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UN General Assembly resolution 63/311 on system-wide coherence

Supported the consolidation of four distinct parts of the UN system that focused exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment into a composite entity to be led by an Under-Secretary-General.


General Assembly Resolution 64/289

On 2 July 2010 the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted resolution 64/289, thus creating United Nations Women by merging the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW); the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW, established in 1976); the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues Advancement of Women (OSAGI, established in 1997), and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM, established in 1976).


Comprehensive proposal for the composite entity for gender Equality and the empowerment of women, by Secretary General

The report proposes that the composite entity be a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly and report to the General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council. The Commission on the Status of Women will play a crucial role in guiding its work and an Executive Board will oversee its operational activities.


Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women(CEDAW).

The “women’s bill of rights” is a cornerstone of all UN Women programmes. More than 185 countries are parties to the Convention.


Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (PFA). Adopted by governments at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, this document sets forth governments’ commitments to enhance women’s rights. Member states reaffirmed and strengthened the platform in 2000 during the global five-year review of progress, and pledged to accelerate its implementation during the 10-year review in 2005 and the 15-year review in 2010.


UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (2000) Recognized that war impacts women differently, and reaffirmed the need to increase women’s role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution.

The UN Security Council subsequently adopted four additional resolutions on women, peace and security: 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009) and 1960 (2010).


Evaluation Reports

Evaluation Report: UNIFEM’s Work on Gender-Responsive Budgeting (2010). The evaluation, split into three sets of reports, provides critical lessons on what conditions and mechanisms enable or hinder UNIFEM’s work in increasing gender equality in budget processes and practices. It also analyses UNIFEM’s overall approach to gender-responsive budget programming.


Evaluation Report: United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women (2010). This evaluation looks into the implementation and overall effectiveness of the 2005-2008 United Nations Trust Fund Strategy in advancing the fund’s work on ending violence against women at country levels.


Evaluation Report: UNIFEM’s Partnerships with Regional Organizations to Advance Gender Equality (2010). This report assesses UNIFEM’s partnerships with regional organizations in order to affect progress towards gender equality at regional and national levels. It reviews existing partnerships and discusses areas for development, and includes profiles of six partners and the work undertaken by the organizations to promote and enhance gender equality.


Evaluation Report of the UNIFEM Programme Facilitating CEDAW Implementation in Southeast Asia (CEDAW SEAP) (2009). It assesses the effectiveness, relevance and sustainability of the programme, and provides recommendations on how it can be further implemented to effectively build on partnerships, experiences and achievements, provide support for ongoing learning and enhance the use of results-based management.


The United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women

The Annual Reports of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) highlight innovative programmes and practices in the field of ending violence against women and girls.


Blog on Women, Internationalism, and Gender in History
Blog by major scholars on women, internationalism, and gender in history.


IKNOW Politics
Co-sponsored by UN Women, the International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics is an extensive online workspace and advocacy platform where everyone from elected officials to students can access resources, use tools, participate in forums and get expert advice on women in political life.


Gender-Responsive Budgeting
The Gender-Responsive Budgeting web portal aims to facilitate the exchange of information between academics, practitioners, researchers and activists working on gender budget initiatives. It features articles, research papers and training tools, and offers resources in Arabic, French, Portuguese and Spanish.


Presupuesto y Género en América Latina y el Caribe
This Web portal dedicated to tracking gender-responsive budgeting in Latin America has data on projects and experts in the region, summaries of the most common gender budget analysis methodologies and a comprehensive bibliography of Spanish-language documents on the subject.


WomenWatch is a central gateway to information and resources on the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women throughout the UN system. The website also provides information on the outcomes of, as well as efforts to incorporate gender perspectives into follow-up to global conferences.


Violence against Women

This fundamental violation of women’s rights remains widespread, affecting all countries. Women need strong laws, backed by implementation and services for protection and prevention.
Programme and Technical Assistance
Policy and Normative Support


Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls
A one-stop online centre that encourages and supports evidence-based programming to more efficiently and effectively design, implement, monitor and evaluate initiatives to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. The website offers leading tools and evidence on what works, drawing on expert recommendations, policy and programme evaluations and assessments, and practitioners’ experiences from around the world.


Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women
UN Women’s Say NO initiative is a global platform for advocacy and action, engaging participants from all walks of life to prevent and address violence against women and girls. It contributes towards the objectives of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s campaign, UNiTE to End Violence against Women, through social mobilization.


Peace and Security

There is international recognition that women bear the brunt of modern conflicts, including where rape is a weapon of war. Specific threats to women must be identified and stopped, and women must be at the centre of peace talks and post-conflict reconstruction.
Programme and Technical Assistance
Research and Training


UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict (UN Action)
UN Action unites the work of 13 UN entities with the goal of ending sexual violence in conflict. It is a concerted effort by the UN system to improve coordination and accountability, amplify programming and advocacy, and support national efforts to prevent sexual violence and respond effectively to the needs of survivors.


