The United Nations came into existence at a time of great despair, when the penholders of its founding document dared to imagine a better world, one that would be defined by peace and equality. Visionary world leaders chose hope over cynicism, empathy over indifference and partnership over distrust when they came together in San Francisco on 26 June 1945 to sign the Charter of the United Nations
. They embarked upon a new, rules-based world order, with an Organization of unrivalled legitimacy at its core.
The effect of the coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent global lockdown might have a graver effect on cities and urban areas than on rural areas, possibly making women more susceptible to violence.
This year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations, written and signed during a period of great global change. Today, the world is again shifting beneath our feet. Yet, the Charter remains a firm foundation for our joint efforts.
A legislation that aims to protect women against violence in Myanmar, while long overdue, is raising concern among human rights advocates about its inadequate definition of rape, vague definition for “consent”, and anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rhetoric.
As lockdowns ease in countries across Asia and the Pacific in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is clear—a return to business as usual is unimaginable in a region that was already off track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The virtual High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development recently convened governments and stakeholders across the globe to focus on the imperative to build back better while keeping an eye on the Global Goals.
“What do you think happens to kerosene when it is poured on your head?”
Surya stumbles as she speaks to IPS. “It goes down, it goes trickling down.”
When someone speaks to a burn victim, one naturally feels shocked, sad, and sympathetic. But in talking to Surya, who has the major part of her body burned, the feelings were of hope and inspiration. How is it possible to survive this trauma and still have so much love and joy to share?
Rohingya women are coming together to feature their own work, plight and stories in mainstream conversations about their community — a space they say they’ve been left out of.
“If we think of revolutions or liberty or think of any ways to liberate ourselves from the shackle of suffering and being dubbed as 'the most persecuted minority on earth', women have to be part of it,” Yasmin Ullah, president of the Rohingya Human Rights Network, told IPS.
Sixteen-year-old Suhana Khan had just completed her grade 10 exams in March, when India imposed a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. Since then, she has been spending her mornings and evenings doing household chores, from cooking and cleaning to fetching drinking water from the tube well.
(Eid al-Adha) around the corner, 11-year-old Fatoumata Binta from Terrou Mballing district in M'Bour, western Senegal, wakes up early and joins her brothers Iphrahima Tall and Ismaila to fetch water from a river several miles from home.
Catherine Bertini, former executive director of the World Food Programme, began the IPS United Nations Bureau webinar “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Women and Girls
” by reminiscing on a talk she gave in 1995 entitled “Women eat last”. She remarked that after 25 years, the phrase is still something that is relevant to the present day.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and given rise to a new, deeply concerning wave of rape culture in Lesotho. Although the true extent is not known yet, we have noticed concerning reports that the onset of the pandemic has worsened sexual violence with more women and girls being confined to small living places whilst social tensions are exacerbated.
“We may all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now,” Martin Luther King Jr once said. His timeless wisdom rings truer than ever today for the many challenges the world is facing. COVID-19, continued armed conflicts and forced displacement, climate-change induced disasters, deep divides and widespread discrimination mark the human family in the 21st century.
Growing up in the Senegalese capital of Dakar, Siny Samba (28) watched with fascination as her grandmother made snacks for her family, using the fresh fruit from their garden. She would often help her grandma make these snacks to feed the neighbourhood children.
Two years ago, Aarti started a small business selling traditional handicrafts online, supporting artisans based in rural Karnataka. After an initial phase of struggle, she had a steady stream of orders and was looking to procure manufacturing equipment and scale the impact of her business by supporting more local talent.
While men are more likely to die from COVID-19, women are facing the full blow of the socio-economic fallout from the ongoing pandemic as well as seeing a reversal in equality gains made over the last two decades, says an all-women panel of international thought leaders, who met virtually during a discussion convened by IPS.
Pregnant with her second child, 30-year-old Ndiabou Niang was enduring pelvic pain, but couldn’t afford to access prenatal care in Diabe Salla, a village on the outskirts of the small town of Thilogne in north-east Senegal. Her husband was unemployed and her earnings of under CFAF 10,000 (17 USD) from selling seasonal fruits in the local market were insufficient to make ends meet.
When Fatima* became pregnant in the middle of the school year and dropped out, she was disowned by her parents. Hers is a story that could have ended as another statistic of dropout rates among female learners in Senegal.
A young and dynamic digital platform, named Fuzia, has attracted millions of women social media followers and 100,000 active global users with its eclectic mix of content. The platform showcases women’s talent and provides a support network.
The Honourable Karina Gould
was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Burlington in 2015.
A graduate of McGill University and the University of Oxford, Minister Gould is passionate about public service and international development. Before her election as the Member of Parliament for Burlington, she worked as a trade and investment specialist for the Mexican Trade Commission in Toronto, a consultant for the Migration and Development Program at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., and spent a year volunteering at an orphanage in Mexico.
The Coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown has intensified most inequities in society- specifically those that affect vulnerable communities, including persons with disabilities, particularly young girls. As an aftermath of recent media attention, many government organizations, nonprofits and philanthropies have come together to ensure girls and women in remote communities have access to menstrual care products.