UN: The 'Women’s Rights Architecture' - Strengthening a coherent approach to women’s rights in the United Nations

At a meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York (February–March, 2007), 155 women’s NGOs submitted an open letter to the UN Member States and the UN Secretary General, welcoming the strong impetus for a specific women’s entity in the UN.
The proposal to reform existing structures in the UN in relation to women’s rights, referred to as the ‘gender architecture’ consists in merging the three main current mechanisms namely, the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) and the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) into one entity by creating a new Office on Gender Equality and Advancement of Women (Office), situated at the level of Under-Secretary General.
This would undoubtedly facilitate a coherent approach to women’s rights as well as strengthening gender mainstreaming across all UN entities. The proposal also includes the post of Executive Director at the level of Under-Secretary General to head the new Office. Action is now required both on the part of the UN Member States and the UN Secretary General to commit to sustained and significant funding, provisions for meaningful and ongoing participation, particularly of women’s groups, in the implementation of the gender equality architecture and a timeframe for implementation. EWL will ensure that these commitments are translated into actions; and invites other women’s organisations to join in securing a meaningful international mechanism for women’s equality worldwide.