UNESCO Priority Gender Equality Action Plan 2008 - 2013

Gender Equality Action Plan 2008-2013

The UNESCO Priority Gender Equality Action Plan for 2008-2013 (GEAP) provides a road map to translate UNESCO’s policy commitment to “Priority Gender Equality”, into specific actions and outcomes by adopting a concerted and systematic gender equality perspective. It describes what actions UNESCO will take between 2008 and 2013 through its 5 Programme Sectors, (namely education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information) to ensure that UNESCO programmes and initiatives contribute fully and actively to the pursuit of women’s empowerment and gender equality efforts.

The Action Plan also sets out how UNESCO can better use its partnerships, its budget and its staff to make a significant and sustainable difference in the struggle to eradicate gender inequalities that constitute serious hindrances to the eradication of poverty and the achievement of sustainable peace and development.

UNESCO has been committed to women’s empowerment and gender equality for many decades, although the focus and modalities have changed over time. Under the previous Medium-Term Strategy for 2002-2007 (31 C/4), women, youth, Africa and the least developed countries were identified as “mainstreaming areas”, and Programme sectors, were required to address the needs and requirements of these areas. Regarding the mainstreaming of “women”, the Strategy further noted that “As regards women, a gender perspective will be integrated in policy planning, programming, implementation and evaluation activities in all areas of UNESCO’s competence with a view to promoting empowerment and achieving gender equality”.

Through this focus on “mainstreaming of women’s needs”, UNESCO developed and tested key instruments of its gender mainstreaming methodology and elements of its architecture. The Medium-Term Strategy for 2008-2013 constitutes Phase 2 of the implementation of the UNESCO mainstreaming approach, with targeted mainstreaming and targeted gender-specific programming strengthened by a focus on gender-specific results, accountability, capacity-building and partnership.

The objectives of the GEAP are the following:

  • to reaffirm UNESCO’s dual approach to gender equality that consists of both mainstreaming gender and supporting specific actions/initiatives focused on empowerment through gender-specific programmes;
  • to identify strategic actions with corresponding expected outcomes and expected results, performance indicators and resource allocations by programme sectors for the duration of three biennia;
  • to lay out principal elements of implementation, monitoring and reporting for evidence- and results-based programming in support of Gender Equality;
  • to describe enabling institutional mechanisms for gender equality in the Organization with focus on capacity development, accountability and representation of women and men in decision-making levels in the Secretariat.

To read the GEAP, please click HERE

To read the full version of the GEAP, in the Report by the Director-General on the Execution of the Programme Adopted by the General Conference (Part I, Add. II), please click HERE

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