Women leaders of today are tenacious and diverse. They are mobilizing the global climate movement, pushing for social protections, addressing the COVID-19 crisis, and dismantling systemic racial discrimination. Around the world, women leaders improve lives and inspire a better future for all.

Yet, equality is still far off, and progress on women’s participation in decision-making is too slow. Too many people still believe men make natural and better leaders than women, too many institutions are set up to favour and propel men’s leadership, and funding for women’s campaigns and initiatives remain pitifully low. …

Shirley Chisholm, the first black US Congresswoman once said: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair”.

The future is better with women at every table where decisions are being made. Trailblazing women like Shirley Chisholm have been claiming their space and demanding women’s inclusion and equality throughout history, and now it’s on us.

Across all sectors, communities and societies, women have key contributions to make to leadership. From politics and corporations to sports and STEM, diverse leadership benefits everyone. …

It will soon be a year since WHO declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. By now, every corner of the world has felt the devastating impact of the pandemic, and women and girls in science are on the front lines of response. They are healthcare workers and innovators. They are researching vaccines and pioneering treatments. They are leading us toward a safer world, and inspiring the next generation of girls to be forces of good in science and tech.

This 11 February, we’re celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science by highlighting just some of the women and…

While 2020 will be remembered most for the way COVID-19 changed our lives in nearly every way and in every part of the world, we made some strides for women’s rights and gender equality. From new laws addressing domestic violence and equality to women’s critical leadership during the global pandemic, join us to celebrate some key moments for gender equality this year.

Women leaders shine in the face of COVID-19

Governments across the world worked to respond to COVID-19, with research suggesting that in countries where women lead, the responses were quicker, more effective and stronger. …

In 2020, COVID-19 touched our lives in nearly every way, everywhere, as countries went into lockdown and restricted movement to contain the spread of the virus. As doors closed and isolation began, reports of all forms of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, began to rise.

The pandemic of violence against women is not new. Even before COVID-19 hit us, globally, 243 million women and girls were abused by their intimate partners in the past year. The COVID-19 pandemic intensified the violence, even as support services faltered and accessing help became harder.

As we mark the annual 16…

Five stories of women’s leadership

Women leaders of all ages at the Democracy Day celebrations in 2011. The celebration was organized by UN Women and the Institute of Social Studies to recognize the work of elected women representatives around India. The Constitution of India mandates the reservation of 1/3 seats for women in local bodies. Many states now also have 50 percent reservation for women. Photo: UN Women/Ganganjit Singh

The question has never been whether women can lead as capably as men. Women have always led, and women will always lead, especially when the times are hard, and their communities are in need.

The question that we need to ask is, why is women’s leadership invisible? Why is their potential and their power stifled?

In the midst of a global pandemic, we find women on the front lines everywhere, as heads of government, legislators, healthcare workers, community leaders, and more. …

Illustration by Verónica Grech

Workers around the world look forward to payday. A paycheck may bring a sense of relief, satisfaction, or joy, but it can also represent an injustice-an expression of persistent inequalities between men and women in the workplace.

Globally, the gender pay gap stands at 16 per cent, meaning women workers earn an average of 84 per cent of what men earn. For women of colour, immigrant women, and women with children, the difference is even greater.

These discrepancies in pay add up and have real, daily negative consequences for women and their families. The adverse impacts are exacerbated even more…

As COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of life around the world, it’s dominated news cycles and taken up most of our attention and energy. The pandemic has also shed more light on existing and increasing gender inequalities, such as unequal division of unpaid care work in our homes and domestic violence. While these urgent needs remain at the forefront of our thoughts and actions, today we want to take a moment to also celebrate some milestones that we achieved in summer of 2020.

Join us in celebrating some of the highlights for gender equality and women’s rights you may have…

There are 1.8 billion youth, between the ages of 10–24, at the forefront of movements for equality, justice and dignity for all. Yes, we are thinking of them today, because it’s International Youth Day. But they are actually raising their voices and demanding a better future every day. They haven’t resigned to the old norms and they have the power to imagine and activate new norms.

As the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelms healthcare services, disrupts education, livelihoods and social lives, and increases the burden of care, young people are advocating for themselves and the needs of the communities. They want their…

COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of society, from health to home life, to employment and the global economy. The pandemic and preventative measures have really emphasized society’s reliance on women, and the inequalities they have been facing for so long.

On the frontlines of fighting COVID-19, women are health professionals, community volunteers, transport and logistics managers, scientists and more. And at home, women are facing increased unpaid care work responsibilities, as well as less access to sexual and reproductive health and an increased risk of domestic violence.

Take a closer look at some of the urgent issues women are…

UN Women

UN Women is the United Nations entity for #genderequality and women's empowerment.

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