Stories

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“Women’s political participation is a fundamental prerequisite for gender equality and genuine democracy. Women’s participation in all walks of life is essential for an inclusive, strong, and prosperous society in Afghanistan, both to meet the many challenges the country faces today and to succeed tomorrow. It is therefore critical that political decision-making processes are participatory, responsive, equitable, and inclusive,” stated Pramila Patten.
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Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds, a judge in Trinidad and Tobago, is a champion for gender-sensitive adjudication, raising awareness and sharing her knowledge around the world. She talks about how support at home and mentorship from other judges played a crucial role in her success.
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Despite increases in the number of women at the highest levels of political power, widespread gender inequalities persist, according to the 2021 edition of the IPU–UN Women “Map of women in politics”. The data shows all-time highs for the number of countries with women Heads of State and/or Heads of Government, as well as for the global share of women ministers.
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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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Millie Odhiambo, 55, is one of Kenya’s fearless politicians. The legal frameworks she has ushered through Parliament provide unprecedented protection for victims of crime. Although sexual harassment and election-related violence often plague women politicians in Kenya, Odhiambo and her peers are proving that women deliver for gender equality and protection of survivors. She is also pushing for enforcing existing quota laws
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As part of the Leaders for Generation Equality campaign, UN Women, together with Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession, Stanford Law School Center on the Legal Profession, and University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, paid tribute to the global legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a high-level interactive discussion with eminent leaders, jurists and experts across the world on International Human Rights Day 2020.
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Ahead of the local elections in Turkey to be held in March, UN Women and the Women’s Coalition brought together more than 100 women from across the country to discuss the monitoring of the elections.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Suhela Khan currently leads UN Women’s joint programme with UNEP, called "Women’s Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Energy Programme" in India. Launched at COP 21 in six countries, the Programme works on identifying and removing structural gender-specific barriers that female energy entrepreneurs face, enhancing women’s productive use of sustainable energy, and increasing women’s participation and leadership in developing gender-responsive energy policies. UN Women spoke to Ms. Khan about how women’s access to clean energy and entrepreneurship can be improved in India, which is in the midst of a profound transformation in the energy sector.
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Remarks by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the African Women Leaders Network: Second Women Leaders Forum for Africa’s Transformation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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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”.
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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.
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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.
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In remote and rural Algerian communities, poverty among women is high. For vulnerable groups, such as widows, it’s even higher. A project funded by UN Women Fund for Gender Equality has revealed the unique challenges faced by women in these areas and given them the means to earn incomes, take charge of their own lives and inspire other women in their communities.
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Coumba Diaw is the only female Mayor in the Louga region of Senegal. She grew up listening to a rhetoric that restricted women from participating in politics and public life. But that didn’t stop her. Today she makes other elected officials aware of the importance of women’s leadership.
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UN Women, the African Union Commission, and the Permanent Mission of Germany today launched the African Women Leaders Network, a ground-breaking initiative that seeks to enhance the leadership of women in the transformation of Africa with a focus on governance, peace and stability.
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Young women attending the 61st session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women today met UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street.
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The number of women in executive government and in parliament worldwide has stagnated, with only marginal improvements since 2015, according to the data presented in the Women in Politics 2017 Map launched today by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women.