Leadership and Participation

Across all areas of life, whether in political bodies or corporate boardrooms, women have a limited say in the decisions that affect them. Quotas and other special measures open more space for women’s participation. New skills help women realize their full leadership potential.
Programme and Technical Assistance
Research and Training


Gender & HIV/AIDS Web Portal
GenderandAIDS.org aims to promote understanding, knowledge sharing and action on HIV and AIDS as a gender and human rights issue. This comprehensive web portal offers up-to-date information on the epidemic from a gender perspective, a full range of resources, personal stories and commentaries, and multimedia advocacy tools.


Economic Empowerment

Women lag far behind men in access to land, credit and decent jobs, even though a growing body of research shows that enhancing women’s economic options boosts national economies. Macroeconomic policies and policy-making can make the connections to gender equality. The multiple barriers that prevent women from seizing economic opportunities must be dropped.
Programme and Technical Assistance
Research and Training


Millennium Development Goals

The MDGs provide a basic roadmap for development. Gender equality is the third goal, but it is also integral to achieving all eight MDGs, from preventing the spread of HIV to sustaining the environment in the face of climate change.

Read more:
Climate Change

WFP: Focus on Women

Facts on women and poverty.

Women, Science, Technology

Pages on women and science and technology - with links to forums and other resources.

UNESCO Institute for Statistics: Gender-Sensitive Education Statistics and Indicators
This guide builds up awareness of gender-sensitive education statistics and indicators to effectively monitor gender disparities in education, 2002.

WHO: Gender, Women and Health Network

The Gender, Women and Health Network (GWHN) is composed of the WHO Department of Gender and Women's Health (GWH) and gender focal points and/or units located at Headquarters and in WHO's six Regional Offices.

WHO: Women's Health

Links to descriptions of activities, reports, news and events on this topic

Violence against Women
The website "Violence against Women" of the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women provides an overview of the issue, as well as statements and presentations.



Women, Internationalisms, and Gender, 1792 to the Present. This blog, run by a team of academics, focuses on creating blog discussions on themes surrounding women's international history.




Youtube Channel UN Women

Women on the Frontline TV Series
This new documentary series shines a light on violence against women and girls.


Allan, Virginia et al, “World Conference of International Women’s Year,” Ch. 3 in Anne Winslow ed. (1995), Women, Politics, and the United Nations (Westport; London: Greenwood Press), pp. 29-44.

Peggy Antrobus, (2004), The Global Women’s Movement: Origins, Issues and Strategies (London: Zed).

Of all the great social movements of the twentieth century, it is the women's movement that looks set to continue to shape the course of social progress over the next generation. This overview of the international women's movement by the well-known feminist activist Peggy Antrobus asks where are women now--particularly in the Third World--in the struggle against gender inequality? What are the issues--from poverty to sexual and reproductive health to the environment--that they face in different parts of the world?

Michelle Bachelet: March 2011, Michelle Bachelet gives UN Special an interview on the challenges the newly form UN group will face in the near future.

Amrita Basu (1995),The Challenge of Local Feminisms: Women’s Movements in Global Perspective (Boulder; [etc.]: Westview Press).

This pathbreaking book provides for the first time an overview of the genesis, growth, gains, and dilemmas of women’s movements worldwide. Unlike most of the literature, which focuses on the industrialized Western world, this volume devotes greater attention to the postcolonial states of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The book challenges the assumptions that feminism can transcend national differences and, conversely, that women’s movements are shaped and circumscribed by national levels of development.

A.Black, "Are Women 'Human'? The U.N. and the Struggle to Recognize Women's Rights as Human Rights," Akira Iriye, P. Goedde, and W. I. Hitchcock (eds.), The Human Rights Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 133-155.

Charlotte Bunch, "Women's Rights as Human Rights: Toward a Re-Vision of Human Rights," Human Rights Quarterly, 12(4),November 1990, pp. 486 – 498.

The term "women's human rights" and the set of practices that accompanies its use are the continuously evolving product of an international movement to improve the status of women. In the 1980s and 1990s, women's movements around the world formed networks and coalitions to give greater visibility both to the problems that women face every day and to the centrality of women's experiences in economic, social, political and environmental issues. In the evolution of what is becoming a global women's movement, the term "women's human rights" has served as a locus for praxis, that is, for the development of political strategies shaped by the interaction between analytical insights and concrete political practices.

R. Charli Carpenter, “‘Women and Children First’: Gender, Norms, and Humanitarian Evacuation in the Balkans, 1991–95,” International Organization 57 (Fall 2003): 661–694

Chen, Martha et al (2005), Progress of the World’s Women 2005: Women, Work, and Poverty (New York: UNIFEM).

Coltheart, Lenore ed. (2004), Jessie Street: A Revised Autobiography (Sydney: The Federation Press).

Matthew Connelly, Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population (2008), esp. chapter 8, pp. 276-326.

Celia Donert, "Women's Rights in Cold War Europe: Disentangling Feminist Histories," Past and Present 218 (2013) suppl. 8: 180-202.

Arvonne S. Fraser, “Becoming Human: The Origins and Development of Women's Human Rights,” Human Rights Quarterly 21(4), 1999, pp. 853-906.

