About Us

Who We Are

The US National Committee (USNC) for UN Women is an independent non-profit, 501c3 organization that supports the mission of UN Women and social, political, and economic equality for women and girls around the world.  Our members and supporters are men, women, and children in cities around the country who give their time and resources to support a world where women of all ages have access to education and employment opportunities, and sustainable livelihoods that enable them to live free of gender-based violence.

Originally chartered in 1983 as a National Committee for UNIFEM (now part of UN Women), the U.S. National Committee is committed to expanding support and raising funds within the United States for UN Women. Through the help of our Board of Directors, Advisory Council, local chapters and members, we help support UN Women projects that span 100 countries around the globe. Additionally, from 1999 through today, USNC-UN Women has been in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) under its former name United States Committee for UNIFEM.

What We Do

The US National Committee for UN Women:
• Advocates for funding for UN Women through US Congress
• Educates on global women’s issues and UN Women in communities around the country
• Raises private funds to support the initiatives of UN Women
• Supports legislation on global women’s issues, especially on leadership, economic participation, ending violence against women, and peace and stability
• Partners with other National Committees, women’s groups, and like-minded organizations
• Creates chapters and increase membership to build support and funds for UN Women and global women’s rights

How We Do It

Advocate

• Chapter members meet with their Members of Congress in their districts and in Washington DC regularly to support funding for UN Women.
• At the national and chapter level, USNC mobilizes letter writing and postcard campaigns to Members of Congress in support of legislation, like the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA). This bill supports preventive efforts, such as economic and education opportunity programs to ensure that women avoid becoming victims of abuse.  USNC also advocates for the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); the United States is the only country in the western hemisphere which has not ratified this document.
• Members work with local elected officials to support efforts to ensure gender equity in local legislation.
Educate and Fundraise
• Hold annual campaigns, such as ‘Walks to End Violence against Women and Girls,’ around the country.
• Organize quarterly member meetings where members and guests can learn, network and have thought provoking discussions and events about how we can empower ourselves and others to end violence, poverty and inequality.
• Form student groups designed to create future spokespersons for gender rights.  An example is the Learners to Leaders Program, instituted by the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter.  High School students are given membership in the organization, and in return may attend member events and are provided with workshops and retreats to give them exposure to the global scene.
• Sponsor events, especially around International Women’s Day and the 16 Days to End Violence Against Women, to raise awareness of women issues and raise money to support UN Women.
• Host local annual conferences in communities around the country, including Atlanta, Durham, and New York City, to engage local community and corporate partners. 
• Support women focused and produced films like Pray the Devil Back to Hell and Women, War and Peace.
Collaborate
• Work in partnership with UN agencies, International NGOs and civil society in our efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment. It is important for us to collaborate with representatives of other international organizations concerning women worldwide, since action is taken only when many voices are joined together. For example,
o The East Florida Chapter’s Women in Leadership Seminar brought together over 20 organizations to share ideas about how to develop leadership skills in young women and girls and to explore how women leaders’ strategies have changed over the past 10 years. 
o The Metropolitan NY Chapter partnered with The National Council for Research on Women (NCRW) for the 2010 Annual Conference in New York City to focus on collaborations to understand the intersections between violence against women and key social investments: the economy, health and education
• Work jointly with such organizations as Amnesty International USA, Women Thrive Worldwide and Family Violence Prevention Fund in support of the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA).

What Is UN Women

UN Women is a global champion for women and girls, established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the United Nations reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact.  UN Women is the only entity at the United Nations solely devoted to addressing women and gender issues.  It coordinates with other UN departments and civil societies to accomplish its mission.

UN Women is under the leadership of Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka from South Africa, who has accepted the post of  Deputy Secretary General  as well as Executive Director. Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka brings to this position a wealth of experience in advocating for women’s issues with a combination of strategic leadership, consensus building and hands-on management experience. She was the first woman to hold the position of Deputy President of South Africa from 2005 to 2008. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka initially became a Member of Parliament in 1994 chairing the Public Service Portfolio Committee. She was Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry (1996-1999), Minister of Minerals and Energy (1999-2005) and briefly served as acting Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology in 2004. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka was Young Women’s Coordinator for the World Young Women’s Christian Association in Geneva (1984-1986) and served as the first President of the Natal Organization of Women, an affiliate of the United Democratic Front, when it was formed in December 1983. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka established Umlambo Foundation in 2008 to provide support to schools in impoverished areas in South Africa through mentorship and coaching for teachers and in Malawi through school improvements with local partners. 

UN Women was created on July 2, 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly as the UN Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women.   It represents the merger of four previously distinct parts of the UN system that focused exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment:

  • Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW)
  • International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)
  • Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI)
  • United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

At the celebration of the launch of  UN Women on February 24, 2011, then Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, Michelle Bachelet stated, "In addition to our role of mobilizing, coordinating and leveraging the efforts of others, UN Women will focus on five areas:

  1. Expanding women’s voice, leadership and participation;
  2. Ending violence against women;
  3. Strengthening women’s full participation in conflict resolution and peace processes;
  4. Enhancing women’s economic empowerment; and
  5. Ensuring gender priorities are reflected in national plans and budgets, including capacity to support CEDAW reporting."

    Active in all regions and at different levels, UN Women works with countries to formulate and implement laws and policies to eliminate gender discrimination and promote gender equality in such areas as land and inheritance rights, decent work for women and ending violence against women. UN Women also aims to transform institutions to make them more accountable to gender equality and women's rights, to strengthen the capacity and voice of women's rights advocates, and to change harmful and discriminatory practices in society.



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 **Photo at South Sudan Hospital courtesy of UN Photo