In depth

Alt text for imageKyrgyz young woman. Photo: UNDP.

UNDP promotes equal opportunities and rights for women and men.

Women and men are entitled to equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities regardless of whether they are born male or female.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment are an integral part of all areas of UNDP’s work - not only as a human rights issue, but also because they are essential for sustainable economic and social development, eradication of poverty, and peace and stability. (See: Powerful Synergies: Gender Equality, Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability)

While countries in the region have made impressive progress in terms of putting in place laws and policies to guarantee gender equality, gender stereotypes remain. Key challenges to gender equality in the region include: women’s economic insecurity, under representation in decision making positions and violence against women.

What we do


UNDP works with national and local partners to:

  • Integrating gender-sensitive policies across all sectors work
  • Promoting accountability in national institutions to implement gender-sensitive laws and ensure gender responsive budgeting
  • Addressing and preventing violence against women and incorporating gender issues into the peace process
  • Supporting victims of gender-based violence
  • Promoting gender-aware employment policies and better opportunities for women entrepreneurs
  • Ensuring that women have a voice in governance institutions, the private sector and civil society

Some results so far


Today, more than 20 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia have reformed institutions and legislation in order to better address gender equality - and all support the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women.

Albania, Kosovo*, Montenegro and Ukraine drafted and reformed laws to address gender based violence; In Albania, Serbia and Belarus, UNDP is working with judges, prosecutors and medical experts to strengthen the quality of their support to victims of violence.  

In Kosovo, active labour market programme is helping women to develop their skills and access jobs, in Romania and in Uzbekistan  UNDP helped women to starting up  their own company.

Over 4,000 women entrepreneurs received business training and mentoring in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Armenia, Georgia and Montenegro set up party and legislative quotas; and parliaments in Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan and fYR Macedonia are promoting women’s caucuses. Azerbaijan, Kosovo, and Kyrgyzstan have included issues of gender equality in civil-service commissions and public administrations. In Armenia and fYR Macedonia UNDP (trained) local women politicians to strengthen their networking and presentation skills so they can promote gender aware policies in their communities.

* All references to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of the Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).

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