The EU and UN agreed in a partnership to support gender equality and women’s empowerment around the world

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission Catherine Ashton and Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, with Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet, signed a new partnership between the EU and UN Women aimed at enhancing gender equality worldwide.

A new Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the EU and UN Women establishing a new partnership is set up to strengthen cooperation between the two organizations on their work on empowering women and gender equality. The partnership will involve the two organisations working together on policies and programmes on gender equality and women's empowerment. It will also mean that relevant information, analysis and strategic assessments are regularly shared in order to improve collaboration. The European Commission published on 16 of April a report which showed that gender equality in the EU leads to economic growth.

The two parts agree that the partnership will see the two organisations coming together to take action on combating sexual and gender-based violence. This will include a commitment to provide more support and protection to survivors of violence and increasing access to support and services for those women affected. However, cooperation will primarily focus on ensuring women’s representation in decision- making in the fields of economics, politics and justice worldwide, as well as better access for women to work and social opportunities.

This is not the first collaboration between both parts, the EU and UN Women are already working together regularly. For example, on the Increasing Accountability in Financing for Gender Equality Progamme, set up to help national governments: civil society and donors to improve resources and accountability on gender equality in 15 countries.