Gender Equity

NASW and the social work profession have long been concerned with working to eliminate discrimination in all forms.  This commitment is embodied in the NASW Code of Ethics and determines the major policies that NASW supports.  NASW strongly supports a number of initiatives to promote gender equity, including:  U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and achievement of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) #3 to promote gender equity and empower women.  Prejudice directed against any group is damaging to the social, emotional, and economic well-being of the affected group and of society as a whole.  Therefore, social workers internationally and in the U.S. advocate that all individuals, regardless of gender, sex, or sexual orientation are entitled to equal opportunities and are afforded the basic human right to live free of discrimination. Furthermore, NASW is committed to advancing policies and practices that will improve the status and equality of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. 

Gender in Action
  • World Health Organization – what do we mean by “sex” and “gender”?
  • Millennium Development Goal (MDG) #3 – United Nations target to promote gender equity and empower women by the year 2015.
  • OneResponse Gender Overview – OneResponse is an interagency collaborative working to enhance collaboration amongst humanitarian response. This website offers resource handbooks including the IASC Gender Handbook for Humanitarian Action and an e-learning course titled “Different Needs – Equal Opportunities: Increasing Effectiveness of Humanitarian Action for Women, Girls, Boys and Men,”
  • UNFPA - Gender Equality: A Cornerstone of Development – The United Nations Population Fund considers gender equality to be a human right and a requirement for advancing development and reducing poverty.
  • UNICEF Commitment to Gender Equality – UNICEF provides statistics and resources to level the playing field for women and girls and end gender discrimination worldwide.
  • OSAGI Gender Mainstreaming – The United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women defines “gender mainstreaming” as ensuring gender equality is central to all planning, implementation, and monitoring of programs and projects.  This site provides concepts, tools, and examples of gender mainstreaming.            
Lesbians, gay males, bisexuals, and transgender persons (LGBT)
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