For immediate release
Date: 14 April 2010
(1) Nuria Felipe, Communications Specialist, UN Women Madrid Liaison Office, +34 647 208 657,
(2) Oisika Chakrabarti, Media Specialist, UN Women Headquarters, +1 646 781-4522,
Madrid — The Government of Spain and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) today signed a three-year Strategic Partnership Framework for almost EUR 100 million (€99,500,000) to promote gender equality worldwide. The agreement was signed by Miguel Ángel Moratinos, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and Inés Alberdi, UNIFEM’s Executive Director, at the Spanish Parliament. The ceremony was attended by high-level dignitaries including Bibiana Aído, Spain’s Minister for Equality.
“Gender equality is a priority for the Government of Spain, and UNIFEM is a strategic ally on the ground to assess progress made and promote changes in the lives of millions of women,” said Minister Moratinos.
The major commitment from Spain will strengthen the strategic role and capacity of UNIFEM to support UN Member States and the United Nations system in incorporating gender priorities, in particular in the context of issues such as ending violence against women and peacebuilding.
“Spain’s support to UNIFEM is critical to our work on advancing women’s rights,” said Inés Alberdi. “This contribution will help us boost women’s empowerment around the world, and help women to realize their rights.”
Specifically, the funds will go towards programming in developing countries that focus on enhancing women’s economic and social empowerment, in improving their security and economic rights, promoting equal participation of women in peacebuilding processes and democratic governance by supporting women’s leadership, preventing gender-based violence, and advancing gender justice in democratic systems.
At the signing event in the Parliament, UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi highlighted UNIFEM’s catalytic role in reconstruction processes, like in Afghanistan and Haiti, where UNIFEM is currently working with local and international development actors to ensure that humanitarian actions and rehabilitation programmes take women’s specific needs into consideration and enable their participation in decision-making.
The agreement with Spain comes at a critical juncture with respect to funding for women’s programming, as financing has been deeply impacted by the economic crisis.
The year 2010 is widely viewed as particularly significant for women. It marks the 15th anniversary of the historic Beijing Women’s Conference of 1995, which was commemorated in March, along with the 10-year anniversaries of UN Security Council resolution 1325, which focuses on women’s leadership in peacekeeping and conflict prevention, and the adoption of the UN Millennium Development Goals, which address the challenges of the world’s poorest.