UN Women in Action


  • Empowering Women Migrant Workers in Asia is a regional programme that promotes CEDAW to protect the rights of women migrant workers and help women migrant workers to protect themselves from exploitation. The programme promotes safe migration of women migrant workers and has a special focus on domestic workers. Countries currently covered by the programme are Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Nepal, Indonesia, the Philippines, Viet Nam and Hong Kong, Thailand and Jordan as destination sites.
  • In Bangladesh, UN Women helped the Government to establish its first Resource Center so women who wished to migrate could easily obtain correct information. Workshops and radio broadcasts have made women more aware of their rights. UN Women helped develop and broadcast a 26-episode programme on national radio in local dialects. See also Helping Women Migrate Safely in Bangladesh.

  • In Cambodia, UN Women supports initiatives to protect the rights of women migrant workers through gender sensitive pre-departure training, standardized contracts for migrant workers, and training migrant workers on laws and government policy that affect them.

  • In Indonesia, UN Women supported the drafting of a local law in the province of Blitar that addresses potential dangers at every step in the recruitment cycle, for example, by emphasizing the need for proper information to women considering work abroad. UN Women’s pioneering CBO programme is being replicated by other international organisations in Indonesia as a successful way of strengthening communities and capacity development of potential women migrants on their rights.

  • In the Philippines, UN Women is conducting an exploratory study on the social costs of migration.
  • In Viet Nam, UN Women has initiated the programme on international migration with Department of Labour (DOLAB) in the Ministry of Social Welfare and Invalids (MOLISA)
  • In April 2009, UN Women hosted a forum exploring the impact of the economic crisis on women migrant workers in Thailand, in cooperation with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and another forum in India hosted in July 2009. . Both forums brought together senior ministry officials, industry executives, trade union leaders, representatives from embassies in destination countries, academics, and other key stakeholders for discussion and came up with concrete recommendations.
  • In Timor-Leste, UN Women is strengthening the capacity of key ministries like the Ministry of Planning and Finance and the Secretary of State for Promotion of Equality (SEPI) to respond to the needs of women.

Gender responsive Budgeting

  • In Cambodia, UN Women has introduced gender-responsive budgeting into the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s Public Financial Management Reform and is working with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to help other ministries forge strategies and plans.
  • Through the China Gender Facility UN Women is funding the Centre for Women’s Law Studies at Beijing University to provide legal protection for women workers in the householder service sector.
  • The Lao Women’s Economic Empowerment in Pakthaep project has helped revive traditional textiles skills in a Lao village, giving the women there the opportunity to earn from, and play an active role in managing, a successful cottage industry.
  • In China, UN Women is working with UN agencies and national counterparts to implement the Youth, Employment and Migration (YEM) Joint Programme. The programme aims to promote young domestic workers’ rights and skills and protect the rights of China’s young migrants. This joint programme will run from 2009 through 2011.