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In the Republic of Moldova, sexual harassment and violence is a taboo topic. Victims of sexual harassment fear being blamed or stigmatized, and rarely report the incidents. Milena Rusu continued a relationship with her abuser for six months before breaking up. At the time, she didn’t recognize the incident as a sexual assault since she was in a romantic relationship with her abuser. Instead, she tried to forget the incident.
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In the Republic of Moldova, few girls and women decide to study hard sciences or information technology (IT). The barriers they face at cultural, social or educational levels prevent them from advancing in their careers and becoming experts in fields where they are usually underrepresented.
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Two young women entrepreneurs from the Republic of Moldova, Nadejda Hadjivu and Victoria Sobol, managed to start their businesses, promoting local, healthy products, during the COVID-19 pandemic. With support from the Organization for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises Sector (ODIMM) in Moldova, UN Women and the Government of Japan, they have been able to sustain and expand their businesses.
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Meet three women mayors from rural Moldova who have defied deeply entrenched gender stereotypes about women’s leadership and led their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. From building public infrastructure to enabling citizen participation virtually, they have made their communities safer and more resilient.
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A survey to assess the gendered impacts of COVID-19 on women’s and men’s lives and livelihoods in ten countries/territories across Europe and Central Asia has revealed dire findings.
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The Government of Sweden and UN Women Moldova provided 28,000 units of protective equipment to social assistance staff from 36 territorial departments throughout the country. The coveralls and masks were purchased from three local companies run by women. Thus, the procurements provided financial support both to factories and to employees who kept their jobs and salaries during this time of crisis provoked by COVID-19. At the same time, textile enterprises took steps to help front-line workers.
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Thirty-five-year-old Elena Crasmari was fed up with not being able to access the medical centre in her home village of Dolna – a rural community of 1,155 people, fifty-three kilometres from the Republic of Moldova’s capital city of Chisinau. Due to her disability, she couldn’t take the stairs, and had to get on her hands and knees to enter the building. “I went to the town hall to ask them to help me do something about the stairs of the medical facility,” Elena...
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A local teacher in a remote village in Moldova helped improve the lives of her students and now has her sights set on local leadership, after participating in the UN Women supported "INSPIR-O!" (Inspire it) Mentorship Programme.
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Around the world, one in every three women will be beaten, coerced into sex or abused in some other way—most often by someone she knows. Yet public services, such as quality mental health services, are rarely planned with women’s safety, recovery and healing from violence in mind.
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More than 1,000 women are learning new skills through an online platform supported by the Moldovan Association of ICT Companies and UN Women, with the financial support of the Government of Sweden. The programme trains young women for ICT careers as front-end developers and technology creators.
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For Ina Grădinaru, a psychologist with a women’s centre in Moldova, her work with survivors of violence is much more than a job, it’s a social responsibility and her life mission. For the #HearMeToo campaign, she talks about her work, the persisting challenges and myths that must be broken to end the violence.
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In Moldova, widespread patriarchal attitudes and gender-based stereotypes perpetuate the idea that women are responsible for child and home care, with fathers expected to be breadwinners. To challenge this widespread notion, the Embassy of Sweden organised in partnership with the UN in Moldova the photo exhibition Dads from Moldova and Sweden.
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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.
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Elena Ratoi is the Manager for the UN Women component of the “Women in Politics” UN Programme. She joined UN Women team in Moldova in 2014 to work on advancing women`s political participation in politics and decision-making processes.
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Olga Berdeu, 50, is a woman with disabilities from Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, who attended UN Women’s "We have abilities, we want possibilities!" initiative, which aims to strengthen the leadership skills of women with disabilities in the Republic of Moldova. The initiative ran from June to October 2017 and was part of the UN “Women in Politics” Programme, financed by the Government of Sweden.
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With generous funding from the Swedish Government, UN Women has been working with police officers across Moldova for the past two years, to build their knowledge and improve their capacity to respond to domestic violence cases effectively. The programme, titled “Promoting and multiplying good innovative practices in preventing and combating violence against women”, also encourages police officers like Zglavoci to share good practices with their peers and other service providers through trainings and interactive platforms.
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Swedish journalists share their experience in promoting gender equality in communications and journalism with local media, students and press officers in Moldova.
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HelpAge International, in partnership with Gender Centru, launched a 3-year initiative which aims to inform elderly women in Moldova about their rights and protect them from domestic violence. The project, "Ensuring Gender and Age Dimensions of Human Rights are realized in Moldova,” is supported by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund).
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Sixty-five girls aged 16 to 20 from 13 regions of Moldova learned web development, robotics, and 3D printing at the third edition of GirlsGoIT summer camp that took place on 21-30 July in Chisinau, Moldova. The participants have also visited several technology companies, such as DAS Solutions, Moldcell, Matrix and Tekwill. Additionally, DAS Solutions offered internships for two summer camp participants.
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Women who have experienced violence and overcome it, know how to end and prevent it—that’s the premise of UN Women Moldova’s Positive Champions initiative. Using a peer-support model, the initiative has supported 44 women across villages and towns to share their experience and inspire women survivors to break the cycle of violence.