Becoming Human: The Origins and Development of Women's Human Rights Arvonne S. Fraser I. Introduction When the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in 1994, one of its first edicts removed girls from school, forbade women from employment outside the home, and required women to wear garments totally covering themselves when they appeared in public. This measure was a clear abrogation of the principles set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Galey, Margaret E. (1995), “Women Find a Place,” Ch. 2 in Anne Winslow ed. (1995), Women, Politics, and the United Nations (Westport; London: Greenwood Press), 11-27.

Karen Garner, Shaping a Global Women's Agenda: Women's NGOs and Global Governance, 1925-85 (Manchester: Manchester University Press; distributed by Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

P. Grimsha, K. Holmes, and Marilyn Lake, eds., Women’s Rights and Human Rights: International Historical Persectives (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001).

Francisca De Haan, June Purvis, Margaret Allen, and Krassimira Daskalova, eds., Women’s Activism: Global Perspectives from the 1890s to the Present (London: Routledge, 2012).

Haan, Francisca de, “A Concise History of Women’s Rights,” UN Chronicle XLVII no. 1 (2010).

Harcourt, Wendy (2006), “The Global Women’s Rights Movement: Power Politics around the United Nations and the World Social Forum,” Civil Society and Social Movements Programme Paper Number 25, August 2006, UNRISD.

This paper examines the discourse, inputs and reorganization of strategies that emanated from the lobbying of women’s rights movements vis-à-vis global agencies like the United Nations (UN), as well as the World Social Forum. Harcourt sets out some key strategic questions for consideration: How much have women’s movements achieved by working in collaboration with the UN? Is there a recognizable global women’s rights movement as it is perceived on the UN stage? Is there such an entity as a global women’s movement, or is it just a skilfully played mirage? Published by United Nations Research Institute for Social Development August 2006.

Aziza Hussein, “Crossroads for Women at the UN,” in Fraser, Arvonne and Irene Tinker eds. (2004), Developing Power: How Women Transformed International Development (New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New York), p. 3-13.

Educated at the French Mère de Dieu, the American College for Girls, and American University in Cairo (B.A. 1942), Aziza Hussein has lectured and published extensively. In 1954 she was designated by the Egyptian government as its first woman representive in the UN General Assembly. During the 1960s she was an active member of the UN Commission on the the Status of Women, served as a member of a UN expert committee on the role of women in development and of a UN advisory mission on family planning to Pakistan. In 1974 she headed the Egyptian delegation to an international forum on women, population, and development and in 1978 was elected to the first board of trustees of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)

Jain, Devaki (2005), Women, Development, and the UN: A Sixty-Year Quest for Equality and Justice (Bloomington: Indiana University Press), Ch. 5, “Lessons from the UN’s Sixth Decade, 1996-2005.

Devaki Jain opens the doors of the United Nations and shows how it has changed the female half of the world—and vice versa. Women, Development, and the UN is a book that every global citizen, government leader, journalist, academic, and self-respecting woman should read.

Adam Jones, “Gendercide and Genocide,” Journal of Genocide Research 2(2000): 185–212;

Angela Mackay, “Mainstreaming Gender in United Nations Peacekeeping Training: Examples from East Timor, Ethiopia, and Eritrea,” in Gender, Conflict, and Peacekeeping, ed. Dyan Mazurana, Angela Raven-Roberts, and Jane Parpart (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005).

Sally Engle Merry, Human Rights & Gender Violence: Translating International Law into Local Justice (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006)

Lake, Marilyn (2001), “From Self-Determination via Protection to Equality via Non-Discrimination: Defining Women’s Rights at the League of Nations and the United Nations,” in Patricia Grimshaw, Katie Holmes and Marilyn Lake eds., Women’s Rights and Human Rights: International Historical Perspectives (Basingstoke: Palgrave).

Lake, Marilyn and Henry Reynolds (2008), Drawing the Global Colour Line. White Men’s Countries and the International Challenge of Racial Equality (Cambridge, New York, etc.: Cambridge University Press).

Cambridge University Press’s new series, Critical Perspectives on Empire, marks an important development in historical studies of imperialism, colonialism, and postcolonialism. Seeking to move on from the binary split between supposed “new” and “old” imperial histories--the former often associated with postcolonial “theoretical” approaches to empire, the latter with more resolutely “empirical” approaches--the series positions itself explicitly within what its editors term “the emerging field of critical imperial studies.” In the first title of this series, Drawing the Global Colour Line, Marilyn Lake and Henry Reynolds significantly develop this approach with a focus on the histories of whiteness and empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Stephanie Limoncelli, The Politics of Trafficking: The First International Movement to Combat the Sexual Exploitation of Women (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010).

Catherine A. MacKinnon, “Rape, Genocide, and Women’s Human Rights,” and Rhonda Copelon, “Surfacing Gender: Reengraving Crimes Against Women in Humanitarian Law” in Mass Rape: The War Against Women in Bosnia-Herzegovina, ed. Alexandra Stigalmeyer (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994).

Merry, Sally Engle “Women, Violence, and the Human Rights System,” in Agosín, Marjorie ed. (2001),Women, Gender, and Human Rights: A Global Perspective (New Brunswick and London): Rutgers University Press) 83-97.

