On July 2nd, 2010 the United Nations General Assembly voted to create UN Women. According to their website, the new program is “to accelerate progress in meeting the needs of women and girls worldwide.” How will they accomplish this? UN Women will merge in partnership with the UN’s Division for the Advancement of Women, Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, United Nations Development Fund for Women, and UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women.
What makes UN Women unique and poised for actually change? We need action instead of rhetoric. From their website: “Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but its achievement has enormous socio-economic ramifications. Empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth.”
As a result, UN Women has been created to direct UN activities on gender equality issues. It will support the Commission on the Status of Women by implementing policies. UN Women will also hold the system accountable by regularly monitoring progress. I hope they do because women around the world are depending on some sense of future equality.
UN Women will be operational in January 2011 and not a moment too soon.