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Before the devastating flood, Kavita earned a living by making products from dry date palms, sewing, and embroidery. “The water washed away everything I had made with my own hands. All raw materials and unfinished products were swept away.
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When the recent floods hit Fatimah Gul’s house, everything happened so quickly that she was unable to bring any belongings or food supplies. The elderly widow lost most of her belongings when her village was one of the very first to be hit by floods in Swabi District of the northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
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Aileen U. Hualde, 47, is based in Maguindanao Province in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, in southern Philippines. She is a leader of the Teduray indigenous people and founder of the Women Organization of Rajah Mamalu Descendants, which groups women whose families were displaced by armed conflicts. Hualde was first trained on gender and peace advocacy through the UN Women’s Speakers’ Bureau in 2016, and she and members of her organization attended a Training on Quick Community Response Teams on 5-7 July 2022 in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, the Philippines. The teams help people displaced by natural disasters and violent conflicts. The training was supported by STEP, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund Phase 3, and UN Women’s project Empowering Women for Sustainable Peace, which is funded by the Governments of Canada and the Republic of Korea.
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[Press release] UN Women and foodpanda Pakistan have reached a mutual understanding for the cooperation and promotion of gender equality in the workplace through initiatives undertaken to address and implement strategies pertaining to gender-responsiveness and an environment devoid of discrimination and harassment.
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The agreement was signed today in Lahore by Sharmeela Rassool, country representative of UN Women Pakistan, and Wajeeha Khalid, business head, Nishat Mills Ltd (Apparel Division). Nishat Mills is also a signatory of the global Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a set of guidelines for businesses to safeguard and promote women’s rights and empowerment in the workplace.
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“Women and men play a multi-faceted role in peacebuilding. Violent extremism is a phenomenon that impacts everyone and men and women are equally vulnerable to being affected and recruited by extremist ideologies,” says Durr e Maknoon, Director General Outreach of National Counter Terrorism Authority, Pakistan (NACTA).
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Sittie Janine M. Gamao, 32, is a Peace Programme Officer V, Ministry of Public Order and Safety in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the Philippines. Gamao helps to resettle in mainstream society former fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the violent extremist groups Maute/ISIS and Abu Sayyaf. She also helps widows of slain fighters.
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Aileen Hualde considers it her duty to help resolve conflict. She and other female volunteers created the Community Quick Response Team in South Upi, in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, first to help stem the COVID-19 pandemic there. Then the team worked with the local government to help almost 600 people displaced by communal conflict while giving priority to the needs of women and girls.
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This year, in honour of and the 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women and International Women’s Day theme, UN Women put a spotlight on the intersectionality of gender inequality and climate change with an event on the theme: “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow,” underscoring how women and girls continue to bear the burden of climate change while leading empowerment and sustainability efforts across the globe.
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Kert Tandog has been working for two years with the Liyang Network, which raises awareness of front-line environmental activists in Mindanao. One focus is training Indigenous communities on legal literacy and land property laws.
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The Philippines Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed an agreement in 2014 to end the protracted conflict in the Bangsamoro region of the southern Philippines. But while the agreement included provisions on empowering women, women and other groups including indigenous peoples, people living in conflict-affected areas and former combatants are at risk of being pushed to the margins.
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[Press release] A joint pilot project between the Bridging Recruitment to Reintegration in Migration Governance (BRIDGE) Program and Connected Women promises to help women Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) returning to the Philippines, including those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, get a foot in the door of the digital economy.
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[Press Release] UN Women and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement today to continue working together to promote women’s equality and empowerment in Asia and the Pacific. The memorandum of understanding formally extending the partnership to March 2027 was signed in an online ceremony by the bank’s president, Masatsugu Asakawa, and the executive director of UN Women, Dr. Sima Bahous. The two sides had been cooperating since 2016 under an earlier 5-year agreement.
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Over the years the people of Sulu province in the Philippines have experienced armed conflicts, violent extremism, kidnappings and multiple displacements. The province now is part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Nurrunihar Mohammad is a provincial representative for the Bangsamoro Women Commission and a former-combatant of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
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Police Lieutenant Colonel Melbeth Mondaya is Gender and Development Focal Point of the Philippine National Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. The region has long been affected by private armed groups, violent extremism and violent clan feuding. In November 2021, Mondaya participated in a workshop on women, peace and security organized by UN Women and Bangsamoro Women Commission in cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
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On December 3, 2021, winners of the annual Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Awards for 2020 and 2021 gathered at the ceremonial kick-off of the WEPs Winners Circle to celebrate gender equality champions and discuss how to further the work to advocate for women's empowerment, gender equality, diversity and inclusion across the workplace, marketplace, and community.
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A fatwa was issed against me; they condemned me for normalizing obscenity and indecency among women by persuading them to come out of their homes. … I said, ‘You should also give a fatwa against Hazrat Khadija (the first wife of Prophet Muhammad) because she was also a trader.’ “God has not made us as weak as we have made ourselves.”
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Nine Philippines-based companies championing gender equality and women’s empowerment were recognized at the 2021 Philippines Women Empowerment Principles WEPs Awards by UN Women and the European Union, which distinguish outstanding initiatives and practices that promote gender inclusivity in the business sector. These winners will compete at the regional WEPs Awards in Bangkok on 18th November 2021.
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UN Women considers it essential to promote digital literacy so citizens and activists can counter with messages of tolerance and peace.In Mindanao, separatist groups fought the central authorities for decades; tens of thousands died. A 2014 peace treaty between the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front led to the establishment in 2019 of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. But challenges persist because of the slow progress of the new governance system, communal conflict, violent extremism, and threats to social cohesion brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“Society as a whole should standup and protect women against harassment,” the president told a national seminar on protection of women against harassment, adding it is our religious duty. “Harassment cannot end only with legislation but with collective effort of society”He also said that we have a similar duty to respect women’s full property rights, which unfortunately is not protected in some parts of the country.