Women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region were adversely impacted due to COVID-19 pandemic responses – with marginalized women and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) and gender-based violence (GBV) services profoundly affected.
States must do more to protect women and children fleeing war in Ukraine, rights groups have urged, amid growing concerns they are falling prey to trafficking and sexual violence.
While several politicians -and media– have been viewing the ongoing armed conflict in South Sudan as a “civil war” between rival ethnic groups, so nothing to worry about, there are some key facts that should be considered for the sake of having a wider, more accurate panorama. One of them is that this country is rich in oil.
When Suhier Abed’s husband broke both legs after falling two floors while working in construction, the 32-year-old mother of five needed to support her family.
In an exclusive interview with IPS, Ambassador Cindy Hensley McCain, Permanent Representative of the US Mission to the food and agriculture organizations of the United Nations in Rome, Italy, shares her thoughts on food security, sustainable food systems, the impact of climate change on food production, conflicts and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, and her plans while working with the Food Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and World Food Programme (WFP) with Farhana Haque Rahman and Sania Farooqui.
Ambassador Mathu Joyini began her role as the Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations in January 2021, becoming the first South African woman to hold the position.
Representing the African States Group, she is the Chair of the Bureau for the 2022 Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). She has championed causes related to Africa's peace and security, human rights, women’s empowerment, among others.
During this year’s sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women
(CSW66), we are eager to see the global community pivot towards more inclusive approaches to advocacy. It's imperative to put the spotlight on women’s rights and youth-led organizations in communities that are often left out of key discussions. By handing the mic over to advocates across all backgrounds and ages, we can shift to a model that enables all advocates to take a lead role in policy-making and ultimately translate promises and rhetoric into real impact and accountability.
2022 marks the second anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, and while an end to the pandemic is in sight, it is far from over and the consequences will be felt for decades to come. At the same time, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is becoming increasingly distant. The region must use the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a roadmap to a fairer recovery.
When schools reopened in Uganda in January, Atim’s baby was 3 months old. The 17-year-old wished to go back to classes but she faced a dilemma—whether to disclose to her teachers that she was a lactating mother.
Travelling in northern Nigeria, Peace Umanah noticed teenage girls with multiple children – they would be walking with one strapped to their back, holding another by hand and with a protruding belly.
The 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women
(CSW) was just launched. Due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the main annual global forum on gender equality is once again taking place in a hybrid format – both at the UN’s New York headquarters, where government delegations will be meeting, and online, where most civil society activity will take place.
In an exclusive interview to IPS UN Bureau, journalist Sania Farooqui is in conversation with Bangladeshi lawyer, Rizwana Hasan who was recently awarded the 16th Annual International Women of Courage Awards by the U.S Department of State. Hasan works primarily to protect the environment and defend the dignity and rights of marginalized Bangladeshis. Through landmark legal cases over the past 20 years, Hasan has changed the dynamics of development in Bangladesh to include a people-centered focus on environmental justice.
For the past three years, BRAC International
has been piloting in Liberia an adaptation of its acclaimed Graduation approach
, whose impact on reducing extreme poverty was first proven in Bangladesh
. The success of the Liberia pilot, which I managed, provides not only further proof of impact but vital lessons that can enhance and accelerate scaling of the approach globally.
For decades now, world leaders have talked about ending hunger and poverty and building a new world order based on human rights and gender-equality.
Teresa Lokichu recalls the day she attended a meeting convened by high-ranking government officials, community leaders and elders to discuss various pressing issues such as security in her pastoral community of West Pokot in Kenya's Rift Valley region.
Women are already leaders on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Sisters Nina and Helena Gualinga of the Kichwa Sarayaku community in Ecuador work tirelessly to protect Indigenous land. Archana Soreng from the indigenous Khadia tribe in Odisha, India is a talented climate researcher and advisor to the United Nations Secretary General. Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate is encouraging a whole generation of young people to fight for their right to a safe future. There are thousands of other women and girls working tirelessly to protect our planet whose names I do not know but who deserve to be acknowledged this International Women’s Day too.
The increased empowerment of rural women in Bangladesh over the past 10 years has been no accident.
A decade ago, not even one in four
rural women could be said to be “empowered” across five key metrics, a figure that surprised even those working on the ground with the country’s poorest. By 2015, this had risen to more than two in five, or 41 per cent, with continued gains in recent years.
It was on a visit to Lesotho that I first heard the derogatory term Mmutla
– nocturnal hare. It is a word used in some southern districts to insult adolescent girls who have been forced into sexual exploitation and transactional sexual relations for survival.
When I was a young girl, a friend and I spent our summers building a treehouse. We built it because our older brothers were building one and wouldn’t allow us to help them. So, we asked our parents to support us through the procurement of basic tools, collected scrap wood from the local hardware store, chose a tree, and then spent day after day puzzling beams and boards together into structure in which only people of our small size could fit.
The picture is gloomy: not only do women represent 70% of the 1.3 billion people living in conditions of poverty, but also up to 40% of the poorest households in urban areas are headed by women.
Women around the world play crucial roles in education as formal educators, school staff members, and parents of students. But women are also transforming education as non-formal educators in ways that can be scaled to improve education broadly. As we celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8), it’s important that this transformative role is recognized.