Intergovernmental support

Photo: UN Photo/João Araújo Pinto

In intergovernmental forums at the United Nations, Member States come together to debate and seek agreement on global gender equality norms and standards. These commitments offer the basis for action by governments and other stakeholders to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment at the global, regional and national levels. They provide impetus for adopting and enhancing laws, policies and programmes that bring about equality between women and men.

The main intergovernmental forum for addressing gender equality and the empowerment of women is the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Related issues are also debated in the UN General Assembly, the Security Council, and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), as well as at major international conferences.

As part of our mandate, UN Women supports Member States in setting norms. We conduct research, and compile and provide evidence, including good practices and lessons learned, to inform intergovernmental debates and decisions. We also assist in implementing norms and standards through our country programmes. In addition, UN Women leads and coordinates the UN system’s work in support of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Intergovernmental discussions on UN Women’s country activities take place in the Executive Board, where a rotating group of UN Member States helps set strategic directions.