Innovation Pathways for Gender Equality - Accelerating impact across the Europe and Central Asia region
UN Women recognizes innovation as an accelerator for the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Goal 5 on gender equality. Traditional approaches will not suffice to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment for all, especially those marginalized and most left behind. Therefore, UN Women is exploring new solutions and integrated approaches for transformative and systemic change. This publication informs about the main pillars of UN Women's innovation work, UN Women's innovation journey in the Europe and Central Asia region and the Ideas Campaign launch under the Innovation Facility.
In 2019, the Ideas Campaign for UN Women Offices in Europe and Central Asia offered a bootcamp style learning platform that built institutional expertise, shared experiences and developed a cadre of innovation champions. Under the Ideas Campaign, UN Women offices developed proposals on societal gender issues and put forward innovative solutions. Of the proposals received, three were supported with technical assistance, interactive training and remote coaching to refine and implement their innovative ideas on:
(i) ‘Why Your Money Counts?’ - two different engagement mechanisms (storytelling and user-experience) were tested within the framework of UN Women’s regional Gender Responsive Budgeting project implemented in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova and North Macedonia;
(ii) ‘I Say No to Plastics’ - a women-led community mobilisation initiative in Serbia used behavioural change to reduce single-use plastic amongst households and coffee shops;
(iii) ‘Girls in STEM’ - in Kyrgyzstan an existing STEM training curriculum was embedded in a broader community-led empowerment methodology that transformed communication patterns and norms within the ecosystem.