The importance of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is recognised in Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5) and also drives progress across all the SDGs in the 2030 Agenda. Understanding the interrelationship between gender and transnational organized crime, drug-related policies, counter-terrorism and corruption is vital in ensuring that policies, programmes and activities are effective for the population as a whole. This means that UNODC programmes need to take into account how men and women, girls and boys, including variations in gender, sexual orientation, or bodily characteristics, are impacted differently by drugs, crime and terrorism as they will have different experiences going through for instance the criminal justice system. These different aspects must be reflected in any support that UNODC provides to Member States.
Gender equality is a universally agreed objective deriving from the Charter of the United Nations, which unequivocally reaffirms the equal rights of women, men, girls and boys which are also confirmed in a number of commitments taken through, among others, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the 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 recognize that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls 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 is crucial for success. In the context of UNODC's mandate, a series of international instruments and resolutions call upon Member States to mainstream gender into their legislation and policies and to adopt special measures to promote gender equality and empower women and girls.
Gender mainstreaming is the process of assessing the implications for men and women, girls and boys, , of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels. It is a longstanding UN requirement first established as a global strategy for the promotion of gender equality in the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action as well as being made a UN requirement by the ECOSOC (UN Economic and Social Council) in 1997.
The above-mentioned resolutions recognise that gender equality is integral to progress across all the SGDs and call upon Member States to mainstream gender 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, ensuring that policies, programmes and actions to address crime are effective and gender responsive.