As we continue to strive for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, placing women and girls at its heart, we count on our government partners to invest in UN Women to make gender inequality history by 2030.
Over the past years, Australia has by far been UN Women’s largest non-core partner in Asia and the Pacific. Australia’s current support focuses geographically on the Pacific including Papua New Guinea, and Afghanistan and thematically on women’s economic empowerment and ending violence against women.
In addition, Australia generously supports UN Women’s regional programme “Stepping up Solutions to Eliminate Violence against Women and Girls in Asia and the Pacific (2017-2020)”. The programme focuses on VAW prevention, data and evidence building. Australia also supports the regional component of “Making Every Women and Girl Count”, UN Women’s global flagship programme initiative on gender statistics. The programme supports governments to improve the production of gender statistics to monitor SDGs, inform policy and ensure accountability.
The past three years, Japan significantly stepped up its support for UN Women in Asia and the Pacific. Japan generously supports the regional programme “Empowered Women, Peaceful Communities”. The programme works with women at the community level to support their empowerment as a key strategy for building social cohesion.
Additionally, Japan supports a regional programme on preventing and mitigating the impact of trafficking, transnational crime and terrorism. The programme aims for at-risk border communities to become more resilient to human trafficking, with a specific focus on women. Besides these regional programmes, Japan has also supported UN Women’s work in countries like Myanmar and Timor-Leste – focusing on inclusive development and enhancing women’s leadership and participation in state-building.
Norway has continuously supported UN Women in Asia and the Pacific over the past years. About half of Norway’s funding was in support of UN Women’s Strategic Note in Afghanistan. This higher-level funding allowed for more flexibility in addressing most pressing needs. Besides Afghanistan, Norway’s support went to India and Bhutan, where capacities of governance institutions were strengthened to better leverage gender equality and women´s empowerment (GEWE) opportunities through legislation, policies and programmes.
In addition, Norway has supported UN Women´s activities in Pakistan, Timor-Leste and Myanmar, among others, with a focus on women’s economic empowerment, strengthening key GEWE institutions and organisations, and centring women and their priorities in Myanmar’s peace process.
Over the past years, Sweden has been a strong partner of UN Women in the region. Sweden currently supports two regional programmes: “∑mPower: Empowering Women to Secure Climate-Resilient Societies” and “Enhancing Access to Justice for Women in Asia and the Pacific”. The former bridges governments, regional fora, academia to women’s groups, marginalized communities and civil society with the aim of strengthening gender equality and human rights in climate change and disaster risk reduction actions in the region.
The latter focuses on combatting gender stereotypes and discriminatory practices and engaging women from the grassroots with the aim to effectively enhance women’s access to justice. In addition to these regional programmes, Sweden has consistently supported UN Women’s Strategic Note in Afghanistan. Sweden is also a strong advocate of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and of the HeForShe movement across the region.
In a short time, the European Union (EU) has become one of UN Women’s key non-core partners in Asia and the Pacific. In 2018, implementation of the “Safe and Fair: Realizing women migrant workers’ rights and opportunities in the ASEAN Region” programme kicked off. Safe and Fair is part of the Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls, a global multi-year initiative between the EU and the UN. Safe and Fair is implemented through a partnership between the ILO and UN Women with the overriding objective of ensuring that labour migration is safe and fair for all women in the ASEAN region.
In 2019, “WeEmpower Asia” was launched. The programme, covering multiple middle-income countries in Asia, aims to support sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth by promoting economic participation and the empowerment of women. The EU also supports UN Women’s work to end violence against women in the Pacific through generous contributions for the Pacific Partnership.
Canada and UN Women enjoy a strong partnership in Asia and the Pacific. Canada’s current support for UN Women in the region focuses on ending violence against women, women’s economic empowerment, and women’s empowerment and resilient communities in Myanmar, Bangladesh and the Pacific.
Furthermore, Canada is a strong supporter of UN Women’s work in Cox’s Bazar. In addition to Canada’s support for UN Women’s programming in the region, Canada has also supported events such as the E.Quality talks organised by the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok in December 2018. In the past, Canada has also supported a regional programme focused on improving women’s rights in the ASEAN region.
Finland is one of UN Women’s most consistent and steady non-core supporters in the Asia-Pacific region. The lion share of Finland’s support was at Strategic Note (SN) level. This opened up avenues for co-creation and innovation and offered funding for needs-based/new programming areas in the SN, among other things.
Finland’s support for UN Women is clearly directed towards only two countries in the region: Nepal and Afghanistan. Both countries have a longstanding partnership with Finland.