Several international agreements guide the work of UN Women:
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the optional protocol. The “women’s bill of rights” is a cornerstone of all UN Women programmes. More than 185 countries are parties to the Convention.
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (PFA). Adopted by governments at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, this document sets forth governments’ commitments to enhance women’s rights. Member states reaffirmed and strengthened the platform in 2000 during the global five-year review of progress, and pledged to accelerate its implementation during the 10-year review in 2005, the 15-year review in 2010, and the 20-year review in 2015.
UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security (2000) recognized that war impacts women differently, and reaffirmed the need to increase women’s role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution. The UN Security Council subsequently adopted seven additional resolutions on women, peace and security: 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2122 (2013) and 2242 (2015). Taken together, the eight resolutions represent a critical framework for improving the situation of women in conflict-affected countries.
In September 2015, governments united behind an ambitious agenda that features 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets that aim to end poverty, combat inequalities and promote prosperity while protecting the environment by 2030. They were preceded by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from 2000 to 2015.
UN Women’s strategic plan, 2014–2017 presents the organization’s vision, goals and plan of action in a number of critical areas to support gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide. These areas include: leadership and political participation. economic empowerment, ending violence against women and girls, peace and security, governance and national planning, intergovernmental support, and UN system coordination.