Sally Engle Merry, Human Rights & Gender Violence: Translating International Law into Local Justice (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006)

Human rights law and the legal protection of women from violence are still fairly new concepts. As a result, substantial discrepancies exist between what is decided in the halls of the United Nations and what women experience on a daily basis in their communities. Human Rights and Gender Violence is an ambitious study that investigates the tensions between global law and local justice.

B. Metzger, "Towards an International Human Rights Regime during the Inter-War Years: The League of Nations' Combat of Traffic in Women and Children," in K. Grant, P. Levine, and F. Trentmann (eds.), Beyond Sovereignty: Britain, Empire, and Transnationalism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 54-79.

Alice M. Miller, “Realizing Women’s Human Rights: Non-Governmental Organizations and the United Nations Treaty Bodies,” in Gender Politics in Global Governance, ed. Mary K. Meyer and Elisabeth Prügl (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999).

Miller, Carol (1994), “‘Geneva – the Key to Equality’: Inter-war Feminists and the League of Nations,”Women’s History Reviewvol. 3, no. 2, 218-245.

Eric Neumayr and Thomas Plumpert, "The Gendered Nature of Natural Disasters: The Impact of Catastrophic Events on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy, 1981-2002," Annals of the Association of American Geographers 97.3 (2007).

Offen, Karen (2001), “Women’s Rights or Human Rights? International Feminism between the Wars,” in Patricia Grimshaw, Katie Holmes and Marilyn Lake eds., Women’s Rights and Human Rights: International Historical Perspectives (Basingstoke: Palgrave) 243-253.

Valerie Oosterveld, “Prosecution of Gender-Based Crimes in International Law,” in Gender, Conflict, and Peacekeeping, ed. Dyan Mazurana, Angela Raven-Roberts, and Jane Parpart (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)

Fiona Paisley, Glamour in the Pacific: Cultural Internationalism and Race Politics in the Women's Pan-Pacific (University of Hawai'i Press, 2009).

Peters, Julie and Andrea Wolper eds. (1995), Women’s Rights, Human Rights: International Feminist Perspectives (New York, NY [etc.]: Routledge).

Pietilä, Hilkka (2007), The Unfinished Story of Women and the United Nations (New York, UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service):

Pietilä, Hilkka and Jeanne Vickers (1996), Making Women Matter: The Role of the United Nations (London: Zed; third ed).

This critical account of the United Nations' efforts on behalf of women over half a century, written by two acute observers of the UN system.

V. Spike Peterson, “Whose Rights? A Critique of the ‘Givens' in Human Rights Discourse,” Alternatives, XV, 1990, pp. 303 – 344.

Popa, Raluca Maria (2009), “Women Activists from Hungary and Romania in the International Women’s Year. Translating Equality between Women and Men across Cold War Divides,” in Jill Massino and Shana Penn eds., Gender Politics and Everyday Life in State Socialist East and Central Europe (New York: Palgrave Macmillan) 59-74.

Did socialism liberate women? Twenty years after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe this collection of essays from European and North American scholars examines socialist policies and women's everyday lives to demonstrate that this question cannot be answered with an emphatic “no,” but has multiple answers that require attending to many voices and stories.  Focusing on a range of issues--such as worker identity, marital and family relations, consumer culture, leisure, sexuality, reproduction, activism, and resistance--Gender Politics and Everyday Life reveals that women experienced socialism in diverse, ambiguous, and in some cases empowering ways. These nuanced and multidisciplinary investigations provide new depth to the study of state policy, gender relations, and women’s and men’s lives, illustrating that there is no simple, coherent narrative of life under state socialism, but rather multiple, competing, and often  contradictory ones.

Elisabeth Prügl and Mary K. Meyer, eds., Gender Politics in Global Governance (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999)

This volume draws together a wide range of exciting new research that looks at the gendered nature of the institutions, practices, and discourses of global governance.

Ferree, Myra Marx and Aili Mari Tripp (2006), Global Feminism: Transnational Women’s Activism Organizing, and Human Rights (New York: New York University Press).

Mina Roces and Louise Edwards (eds.), Women's Movements in Asia. Feminisms and Transnational Activism (London: Routledge, 2010).

See a review here.

Leonie Rörich, “Decentring Feminist Internationalisms: Indian and International Women’s Organizations between the World Wars,” Comparativ 4-5 (2013).

Linda K. Schott, Reconstructing Women's Thoughts: The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom before World War II (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997).

Glenda Sluga, “National Sovereignty and Female Equality: Gender, Peacemaking, and the New World Orders of 1919 and 1945,” in Frieden-Gewalt-Geschlecht: Friedens- und Konfliktforschung als Geschlechterforschung, ed. J. Davy, K. Hagemann, and U. Katzel (Essen: Klartext, 2005), pp. 166-183.

Margaret Snyder, ‘The Politics of Women and Development,” Ch. 7 in Anne Winslow ed. (1995), Women, Politics, and the United Nations (Westport; London: Greenwood Press) 95-116.

