Working with partners UNICEF is strongly active in the “voluntary and collaborative relationships between various parties, both public and non-public, in which all participants agree to work together to achieve a common purpose or undertake a specific task and, as mutually agreed, to share risks and responsibilities, resources and benefits”.15 We leverage these partnerships in support of gender equality goals.
UNICEF aims to exercise its strengths in partnership to promote equal outcomes for girls and boys. Our comparative advantages include: global reach and presence; convening power on matters affecting children ; technical expertise and efficient procurement; and the ability to catalyze policy and social change, make innovations accessible to partners and provide financial support. All these provide significant opportunities to advance gender equality.
UNICEF integrates the commitment to gender equality into its activities with global, regional and national partners, and also enters into partnerships specifically to advance gender equality goals, where this is necessary or has potential to bring about attention to girls as well as boys in policy advocacy and dialogue, programme cooperation and joint action, and/or to empower women and girls.
Where the commitment of a partner to gender equality has not yet reached international standards, and/or mechanisms to implement any commitments made are not yet in place or are incomplete, we are pro-active in supporting the further development of this commitment and institutional capacity.
Where formal agreements are made among partners, such as Memoranda of Understanding and Programme Cooperation Agreements , they provide valuable entry points for ensuring that equal rights and gender equality considerations are mutually addressed.
We are active in key inter-agency coordinating bodies at global and country levels, explicitly supporting the inclusion of girls and women’s rights as well as equality between girls and boys in their dialogue and action. At the country level UNICEF is a member of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) which coordinates UN development contributions to national goals and priorities.
Within the context of humanitarian reform, at the global level UNICEF is a member of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) on humanitarian assistance, and the related IASC Sub-Working Group on Gender and Humanitarian Action. The organization is designated as the Global Lead and co-lead of several IASC Humanitarian Clusters and sub-clusters,16 which provide a strategic opportunity for staff to be proactive in ensuring that the specific needs and capacities of girls, boys, women and men are not overlooked in humanitarian emergencies. We also play a major role as a member of Humanitarian Country Teams, which operate as key coordination mechanisms for humanitarian response.
Non-governmental and community-based organizations are often particularly well placed to facilitate engagement with women and girls, and wherever possible we develop relationships with those who advocate for girls’ rights and build relationships with women’s movements in the context of agreed programmes of cooperation.
Where requested, UNICEF also supports national partners to implement and report upon the human rights of girls and women through the CEDAW reporting process, and on the distinctive rights of girls and boys through the CRC reporting mechanisms. In particular, we support countries in their implementation of Concluding Observations and Recommendations made by the CRC and CEDAW Committees.