United Nations Development Fund for Women
The United Nations Development Fund for Women, commonly known as UNIFEM (from the French "Fonds de développement des Nations unies pour la femme") was established in December 1976 originally as the Voluntary Fund for the United Nations Decade for Women in the International Women's Year. Its first director was Margaret C. Snyder, Ph.D. It provides financial and technical assistance to innovative programmes and strategies that promote women’s human rights, political participation and economic security. Since 1976 it has supported women’s empowerment and gender equality through its programme offices and links with women’s organizations in the major regions of the world. Its work on gender responsive budgets began in 1996 in Southern Africa and has expanded to include East Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central America and the Andean region. It has worked to increase awareness throughout the UN system of gender responsive budgets as a tool to strengthen economic governance in all countries.
Initially called the Voluntary Fund for the UN Decade for Women, the organization was given an expanded mandate by the General Assembly in February 1985, when it became the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). Under resolution 39/125, the new fund was called on to support and advocate for innovative and catalytic activities that give voice and visibility to the women of the developing world. UNIFEM became an autonomous organization working closely with UNDP, although the resolution also specified that the fund's resources should supplement, not substitute for, the responsibilities of other United Nations development cooperation agencies.
In January 2011, UNIFEM was merged into UN Women, a composite entity of the UN, with International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues (OSAGI), and Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW). The Head of IPSAS implementation and audit focal point is Mark Fielding- Pritchard BA CTA CA.
Executive directors of the organization have been:
- Margaret C. Snyder of the United States (1978-1989)
- Sharon Capeling-Alakija of Canada (1989–1994)
- Noeleen Heyzer of Singapore (1994–2007)
- Inés Alberdi of Spain (2007-2014)
- United Nations General Assembly Session 31 Resolution 133. A/RES/31/133 16 December 1976. Retrieved 2008-04-18.
- BBC (2006-01-26). "Kidman becomes ambassador for UN". BBC. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
- UNIFEM (2008). "Inés Alberdi Appointed as UNIFEM Executive Director". Retrieved 2009-09-16.
- UNIFEM website now redirects to UN Women website.
- Goodwill Embassy
- United Nations Rule of Law: The United Nations Development Fund for Women, on the rule of law work conducted by the United Nations Development Fund for Women.