Stories

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On the sidelines of the annual Security Council Open Debate, signatories for the Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action urged increased cooperation from the highest levels of policymaking to the grassroots, to ensure full protection and participation for women and girls in conflict and crisis.
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Christina Bilous is a Roma civic activist. She is also leader of a self-help group in the community of Toretsk, near the front line in the conflict-affected Donetsk region of Eastern Ukraine. As an active community member, Bilous heads up the Roma non-governmental organization, Sumnakuno Petalo, advocating for the rights of Roma women and girls.
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Simret Tesfaye is nurse at the Association for Women's Sanctuary and Development, a non-profit organization in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which manages six shelters for survivors of gender-based violence. Currently, she is working at the Transitional Shelter that opened in April 2020 with support from UN Women.
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The conflict in Colombia has left deep scars, and lasting peace is more of a journey than a destination. The one thing that remains constant in this journey is the power and perseverance of women forging peace against all odds, defending human rights every day. Through projects funded by the Government of Sweden and Norway, UN Women has accompanied Colombian women in this journey.
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Natalia Slavinskaia, 42, is a community mobilizer from Komysh-Zorya, a small village in the conflict-affected Zaporizhzhia region, south-east Ukraine.
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UN Women’s Deputy Executive Director Asa Regner is visiting Norway this week to participate in the international conference on Ending Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in Humanitarian Crises, taking place in Oslo, from 23 to 24 May, and to meet with partners and dignitaries.
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Captain Anaseini Navua Vuniwaqa of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, participated in the ninth edition of the Female Military Officers’ Course in April 2018. The course aims to bridge the gender gap in UN peacekeeping. Women currently represent only 4 per cent of the more than 80,000 UN Peacekeepers, despite their key role in preventing sexual violence during and after conflict, and their unique abilities to engage with the communities they serve, especially women and girls. Captain Vuniwaqa spoke to UN Women about women’s role in preventing sexual violence during and after conflict, and their unique abilities to engage with the communities they serve.
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Faidah Suleiman is the Superintendent of Police, Gender and Children Desk in Tanzania. With 20 years of police experience, she has been part of the Gender Desk since it was established in 2009. In 2014, UN Women partnered with the Gender and Children Desks to improve the quality of services provided.
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At thirty, Olga Macz is a teacher and entrepreneur, and a force to be reckoned with. She leads a women’s group in Campur, a small municipality in the mostly rural Alta Vara Paz department of Guatemala, which makes and sells organic shampoo. For many of the women, this is the first time that they are making their own money and making decisions.
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A collaboration between the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and UN Women works with rural women and their communities to build sustainable livelihoods, engage women in shaping laws, policies and programmes and to improve food and nutrition security.
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Mila Rodriguez is one of the young members of Colombia’s Cantadora Network, a network of singers using traditional Afro-Colombian music to preserve their culture and promote peace. Supported by a UN Women programme, the Cantadoras have engaged young people in the port city of Tumaco, where decades of armed conflict have torn apart communities, and peace is still a long journey.
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In 2018, the Government of Norway contributed regular resources of USD 10.8 million to UN Women. In addition, the Government contributed USD 14.5 million in other resources support—bringing its overall 2018 contribution to approximately USD 25.4 million and making Norway UN Women’s third-largest contributor. In an interview, Minister of International Development of Norway, Nikolai Astrup, explains why gender equality is a top priority in foreign and development policy.
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Indigenous women of Guatemala’s Polochic valley are feeding their families, growing their businesses and saving more money than ever before, with the help of a joint UN programme that’s empowering rural women.
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More than one million South Sudanese refugees have crossed over the border into Uganda since 2013. Along with immediate assistance, they need long-term support, including therapy to cope with trauma and opportunities to earn a living. UN Women-supported therapy groups in one refugee settlement have helped women come together, heal and discover new beginnings.
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Martha Benavente, from Tucurú, a small municipality in Guatemala trained for six months to become a solar engineer, and she is bursting with energy. She can’t wait to start building solar lamps so that her community can have sustainable energy at last. One solar lamp could sell for up to 200 Quetzals, a lucrative business opportunity for a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field.
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The Female Military Officers’ Course (FMOC), which aims to bridge the gender gap in UN peacekeeping, is a two-week course organized by UN Women and partners, provides specialized training for female military officers around the world to create a global network of trained women peacekeepers.
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Major Cleo Bigwood is the Force Gender and Child Protection Officer at the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). She participated at a UN Women training on ‘Mainstreaming gender in UN Peacekeeping to End Conflict Related Sexual Violence’, which took place in New Delhi in February 2018, funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. The course trained 41 military and police officers and humanitarian actors from ten Member States on strategic, operational and tactical approaches to end conflict-related sexual violence.
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UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will visit Helsinki, Finland, on 12-13th April to discuss the status of gender equality globally, as well as Finland’s contribution to achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide—a top priority that Finland and UN Women share. Following this, the Executive Director will visit Sweden on April 16-18 to attend the Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality, as well as take part in a ministerial roundtable discussing gender equality as a means for economic development, and the methods and best practices that have proven to be most effective in achieving real change.
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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.
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UN Women, in partnership with the UN Office of Information and Communications Technology (UN OICT) and with the support of Innovation Norway, hosted a four-day simulation lab to explore cutting-edge solutions based on blockchain technologies that address challenges faced by women and girls in humanitarian settings.