Gender Equality at UNDP

Segment of the Annual Session of the UNDP Executive Board 2022

Posted June 8, 2022
Photo: UNDP

As prepared for delivery

Mr. Chair, members of the Executive Board, colleagues,  

It is my great pleasure to join you today for the UNDP segment of the 2022 Annual Session of the Executive Board.

This is a very special session for us because today, together with our annual report, we are pleased to present UNDP’s new Gender Equality Strategy, 2022–2025.

This new Strategy comes at the right time because of the enormous challenges that world faces.

Gender discrimination is the world’s oldest and most pervasive inequality and violation of human rights.

Its pervasive nature was clear before the COVID-19 pandemic set in.

UNDP’s 2020 Gender Social Norms index, for example, set out that nearly 90% of the world’s population – women and men – hold some kind of bias against women.

Nearly half of those surveyed felt that men make better political leaders, while more than a quarter thought it justified for a man to beat his wife.

Today, the feminization of poverty has deepened, and the COVID-19 response has been largely gender blind.

According to UNDP-UN Women COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker, only 18% of the over 4,000 fiscal, social protection, and labour market measures taken in response to COVID-19 target women’s economic security or unpaid care work.

From the global to local levels, Excellencies, unequal gender power structures continue to play out:

  • At no point in history have women accounted for more than 10% of world government leaders.
  • Over a third of women worldwide have no bank account or digital banking access, while 40 percent of countries limit women’s property rights.

It is time for a step change. The only way forward is to be bold. And a bold new UNDP Gender Equality Strategy is what we present to you today.

Together with your support, the Strategy will help to

  • drive additional public and private investment to gender equality,
  • support public institutions to deliver ‘new generation’ policies to diminish gender negative norms
  • countries to prevent and respond to gender-based violence; and
  • empower grassroot networks of women to exercise their voice and influence.

The Strategy combines shorter-term incremental changes with longer-term reductions in structural barriers.  

For instance, we will help our partners to design fiscal policies that work for all while we continue expanding access to basic services; and we will promote access to energy for women, while we also ensure that energy investments reduce “time poverty” of women.
Our Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) will elaborate further in a moment.

I thank you for accompanying us in this process, and for your meaningful contributions in guiding the development of the new UNDP Gender Equality Strategy.

I call on all of you to join us in moving forward this shared agenda.