Impact by Regions, Countries & Territories

UNDP’s Global Programme supports crisis-affected contexts across all regions to strengthen the rule of law and human rights. In this section, we present five regional overviews, detailing our priorities and approach depending on the context, as well as feature select country and territory results from 2021.

Five contexts from the list (Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Mali and Yemen) illustrate the achievements of the Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law (GFP). In peacekeeping missions and transition settings, UNDP’s Global Programme works through the GFP to deliver integrated assistance with our UN partners.

GFP Global Focal Point Highlights


In 2021, the continued erosion of democracy and the spread of authoritarian trends in politics in many parts of the world contributed to a backlash against women’s rights. The COVID-19 crisis has reversed some of the hard-won gender parity gains by exacerbating pre-existing inequalities and power imbalances. It has also caused a dramatic increase in sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). All these challenges have been particularly acute in conflict, fragile and crisis-affected settings.

UNDP applies a holistic approach to promote gender justice: by supporting national partners, developing and improving formal and customary mechanisms for access to justice for women and girls, spreading knowledge that stimulates behaviour change and empowering women to participate in transforming gender and power relations in their societies.

As a co-lead entity of the United Nations Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, UNDP supported national authorities in Central African Republic to ensure accountability for perpetrators of conflict-related sexual violence. To support SGBV survivors in Peru, UNDP partnered with 52 companies for the #NoEstásSola campaign to disseminate (in supermarkets and pharmacies) information on key services for survivors.

UNDP increased its support to countries that adopt legal, policy and institutional measures to remove barriers to women’s empowerment. For example, in El Salvador UNDP worked with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to increase its capacity to address and prevent political violence against women and LGBTQI+ individuals. In Asia-Pacific, particularly in Indonesia, Nepal, Samoa and Solomon Islands, UNDP has been developing a sub-regional gender and digital justice initiative to advance gender justice by changing behaviour and attitudes that inhibit women’s political participation and access to justice.

With multiple partners within the UN system and beyond, UNDP will maintain its focus on strengthening the enablers of gender equality and applying a transformative approach embedded in the new UNDP’s Gender Equality Strategy.

The Gender Justice Platform: reinforcing cooperation for gender justice and equality

Women’s empowerment is essential to achieve the 2030 Agenda, especially in the context of climate crisis, global justice emergency and political turbulence. Committed to encourage and support rule of law systems that work for women and girls, UNDP and UN Women are dedicated to joint engagement through the Gender Justice Partnership, the first phase of which was completed in 2021.

In 2020-2021, women and girls in 14 conflict-affected countries received support and access to services. Access to justice was received by 34,179 individuals, of which 89.4 percent were women, including 500 women survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Within this cooperation between UNDP and UN Women, a network was built with more than 20 partners, and contributions to wider initiatives were provided, such as the Secretary General’s (SG) Transitional Justice guidance note, Our Common Agenda, SG’s Call to Action for Human Rights, and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. The UNDP-UN Women partnership also improved gender-sensitive monitoring and evaluation (M&E) by developing the first joint indicators on access to justice in the Strategic Plans of both agencies (2022-2025).

UNDP-UN Women Gender Justice Partnership 2020-2021

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14 countries

Women & girls supported in 14 conflict-affected countries
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34,000 people

Over 34,000 people received access to justice
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20+ partners

Network of
20+ partners

In partnership, UNDP and UN Women have provided support in four areas:

  • Strategic programming at country and regional level with a focus on crisis settings.

    • For example, in Palestine, 19,465 people (including 15,849 women) could access legal aid through the support of the partnership.
  • Providing a flexible network for collaboration, inclusion and engagement of partners and donors under various thematic workstreams.

    • This network includes civil society organizations, women leaders, national justice actors, governmental institutions and UN entities.
  • Enhancing UN rule of law coordination through the Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law (GFP).

    • In South Sudan, GFP funded a joint project on conflict related sexual violence (CRSV) with UN Women, UNDP, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Team of Experts and the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) for an integrated impact.
  • Developing high-quality expertise on linkages between gender equality and access to justice.

To expand the scope of the partnership and to reinvigorate joint efforts in closing the justice gap, UNDP and UN Women prepared the grounds to launch the first global Gender Justice Platform. It is a framework for collaboration to empower women, provide them with high quality justice services, increase access to justice, security and respect for human rights in contexts affected by conflict, crisis, and fragility. While women and girls remain the main beneficiaries of the platform, it will also seek to support vulnerable and marginalized groups.

Women justice banner

Through this collaboration, UNDP and UN Women will implement new ways of working by bringing together diverse stakeholders, including national counterparts, civil society, academia and UN entities.

UNDP and UN women, under the GFP umbrella, invite partners to join the Gender Justice Platform to work together for women’s empowerment, rights and equality.

Evidence-based approach to promote gender justice in Arab States

Gender inequalities and discrimination continue to affect the lives of women and girls in the Arab States. To date, women in the region remain underrepresented in the formal labour market while carrying the burden of unpaid domestic work. In recent years, UNDP supported some countries to make progress in closing the gender gap and empowering women and girls. For instance, UNDP’s projects to support the judiciary in Algeria, Lebanon and Tunisia led to a nearly achieved gender parity. In the State of Palestine, 90 percent of beneficiaries of legal aid provided with UNDP’s support are women resolving their family matters in courts. In Tunisia, following UNDP’s innovation challenge, young activists are implementing four projects to address inequalities including those based on sexual orientation. However, overall regional developments towards gender equality remain limited and slow, with factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, armed conflicts and political instability exacerbating the existing challenges. To fulfil the global commitments and achieve the 2030 Agenda, international community and national governments need to accelerate progress, use bold approaches and invest more efforts in supporting women, girls and women’s rights champions.

In 2020, UNDP, in partnership with the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA), UN Women and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) expanded the geographical scope of a joint project “Gender Justice before the Law”, now covering also Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. The number of countries participating in the project has reached 20. The project was launched in 2016 to support regional commitments to ensure gender justice for all. It engaged governments, civil society organizations (CSOs) and the UN agencies.

Under the project’s framework, country reports have been developed using a comprehensive methodology to monitor states’ compliance with international standards and encourage policy and legal reforms to promote and progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. The reports include 79 indicators covering overarching legal frameworks, public life, violence against women, employment and economic benefits, marriage and family life, sexual and reproductive health and rights. In 2021, national consultations have been a critical component in the development of the country reports, an impetus to undertake further measures for equality and non-discrimination. The findings of the reports have highlighted the need for continuous strategic interventions and stronger national engagement to realize gender equality in the region. Building on this project, UNDP has developed initiatives which could have transformative impact on gender justice. For example, the design of a multidisciplinary initiative exploring the role of behavioural insights in advancing gender justice in three countries in the region, to be implemented in 2022.

In 2022, 20 country reports will be launched along with an updated Gender Justice Dashboard, which provides a colour-coded visualisation illustrating progress and an overall situation with gender justice in relation to constitutions, CEDAW and national laws. To encourage national stakeholders in the Arab States, and to exchange experiences to optimize the impact and importance of the reports, UNDP and its partners organized a panel discussion on gender equality before the law on 16 December on the occasion of Human Rights Day.

association ATPNE Korba workshop
A workshop with the association ATPNE Korba to further elaborate their project “Women Lead”, one of the winners of the UNDP-initiated Innovation Challenge for initiatives on reporting gender inequality in Tunisia.Photo: UNDP Tunisia