Working for an equal future

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UNICEF and the rights of women and girls
UNICEF is committed to practicing and promoting non-discrimination of all kinds, whether on the basis of sex, age, religion, race, ethnicity, economic status, caste, citizenship, sexual identity, ability/disability and urban/rural locality. We are dedicated to working with partners at all levels to help end the intersecting discriminations that children face, and to redress the ways in which girls typically, and boys in some situations, experience discrimination on the grounds of their sex, in addition to other forms of discrimination that they may experience.
We ground our work with our partners in both the CRC and CEDAW. These Conventions are mutually and strongly reinforcing in the realization of UNICEF’s mandate for the rights of children. Gender equality is both a human right under the UN Charter and many subsequent documents, and a pre-condition for the success of development cooperation for girls and boys.
A principal contribution of UNICEF to women’s rights is through empowerment of the girls who will become women, so that they can take their place as adults able to claim their own rights, and assume their full responsibilities as duty bearers towards the next generation.
We also recognize that gender equality among adults, expressed in equal enjoyment of rights and mutually respectful relationships in both the public and private spheres, provides an essential context in which girls and boys can learn the gender-equal attitudes and behaviours that will sustain human development and development goals such as the MDGs over time.
UNICEF works for women’s rights not only as an inherent good for societies as a whole, and in recognition of women as agents of human development, but specifically because the empowerment of women facilitates the very environment in which gender-equal results can best be achieved for children.

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