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In the wake of crisis, economic response and recovery plans often forget the needs of women and girls, hindering sustained peace and development. In Bangladesh, UN Women supports the Generation Equality Compact on Women Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action (WPS-HA) and is working with local partners to put recovery back on track by increasing economic security for crisis-affected women through grants and job training.
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UN Women remains steadfast in our determination to ensure that the rights of women and girls are fully observed and enjoyed worldwide, and we look forward to continued evidence-based engagement with our partners everywhere in support of rapid progress towards universal enjoyment of universal rights.
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We live in a world with a startling disconnect between how women and girls are impacted by current multiple crises, and their involvement in finding and implementing solutions. It’s time to recognize this, refocus, and urgently coordinate our efforts to reverse it. I therefore urge G7 leaders to take the lead in fostering women’s equal rights, including women’s autonomous decision-making over their bodies and health, and support the achievement of their full political, social, and economic participation.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened a trio of interlocking crises that threaten women and girls around the world: spiking levels of gender-based violence, steep losses in employment and an unmanageable increase in unpaid care work. Coupled with accelerating climate disasters and geopolitical conflict, these crises risk reversing hard-won progress on gender equality. Preventing such rollback – and ensuring a more gender-equal future – critically depends on effective government action. Drawing on a unique global dataset of close to 5,000 COVID-19 response measures adopted by 226 countries and territories, a new report by UN Women and UNDP identifies key priorities for placing gender at the core of recovery efforts and future crisis preparedness.
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Countries with greater women’s leadership, universal social protection and care systems, and space for feminist organizations to participate in democratic decision-making are more effective at responding to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new global report released today by UN Women and the United Nations Development Programme.
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Today’s global challenges put widows’ rights into sharp relief. In 2020 and 2021, the World Health Organization recorded nearly 15 million excess deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, while the climate crisis and rising conflicts around the world continue to endanger lives and to separate families. Across the world, we face the highest number of violent conflicts since 1945, from the DRC to Ethiopia, from Myanmar to Syria. In Ukraine, women and children constitute an estimated 90 per cent of the 14 million people forced to leave their homes.  These deadly conflicts are undoubtedly leaving behind a tragic cohort of widows. These women may often have the fewest defenses against the hardships of crises but remain almost invisible in many societies. On International Widows Day, we recognize the millions of widows around the world and call for social and economic reforms that address their rights.
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Cannes, France, 20 June 2022 – UN Women and the Unstereotype Alliance, an industry-led coalition convened by UN Women to eradicate harmful stereotypes in advertising, today launched “The Levers of Change: Gender Equality Attitudes Study 2022, the latest iteration of a bi-annual global study that tracks attitudes towards gender. The 20-country-wide survey shows that some antiquated views of gender have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study, developed under the leadership of UN Women in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, Kantar, Procter & Gamble and Unilever, examines perceptions across a multitude of areas including leadership and political participation, education, healthcare, the workplace, media representation, marriage and family life, safety and violence, and control over personal decisions. The results of the survey were revealed during the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which has sharpened its focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion this year.
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Opening remarks by Sima Bahous, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women, to the UN Women Executive Board annual session 2022.
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Aida Ghadban is a Palestinian refugee living in Al Rashidieh camp, the second most populous Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. Aida helped train over 100 women to grow vegetables on their home’s rooftops. This activity was a turning point for these women, who regained self-confidence and felt they were finally making a difference in their community.
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In the last year, the world has witnessed a shocking deterioration of the global security climate. Women and girls in particular are experiencing significant consequences, including their displacement within and across borders and an intensified risk of all forms of sexual violence. This situation gives a renewed significance to two international days observed by the UN this month, the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict and World Refugee Day and challenges the international community to address these interlinked issues with urgency.
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Larysa Denysenko is a journalist, attorney, human rights activist and co-founder of the Association of Women’s Lawyers of Ukraine, “JurFem”. Before the war, Denysenko and JurFem mainly advocated for women’s leadership in legal professions, provided mentorship and supported strategic court cases related to domestic violence and gender-based discrimination. Now, this has extended to representing the interests of those who have survived conflict-related sexual violence allegedly perpetrated by the Russian military in Ukraine.
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Ariet Ojulu is the Head of the Women, Children, and Youth Affairs Office in Itang Woreda, Ethiopia, a district neighboring three refugee camps hosting refugees predominantly from South Sudan.
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Ongoing armed conflict and insecurity in Somalia, unprecedented natural disasters–mainly prolonged droughts and locusts – leave women in Somalia with limited options. With support from the Government of Japan, UN Women is creating opportunities for climate security, climate-smart agriculture, livelihoods and business skills for women in Somalia. Overall, 7,400 internally displaced women and other marginalized women in Somalia were able to mitigate the impact of multiple crises on their livelihoods, protect themselves from exposure to gender-based violence, and participate in decision-making processes within their communities.
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More than two decades on from the adoption of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda — which affirmed the crucial role of women in conflict prevention and peacebuilding initiatives — women’s inclusion in recovery and relief efforts remains under-resourced and under-valued. Reversing this trend is a priority, and though advancing causes around gender and peace may seem the purview of policymakers and non-profits, the private sector has an important role to play.
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Remarks by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women Sima Bahous at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security
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On Thursday 9 June 2022, European Council President Charles Michel, together with UN Women, Nadia’s Initiative and the Dr Denis Mukwege Foundation, co-hosted the second edition of “Women in Conflicts” in Brussels, bringing together women leaders and survivors of conflicts.
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The Elsie Initiative Fund (EIF) launched its 2021 Annual Report: “Diversity. Inclusion. Transformation” – English version, highlighting initial results and the impact of pilot projects. The report features eleven projects that contribute to the meaningful participation of uniformed women to United Nations peace operations.
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With the support of UN Women, women and men in the rural communities of Assam State in India have found new ways to work together to prevent and respond to violence against women, youth, and children in their neighbourhoods.
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During 24–27 May 2022, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women Åsa Regnér made her first official visit to Albania and Georgia. The purpose of the Georgia visit was to become acquainted with and deepen the long-term cooperation that connects UN Women with the country’s legislative and executive branches in a variety of directions. The Albania visit focused on the country’s progress towards achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment and the promotion of gender equality as a key factor in advancing EU integration.
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The UN Women Executive Board will convene for its annual session from Tuesday 21 to Wednesday 22 June 2022 in person at United Nations’ Headquarters in New York.