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The brunt of the pandemic has been borne by women and girls. Emerging evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded existing vulnerabilities faced by women and girls and threatened to further widen gender and socioeconomic inequalities. Yet, during this difficult time, women around the world have exhibited remarkable resilience in contributing to the response effort as well as economic recovery.
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Madam Maa Zenai stands proudly at the entrance to her brand-new shed. Inside is the small herd of cattle that has changed her life, thanks to a project that employed a ground-breaking partnership between IFAD and UN Women to empower rural women in China.
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Over 60 participants from government agencies, embassies, United Nations agencies, academia and business enterprises attended the dialogue, Biodiversity and Climate Change from a Gender Perspective. Over 320,000 other people participated via online livestreaming. Smriti Aryal, Country Representative of UN Women China, said that in order to strengthen the resilience of women to climate shocks and enhance their participation in climate action.
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Eleven Chinese businesses were granted Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Awards by UN Women China, in partnership with the EU Delegation to China. The award ceremony took place during the 2021 International Conference on Gender Equality and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The WEPs Awards celebrate the efforts of private-sector companies in addressing gender inequalities in the new normal of a post COVID-19 world.
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When UN Women first began to consider the way that climate change was hitting rural women in China, it was Qinghai that first came to mind. A large, sparsely populated province stretched high across the Tibetan Plateau, Qinghai has seen an unprecedented jump in precipitation and extreme weather, wreaking havoc on rural livelihoods. Its rural labor force also has a largely female face, being around 70-80 per cent women.
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Women-owned businesses that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic are receiving support with recovery efforts from a new project jointly implemented by UN Women China and the All-China Women’s Federation.The project, Supporting Women to Recover from the Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19, was launched in Wuhan on 16 September. It is funded by China’s Rockcheck Puji Foundation. The project will target women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in two of the Chinese cities most-affected by the pandemic, Wuhan and Tianjin.
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From cooking and cleaning to taking care of children and the elderly, household care work is the backbone of thriving families, communities and economies. Yet many cultures traditionally have regarded men as the breadwinners and women as the caregivers, with unpaid care work their “natural responsibility”. In China, women spend around 2.5 times as much time as men on unpaid care work.
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[Press release] UN Women China and its partners today launched a five-year project to boost agricultural productivity in China’s Hunan Province while protecting livelihoods against the risks of climate change. The project, focused on women farmers, is expected to benefit about 328,000 people.
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After working in Thailand for almost two years as a migrant domestic worker, Douang Keomouangluang returned to her home in Nong Kae Village in the southern province of Salavan in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) in September 2020. She wanted to be with her husband and parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, but admits she had no clear plan of what to do for work. “I did not prepare to set up a business,” she said. “I just wanted to be back home. With the THB 50,000 (USD 1,500) that I saved, I built a house and bought appliances and a motorbike.”
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Worldwide, data shows that women and girls are at the frontlines of agriculture and natural resource management and are key guardians of agrobiodiversity and food security. Yet compared to men, they rarely have an equal right to own, use and control these resources. They also receive less support through formal or informal networks and programmes, and have less opportunity to learn and advance.
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Twenty-eight more Chinese companies -- the majority of them led by women -- signed on to UN Women’s Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March. A total of 258 companies in China have now signed on.
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Economies in Asia and the Pacific will recover faster from the COVID-19 pandemic if more women are appointed at the top of supply chains, and women’s opportunities are prioritized throughout the workplace.
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IKEA China and UN Women China have launched a partnership to address two interlinked issues that hinder women’s economic empowerment: unpaid care and domestic work, and violence against women.
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When the COVID-19 pandemic first struck China, Qiaotou village was already struggling. Set in the Liupan mountain area of Qinghai province, the village had more than 25 households living under the poverty line at the time, and with transport suspended and markets closed they were particularly vulnerable to food shortages.
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Interview with Inthava Thonpheng, volunteer at the Lao Federation of Trade Unions Migrant Worker Resource Centre (MRC) in Savannakhet, Lao PDR
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Participants in a forum co-organized by UN Women have discussed ways for private companies to better integrate gender equality goals into their internal policies as well as their social outreach programmes.
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At #SheBouncesBack, @UNWomen invites women who own small and medium-sized businesses in China to share their stories of fighting the pandemic on the economic front lines. Please join us and share your story!
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First Lady of China Peng Liyuan and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka called for expanding educational and job opportunities as they spoke at a gathering to assess progress on raising the status of women and girls.The two leaders spoke in recorded video messages to a meeting on Women and Poverty Reduction in the 21st Century that UN Women and All China Women’s Federation organized in Beijing on 16 September.
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There are still 840 million people still living without electricity – most of them in poor and remote areas. While those who can afford it will buy kerosene lamps or candles, many people live in complete darkness once night falls, and this figure will have increased during the pandemic when so many have lost their livelihoods. Kerosene and candles also offer poor quality light at a high cost to the environment – one kerosene lamp can emit one ton of carbon dioxide in five years.
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Sat in the cozy classroom of a cyber-celebrity incubator in Aba, Sichuan, Li Ying gestures towards her smartphone with an enthusiastic smile. “I want to study as much as I can,” says the 54-year old, the colours of her clothing bright against the mountain view behind her. “It's much better to make money on my own than to reach out for my husband.