Action urgently needed to improve situation of women and girls in crisis

United Nations Development Programme presents roadmap to improve rights and opportunities for women in fragile contexts

November 9, 2022
UNDP / Iraq

New York, 09 November 2022 As the Women, Peace and Security agenda makes clear, rising gender inequality is both a driver and a consequence of crisis and fragility and must be addressed if the global community is serious about sustaining peace and development. To meet these challenges, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has developed a 10-Point Action Agenda for Advancing Gender Equality in Crisis Settings (10PAA), a roadmap to guide development programming to transform and advance gender equality in crisis contexts.

Ms. Asako Okai, Director of UNDP Crisis Bureau and UN Assistant Secretary-General, said: For millions of women, girls and other marginalized groups who endure the disproportionate impacts of crisis, progress cannot wait. This is the time to renew our commitment to gender equality and to transform our approach to development in crisis. In response, the 10-Point Action Agenda was developed as a part of our new framework for development solutions for crisis and fragility: UNDP’s Crisis Offer.

Launched during a virtual event on 09 November 2022, the 10PAA is central to UNDP’s Crisis Offer, as well as its new Gender Equality Strategy 2022-2025. It guides us to go beyond the technicalities and put people- women, men, youth, and those most left behind- at the centre of UNDP's engagements, challenge the status quo of norms, and support interventions that address patriarchal values and institutions. It represents a strong commitment to go deeper and address power imbalances, which feed inequalities, conflicts, and crises.

Ms. Åsa Regner, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women for Policy, Programme, Civil Society and Intergovernmental Support, and UN Assistant Secretary-General noted: “Last year, we have dealt with a lot of crisis, conflicts, and wars in the world. Military spending has reached an all-time-high of US$2.1 trillion, whilst funding of women organizations in conflict-affected countries was down to $150 million in 2020 compared to $181 million in 2019. This shows us why we need robust and urgent action to be on track in relation to the Women, Peace and Security agenda. We are glad to support UNDP’s 10-Point Action Agenda to work towards a world where women have the right to claim their needs and demands.”

The event brought together women from crisis settings, such as Ukraine and Afghanistan, to share their demands with the development community. The discussions highlighted the complexities at play and some of the effective programming engagements that are driving a much-needed paradigm shift in the way we approach crisis prevention, responses, and recovery.

Ms. Maryna Bardina, Member of Parliament in Ukraine, highlighted the challenges war is posing on advancing and advocating for gender equality in the country, as well as its impact on women and girls, reiterating “the importance of women's role in responding to crisis by actively participating in the rebuilding of a more inclusive society.”

In turn, Ms. Mahbouba Seraj, Women's Rights Activist and Journalist from Afghanistan, underscored: "The world really should see us [women] as the changemakers that we are and should help us accordingly."

The 10PAA is the result of a broad consultation process, carried out over a period of two years, that aimed at finding entry points to strengthen gender-transformational results and women’s leadership and participation in crisis contexts. It is grounded in the understanding that deep-rooted, intersectional discrimination sits at the heart of the multiple challenges humanity faces and reinforces models of dominance that exclude and leave women behind, especially in crisis settings.

Watch the event recording.

Read Ms. Okai’s full statement.

Download the 10-Point Action Agenda for Advancing Gender Equality in Crisis Settings here.

For additional information, please contact:

Anou Borrey

Senior Gender Advisor of the Gender and Crisis Facility