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UN Women applauds UAE President’s decision to increase Emirati women’s representation in Federal National Council to 50 per cent

Monday, December 10, 2018

UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, has warmly welcomed the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, to raise the representation of Emirati women in the Federal National Council to 50 per cent. More

Across Latin America, women fight back against violence in politics

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Currently, Latin America is leading globally in local and parliamentary positions held by women. But the journey to political participation is fraught with rising violence and intimidation against women in politics. In the age of #MeToo, we bring you the voices of Latin American women who are raising their voices and running for office, against all odds. More

Statement: UN Women welcomes the gains made by women of both parties in US midterm elections

Thursday, November 8, 2018

UN Women celebrates the achievements of women who participated in the 2018 US midterm elections. Their historic victories indicate the rising voice and leadership of women, particularly as a total of 277 women ran from both parties for office, as well as unprecedented levels of candidates and winners who represented all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, backgrounds and cultures. More

Take five: “Legal reform did not change patriarchal systems or machismo culture overnight”

Monday, November 5, 2018

Katia Uriona is the former President of the Electoral Tribunal of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. Before that, as the Executive Secretary of the national Women’s Coordinator (Coordinadora de la Mujer), Uriona played an instrumental role in advocating for Law 243 on violence against women in politics in 2012. With the support from UN Women and other organizations, she gave an important drive to the Observatory of Parity Democracy. In March 2018, Ms. Uriona took part in an Expert Group Meeting on violence against women in politics co-organized by UN Women and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Most recently, the Electoral Tribunal conducted a country wide consultative process which informed a draft Bill on Political Organizations. The new Law on Political Organizations (Law 1096) approved by the Bolivia’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly on 1 September 2018, is aligned with the constitutional principles of parity and intercultural democracy. More

In the words of Tanya Gilly Khailany: “When it comes to women’s rights, there’s no room for diplomacy”

Friday, October 19, 2018

Tanya Gilly Khailany, from Iraqi-Kurdistan, is a former member of the Iraqi Parliament (2006 – 2010) and a co-founder of the SEED Foundation, an organization that works with survivors of violence and trafficking in Iraq. An outspoken women’s rights activist, Ms. Gilly Khailany was one of the key parliamentarians who legislated the 25 per cent quota for women in Iraqi provincial councils. More

Women and democracy: What does it take to change politics as usual?

Friday, September 14, 2018

Right now, countries around the world are facing a range of risks that threaten their stability, from rising environmental crises to deepening inequality and economic pressures. It’s also a time of brilliant possibilities. The hope and momentum for advancing women’s full and equal political participation have never been stronger. More

Take five: “Yemeni women and girls are the ones who are paying the price of war”

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Areej Jamal Al- Khawlani has worked with UN Women as a Programme Associate in Yemen since 2017. Prior to joining UN Women, she was part of the Yemen Parliamentarians Against Corruption and worked for the Mwatana Organization for Human Rights. As the conflict in Yemen nears its fourth year, the conditions are worsening for women and girls: 76 per cent of internally displaced persons (IDPs) are women and children, and an estimated 3 million women and girls are at risk of gender-based violence, according to UNFPA. In this interview, Ms. Al-Khawlani shares the current needs and priorities of Yemeni women and girls. More

Historic leap in Tunisia: Women make up 47 per cent of local government

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Seven years after the 2011 Revolution and four years after the adoption of the Constitution, women now make up 47 per cent of the local council positions in Tunisia following the May 2018 elections. The dramatic increase in women members is the result of a 2016 electoral law that includes the principles of parity and alternation between men and women on candidate lists for all elections. More

The Road towards a National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security for Lebanon

Monday, August 20, 2018

Wedged between prolonged conflict on both its northern and southern borders with Syria and Israel, respectively, Lebanon has endured immense stress over the past several decades. Presently, Lebanon hosts the highest number of refugees per capita in the world, and the country is still reeling from the effects of an internal armed conflict that dates to the 1970s. Recognizing that women and girls are differently impacted by conflict and the critical role they play in building and sustaining peace, in 2017 the Council of Ministers tasked the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW), to develop Lebanon’s first National Action Plan (NAP) to implement the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. More

Revisiting Rwanda five years after record-breaking parliamentary elections

Monday, August 13, 2018

Five years back something historic happened. The 2013 Rwandan Parliamentary elections ushered in a record-breaking 64 per cent of seats for women candidates, making Rwanda the top country for women in politics. In 2003, barely a decade after the genocide, nearly 50 per cent of Parliamentary seats went to women. Even though women have continued to hold the majority of seats in the Parliament for several years now, many women leaders in Rwanda still find their competency and capabilities questioned. More

In the words of: “People voted for me because they wanted to see change”

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Irlanda Pop is the Mayor of Lanquín, a municipality in the Alta Verapaz department of Guatemala. She is the only indigenous Mayor and one of ten women Mayors in the country. Elected in 2015 for a term of four years, Pop has survived serious political attacks and continues to fight discrimination on account of her gender and indigenous identity. UN Women supported Pop to participate in the IV Ibero-American Summit of Local Gender Agendas that took place in Cuenca, Ecuador, in May 2018. There, she led an exchange between women leaders of different indigenous communities of the region about political participation of indigenous women and how to address violence against women in politics. UN Women supports the leadership of women in politics and peacebuilding in Guatemala through several initiatives, including through Women’s Political Empowerment and Leadership flagship programme. More

Record number of women on the ballot in Lebanon’s first parliamentary elections since 2009

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

In its highly anticipated parliamentary election in almost ten years, Lebanon saw a record number of women on the ballot. An unprecedented 113 women registered as candidates, and 86 of them made it to candidate lists. More

In the words of Sandra Moran: “Being the first openly lesbian Congresswoman in Guatemala has been a big responsibility”

Friday, April 27, 2018

Sandra Moran is Guatemala’s first openly lesbian member of the Congress. She organized the country’s first lesbian group in 1995, and was elected in 2015. She is well-known for her vocal support for women’s rights, indigenous women’s rights and LGBT rights in Guatemala. More

Women Working Together for the Africa We Want: African Women Leaders Network convene for a second forum

Monday, April 23, 2018

The “Second Women Leaders Forum for Africa’s Transformation” of the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) will run from 24 to 26 April at the African Union (AU) Headquarters in Addis Ababa, under the theme, “Women Working Together for the Africa We Want: From Commitment to Action”. More

Op-ed: Closing the gender gap in politics

Monday, April 16, 2018

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, calls on Commonwealth countries to make democracy more democratic by ensuring that women can participate freely, fairly and safely in elections and politics. 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

Women’s leadership, the missing ingredient for peace in Thailand’s southern border provinces

Friday, March 2, 2018

Patimoh Sadiyamu, 52, is from an impoverished rural area in Thailand, where Muslim women hardly stepped outside their homes. But with the help of education and support from her parents, she became the first woman to hold the position of provincial governor in Thailand’s southern border provinces of Narathiwat, and strongly believes that women’s participation in the peace process is imperative. This is also the premise of a UN Women’s programme “Empowering women leaders and young people to build resilient, cohesive and peaceful communities in the southern border provinces of Thailand”. More

Take Five: It’s a matter of justice—50/50 gender parity in political parties

Monday, November 6, 2017

Congresswoman Gloria Reyes is a strong advocate for increasing women’s political participation and recently backed a law against child marriage in the Dominican Republic. She participated in a regional forum organized by UN Women from 9 to 11 of October, focusing on abolishing child marriage in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. Earlier this year, a number of Central American and Caribbean countries including Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador, and Guatemala abolished discriminatory legislation which allowed child marriage. 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

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