UNESCO in Action for Gender Equality 2020-2021

Discover UNESCO's new publication launched on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2022
UNESCO in action for gender equality, 2020-2021

On International Women’s Day 2022, UNESCO is launching a new publication: UNESCO In Action for Gender Equality: 2020-2021.

UNESCO’s global priority gender equality took on new meaning over the past two years that have been marked by dramatic social, political, environmental, and economic changes around the world.

This report showcases UNESCO’s actions to advance gender equality and what the Organization accomplished even during the global health pandemic that had distinct gendered impacts. It provides key data, best practices and lesson learned.

 of women journalists

in Afghanistan left the profession, due to violence and threats

11 million
girls might not

return to school after the COVID-19 pandemic

UNESCO in Action for Gender Equality: 2020-2021

Click on the next slides to see some of the themes in this report

Artwork done by Sonia Delaunay, called Poetry of words, Poetry of colours
Creating safe and inclusive learning environments for girls and young women
Group of female students in the classroom
Enhancing participation of women and girls in STEM
group of girls students who participated in a UNESCO programme on STEM education
Strengthening the safety of women journalists
A group of journalists in action, including women
Addressing the challenge of gender equality during a pandemic
3 women studying together, they all wear chirurgical masks
Empowering women to manage natural resources
a woman and a men, both ocean scientist under the ocea
Expanding horizons for women in science
artwork depicting a mouth speaking and a significant amount of virus coming out
Engaging men and boys for gender equality: tackling harmful gender norms and stereotypes
A father helping his young daugther with her homeworks

Overall, this publication shows how UNESCO worked together with its stakeholders to counter backlashes and strengthen the resilience of women and girls through education, sciences, culture, communication, and information. 

It features 15 best practices including:

  • UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition’s Gender Flagship that brought together the international community to sound the alarm on the gender dimensions of the COVID-19 school crisis and the “Keeping Girls in the Picture” campaign that reached over 400 million people to ensure girls return to school.
  • UNESCO’s ResiliArt Movement, including nineteen debates organised in different regions of the world bringing together artists and industry professionals to raise awareness of the negative impact of COVID-19 on women working in the cultural and creative industries, including gender-based violence.
  • Actions to expand the possibilities for girls to study STEM subjects, to recognize the contribution of women scientists to finding a vaccine, or to give voice to the creative expressions of women neuroscientists, biologists, doctors or engineers to provide a testimony of the impact of COVID-19 on women.

UNESCO's participation in the Generation Equality Forum is documented, including the three global Commitments it made to advance gender equality in and through education, as well as in the fields of technology, innovation and the creative industries.

This publication, showing what has been accomplished even in times of a severe global pandemic, forges the way forward for our ambitions for the years to come.
Audrey Azoulay Director-General of UNESCO

To read the full publication, please click here. (French translation available soon)

For more information about UNESCO's work on Gender Equality, please click here.

UNESCO in action for gender equality, 2020-2021