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In the words of Nandini Chami: "The conversation on ICTs needs to move beyond just accessibility"

Friday, April 20, 2018

Nandini Chami works on policy research and advocacy on the intersection of ICTs, gender equality, and development, at IT for Change, an NGO based in Bengaluru, India. She was part of the IT for Change team that developed a toolkit on mainstreaming gender in e-government ecosystems for policymakers in the Asia-Pacific, with support from UNPOG and UNESCAP. She also supports Prakriye, a centre in Mysore, in developing training programmes for women’s rights groups on adopting digital tools in their field practice, and ‘education for empowerment’ for rural adolescent girls. Ms. Chami recently spoke to UN Women at the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62). More

In the words of Blessing Ihauku Daru: “Women need to be in the corridors of power and politics”

Monday, April 9, 2018

Blessing Ihuaku Duru is a Programme Manager with Alliances for Africa (AfA), a non-governmental organization working in the south-east region of Nigeria, to promote gender justice, participation of women in leadership and in peace, security and conflict resolution. With support from UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, AfA is implementing a project to bridge the gender gap in elected public positions. They are working with the Government, political parties and women leaders to pass a bill that will provide for an affirmative action to ensure a minimum of 35 per cent of women’s representation in governance. Ms. Duru spoke to UN Women when she attended the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. More

In the words of Lilian Soto: “The presence of diverse women in politics generates different kinds of public policies”

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Lilian Soto is a Project Coordinator at the Centro de Documentación y Estudios (CDE) in Paraguay, a non-governmental organization supported by UN Women Fund for Gender Equality, working to promote human rights and social transformation. Ms. Soto was also councilwoman for Asuncion – the capital of Paraguay - from 1991 to 2000, and continues to participate in politics in the socialist, feminist and environmentalist political movement “Kuña Pyrenda”, which means “place where women put their feet” in the local language. She and her organization were behind the law on democratic parity pending before the Chamber of Deputies. More

In the words of Rabiha Khalloof: “Our society needs women to help future generations succeed”

Monday, April 2, 2018

Rabiha Khalloof is a 47-year-old Syrian refugee who fled Syria almost three years ago. She is among 520 Syrian women refugees in Lebanon who have received training and economic assistance from the third phase of a UN Women project, funded by the Government of Japan and the Ford Foundation. Today Khalloof is earning an income for the first time and aspiring to teach other women to start their own businesses. More

In the words of Rabab Sleiman: “Every woman whom I have trained is committed and keen to transform her life”

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Rabab Sleiman is a self-taught trainer from Lebanon, who is playing a pivotal role in reviving the traditional craft of palm leaf weaving and teaching the skill to young Lebanese and Syrian refugee women Rabab strongly believes that the training she has provided has had a positive impact on the 17 women beneficiaries from UN Women’s Japan-funded project “Strengthening Resilience and Protection of Women and Youth in Host Communities”. More

In the words of Kadire Tahiraj: “Sexual violence during the war remains an unpunished crime in Kosovo"

Monday, March 5, 2018

Kadire Tahiraj is the founder and director of Centre for Promotion of Women’s Rights in Drenas, central Kosovo, which has been advocating for the rights of survivors of sexual violence during the war in 1998-1999. The centre provides support and services to survivors who still face many challenges in the face of post-conflict transformation. More

In the words of Jaha Dukureh: “We are at a tipping point in the movement to end FGM”

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Jaha Dukureh, UN Women Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Africa, is an outspoken activist leading the movement to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. More

In the words of Ana Vasileva: “We are talking the talk and walking the walk”

Monday, February 26, 2018

Ana Vasileva is a women’s rights activist and a member of the feminist collective, Fight Like a Woman, living and working in Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic (fYR) of Macedonia. She has also contributed to UN Women’s “Not only on March 8th” initiative, which makes a point that gender equality issues should not be in the limelight only once a year, on International Women’s Day, but should be publicly debated consistently. More

