New partnership between EU and UN Women to enhance gender equality worldwide

A new partnership between the EU and UN Women set up to strengthen cooperation between the two organizations on their work on empowering women and gender equality, was today signed by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton and Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, with Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet.
A press release said the new Memorandum of Understanding signed on the margin of the EU Sustainable Energy for All Summit in Brussels, reaffirms the partnership between the two organisations to support gender equality and women’s empowerment around the world and ensures closer collaboration; sharing information, expertise and analysis in order to effectively advance women’s rights.
Cooperation will primarily focus on ensuring women’s representation in decision- making in the fields of economics, politics and justice worldwide, as well as better access for women to work and social opportunities.
Crucially, the partnership will see the two organisations coming together to take action on combating sexual and gender-based violence. This will include a commitment to provide more support and protection to survivors of violence and increasing access to support and services for those women affected.
"Together with UN Women we will work to improve the role of women in political and economic decision-making. We will also fight impunity for perpetrators of sexual violence, ensure better protection of women and improve their access to justice. These are issues that need our full attention and this new partnership enhances our ability to work even harder to reach these goals", said Catherine Ashton.
EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs added: "There will be no human and economic development without a sound respect of women’s rights and conditions. This is a fundamental part of the development policy that I wish to champion. I'm convinced that this partnership will take our collaboration with UN Women to a new level, ensuring more efficiency and better support to women all over the world."
EU Sustainable Energy for All Summit – the Gender dimension
The European Commission and the Danish Presidency of the EU Council are organising the EU Sustainable Energy for All Summit. The afternoon session of this event focuses on gender and access to sustainable energy for women where Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet will provide the keynote address.
Women are disproportionately adversely affected by the lack of modern energy services. Energy plays a major role in women's daily lives; in practical uses, such as cooking and processing food and collecting water, and in meeting their wider needs; allowing them to study in the evenings, providing street lighting for safety, and enabling communication. (ENPI Info Centre)
Read more
Press release
ENPI Info Centre resources – women’s day 2012 south and east
EuropeAid fact sheet – International Women's Day 2012
ENPI Info Centre – Gender thematic page South - East 

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