Women’s Human Rights and Gender Equality


The attainment of equality between women and men, and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women are fundamental human rights and United Nations values. Despite this, women around the world regularly suffer violations of their human rights throughout their life cycle, and the realization of women’s human rights has not always been accorded priority attention. Achieving equality between women and men requires a comprehensive understanding of the ways in which women experience discrimination and are denied equality. This understanding facilitates the development of appropriate strategies for the elimination of such discrimination and measures for the achievement of equality between women and men. 

The United Nations has a long history of addressing women’s human rights and much progress has been made in securing women’s rights across the world in the past decades. Adopted in 1945, the Charter of the United Nations set out the goal “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, [and] in the equal rights of men and women”. Since its founding, women’s equal rights have been included amongst the most fundamental guarantees of human rights.

However, important gaps remain and women’s realities are constantly changing, with new manifestations of discrimination against women regularly emerging. Intersecting forms of discrimination, combining factors such as sex, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, health status, marital status, education, disability and socio-economic status, among other grounds, also have a particular impact on women, which must be factored into responses.

What OHCHR does

The promotion of women’s human rights and the achievement of gender equality are at the core of OHCHR’s responsibilities and commitments. The main OHCHR women’s rights and gender equality issues in focus are:

OHCHR's work on those issues is focused on:

  • Advocacy
  • Capacity building….etc….

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