In the words of Dimitri Tskitishvili: “A traditional society can be more easily persuaded when a man talks about gender equality”

Thursday, January 18, 2018

For the past 18 years, Dimitri Tskitishvili has been in politics in Georgia. He saw political participation as a way to bring change, even when he was chair of a youth organization and advocated for gender equality. He is now a Member of Parliament (MP) in Georgia where he is part of the Gender Equality Council, whose strategy has four pillars: research and policy-making; law making; awareness raising; and communication. The Council’s action plan includes fostering economic empowerment, political participation, and social rights legislation. In October 2017, Mr. Tskitishvili spoke at the Regional Conference "Parliamentarians for gender equality and women's empowerment," organized by UN Women, UNDP, and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in partnership with the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and with support from the Government of Sweden. More

In the words of Marai Larasi: “If we are to end violence against women and girls, we need to create seismic shifts across our social norms.”

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Marai Larasi is the Executive Director of Imkaan, a black and minority ethnic (BME) women’s organization working to respond to and prevent violence against marginalized women and girls in Europe. Imkaan is now a partner in the EU/UN Women regional programme, ‘Implementing Norms, Changing Minds’, which aims to end violence against women in the Western Balkans and Turkey. Recently, Ms. Larasi has been supporting the preparation of a guidance note on intersectional issues for UN Women. More

In the words of Baby Rivona: “Once I fought for my rights, the other women followed”

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Baby Rivona is a legend in Indonesia, loved widely, as well as feared by some. A passionate advocate of women living with HIV and AIDS, she is as often seen on the world stage, as she is the many districts and villages of her home country. Her mission is to guarantee access to treatment, services, and a life free of stigma and discrimination for women living with HIV and AIDS. More

In the words of Johanna Tantria T. Wardham: “Gender inequality starts from the household”

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Passionate and fiery Johanna Tantria T. Wardham, is known universally as Jo. A popular figure in the urban slums of Jakarta, she can often be spotted in Prumpung and other neighborhoods, on the outskirts of Indonesia’s bustling capital city. Her mission in life is to build a culture of gender equality, from the ground up. She leads community discussions, trainings on preventing violence against women and girls, and conducts gender audits, but in the midst of all this, what she has become is a GO-TO person for the community. Jo is a staff member of the NGO Kalyanamitra, UN Women’s partner for the Safe City pilot programme in Indonesia. The Prumpung area was selected along with two other sites for the initiative, due to high prevalence of violence, including gender-based violence in the neighbourhoods. According to the National Women’s Commission, there were over 250,000 cases of violence against women and girls reported in Indonesia in 2016. Today Jo inspires not only the people she works with, but also many young students, to give back to the community. More

In the words of Nongnee Kondii: “I was told that being a lesbian woman is a sin”

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Discriminatory stereotypes, cultural norms and attitudes that normalize and trivialize violence against women and girls are prevalent in every part of the world. Nongnee Kondii*, 25, from Yala, a southern border province of Thailand, never felt safe expressing her sexual orientation at home or in her community. When she experienced a traumatic sexual assault, she kept silent at first. In May 2016, after participating in a gender retreat for young people organized by Rainbow Sky Association(RSAT), an organization that works to promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual women, transgender and intersex persons (LGBTI) in Thailand, supported by the UN Trust Fund to end Violence against Women (managed by UN Women), Kondii decided to speak out and pursue the path of justice. With funding from the UN Trust Fund, RSAT continues to organize workshops with LGBTI individuals in Thailand to support them to combat stigma based on sexual orientation and gender identity. More

In the words of Pari Ibrahim: “Escaping ISIS is only the beginning, we cannot leave them alone in that journey.”

