Gender equality is a fundamental condition for the full enjoyment of human rights by women and men, and promoting gender equality worldwide is one of UNESCO’s global priorities.

International instruments now exist to promote and defend women’s rights, but gender inequalities are persistent in a wide range of areas. Violence against women, gendered poverty, women’s exclusion from decision-making in political and economic life, these are just examples of issues which must be resolved if gender equality is to be achieved. Overcoming these inequalities requires profound transformations in social structures and relations between men and women.

The Social and Human Sciences Programme works to ensure that gender equality considerations are fully integrated into policies for social inclusion and social transformation. In policies and programmes aimed specifically at young women and men, express consideration is given to the distinct needs, expectations, and aspirations of young women in disadvantaged positions. Through its various programmes, the Programme will also develop capacity-building activities that target men and young boys to become strong gender equality advocates.

  • Ensuring that the gender equality dimension including the elimination of gender-based violence is fully taken on board in assessing the level of inclusiveness of public policies
  • Promoting data and research on the different impact of social transformations on women and men in order to inform evidence-based and targeted policies
  • Ensuring that women’s contributions and roles, as agents of change, are duly taken into consideration in challenges pertaining to bioethics, and the ethics of science and technology, including their equal and inclusive participation in decision-making processes, research and capacity building
  • Applying and promoting gender-sensitive approaches and gender equality through the UNESCO youth programme in line with its Operational Strategy on Youth
  • Improved participation of young women in community building and democratic processes
  • Reduced marginalization and discrimination of women in sports in order to increase their participation in sport programmes
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