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Gender equality is at the very heart of human rights and United Nations values.

Gender-based discrimination is prohibited under almost every human rights treaty. Despite much progress made in securing women’s rights globally, millions of women and girls continue to experience discrimination and violence, being denied of their equality, dignity and autonomy, and even a life.

This discrimination and violence against women and girls, deeply rooted in the fabric of societies, is persistent and systematic. And in recent years, there has been a recurrence of scepticism against and denial of international standards concerning women’s human rights, gender equality and gender-based violence, while women and girls are increasingly raising voices to demand equality, including through feminist movements.

Our work

Promoting women’s human rights and achieving gender equality are core commitments of the UN Human Rights Office. We promote women and girls’ equal enjoyment of all human rights, including freedom from violence, sexual and reproductive rights, access to justice, socio-economic equality, and participation in decision-making.

We do this by monitoring and advocating for women’s rights, building capacity of stakeholders, and providing technical advice. We promote gender integration within the UN. We also support UN mechanisms and treaty bodies working to promote gender equality.

More about our work on women’s rights and gender equality

Who else is involved

Working Group on discrimination against women and girls

The Working Group, composed of five independent experts of balanced geographical representation, addresses the elimination of discrimination against women and girls from the perspective of States’ obligations to respect, protect and fulfil women’s human rights.

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Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

The Committee is made up of 23 independent experts from around the world that monitor implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

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Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences

The Special Rapporteur seeks and receives information on the causes and consequences of violence against women from Governments, treaty bodies and other stakeholders. It then recommends measures to eliminate all forms of violence against women and its causes, and to remedy its consequences.

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