Gender equality is a universally agreed objective-deriving from the Charter of the United Nations, which unequivocally reaffirmed the equal rights of women, men, girls and boys-and is confirmed in a number of commitments taken through, among others, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women of 1979, the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, various resolutions and decisions of the United Nations General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, as well as the Commission on the Status of Women.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has provided additional momentum and clear targets and, in it, Member States recognized that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls would make a crucial contribution to progress across all the Sustainable Development Goals and that the systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective into the implementation of the Agenda was crucial for success.

In the context of UNODC's mandate, a series of international instruments and resolutions call upon Member States to mainstream a gender equality perspective into their legislation and policies and to adopt special measures to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. As an example, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs Resolution 26/3 " Mainstreaming a gender perspective into crime prevention and criminal justice policies and programmes and into efforts to prevent and combat transnational organized crime" and Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Resolution 59/5 " Mainstreaming a gender perspective in drug-related policies and programmes" recognize that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution to progress across all the Sustainable Development Goals and targets. Moreover, that the systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective into the implementation of the Agenda is crucial. Specifically, the resolutions call upon Member States, where appropriate, to take a gender perspective into account in the implementation of the Organized Crime Convention and the Protocols by considering how crime, including transnational organized crime, drug-related policies and programmes have different impacts on men and women, in order to ensure that policies, programmes and actions to address crime are effective.

This led to the establishment of the Global Programme on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in May 2017. The programme aims to support the mainstreaming of gender equality into normative, operational and research work of UNODC and the pursuance of gender parity in UNOV and UNODC staff at all levels. One of the key outputs of the Global Programme was development of the UNOV/UNODC Strategy for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (2018-2021).

STRATEGY FOR GENDER EQUALITY AND THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN (2018-2021)

UNOV-UNODC Gender Equality Strategy The present Strategy for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (2018-2021) establishes the first institutional framework on gender equality for the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

This Strategy seeks to ensure that gender equality and the empowerment of women are integral parts of all aspects of the work of UNOV/UNODC in making the world safer from drugs, crime and terrorism and in ensuring the peaceful uses of outer space.

This Strategy will assist UNOV and UNODC-by 2021-to be workplaces where gender equality and the empowerment of women are actively promoted by staff in all aspects of institutional processes, programmatic work and activities thus fostering an enabling, inclusive and diverse work environment and improving the representation of women at all levels in order to reach gender parity.

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