• About UN Women
    In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. In doing so, UN Member States took an historic step in accelerating the Organization’s goals on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
    The main roles of UN Women are:
    • To support inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms.
    • To help Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, and to forge effective partnerships with civil society.
    • To lead and coordinate the UN system’s work on gender equality as well as promote accountability, including through regular monitoring of system-wide progress.
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  • Gender-Responsive Procurement

    In 2016, the UN Agencies spent USD 17,7 billion of dollars on the purchase of goods, services and civil works to fulfil its functions. However, only a mere 1 % of the contracts are awarded to women-owned businesses (Vazquez & Sherman, 2013). It is estimated that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with full or partial female ownership represent 31-38 % (8-10 million) of formal SMEs in emerging markets (IFC, 2011). These firms represent a significant share of employment generation and economic growth potential.

    UN Women believes that procurement can be used as an effective tool to battle gender inequalities and to economically empower women by helping more women-owned businesses to access the procurement market.
    Within the UN system, UN Women has a commitment to promote and enable procurement practices that will, over the short, medium to long-term, improve the degree to which UN procurement processes are gender-responsive, so the practice of gender responsive procurement will become a standard component of the UN procurement process.
    UN Women shall conduct procurement activities in a gender-conscious manner that drives positive gender equality outcomes, urging vendors to develop and offer goods/works/services that are in line with gender equality objectives. A structured approach to gender responsive procurement starts with integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment considerations into procurement planning, allowing identification of priority areas that will guide UN Women’s approach to gender responsive procurement.

    By 2019, UN Women aims to increase the agency’s total procurement contracts awarded to women-owned businesses/vendors by 178 % from its current state in 2016. To reach its goal, UN Women:

    • Implemented mechanisms of preferences as introducing women ownership as a tie-breaker between two or more suppliers that score the same in an evaluation process;

    • Updated its Procurement Manual with gender-responsive procurement policies;

    • Implemented a mandatory gender profile registration of new vendors in its internal ERP system (ATLAS) that enables classification based on women ownership/control. Such data will also be collected through the solicitation documents, which are currently being updated with gender sections. Classification of women-owned businesses will enable us to track and report progress;

    • Amended its “General Conditions of Contract” that requires suppliers to avoid discriminatory practices. This requirement extends to the suppliers’ supply chain both upstream and downstream. UN Women is the first UN Agency that has incorporated gender-responsive procurement provisions in its general terms and conditions of contract;

    • Developed a new eProcurement platform that will move the whole procurement process on-line. This will, among other things, enable and facilitate the classification of vendors, collection of data and measurement of progress, as well as simplify the inclusion of more gender-responsive aspects in the procurement process;

    • Drafted a guidance paper on Gender-Responsive Procurement in February 2017 entitled “The Power of Procurement: how to source from women-owned businesses”;

    • Will roll-out and implement an online capacity training and certification programme for women-owned businesses and female buyers in procurement professions through our training partners;

    • Will partner with women business organization and networks to find women-owned businesses and initiating communication with the media to spread awareness;

    • Will invite vendors to become signatories to the Women's Empowerment Principles​ (WEPs) or to sign the “Voluntary Agreement to Promote Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment” to support the elimination of discriminatory practices against women.


    The Programme and Operations Manual

    The Programme and Operations Manual (POM) underpinned by the Financial Regulations and Rules (UNW/2012/6), the Delegation of Authority Framework and the Internal Control Framework, provides UN Women personnel with a consolidated and clear understanding of internal policies and procedures. The POM is intended to provide guidance on procurement policies and procedures to all employees involved in the various stages of the procurement activities conducted by UN Women in all offices and all locations.

    The POM is subject to periodic updating and refinement by the Organization, as and when necessary. UN Women reserves the right to make exceptions to the provisions contained in the POM, if and when necessary, and in the best interests of the Organization.


    Categories Purchased

    Common goods and services regularly procured by UN Women can be found on UN Annual Statistic Report accessible from this link https://www.ungm.org/Public/ASR.  

  • Procurement Opportunities by UN WOMEN

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  • Procurement 

    UN Women purchases goods and services from suppliers all over the world to support its operational and programmatic activities.

    As a UN organization entrusted with donor funds, UN Women aims towards ensuring efficiency, fairness and transparency in their expenditure. Procurement plays a pivotal role to achieve this goal while supporting the UN Women mandate: Promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.

    Structure of the Procurement Team

    Procurement at UN Women follows the principle of decentralization, which means that delegation of procurement authority (DOA) has been granted to all UN Women offices in accordance with the UN Women Delegation of Authority Framework.

    The UN Women Procurement Section at Headquarters in New York, within the decentralized structure of the procurement function, under the Chief of the Procurement Section, primarily fulfils, the main functions in support of procurement and contracting organization-wide, inter alia, providing strategic support and guidance on all procurement matters, drafting all documents and templates related to the procurement framework as well as overseeing procurement planning and monitoring at UN Women.

    Fundamental Principles of procurement

    The underlying principles behind the UN Women Procurement process include:

    • Best Value for Money: Best value for money in the procurement process means selecting the offer that presents the optimum combination of factors such as: appropriate quality, service, life-cycle costs, environmental and social considerations and other parameters to best meet the stated needs of UN Women.

    • Fairness, Integrity and Transparency: To achieve best value for money, the procurement process must protect the organization from proscribed practices: fraud, corruption, collusion and other unethical practices. Sound procurement requires the openness of process, complete and accurate records, accountability, and confidentiality.

    • Effective Competition: The objective of competitive processes is to provide all eligible potential contractors with timely and adequate notification of the procurement requirements and an equal opportunity to tender for the required goods, civil works and services.

    • Interest of UN Women: Undertaking procurement in the interest of UN Women means carrying out procurement activities in the manner that best enables the organization to reach general and specific objectives, while in compliance with applicable procurement procedures.


  • Is the e-Procurement system integrated into UNGM? 

    No, and therefore the Express Interest button is grey. The user is required to carefully read the instructions of the procurement opportunity, which can be found under the Links/Documents tab of the actual procurement opportunity. 

    If there is any doubt, contact the UN officer in charge, his/her contact details are included in the notice under the Contacts tab.

    In the UN Women case, Quantum is the e-procurement platform used to manage the procurement process digitally. To learn more about Quantum, check the following links:

  • Useful links

    This article from the UNGM Help Center: How to participate in procurement opportunities requiring hard copy or email submission?

    If a procurement protest needs to be submitted, click on the Vendor Protest Procedure page by UN Women. 

  • What was the procurement volume of UN Women in 2022?
    • Procurement value: 172.88M USD
    • Number of countries the organization procured from: 164
    • Percentage of total UN procurement: <1%
    • Ranking by procurement value: 15th
    • Top category: Education and Training Services
    • Top region: Asia

    To learn more about the procurement volume of each UN organization, visit the Annual Statistical Report and use the interactive dashboard.


  • Contract Awards by UN Women

  • UN WOMEN Procurement Information
  • UN WOMEN Webpage
  • Contact Information
    UN Women · Address 220 East 42nd Street, New York City 10017