The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) established the Centre for Women (ECW) on 1 October 2003, following the adoption of resolution 240 (XXII) of 17 April 2003. It was upgraded to the level of a division pursuant to resolution 293 (XXVI) of 19 May 2010. The Centre includes gender experts with a wide range of specializations who assist member countries and the ESCWA secretariat in promoting the rights of women and gender equality, and mainstreaming gender perspectives into national strategies, policies, legislation, and programmes.
VISION The vision of ECW is rooted in the principle that it is essential to promote gender equality and the rights of women in order to meet development objectives. Serving every member country, ECW seeks to contribute to a regional environment in which all men and women enjoy sustainable human development, full socioeconomic and political rights, and equal access to resources and opportunities.
MISSION The mission of ECW is to work strategically with member countries, United Nations entities and regional organizations to achieve gender equality and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women.
SCOPE OF WORK The Centre provides member countries of ESCWA with advisory services and technical support to reduce gender inequality and promote the rights of women. It facilitates effective policy formulation and implementation by developing tools, providing evidence, strengthening capacities, and sharing knowledge. Furthermore, ECW is responsible for mainstreaming gender perspectives into all aspects of the work of ESCWA.
In its programme of work, ECW tackles the various dimensions of gender equality and the empowerment of women through a systematic and comprehensive focus on different social structures, power relations, access to resources and decision-making processes. Its activities include the following:
Undertaking research and situation analyses to identify policy-related priorities and propose strategic areas of intervention to support gender equality and empower women at the regional and national levels;
Tracking and monitoring the implementation of agreed commitments and declarations on gender and womenâ€™s issues in the Arab region;
Undertaking impact analyses and evaluations of national policies, legislation and programmes in line with strategic gender-related priorities and needs;
Publishing reports and studies on such priority issues as gender-based violence, women in the labour force, political participation of women, women and knowledge society, the status of Arab women, and women, peace and security;
Organizing regional expert group meetings and discussion series to generate and share knowledge on gender equality and the rights of women;
Identifying good practices and tools and adapting them to the regional context for more effective solutions to gender discrimination and inequality;
Organizing targeted capacity-building workshops to respond to gender-related gaps and needs within the Arab region;
Coordinating discussions of regional priorities and reflecting them in global frameworks and processes.