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Taking gender equality seriously: making progress, meeting new challenges

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UNDP and its partners have had mixed success with gender mainstreaming. For UNDP, as for others, mainstreaming has too often meant that everyone - and thus no one in particular - has responsibility for promoting women's empowerment. Nonetheless, there are many success stories throughout the organisation where mainstreaming has yielded positive results. This booklet documents these successes, focusing on the mainstreaming efforts of UNDP in the areas of democratic governance, poverty reduction, crisis prevention and recovery, energy and environment and HIV/AIDS. For example, in India, the UNDP India Partnership Forum (IPF) has developed a Social Code for Business to protect working women. More than 300 companies have formally adopted the Code, which promotes equal employment access and opportunities for women. In China, a biodiversity conservation project funded by UNDP's Global Environment Facility fostered women's empowerment by bringing local women into the process of monitoring biodiversity and by supporting a microcredit scheme. The examples in this booklet show that gender mainstreaming achieves results when resources, capacity, commitment and management support all converge in a strategic area.