What We Do


Promoting Gender Equality and Addressing Gender-Based Violence 

Genderequality is an integral part of UNRWAscommitment to the welfare, human development, and protection of Palestine refugees.The Agency delivers on this commitment through its service design and delivery and through fostering an inclusive institutional governance and culture for its staff.   

UNRWA maintains its dual-track approach of gender mainstreaming at the organizational level to develop gender-inclusive organizational culture and management practices, and in programming and operations to enhance UNRWA’s gender-responsive service delivery to Palestine refugees given the diverse needs, interests, capacities, challenges and coping strategies of women and men, girls, and boys. 

UNRWA also continues to address gender-based violence (GBV) specifically, through Health, Relief and Social Services (RSS) and Protection Programming, and collaboratively through an inter-sectoral approach across programmes and Field Offices. 


UNRWA’s key gender priorities for 2024 include: 

  • Improving awareness of and implementing its new Gender Strategy (2023-2028) 

UNRWA developed its new Gender Strategy using a participatory process and broad consultation with UNRWA staff and members of the Palestine community. A Strategy Reference Group comprised of internal and external stakeholders, including gender experts, provided guidance and extensive feedback through the development process. The accompanying Gender Action Plan outlines concrete commitments across the Agency to promote gender equality and an inclusive organizational culture. 

  • Gender Assessment of UNRWA’s 2016 Gender Strategy 

UNRWA’s DIOS conducted an assessment of the 2016 Gender Equality Strategy using combined audit and evaluation methods. The methodology was designed in consultation with the Gender Section so that findings and recommendations could be incorporated into the Strategy development process and are reflected in the approaches and processes adopted by Gender Strategy and Gender Action Plan. 

  • Women Advisory Forum  

Launched in 2022, the Women Advisory Forum is a representative body for women staff which makes recommendations to the Commissioner-General, based on the distinct and differentiated experiences of women staff, so that their needs, ideas, and recommendations can be incorporated into Agency-wide decision-making processes and priorities.  

  • Launch of the Gender Equality Champion Award 

On the recommendation of the Women Advisory Forum, the Commissioner-General launched a Gender Equality Champion Award to recognize, celebrate and reward staff based in the communities, known as Area Staff, who have made outstanding contributions to promote gender equality. The winners in each Field Office and Headquarters across 3 categories - Leadership, Innovation, and Project – were confirmed in October 2023 and attended a leadership course in Amman in January 2024. Each participant has developed individual gender-related objectives for 2024. 

  • UN-SWAP Reporting 

Every year, UNRWA reports on 17 institutional gender indicators to a UN System-Wide Action Plan (UN SWAP). In 2023, UNRWA improved its overall performance to meet the requirements of 79% of the indicators relevant to the Agency: this includes a high-level gender outcome in its Strategic Plan, and leadership to promote a gender-inclusive culture. 

  • Gender-responsive service delivery to GBV survivors 

UNRWA’s current cross-Programme and cross-Field collaborative GBV project focuses on enhancing the gender-responsiveness of Education and Health staff to GBV survivors; internal and external referral mapping pathways and procedures; and UNRWA’s engagement with the community on GBV, including through generating a robust evidence-base to inform ongoing longer-term programming to navigate socio-cultural norms and dynamics to prevent, reduce and more adaptively respond to GBV survivors.   


*Last updated: May 2024