The climate crisis doesn’t stop for anyone or anything, not even the pandemic that has forced billions of us to radically overhaul our lives. And like the pandemic, climate change has no nationality, agenda or political affiliation.
An often quoted indigenous reference in the Samoan language is, O le ala i le pule o le tautua
, literally translated, “the pathway to leadership is through service” because to be able to lead is to be willing to serve.
In just over a day, on 9 December, Indonesia holds 270 simultaneous local elections for executive office. This involves nine of the republic’s 34 governors, 224 of 416 bupati
(district chiefs) and 37 of 98 mayors. The polling was initially scheduled for 23 September but the independent KPU (General Elections Commission) put the date back to 9 December due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I have long given up on active politics,” Gertrude Sidambe, a 36-year-old member of one of Zimbabwe’s opposition parties, tells IPS.
When female members of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front complained last month about political violence as male members chose brawn over brains to solicit for positions, the party’s National Secretary for Women’s Affairs Mabel Chinomona advised that they enter the punch-and-insult battlefield and “fight” like everyone else.
In 2010, at the opening session of the civil society forum observing the tenth anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on “Women and Peace and Security”, I had the honor to declare 1325 as “the common heritage of humanity” indicating the wide-ranging nature of the potential benefits which will flow from the landmark resolution’s full and effective implementation by all at all levels.
I will begin by presenting to you excerpts from the message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres on the International Day of Non-Violence.
The impacts of crises are never gender-neutral and COVID-19 is no exception. The pandemic has resulted in increased rates
of violence against women and has exacerbated challenges in accessing justice. Women are losing their livelihoods
faster than men.
The issue of women’s rights, feminism and gender is complex and ongoing in most countries including Bangladesh. When I was asked to write about impact of COVID-19 on women and girls, I found myself drawn towards writing about women’s situation in general as that automatically impacts COVID-19 response as well. Since I am a woman who has been a part of many different cultures, yet a Bangali at heart, I am not only a survivor within its ranks but also responsible for being a part of the solution to the problems we face.
In 2013, Alice Wahome ran in her third attempt to win the hotly-contested Kandara constituency parliamentary seat in Murang’a County, Central Kenya. As is typical of rural politics, the field was male-dominated, with the stakes being high for all candidates but more especially so for Wahome — no woman had ever occupied the Kandara constituency parliamentary seat.
Recent gains by women in the Ethiopian political landscape offer a chance to improve gender equality around the country and put an end to long-standing societal iniquities.
Since coming to power in 2018, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has reorganised the cabinet to ensure that 50 percent of the government’s top ministerial positions have been given to women.
When you flip through grade one Bangla school textbooks there is very little written about the progress women have made in Bangladesh since the Beijing Conference for Women in 1995.
Where are the women and youth peacebuilders in the Beijing+25 and the Generation Equality Forum processes?
Their absence raises serious questions about the effectivity and coherence of the work of the UN on gender equality since armed conflict is both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality.
The narrative surrounding women’s rights in 2020 carries much hope and possibility. A new decade is ushering in important anniversaries and milestones: 25 years since the Beijing Platform for Action, 110 years since the birth of International Women's Day and the 10-year countdown to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Inclusion of women in political processes is one of the key ingredients of sustainable peace.
Although the number of women in political office has increased worldwide over the past 25 years
, progress has been slow.
Women were at the forefront of Lebanon’s 2019 ‘October Revolution’. Beyond the iconic images of their participation, it seems that by women linking equity in politics to the broader issues of mismanagement of corruption paid off - although activists say there is a long road ahead.
Great strides have been taken to empower women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing adopted an ambitious global agenda to achieve gender equality twenty-five years ago. Gender parity has been achieved in primary education. Maternal mortality has been halved. Today, the region’s governments are committed to overcoming the persistent challenges of discrimination, gender-based violence and women’s unequal access to resources and decision-making.
On 10 July 2019 I was honored to moderate a meeting with women’s groups for the UN Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres, whose aim was to better diagnose the role of women in the prevention or instigation of violent extremism.
Two months after the general elections in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, things are back to normal. The incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, a 76-year-old general and former military Head of State, clearly defeated his challengers.
On the occasion of the observance of the 2019 International Women’s Day, the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue reiterated the urgent need to intensify efforts towards achieving gender equality in all spheres of society, eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls, and promoting women’s political and economic empowerment.
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a hero. While my friends dressed up as princesses, I wore a home-made Joan of Arc costume. Where others read romance novels, I read about fighting dragons. I didn’t want to be a princess, I wanted to save them.
Women human rights defenders around the globe are facing heightened threats of violence and repression. Sometimes they are targeted for being activists, and sometimes just for being women. World leaders should do much more to secure space for women’s safe participation in public life.