The argument of this book, that women are central to development, is presented, through the story of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) - and of its projects in the field. It is a story which describes the reality of development within the context of the development system itself. The author, UNIFEM's founding Director, describes UNIFEM's beginnings: the search for structure, securing independent management, and riding the political and bureaucratic waves. Part II, "At work in the world", examines projects and activities that have been assisted world-wide, ranging from augmenting productivity at village level to analyzing the impact of the global market on women, and is a rare look at the longer-term effects of projects that have "come to an end". This is the story of a campaign - based on fieldwork in three continents - which has aimed to remove the invisibility that has cloaked so much of women's work, to support and increase their economic productive capacity - and to establish women as "agents of change, not creatures of circumstance".

Carolyn M. Stephenson, “Women’s International Nongovernmental Organizations at the United Nations,” Ch. 9 in Anne Winslow ed. (1995), Women, Politics, and the United Nations (Westport; London: Greenwood Press) 135-153.

Skard, Toril, “Getting our History Right: How Were the Equal Rights of Women and Men Included in the Charter of the United Nations?,”Forum for Development Studies no. 1 (2008): 37-60.

Walter, Lynn ed. (2001), Women’s Rights: A Global View (Westport; London: Greenwood Press).

Anne Winslow, ed. Women, Politics, and the United Nations. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1995.

How have women used global institutions and the networking possible through them to assure women's emergence on the world stage? How successful have women been at the United Nations and at international conferences over the years in their pressures for equality and for a full partnership with men? To what extent have women gained a foothold in the political arena internationally, and have they been able to exert their influence and to improve their situation?

Winslow, Anne, “Specialized Agencies and the World Bank,” Ch. 10 in Anne Winslow ed. (1995), Women, Politics, and the United Nations (Westport; London: Greenwood Press) 155-175.

Zinsser, Judith P. (2002), “From Mexico to Copenhagen to Nairobi: The United Nations Decade for Women, 1975-1985," Journal of World History vol. 13 no. 1, 139-168.

This essay describes the increasing radicalization of the United Nations-sponsored Decade for Women from 1975 to 1985, as seen in the final documents from each of its three conferences: the Mexico Declaration and Plan of Action, the Copenhagen Programme of Action, and the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies. The essay also argues that the Decade for Women demonstrates the significance of the United Nations to the creation of a truly international women's movement, to the acceptance of many varied definitions of "feminism," and to the advancement of all peoples' human rights.

UNRISD: Gender and Education: A Review of Issues for Social Policy ,
Overview of key issues relating to the achievement of gender equality in education, 2002

UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre: Domestic Violence against Women and Girls
Issue no.6 of Innocenti Digest

United Nations Blue Book Series, Volume VI. Revised Edition (United Nations: New York).

United Nations (2000), The World’s Women 2000: Trends and Statistics (United Nations Statistical Division: New York).

United Nations (2002), Women Go Global. The United Nations and the International Women’s Movement 1945-2000. An interactive, multimedia CD-Rom. National Council for Research on Women, New York.

United Nations (2006), The Millennium Development Goals Report Yearbook of the United Nations (1947-) (Lake Success, N.Y.: Dept. of Public Information, United Nations).

The Yearbook is the principal reference work of the United Nations and provides a detailed overview of the Organization's concerns and activities.



The Children and the Nations
A history of UNICEF, published in 1986.

The following books are available in PDF format.

Children First
A complementary work to 'The Children and the Nations', examining children's issues and UNICEF, published in 1996.

UNICEF For Beginners
(Christian Clark, 1996)

Released around the time of UNICEF's 50th Anniversary, 'UNICEF for Beginners' told the story of the organization's evolution—from provider of milk for the hungry children of postwar Europe to champion of children's rights in countries around the world.

Jim Grant: UNICEF Visionary
(UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2001)

James Grant was UNICEF’s Executive Director from 1980 to 1995. This book gives glimpses of his leadership and achievements during his period as Executive Director of UNICEF. Each piece is written by one of his close colleagues – one of those who was privileged to share in the heady excitement of the efforts and victories for children during those intense years.'

Challenges for Children and Women in the 1990s

In October 1990, UNICEF's Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office brought together a number of specialists to analyze child survival, protection and development data with a view to identifying new trends and issues emerging in the region.

Child Neglect in Rich Nations
(Sylvia Ann Hewlett, UNICEF, 1993)

Child neglect in rich nations describes how and why some of the wealthiest nations on earth have short-changed children. Poverty and abandonment are now commonplace experiences for children in the rich. Much of this book focuses on what to do: the techniques and strategies exist.

Helping Children Cope with the Stresses of War
A Manual for Parents and Teachers
(Mona Macksoud, UNICEF, 1993)

Based on methods and approaches that have been tested extensively in war-torn Lebanon, this manual will be welcomed by parents and teachers helping children cope with the stresses of war and other forms of systematic violence.

A History of UNICEF in Viet Nam
UNICEF Country Office

This book tells the history of UNICEF in Viet Nam from 1948 to 2005, through the testimonies of several generations of UNICEF professionals. The political neutrality of UNICEF and its aim to put children at the heart of social development built up trust, credibility and a very special relationship with the people of Vietnam.

Implementing the 20/20 Initiative
(A joint publication of UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank, 1997)

The 20/20 Initiative is a compact between developing and industrialized countries, calling for the allocation of, on average, 20 per cent of the budget in developing countries and 20 per cent of official development assistance (ODA) to basic social services.


