Gender equality was a key objective of 58% of UNDP’s programmes in 2019, up 10% since 2017. UNDP ranked in the top 15 on the 2020 Global Health 50/50 Gender and Health Index. By the end of 2020, 750 companies in 16 countries will be certified with UNDP’s Gender Equality Seal. Overall, 1.3 million women benefitted from UNDP recovery programmes across 17 countries.
UNDP continues to support Member States towards the achievement of SDG 3 and health-related goals including on Target 3.1 on preventing maternal deaths, Target 3.7 on universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, and Target 5.2 on eliminating gender-based violence respectively. UNDP is a signatory agency of the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All and together with UN Women are moving forward the accelerator theme on Determinants of Health which includes actions on gender equality.
UNDP supported 80 countries to tackle gender-based violence, including through the UN-EU Spotlight Initiative which in 2019 expanded programmes to eliminate violence against women and girls and provided support to women’s movements and civil society organisations in Central Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific regions. For example, with support from UNDP and other UN partners, eSwatini has passed a comprehensive law on sexual offenses and domestic violence. Among other provisions, the new law criminalises rape in marriage, bolsters domestic violence courts, creates new means of reporting sexual offenses, and, critically, makes rape gender neutral.
UNDP produced a community-led report on violence against women living with HIV, and the barriers they face in accessing services. The study focused on women in twelve countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and was conducted by women living with and vulnerable to HIV. UNDP worked with UN Women and UNFPA on a gender-justice programme in 20 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. As part of the programme, UNDP shone a light on laws in Jordan and Lebanon that allowed rapists to escape justice if they agreed to marry their victims. Those laws have now been repealed, thanks in part to UNDP’s efforts.
UNDP managed 32 Global Fund grants in 19 countries, and three regional programmes that cover an additional 24 countries. UNDP’s work in the partnership involves supporting governments to implement large-scale programmes, making health systems more resilient, and helping countries strengthen laws and policies to make sure that healthcare reaches the people who need it most, including women and children. Under a Global Fund grant in Chad, UNDP partnered with UNHCR to distribute close to 100,000 long-lasting insecticidal nets, over 40 per cent of which were for children under 5 living in refugee camps. Through a $200m Global Fund grant, UNDP is supporting the Ministry of Health Indonesia to strengthen the country’s health systems with positive impact on the health of women and children. In Angola, UNDP and the Global Fund have been training young activists to serve as peer educators on sexual and reproductive health. The group reached over 25,000 women in 2019.