What we do

Across Europe and Central Asia, women are still under-represented in decision-making, whether it is in elected office, the civil service, the private sector or academia. UN Women works with national governments, civil society and other international actors to promote women’s leadership and political participation in all spheres of life, and address key capacity gaps. Learn more

Violence against women and girls is widespread in Europe and Central Asia, taking many forms including domestic violence, bride kidnapping, trafficking, early marriage, polygamy and physical abuse. While many countries have strengthened domestic violence and trafficking laws, implementation is limited. UN Women partners with governments, UN agencies and civil society to prevent violence, raise awareness of its causes and consequences as well as ensuring gender-sensitive protection services for survivors. Learn more

In various UN forums, Member States debate key gender equality norms and standards. They commit to adopting laws, policies and programmes to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment. UN Women conducts research and compiles evidence to inform these debates. It assists Member States implement global norms and standards enshrined in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Platform for Action, and the Council of Europe’s (CoE) Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women. Learn more

In Europe and Central Asia conflict and boundary disputes often exacerbate gender inequality between women and men. Targeted by war tactics, such as sexual violence, women and children often are a majority of displaced and refugee populations. UN Women works to enable women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution, to protect women from discrimination and human rights violations, and to ensure their access to justice. We also promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in humanitarian efforts. Learn more

When different parts of the multilateral system act together, they can deliver greater results—and maximize the use of scarce resources. Within the UN system, UN Women is mandated to lead, promote and coordinate efforts to advance the full realization of women’s rights and opportunities. Learn more

National plans and budgets are strategic opportunities for governments to turn their commitments into practical steps for achieving gender equality. Too often they fail to ensure that public services respond to women’s needs and priorities. Implementing commitments to gender equality requires innovative public policy tools like gender-responsive budgeting, which comprehensively assesses gender gaps and identifies actions to close them. UN Women advocates for transparent and adequate public financing for gender equality, including gender-responsive budgets at all levels that channel adequate resources to both women and men. Learn more

Although women in Europe and Central Asia make enormous contributions in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home, they still face discrimination that leads to a gender pay gap and low labour force participation. Working with a variety of partners and with a special focus on the most excluded and discriminated groups of women, UN Women promotes women’s ability to secure decent jobs, accumulate assets, and influence institutions and public policies determining growth and development. Learn more