Symposium, "Best Interests of the Child – Genocide and the Transfer of Children," Journal of Human Rights 12.2 (2013), pp. 283-332.

Joelle Droux, “From Child Rescue to Child Welfare: The Save the Children International Union Facing World Warfare (1939–1947),” “International Organisations during the Second World War,” Journal of Modern European History 12.3 (2014).

B. Metzger, "Towards an International Human Rights Regime during the Inter-War Years: The League of Nations' Combat of Traffic in Women and Children," in K. Grant, P. Levine, and F. Trentmann (eds.), Beyond Sovereignty: Britain, Empire, and Transnationalism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 54-79.

Annual Reports

1946-2006 Sixty Years for Children (PDF)

Commemorates the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) 60th anniversary and traces, decade by decade, how the cause of children has evolved since World War II. This historical review explores UNICEF's contribution against a backdrop of rapid global changes in social, political and economic affairs - and looks ahead to 2015, the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals that will transform the lives of millions of children.

Annual Reports (1972-1999)
UNICEF's Annual Reports provide a summary of UNICEF’s work, finances and the most pressing issues faced during the year.

Annual Reports (2000-2010)

PDF: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

Progress of Nations (1997-2000)

The 'Progress of Nations' report ranked nations according to their achievements in developmental goals for children.

PDF: 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000

State of the World's Children (1980-1995)
Every year, UNICEF publishes The State of the World's Children, the most comprehensive and authoritative report on the world's youngest citizens, combining analyses, human interest stories, country profiles, maps and statistical data (available here from 1980-1995).

State of the World's Children (1996-Present)

Planning principles for accelerated immunization activities : a joint WHO/UNICEF statement Geneva :Albany, NY : World Health Organization ; WHO Publications Center, USA [distributor], 1985.

The Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) and the Control of Diarrhoeal Diseases Programme (CDD) in Maldives : report of a Joint Government/WHO/Unicef review, 8-28 April 1988 New Delhi : World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia, 1988.

Pulse polio immunization in Gujarat, 1997-98 : an evaluation

Gandotra, M. M. Baroda : Population Research Centre, Dept. of Statistics, Faculty of Science, [1998]

Introduction to the internationl human right regime Nowak, Manfred Leiden ;Boston :Herndon, VA : M. Nijhoff ; Sold and distributed in North America by Brill Academic Publishers, c2003.

Directory of government agencies and NGOs : working against commercial sexual exploitation of children in Thailand [Bangkok] : The Institute, [1998]

Breastfeeding : the passport to life : proceedings of Dec. 10, 1988 meeting at UNICEF House, New York, N.Y. ; co-sponsored by NGO Committee on UNICEF (Working Group on Nutrition) and National Council for International Health /

New York : NGO Committee on Unicef (Working Group on Nutrition, [1988?].

United Nations-sponsored world conferences : focus on impact and follow-up

Tokyo ;New York : United Nations University Press, c2001.

Towards effective implementation of the Children Statute 1996 : a consultative meeting for child focussed NGO's, 23rd-24th March 1999, Fairway Hotel Kampala New Delhi : Kanishka Publishers Distributors, 2010.

Children and women in Swaziland : situation analysis 2008.

Mbabane : UNICEF Swaziland, [2009?]


Development Education in UNICEF

By Jeanne Vickers; Origins of Dev. Ed.; Establishment of DevEd Resource Centre; Study Trip to Sri Lanka; Workshops and Seminars; DevEd and International Year of the Child; The Hart/Fernig Report, 1980; Study Trip to Jamaica, 1982; Role of NGOs; DevEd and External Relations Policy; 1984 Zurich and Budapest Seminar; 1985 Lisbon Meeting; Beyond 1985

A Historical Perspective on National Committees for UNICEF in Europe

By Doris Phillips; Origins and Growth of the Nat Coms; Historical relations and coordination with the Secretariat; Servicing and financing Nat Coms; Relations with NGOs; Coordinating Mechanisms: Reunions; Workshops; Nat Com Public Info methods

Programme Assistance to European Countries

By Burhan B. Ilercil; Expenditure year; Country category; Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Yugoslavia; Tables

UNICEF in the Americas: For the Children of Three Decades
By Kenneth E. Grant; A look at the early days and the organization; The start of operations and programmes in the 1950s; Application of health and social services in the 1960s; Further efforts in the 1970s; Epilogue on the 1980s; Annexes

NGO/UNICEF Co-operation: A Historical Perspective

By Dr. Alba Zizzamia; Early history; Advocacy; Fundraising; Major programme areas; Field level; NGO C'ttee on UNICEF; Annexes

UNICEF in Africa, South of the Sahara: A Historical Perspective

By Michel Iskander; Beginning 1948-1959; Health programmes; Transition in the 1960s; Expansion in the Second Development Decade

UNICEF and Women: The Long Voyage

By Virginia Hazzard; Historical Perspective; In the Beginning: Women's issues; Training, Health, Planning and Approaches in the 1960s; Role of women in the early 1970s; Progress from 1975-1985; A look to the future; Annexes

Water and Sanitation in UNICEF, 1946-86

By Martin G. Beyer and John Balcom; Technological and social strategies; Challenges and targets for Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas 1968-1986; Outlook on children, water & environment

