Global Colloquium
of University Presidents

UN Women

Recognizing that -- after ten years of dialogues and recommendations – insufficient progress has been made in empowering women around the world, in July 2010 the United Nations General Assembly approved the establishment of UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, to accelerate progress towards gender equality and the empowerment of women. The office is now responsible for promoting gender equality, expanding opportunity for women and girls, and tackling gender discrimination around the globe. This entity is headed by former President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, and merges four of the world body’s agencies and offices: the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW).  The creation of UN Women culminates UN progress on the empowerment of women that started with the 1946 creation of the Commission on the Status of Women; the 1952 General Assembly adoption of the Convention on the Political Rights of Women; the 1963 Comprehensive Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women; the four UN World Conferences on Women (1975 in Mexico City, 1980 in Copenhagen, 1985 in Nairobi, and 1995 in Beijing); and the 1976 creation of UNIFEM.  Under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the UN has developed a Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health; launched the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children; launched the “Unite to End Violence against Women” campaign, the “UN’s Stop Rape Now” initiative; established a Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict; implemented a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment; advocated for increasing the share of gender-related allocations in official development assistance; called on Member States to increase the number of women in leadership and decision-making positions; and significantly increased the number of women in high UN management positions.


Michele Bachelet

UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet