Gender equality and women’s empowerment is recognized as a cross-cutting priority across all aspects of UNEP’s work. UNEP promotes men and women’s participation in all environmental protection and sustainable development activities.
Key UN conventions and agreements which provide the global mandate for achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment include:
- The United Nations Charter (1945)
- The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimintation against Women (CEDAW 1979)
- United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development and Agenda 21 (UNCED 1992)
- United Nations Conference on Women: equality, development, peace and Platform for Action (Beijing 1995)
- Millenium Development Goals (MDGs)
- The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- The Future We Want (Rio+20 2012)
Six elements of gender mainstreaming in the UN-SWAP:
- Accountability for all staff
- Results-based management for gender equality
- Human and Financial resources
- Coherence, knowledge and info management
UNEP’s gender mainstreaming and gender equality work is more specifically guided by two overarching policies:
- United Nations System-Wide Action Plan on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-SWAP) - UNEP is committed to becoming compliant with the UN-SWAP by 2017. The UN-SWAP is an accountability framework to accelerate mainstreaming of gender equality and the empowerment of women throughout the UN system. The framework is designed to harmonize, measure and monitor performance and drive progress across all UN entities, offices and departments. More information about the UN-SWAP can be found here.
- UNEP Gender Policy - UNEP’s gender mainstreaming policy statement and operational framework is its Policy and Strategy for Gender Equality and the Environment 2014-17. The full policy can be viewed here, a policy brief with success stories is available here and the policy brief is also available in the other five UN official languages: Arabic; Chinese; French; Russian; and Spanish.