Information and communication technologies have the potential to open up new worlds of ideas and the media - television, newspapers, advertising, blogs, social networks, film – is increasingly omnipresent in the lives of many of us. In line with one of the major themes of this year’s Commission on the Status of Women, UNESCO is assessing how the media and ICTs shape the lives of women.
March 8, 2018 International Women’s Day offers another opportunity to reflect on the progress made towards gender equality and women’s political rights.
Since its explosion onto the social media landscape at the end of 2017, the #metoo movement has continued to gain global traction. Initially centred on powerful Hollywood women breaking decades of silence about sexual abuse and harassment in the industry, the conversation soon spread across global regions and sectors, from #YoTambien
in the Spanish-speaking world to #balancetonporc
in French. From China
in Arabic. From national governments
to international development
, the stories are grim, and their pervasiveness has been jarring.
In the semi-lit makeshift tent covered with strips of cardboard, five women sit in a huddle. As their young children, covered in specks of mud and soot, move around noisily, the women try to hush them down. Hollow-eyed and visibly malnourished, all the women also appear afraid.
From the Argentine slogan "Ni una menos" (Not one [woman] less)" to Colombia’s “Now is not the time to remain silent”, activism against gender violence has grown in Latin America since 2015, with campaigns that have social and cultural differences from the "MeToo" movement that emerged later, in 2017, in the United States.
The numbers are hard to fathom. Nearly two million people driven from their homes in 2017 alone. The worst cholera epidemic of the past 15 years, with over 55,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths. Countless others killed, maimed or sexually assaulted.
As a student in Rome, the closest event that left a mark in my life was the Women’s March in the Italian capital. The march allowed me to contribute to the empowerment of women and to demonstrate that no woman is free-- even if one’s rights are being violated. #MeToo.
Nobel Laureates Mairead Maguire, Shirin Ebadi and Tawakkol Karman met with more than 100 women refugees in camps in the coastal Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh this week, as well as travelling to the “no man’s land” where thousands of Rohingya have been stranded between Myanmar and Bangladesh.
In 1909, the Socialist Party of America, in support of female garment workers protesting working conditions, designated March 8 as a day to honor women. By 1917, women in Russia were protesting for ‘bread and peace’ against a backdrop of war. In recognition of that protest and women’s suffrage in Soviet Russia, The International Socialist movement designated March 8 as International Women’s Day.
At the invitation of the Government of Sudan, I visited Sudan from 18 to 25 February 2018. The objective of the visit was to gain first-hand knowledge of the situation, assess the challenges of addressing conflict-related sexual violence in Sudan, and establish constructive dialogue with national authorities in this regard.
More than half a million Rohingya refugees crammed into over 30 makeshift camps in Cox’s Bazar in southeast Bangladesh face a critical situation as the cyclone and monsoon season begins in a few weeks’ time.
As sexual abuse and paternity claims continue to rise against UN peacekeepers overseas, the United Nations is actively collaborating with troop contributing countries (TCC) in collecting DNA samples: a protocol introduced back in 2014.
This week, we began intergovernmental negotiations on the Global Compact on Migration. Therefore, it has never been more important to have a fact-based discussion on this issue.To start us off, I want to make main three points. First, I want to stress that migration is a fact. It is not an idea. It is not a theory. It is not a trend. It is a fact.
A new initiative aims to use data to shed light on a pervasive multi-billion dollar criminal industry: human trafficking.Created by the International Organization for Migration and Polaris, the Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC) is the world’s first human trafficking data portal.
Sexual abuse allegations against Oxfam staff, and failings in the charity’s response to them, delivered a body blow to an organisation renowned for years of humanitarian and development work. At the very least the accusations will leave a stain on the reputation of a charity that works in some of the toughest environments in the world, and has made a positive difference in the lives of the most vulnerable.
I first met Asma Jahangir, the champion of human rights in Pakistan, who died Sunday, as a teenager in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s. In a friendship that spanned political upheavals and turbulent transitions in Pakistan and in Sri Lanka, to the War on Terror in the US, Asma remained my mentor and muse.
Persistent and pervasive gender-based discrimination is undermining sustainable development and preventing communities and countries from reaching their full potential, said a UN agency.
More than 200 million women around the world have experienced some kind of female genital mutilation (FGM) and more could be at risk, a UN agency said.
The commendable initiative of a group of girls combating early marriage in Trishal, as reported by The Daily Star on Thursday, shows how social problems like child marriage are best handled: through greater community involvement. The girls are working to raise awareness of the consequences of early marriage among local people and girls/women themselves so that they can resist any such attempts on their own, without recourse to administrative measures and other such interventions. In the last two months alone, encouraged by the local UNO and community leaders, they prevented 10 early marriages.
Most of the world’s women have experienced sexual harassment. Based on available country surveys, it is estimated that no less than 75 percent of the world’s 2.7 billion women
aged 18 years and older, or at least 2 billion women, have been sexually harassed (Figure 1).
In the last year, a women’s rights tidal wave flooded the world: over 4 million people marched in the first “Women’s March” in January 2017
, and over a million marched a year later
, from Washington DC to New York, from Sydney to Osaka, and from Rome to Nairobi.