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blueprint for UN women
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of UN Women provides a historic opportunity to transform the lives
of women and girls. To deliver results, UN Women must target the
most urgent issues for women and absorb the lessons of the past.
As it becomes operational, UN Women should build these priorities
and new approach into its structures and systems. This report focuses
on the views of 100 selected civil society organisations (CSOs)
working on women's issues on the ground. It aims to outline the
key priorities for UN Women and to propose how the agency should
proceed to deliver tangible progress at country level.
should UN Women focus on?
priority that UN Women must address is violence against women (VAW):
99% of respondents said urgent action is needed on this issue and
72% selected it as a top priority for UN Women. Women in all regions
suffer multiple forms of violence and 10% of respondents said it
is increasing in their countries. All forms of violence against
women must be eradicated. But other issues are also important and
these are linked. The choice of priorities indicates fundamental
gaps regarding the implementation of women's rights at country level.
Next to the priority for UN Women, there is a second tier of three
issues selected as key priorities. These are women's access to decision-making
(42%), access to reliable justice systems (41%) and economic empowerment
(41%). A clear overall message from the survey was that there is
an urgent need to raise women's awareness of their rights.
Who should UN Women focus on?
We asked CSOs
for their view on which women need help most urgently and 84% said
rural women are the group in greatest need. UN Women should make
rural women a priority because they have fewest resources and are
least aware of their rights. Our survey found disabled women (61%)
and uneducated women (61%) also need urgent attention. The needs
of these groups intersect but UN Women should not take a 'one size
fits all approach' but tailor specific interventions to target individual
How should UN Women operate at country level?
UN Women must
be in touch with the needs of women at grassroots. The survey revealed
a perception among 30% of CSOs that UN agencies lack knowledge of
the daily realities of women on the ground and are not visible to
the groups striving for the same goals. There is a strong wish among
CSOs to collaborate with the UN as genuine partners: 94% of respondents
said they want to work in partnership with UN Women. CSOs have clear
ideas as to how this partnership might work: they want UN Women
to call on their expert knowledge and to use its access to governments
to open up spaces for them to participate in decision-making at
national level. Many support UN Women's collaboration with governments:
66% of respondents want UN Women to work with governments but they
want it to strive for more independence than UN agencies in the
past: more than a quarter (28%) of CSOs said the UN is too close
to national governments and many felt this close relationship is
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