Monday, November 13, 2017

Pari Ibrahim is the founder and Executive Director of the Free Yezidi Foundation (FYF), an independent, non-profit organization that provides services for women survivors of the violence ISIS attacks on the Yezidi community. More

In the words of Jana Mustafa: “Disability should not stop anyone from starting over”

Friday, November 10, 2017

Jana Mustafa is a former employee of a local NGO and a survivor of violence. One day she hopes to open a small business to support her six-year-old son Jamal and prove that her disability is not an issue. More

In the words of Varanisese Maisamoa: “We want to empower our market vendors to be climate resilient”

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

In February 2016, Tropical Cyclone Winston devastated Fiji, showing the heightened vulnerability of people living in the Pacific Islands, where climate change has led to a series of increasingly severe cyclones in the recent years. With farms, markets, including the Rakiraki Market and its accommodation centre for rural women destroyed, livelihoods of market vendors such as Varanisese Maisamoa were compromised. But today, through UN Women’s Markets for Change (M4C) project, Maisamoa, aged 39 years, has not only got back on her feet, she has also become a strong leader in her community. As leader of Rakiraki’s women’s group, and now, as the President of the Rakiraki Market Vendors Association, her insights were critical in helping UN Women adapt its existing M4C project to provide humanitarian support to market vendors impacted by the cyclone. Rakiraki Market’s reconstruction is currently underway, featuring Category-5 cyclone resilient infrastructure, a rain water harvesting system, flood resistant drainage, and a gender-responsive design. The Markets for Change project is principally funded by the Australian Government and implemented in partnership with UNDP. More

In the words of Sanja Pejović: “Applying a gender perspective contributes to the success of military operations”

Monday, October 30, 2017

Captain Sanja Pejović is the highest-ranking woman officer in the Armed Forces of Montenegro (AF MNE). She is deputy chief of the Sub-centre for Peacekeeping Operations, and a gender equality coordinator for AF MNE. Captain Pejović was the first woman officer to serve in AF MNE. She serves as a regional gender trainer, training military personnel from all over the world, and has actively participated in regional and international projects on the inclusion of gender perspectives in security sector reform. More

In the words of Hikmah Bafagih: “Our vision is to create an inclusive Islam, having people oppose me is very common”

Monday, October 23, 2017

Meet Hikmah Bafagih, from Malang in East Java, Indonesia. University professor, community organizer, peace-builder, Counsellor, mother, wife—Bafagih has many roles. She is also a religious leader, steering the women’s wing of the biggest Muslim organization in Indonesia. Her vision is to create an inclusive Islam, and she is used to opposition. Steadfast in her belief that women are solidarity makers, she works to empower women in her community, supports LGBT people and people living with HIV. More

In the words of Sonja Lokar: “If there are so few women in politics, who will put on the agenda the priorities that affect women’s lives?”

Friday, October 13, 2017

Sonja Lokar is the Executive Director of the Central and Eastern European Network for Gender Issues and has worked with women activists across all social, ethnic, religious and political divides in 21 countries. She has been a political activist from her youth and is a specialist in political party development, social welfare state issues, and gender issues. She is a feminist and an advocate for women’s human rights in Slovenia and internationally. Lokar recently spoke at the Regional Conference "Parliamentarians for gender equality and women's empowerment," organized by UN Women, UNDP, and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) with the support of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and in partnership with the Government of Sweden. More

In the words of Ainuru Altybaeva: “Bride kidnapping is not a tradition, it’s a crime”

Friday, October 13, 2017

Ainuru Altybaeva serves as a Member of Parliament in Kyrgyzstan, and has been an activist for women’s empowerment for over 10 years. She was the initiator of a law on toughening penalties for bride kidnapping, and a vocal participant of the national UNiTE to End Violence against Women and Girls women’s movement, coordinated and led by UN Women in Kyrgyzstan. UN Women partnered with Altybaeva on several advocacy initiatives in Kyrgyzstan, including an advocacy campaign in the parliament on adopting the new law on domestic violence. She is the former chair and initiator of the Kyrgyz Parliament’s Women’s Caucus. More

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