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Nidhi Mayurika is a 17-year-old student from Bangalore, India, who is a three-time winner of the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest. Nidhi is a space enthusiast and wants to create awareness about climate action using a scientific approach.
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Jyotsna Siddharth, actor, writer and activist from India, spoke at a side event during the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, co-organized by UN Women and the National Alliance of Women’s Organisation in India. In this interview, Ms. Siddharth talks about India’s anti-caste and young feminist movement.
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Madhura Dasgupta Sinha has more than 25 years of banking and leadership experience, and is now the CEO and Founder of Aspire For Her, which motivates young women to enter and stay in the workforce. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, with only 22.3 per cent of Indian women in the labour force and less women in leadership roles, India’s gender pay gap has increased this year. Aspire For Her is a Generation Equality Ally, a new communications and advocacy initiative under UN Women’s flagship campaign in India. UN Women spoke with Dasgupta Sinha on the occasion of Equal Pay Day, 18 September 2021.
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UN Women and health sector experts answer some frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and how it impacts women and girls in India.
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Susan Ferguson is the UN Women Representative for India. Ms. Ferguson joined UN Women in 2017, after a long career in international development. She has lived and worked in South Africa, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, and has experience working in grass-roots development agencies; establishing and managing social services; working within Local, State and Federal Government in Australia on social policy and social programmes.
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Since January 2020, India has reported over 27 million cases of COVID-19 infection and more than 300,000 fatalities – figures that many believe are substantial underestimates. As infection rates peak, hospitals have run out of beds and oxygen, medication is running low, and there are vaccine shortages. Last week, the country also saw massive flooding and displacement in its coastal areas, as Cyclone Yaas made landfall. The scale of the emergency is unprecedented and as with every crisis, women and girls, especially those from poor and marginalized communities, are among the hardest hit.
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Men play a crucial role in raising the next generation of boys, who will form their values and beliefs around women based on the behaviours reflected by men today. Men in power, teachers, leaders, coaches and fathers — I urge you to set the right example. A more gender-equal society benefits everyone! Patriarchy damages not just women but also men. At this rate, achieving global gender equality will take a hundred years.
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Avani Awasthee, 23, represented India on the International Antarctic Expedition in 2016. She was ‘Miss Tourism Metropolitan India’ in 2019 and worked with eco-friendly and sustainable brands.
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Devishi Jha, is an 18-year-old climate activist who was born in India and now lives in the United States. She is the Director of Partnerships at Zero Hour, an international youth-led climate justice organization, and serves on the National Council at UNICEF USA.
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As part of a partnership to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, Ananya Banerjee, 17, was featured by Humans of Bombay in collaboration with UN Women India, for their #GenerationEquality campaign. As a champion of girls rights and gender equality, Ananya has been working against female foeticide and climate change and to promote education. Currently, she is pursuing her final year of school and is studying Humanities. She is a passionate social activist and poet.
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“Women’s organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 response continue to adapt and provide vital services for survivors, even in the face of unprecedented challenges. As violence against women rises, the services offered by women’s organizations must be included in governments’ COVID-19 response packages,” said Aldijana Sisic, Chief of the UN Trust Fund.
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As the current COVID-19 global pandemic spreads through the world, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund), and its grantees, recognize the gender dimensions of the impact from the COVID-19 outbreak. In this challenging time, the need to respond to the immediate and long-term consequences of the current crisis for women and girls is critical.
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Billions of people across the world stand on the right side of history every day. They speak up, take a stand, mobilize, and take big and small actions to advance women’s rights. This is Generation Equality. Celina Jaitly is an acclaimed Indian actress, human rights activist devoted to advocating for the rights of the members of LGBT communities in India, and a Champion of the UN Free & Equal campaign.
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Rahul Bhatnagar serves as the Secretary for the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, a branch of the Indian Government responsible for the ongoing process of decentralization and local governance. UN Women works with the Government of India and local organizations to promote women’s leadership and participation in governance at all levels. In this interview, Mr. Bhatnagar elaborates on the importance of elected women representatives in the Panchayati Raj (local governance) institutions and their role in advancing primary education, health, agricultural developments, and women and child development.
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Co-hosted with UN Women, P&G’s first IMEA #WeSeeEqual Summit brought together business and government leaders, and influencers to share inspiration and surface insights around the myths that prevent us from accelerating our progress for gender equality.
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UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is visiting India this week to meet with gender equality advocates, youth and private sector partners to build momentum towards the upcoming 63rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (11-22 March), and to re-ignite public discourse towards the full implementation of the visionary Beijing Platform for Action.
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Across five rural Indian states, thousands of women have joined Women Peer Groups, which are using everything from protests to pledging ceremonies as part of a UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women-supported violence-prevention programme for ethnic minority women.
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Priyanka Kumari, 21, is a facilitator at the Women’s Empowerment Centre in Dungarpur town, Dungarpur district, Rajasthan, India. She been working tirelessly to fight against illiteracy and poor access to information.
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Malti Tudu, 20, from a village in Kishangunj district, Bihar, India is among a group of young passionate activists who are trying to stop child marriage, which affects one in four girls in the state of Bihar.
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Rukmini Rao, from India, is the founder of the Gramya Resource Centre for Women that tackles the issues of land rights for women, their right to education, and the prevention of violence against women and girls.