UNICEF in Education: A Historical Perspective

By H. M. Phillips; State of Education prior to 1961; Expansion and Cooperation in Education 1962-1972; Redefinition and revision 1972-mid 1980s; Summary Assessment and Impact 1960-1985

UNICEF in Asia: A Historical Perspective
By Wah Wong; Policies on China and other Asian countries 1947-1950; Campaign blitz on Maternal and Child Health, disease, vaccination 1950-1960; Transition in organization, planning and control 1960-1970; The Maturing Years: 1970-1980; The Child Survival and Development Era: 1980--; Statistical tables

Henry R. Labouisse: UNICEF Executive Director, 1965-1979

By John Charnow and Sherwood G. Moe; Biographical Note, Pre-UNICEF Interviews; As Executive Director: Early Years, Programme Matters, Personal Characteristics and Approach

UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa: A Historical Perspective

By Michel G. Iskander; the Beginnings; Emergency in Palestine; Disease; Maternal and Child Health; Planning; Education; Nutrition; New Approaches for Programming; Advocacy for Children in the Gulf States; Tragedy in Lebanon

Maurice Pate, UNICEF Executive Director 1947-65

By John Charnow; Maurice Pate: The Person and his Experience; Main Forces Leading to the Creation of UNICEF; UNICEF: 1947-1950; Expanding the Scope of UNICEF; Programme Field; Financial Planning; Nat Coms and NGOs: Labouisse as a successor; Annexes

Urban Basic Services in UNICERF: A Historical Overview

By William Cousins; Urbanization in the Third World; Background of Urban Basics, 1946-1962; First Phase of the Urban Programme 1968-1975; Expansion Phase 1975-1982; Consolidation Phase 1984-1989; Urban Primary Health Care: UNICEF Collaboration with WHO and OXFAM; Collaboration with World Bank; Collaboration with ILO on Working and Street Children; Consequences of Urban Basics Programmes

The Breadth of Child Poverty in Europe: An investigation into overlap and accumulation of deprivations. PDF

This paper aims to add to this debate by providing a microanalysis of the breadth of child poverty in the European Union, considering both the degree of overlap and accumulation of deprivations across monetary and multidimensional indicators of poverty.

The impact of the Food and Financial Crises on Child Mortality: The Case of Sub-Saharan Africa. (PDF)

The years 2000-2007 witnessed an average decline in U5MR in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) faster than that recorded during the prior two decades, including in countries with high HIV prevalence rates due to the spread of preventative and curative measures. Despite their gravity, a comprehensive analysis of the impact of the 2008-2009 crises on child mortality is still lacking, and estimates of the number of additional child deaths caused by the crises in SSA vary enormously.


The following Documents and Reports are in PDF format.

United Nations Resolutions establishing and guiding UNICEF
Six United Nations Resolutions (General Assembly or ECOSOC) establishing UNICEF and guiding its early work.
16 March 1947

The International Children’s Emergency Fund 
Article from US Department of State Bulletin: History to date, purposes, finances and administration of UNICEF.
John Charnow, 2 December 1948.

The Work of the United Nations' International Children's Emergency Fund
Statements to the General Assembly by the Honorable Eleanor Roosevelt, United States Delegation, and the Honorable Alan Watt, Australian Delegation. These statements drew to the attention of governments the necessity for prompt contributions to the Fund, 22 January 1951.

Final Report of UNICEF's First Executive Board Session
The Report addresses UNICEF's work, methods and funding over the period 11 December 1946-31 December 1950. UN ECOSOC, 25 March 1953.

Special Report of UNICEF’s Executive Board, March 1953
This Report was issued prior to the General Assembly's decision later that year to extend UNICEF’s mandate on a permanent basis. UN ECOSOC, September 1964.

Planning for the Needs of Children in the National Plans of Developing Countries
The issuance of this report marked a milestone in supporting the development of national policies for children in each country. Herman D. Stein, June 1966.

UNICEF – The United Nations’ Children’s Fund
Article from the Department of State Bulletin, describing the evolution of UNICEF policies and programmes. Blanche Bernstein,1978.

Alma-Ata 1978, Primary Health Care
Report of the International Conference on primary health care, held in Alma-Ata, USSR, 6-12 September 1978. Includes the Alma Ata Declaration, as well as the Background, Summary of Discussions, and the joint report of the Director-General of the World Health Organisation and the Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund. The groundbreaking Declaration linked a rights-based approach to health to a viable strategy for its achievement. WHO, January 1986.

The contribution of UNICEF to the peace process
The article summarizes the contributions of the organization to the realization of a vision of peace described as "not onlythe absence of war but the right to live and grow."
John Charnow, 27-29 October 1986.

Children First conference report
‘Children First’ is the report of the intergovernmental conference on South Asian children, held in 1986, which served as a model for future conferences on children including the World Summit for Children.
SAARC Conference in cooperation with UNICEF, 12 March 1988.

Declaration of Talloires
The Talloires Declaration (1988) on goals related to survival and health of children, was a contributing document for the goals eventually endorsed at the World Summit for Children.
The Task Force For Child Survival, 13 June 1988.

