UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality awards USD 1.4 million for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Asia Pacific

Date: Monday, December 21, 2015

[PRESS RELEASE]

Bangkok, Thailand – UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality announced the awarding of USD 1.4 million in grants to four innovative programmes in Asia and the Pacific starting in January 2016. These high-impact programmes were designed by women-led civil society organizations, and have been selected to jumpstart the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The new programmes will strengthen women’s right to adequate standard of living, dignity and economic freedom.

In South Asia, where caste-based discrimination affects over 260 million people, the Feminist Dalit Organization will spearhead a programme to advance their economic rights. It will work in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka to engage with civil society activists, parliamentarians and media personnel. Activities will include capacity building of policy makers and the strengthening of Dalit women’s employment opportunities. The programme intends to build Dalit women’s capacities to participate in developing policies and programmes for the empowerment of the Dalit community, and to focus public attention on the urgent need to take measures to protect their rights.

In the Philippines, the grantee Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiatives Inc. will work to empower women domestic migrant workers before, during and after migration. Partnerships with multiple stakeholders will propel policy advocacy at the national and local level for establishing comprehensive reintegration programmes. The programme will assist domestic migrant workers and their families with psychosocial, financial and technical preparation that will ease their return to their home country.

In Cambodia, the programme by grantee Banteay Srei will focus on increasing women’s economic opportunities, access to natural resources and control over household finances, and building their resilience to climate change and natural disasters. It will reach out to rural women, including those with additional vulnerabilities related to disability, their role as heads of households or domestic violence. Income-generating activities will cultivate skills and confidence, and increase employment options. In addition it is expected that the development of women’s capacities and leadership skills will contribute to broader social change and community development, as will the engagement of men and boys in supporting women’s economic empowerment.

In Samoa, the grantee Samoa Victim Support Group plans to empower ‘nofotane’ domestic workers by strengthening their understanding of their rights and advocating for formal recognition of their work. Other forms of economic empowerment will come through training these women to access environmentally sustainable livelihoods, with an emphasis on agricultural crop diversity and increased resilience to natural disasters and climate change.

The selection of these new grantees is the result of a highly competitive process initiated in March 2015 through a global public call for proposals where almost 1,400 applications from women’s civil society organizations were received from across the globe; 368 came from across Civil Society Organizations working to strengthen women’s economic and political empowerment in Asia Pacific.

To see the global announcement, the full list of new grantees and a brief profile of all 24 selected programmes across the globe, please click here.

For more information, please contact:

Caroline Horekens
Asia Pacific Monitoring & Reporting Specialist
UN Women Fund for Gender Equality
caroline.horekens@unwomen.org