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When crises hit, not everyone is affected quite the same way. Crises intersect with and exacerbate existing inequalities. Challenges of climate change and its disproportionate impacts on women have been compounded by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine, and cost-of-living crisis. All of these have had a crippling effect on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially on SDG 5 on gender equality. To understand the extent of these impacts and to put in place relevant crises responses and sustain policy action on the SDGs, it’s critical we have a clear picture through gendered statistics.
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“Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The Gender Snapshot 2022” brings together the latest available evidence on gender equality and women’s empowerment across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), highlighting the progress made since 2015, but also the most recent setbacks, including the pandemic of COVID-19 and its aftermath, the impacts of climate change and conflict, and the backlash on women’s reproductive rights.
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The UN Women Executive Board will convene for its second regular session from Tuesday 13 to Wednesday 14 September 2022 in person at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
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The Sustainable Development Agenda, adopted by UN Member States in 2015, set a 2030 deadline for the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. Now, with under 10 years left to meet it, the world is not on track. Amid the intersecting crises of COVID-19, the climate emergency, and rising economic and political insecurity, progress on gender equality has not only failed to move forward but has begun to reverse. Around the world, a growing backlash against women’s rights is threatening even well-established freedoms and protections. Without heightened commitment from the global community, gender equality will remain nothing more than an unrealized goal. The time to act and invest in women and girls is now.
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When crises occur, women and girls disproportionately bear the impact. Their low participation in humanitarian response planning and decision making, however, limits their voices from being heard and their needs from being fully met. Empowering women to lead in crisis settings can help catalyse more robust humanitarian action that better addresses the needs of everyone.
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On World Humanitarian Day, as humanitarian needs globally have reached an all-time high, we salute and honour humanitarians’ life-saving work. They save and protect lives and ensure access to essential resources including food, shelter and health services in the toughest locations for the 305.9 million people in need of humanitarian assistance worldwide.
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Statement on Afghanistan by Ms. Sima Bahous, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director, 15 August 2022
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One year ago, on 15 August 2021, the Taliban entered Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul and captured control of the country. Over the past 12 months, human rights violations against women and girls have mounted steadily. Despite initial promises that women would be allowed to exercise their rights within Islamic law—including the right to work and to study—the Taliban has systematically excluded women and girls from public life.
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Youth and adolescents are leading global movements for change, bringing renewed energy and opportunities for achieving a more equal world for all. Generation Equality is building on this momentum by uplifting the leadership and contributions of the new generation in the fight for gender equality and bringing them together in partnership with advocates and visionaries of all ages and genders. On this year’s International Youth Day (12 August), centred around the theme “Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a world for all ages”, we are celebrating youth and adolescent voices, experiences, and skills that are helping Generation Equality and its Action Coalitions make a real-world impact.
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UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous conducted a three-day mission in Colombia, where she met with government officials, civil society groups, and partners. The purpose of the mission was to build on momentum and galvanize action for women’s leadership and gender equality across Colombia.
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My name is Mahbouba Seraj. I am 74 years old. I am an activist and women’s rights defender and I live in Afghanistan. A historian by education, for the last 12 months I chose to stay in Afghanistan to witness what was happening to my country and its people and to work for a better Afghanistan—one that belongs to all of us.
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Najiba*, 45, is a mother, former university lecturer and counsellor who helps women heal from trauma in Afghanistan. Despite threats and restrictions on her freedom to move, she continues to enable women to learn and heal.
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Zarina*, 28, is a young Afghan woman entrepreneur. Her drive for innovating and passion for baking made her one of Afghanistan’s youngest entrepreneurs. Her business is still running, but her clients are scarce and her plans for expansion across the country had to be shut down.
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Nasima*, 36, is a peacebuilder and a women’s rights activists. She has been living in Afghanistan all her life. After 15 August 2021, she continued to work in Afghanistan in what would soon become one of the world’s most complex humanitarian emergencies.
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Rosa Quispe Huanca is an Aymara singer and participant in UN Women's Originarias Programme in Chile, one of the aims of which is to promote indigenous women's businesses and projects developed in coordination with indigenous organizations, as well as public and private institutions. The programme also promotes the integration of indigenous women into the ecosystem of economic and social entrepreneurship in order to further gender equality and interculturality.
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UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous is on a three-day mission in Colombia, where she is meeting with government officials, civil society groups, and partners. The purpose of the mission is to build on momentum and galvanize action for women’s leadership and gender equality across Colombia.
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Statement by Ms. Sima Bahous, UN Women Executive Director, for the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, 30 July 2022.
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Statement delivered by Ms. Alison Davidian, Country Representative a.i. for UN Women in Afghanistan, on the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan, during the daily press briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, 25 July 2022.
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UN Women and Ant Foundation, a private charitable foundation established by global technology provider Ant Group, jointly announced the launch of “Together Digital”, a five-year partnership to support women-led micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and empower them to participate and thrive in the digital economy.
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Opening remarks by United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Sima Bahous, to the High-level Segment of ECOSOC/Ministerial meeting of the 2022 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, 13 July 2022.