Vienna, 2 February 2024 - After receiving nominations from several remarkable projects, a jury created a shortlist of 14 initiatives and programmes which UNODC personnel were invited to vote on. With 558 personnel casting their votes, the winners of the UNOV/UNODC Gender Award were decided. Their great work in the field of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls was recognised during a handover ceremony on 2 February 2024.
The winners of the 2023 Gender Award stood out for their impact and for the comprehensive approach they adopted to promote gender equality and women's empowerment. They used innovative approaches either by looking at the intersection of gender with other factors, such as disability; and by tackling gender-related issues through capacity building, awareness-raising activities, the creation of women’s network; and by implementing long-lasting solutions aimed at tackling the root causes of gender inequality and discrimination.
All these programmes and initiatives show how integrating a gender perspective in UNOV/UNODC internal structures and in programmatic work can amplify the impact of UNOV/UNODC efforts and ultimately contribute to the goal of equality.
Read more below to gain a deeper insight into the work done at UNOV and UNODC to promote gender equality!
“Creating an enabling working environment for trans and non-binary persons”
The continued advocacy and sharing of experiences of abuse and discrimination by a trans and non-binary member of the Office has empowered the Regional Representative to start an initiative to create an enabling work environment for people of all gender identities. As part of the initiative, briefings for personnel on LGBT issues have been introduced in the Office, which have succeeded in opening the eyes of many to the daily challenges, risks and threats of being openly trans.
“Blue Justice Initiative – Blue Enforcement”
The project enhances knowledge and capacity of law enforcement, fisheries and customs officers to effectively address crimes in the fishery sector through comprehensive training programmes and strategic sea operations, and fosters cross-agency coordination and regional cooperation, all while applying a comprehensive gender lens. By providing training specifically designed for women law enforcement and fisheries officers, including leadership training, the project made significant strides towards gender equality and the empowerment of women in these professions. Through ongoing contact with the women and facilitation of initiatives such as a side-event during the Blue Justice conference in Copenhagen in 2023, the project promoted a consistent and comprehensive approach to women's empowerment.
“Eliminating violence against women in West Bank and Gaza Strip - HAYA Joint Programme”
The HAYA Joint Programme was dedicated to eradicating violence against women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip through a wide range of projects. Media professionals were trained in sensitive media coverage of gender-related issues and VAW. Additionally, UNODC organized several media campaigns to increase the knowledge of women and girls on the available health, social, and justice services, which resulted in the increase in the reporting of VAW cases. UNODC also established the first forensic Biology / DNA service in the Forensic Science Lab to be able to examine the forensic evidence of sexual assault. UNODC trained police officers, public prosecutors and judges on the effective response to sexual and GBV cases. Moreover, UNODC trained over 450 health professionals from government and private hospitals on the clinical management of rape. (Click here to learn more)
“Gender and Human Rights Advisory Group”
In 2018, the UNODC Office in Mexico created a special group to advise personnel on gender and human rights matters. This group was established with two main goals, the first being to strengthen the capacity of the office in mainstreaming gender and human rights; the second was to promote gender equality as part of an HR policy. The group is made up of personnel with a background and expertise in both gender and human rights who want to give a voluntary contribution to the work of the Office beyond their main tasks and responsibilities.
“Painting the silence: Stories on disability and trafficking in persons”
Nine artists living with disabilities, including four women, participated in a photography and mixed arts training program. The initiative culminated with the exhibition of the artists’ work at several events, including the Dakar Biennale in 2022. This initiative empowered the artists to express their experiences and share their personal stories of being victims of trafficking through an intersectional length. Their work illustrated the increased risks and vulnerabilities to trafficking in persons experienced by women with disabilities.