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Empowering South Asian women migrant workers through improved contracts

Monday, July 1, 2019

Ensuring that women know their rights as migrant workers, including what should be in their employment contracts, is a crucial step in protecting them from abuse and exploitation – especially since some are not aware that their rights are being violated.

Gaining protection for Indonesia’s migrant workers and their families

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Millions of Indonesians working abroad now have hard-won legal protection against exploitation, thanks to the work of pioneering campaigners

Statement by UN Women Executive Director for International Widows’ Day, 23 June

Thursday, June 20, 2019

On this International Widows' Day, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka calls to recognize widows in all their diversity, and acknowledge the need to integrate them fully and visibly into work on gender equality so that we break cycles of poverty and disadvantage and ensure that all widows can enjoy their full human rights.

Take Five: “The economic participation of rural women is essential for growth and a more equitable distribution of wealth”

Friday, April 26, 2019

Maher Khalifi, a young Tunisian engineer, has developed a project that improves the coverage of Tunisia’s social protection system for rural women. The Tunisian Government has agreed to use a new application dubbed "Ahmini", which should allow 500,000 rural women to be integrated into social assistance system, allowing them access to benefits such as pensions. He is attending the Tunis Forum on Gender Equality (24 – 26 April), co-hosted by the Governments of Sweden and Tunisia in collaboration with UNDP and UN Women. The Forum is the first of many global meetings leading up to the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action.

UN Commission on the Status of Women delivers roadmap on ensuring women’s social protection, mobility, safety, and access to economic opportunities

Friday, March 22, 2019

After two weeks of intense dialogue, the 63rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 63) concluded today in New York with a strong commitment by UN Member States to safeguard and improve women’s and girls’ access to social protection systems, public services and sustainable infrastructure, ensuring that their design and delivery is transformed to prevent discrimination and create a ‘level playing field’ for women and girls.

In Cabo Verde, domestic workers call for legal protections and right to social protection

Monday, March 11, 2019

In Cabo Verde, more than a quarter of all employed women (26 per cent) are domestic workers, many of whom work without contracts, without recognition as formal workers and the social protections that come with formal jobs. For instance, domestic workers are unable to enrol in the National Institute of Social Security and do not have access to pensions when they retire or health coverage for them and their children.

From where I stand: “I realized for the first time that female workers also have rights”

Monday, August 20, 2018

Aleeza Hafeez from Sialkot, one of Pakistan’s most industrialized areas, has her own income for the first time. Knowing her own rights and an enabling environment at the workplace made it possible for her to work and grow as a professional. The project has changed family dynamics too. Now, Hafeez’s father includes her when making family decisions, a role previously reserved for male members.

Dalit rights activists break new grounds in South Asia

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Moni Rani Das, born and raised in a “cleaners’ colony”—poor and segregated settlements where street cleaners and domestic workers live—in Dhaka, Bangladesh, never imagined that she would be advocating for her rights and those of nearly 3 million Dalit [1] women of her country. Today, she is the first Dalit person to be part of the National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh.

Take Five: "We are seeking nothing more than our due share of services and opportunities"

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Beena Pallical is the Executive Director at the Asia Dalit Rights Forum and the current Manager of a programme seeking to strengthen Dalit Women’s Economic Rights across South Asia. The Dalit community in this region is still considered the lowest of the historical castes and suffers widespread discrimination, despite recent legislation and initiatives. Within the community, the specific problem of women’s economic empowerment has received little attention, but is now the focus of a two-year programme funded by UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality.

Life after loss: Rights, dignity and justice for widows

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The loss of a partner is devastating. For many women, that loss is magnified by a long-term struggle for basic needs, their human rights and dignity. They may be denied inheritance rights to the piece of land that they relied on for livelihood or evicted from their homes, forced into unwanted marriages or traumatizing widowhood rituals. They are stigmatized for life, shunned and shamed. And, many of these abuses go unnoticed, even normalized.

Statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, for International Widows’ Day, June 23, 2018

Thursday, June 21, 2018

On the occasion of International Widows’ Day, we must consider both the vital role widows play in our society, the ways in which gender inequality impacts their ability to thrive on their own, and the specific recognition and attention that they need from all of us.

Press release: UN Agencies call for stronger action to achieve equal nationality rights for all

Thursday, March 15, 2018

UN Women, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) called today for increased efforts to eradicate gender inequality in nationality laws, which is a key driver of statelessness.

From where I stand: Using blockchain technology to empower women

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Olivier Mukuta, a social innovator who grew up in a refugee camp is working to create blockchain technology solutions to help empower women in humanitarian crisis situations.

Executive Director’s blog series: Ending violence against widows

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The eighth part in a 16-part blog series by UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on the occasion of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign.

In Benin, small savings and loans groups drive rural women’s empowerment

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Across rural Africa, women farmers are benefiting from Savings and Loans Groups to grow their businesses. Some 40 per cent of the UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality grantees in Africa are now using this methodology, leading to better nutrition, business development and sustainable land management outcomes. The Miguéze’ programme, for example, has impacted 2,780 people, and women are emerging as leaders and role models.

Internally displaced women of Ukraine find voice through interactive theatre

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

As the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine enters its fourth year, a local non-profit organization based in Kyiv empowers internally displaced women like Olesya Arkhypova by engaging them, along with women from the host communities, in live theatre. Together with local activists, the women depict and seek solutions to everyday challenges they face in host communities.

Textile workers in Honduras organize to defend their rights together

Monday, March 27, 2017

Although diagnosed with a disability due to excessive work and stress, Maria Gutierrez couldn’t convince her factory manager initially to lower the production outputs she was expected to deliver. But with the help of a feminist collective, supported by UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, she was able to defend her rights. Today she is known for her organizing skills among the textile workers of Honduras. The 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women discussed promoting women’s right to organize as an integral part of women’s economic empowerment.

“No job is impossible for women”

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sixty-three-year-old Salomé Miranda is among the emerging group of women construction workers of La Paz, Bolivia. Miranda started working at age seven and received no schooling, like many other indigenous girls in her community. She survived an abusive marriage and with the help of the Association of Women Construction Workers, carved out a new life for herself and her children. Today, she dreams of building her own construction company.

Media Advisory: UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Anne Hathaway shines spotlight on parental leave at International Women's Day

Sunday, March 5, 2017

On Wednesday, March 8, American award-winning actor and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Anne Hathaway will deliver a keynote address at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, in commemoration of International Women’s Day.

In the words of Maximina Salazar: "My friend, you have rights, don’t let others trample on them."

Friday, March 3, 2017

Maximina Salazar was born in 1952 in Pedro Carbo, a town on the outskirts of the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador. She has worked as a domestic worker since the age of 11 and started organizing domestic workers in her community after receiving trainings through the María Guare Foundation, a UN Women partner.

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