Memo: Strategies for Children for the 1990s
Memo from UNICEF Executive Director Jim Grant to senior managers, setting out a direction for developing strategies for children in the subsequent decade. This work led in part to the World Summit for Children. Included with the memo are 2 Executive Board resolutions, one on the need for a global strategy for the well-being of children, and the other urging governments to set long-term objectives for improving the situation of children.
Jim Grant.

UNICEF in Bellagio: A Memoir
By Dr. Herman Stein. The Bellagio Conference was a turning point in UNICEF's history, when it emerged as an empowered international agency functioning with growing independence from the other UN entities. The Bellagio Conference also brought child welfare issues into national policy agendas for the first time, critically influencing UNICEF's expanding mandate up until the present day. Includes introduction by former UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Kul Gautam.Date: 1946-1948

A letter from Maurice Pate, UNICEF's first Executive Director

First Call for Children: World Declaration and Plan of Action from the World Summit for Children
"This booklet contains the text of these historic documentsIn committing themselves to pursue these goals, the leaders of the world have agreed to be guided by the principle of a 'first call for children' -- a principle that the essential needs of children should be given high priority in the allocation of resources, in bad times as well as in good times, at national and international as well as at family levels."

World Summit discussion paper
"The following is a discussion paper on issues related to a proposed World Summit for Children, and reflects a consensus of ideas and conclusions derived from discussions within UNICEF and among Governments and other allies for children." 1 May 1989.

Decision to call a World Summit for Children
A memo from UNICEF Executive Director James Grant to UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar.

Schedule and Programme
The original World Summit schedule and programme of events. 16 July 1990.

Information Note for Participants
The Note addresses "issues regarding administrative and logistical arrangements pertinent to the participation of Heads of State or Government and their respective Delegations in the World Summit for Children." 16 July 1990.


Research Tools

Childinfo: Monitoring the Situation of Women and Children

Measures the situation of children and women and tracks progress through data collection and analysis. It maintains and updates global databases and promotes dissemination of evidence-based data for planning and advocacy. UNICEF is the lead United Nations (UN) agency responsible for the global monitoring of the child-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre

The enhanced and interactive website is dedicated to maximize the use and impact of Innocenti’s research for the world’s most vulnerable children. Global thinkers and development specialists capture, analyze and disseminate critical research related to children.

Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS)

UNICEF assists countries in collecting and analyzing data in order to fill data gaps for monitoring the situation of children and women through its international household survey initiative the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS).

Knowledge Management

This is an unrivalled window into the Convention on the Rights of the Child; a simple navigational tool guides the user through the Convention and its supporting documentation.

Child Friendly Cities

Global Study on Child Poverty and Disparities

This website provides a powerful tool for the exchange of information, data and networking among Child Friendly Cities (CFC) partners and others interested in the situation of the urban child.

Child Impact

This website links to initiatives underway across UNICEF and provides analytical tools on economic trends and policies, their impacts on children, and is a means to formulate timely and effective responses to crises, economic shocks and policy reform.

Childinfo: Monitoring the Situation of Women and Children

Measures the situation of children and women and tracks progress through data collection and analysis. It maintains and updates global databases and promotes dissemination of evidence-based data for planning and advocacy. UNICEF is the lead United Nations (UN) agency responsible for the global monitoring of the child-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)


The NewsMarket: UNICEF

UNICEF news video, and other available assets include stills and reference documents (press releases, fact sheets, publications and more). Crediting: The material is provided copyright free, but please credit UNICEF on-screen.

UNICEF Television Vodcast

UNICEF Television is a global news service focusing on the health, education, equality and protection of children. Our videos discuss current events from a unique perspective. Get the latest news and in-depth stories from correspondents (and children) from around the world.


A global radio service from UNICEF, focusing on the health, education, equality and protection of children. Featuring news and in-depth stories from around the world.

For a list of downloadable UNICEF Radio Reports.

For a list of downloadable UNICEF Radio Programmes.

International Children's Day of Broadcasting (ICDB)

ICDB, celebrated on the first Sunday of March, is a day when broadcasters around the world "Tune in to Kids".  They air quality programming for and about children. But most of all, they allow children to be part of the programming process, to talk about their hopes and dreams and share information with their peers. 

UNICEF’s History

The following multimedia website on UNICEF’s history was released for the organization’s 60th Anniversary. Each segment includes an illustrated timeline, posters and stamps, and video interviews about developments in the given period.

1946-1959 | 1960-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2006

Rock-and-roll benefit concerts: Music to UNICEF’s ears

UNICEF Radio correspondent Blue Chevigny takes a musical trip down memory lane to the 1970s benefit concerts that helped shape the history of both UNICEF and rock and roll. Listen

Top 10 Cartoons for Children’s Rights

Cartoons for Children’s Rights are a UNICEF broadcast initiative that aims to inform people around the world about children’s rights.

Take a virtual tour of UNICEF’s history

UNICEF Photography

YouTube Channel



UNICEF United Kingdom


The new IRC website is an interactive global hub for sharing strategic ideas. IRC will extend the weight of its research by exploiting visual and social media, and online interactivity. See how our website can help you to examine and participate in the world's continuing progress for children.