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“Participating in the Second Chance Education and Vocational Learning Programme has made me confident,” says Bulbul Akter, 24, a seamstress, turkey farmer and community outreach volunteer from Ukhiya Cox’s Bazar. “Now, I am known to my relatives and neighbours as a self-reliant woman. I am contributing to my family and the wider community, and I can support my daughter’s studies. I have requested that my two sisters also enrol in this programme.”
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Funded by the Swedish International Development Agency, the EmPower project aims to contribute to the implementation of climate change and disaster risk reduction actions in Asia and the Pacific that address the key drivers of gender-based vulnerabilities while enhancing human rights.
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UN Women Indonesia rolled out the project from June 2020 through May 2021. At the end of the project, 610 women benefited from the cash-based interventions, 100 women received advocacy and leadership training, and more than 100 individuals received knowledge on coordinated quality services to better support and empower women's migrant workers. In addition, 11 women’s crisis centers and shelters across the country were supported to ensure that services for women’s survivors of violence could continue during the pandemic.
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The World Economic Forum says that at the current rate of change, it will take 108 years to close the overall gender gap and 202 years to bring parity in the workplace. India has one of the lowest female labour force participation rates in the world and a majority of women work in the informal sector.
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The “UN Women impact stories series”, updated quarterly, illustrates the human impact of UN Women’s work across Asia and the Pacific, highlighting the partnerships that make this work possible. These stories share how we and our many partners are striding forward to realize a better world for women and girls—one of equality and empowerment because that is what we do and who we are, as a leader, mobilizer, convenor, and provider of programmes.
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Women and girls have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic’s social isolation and economic fallout. They face increased violence, unpaid care work, and other inequalities and violations of their rights.