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United Nations Development Programme: Gender Equality Strategy 2022-2025

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Executive summary

This Gender Equality Strategy 2022–2025 has been written in unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has imperilled every dimension of our well-being and amplified a sense of fear across the globe, and there is an alarming escalation in armed violence. This strategy responds to reflections around two key concerns. First, why has progress towards gender equality been so slow and scattered, and even reversed? Second, what can UNDP best do in response?

No matter how deep, every challenge offers opportunities. New paradigms often emerge during crises; old orders break down. This strategy describes the future direction of UNDP work on gender equality and the empowerment of women, complementing the Strategic Plan 2022-2025. The challenge for the next four years will be to help governments shift systems and power structures that generate gender inequalities and women’s disempowerment. The UNDP commitment to gender equality is integral to all efforts to expand people’s choices, realize a just and sustainable world, and achieve the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNDP will work through its six ‘signature solutions’, on poverty and inequality; governance; resilience; environment; energy; and gender equality.

Evaluations and consultations have demonstrated that partners expect UNDP to elevate its role as convener and advocate as much as, if not more than, a programme provider. To accelerate and significantly scale up results, UNDP will help governments to place gender equality at the core of political, economic and environmental dialogues and decisions. We stand ready to play this role including in opening difficult conversations around power imbalances and the distribution of resources. UNDP recognizes that mechanical and compliance approaches will not suffice to address the scope of gender discrimination.

This strategy establishes measures for institutional transformation grouped into seven interconnected building blocks inspired by the UNDP Gender Equality Seal certification. Meaningfully integrating gender equality across UNDP work starts with the everyday decisions, actions, and behaviours of our personnel. Our efforts will require leadership that fosters listening and learning and calls for courage and new ways of working. UNDP will succeed only if it creates and sustains a culture where every person is respected, valued, and empowered, and feels safe and included.