive Board for their continued support of our efforts on gender. Your oversight and commitment supports us continuously improving our work in this area.

I now give the floor to the Associate Administrator, Rebeca Grynspan, for presentation of the Oral Report on the implementation of the UNDP Gender Equality Strategy.