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Over 40 youth from across Nepal sent pitches for developing videos focusing on the social norm they wanted to change. Five pitches on the themes of Chhaupadi (a form of menstrual exile where women and girls sleep in small huts or animal sheds during menstruation and immediately after giving birth), caste-based discrimination, issues of queer and disability and gender identity were shortlisted for filmmaking.
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Kamala Thapa, 39, an indigenous Magar woman, is Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Manager at the Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Research and Development, a non-governmental organization in Kathmandu, Nepal.
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Sharada Bista is the founder and chair of Disability Rights Promotion Forum in Nepal. She is from Doti District, in the Sudurpaschim Province of Nepal. Her drive to fight for those rights comes from growing up in the far west of the country with a physical disability herself. "My lived experience as a woman with a disability is what drove me to become a disability rights activist. I grew up watching society discriminate, insult, and shut away people with disabilities. Determined to overcome these injustices, I knew that a community was only as strong as its members who are furthest behind,"
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Before the pandemic, Pariyar was able to get food and other essentials on loan from shops in her village and clear the bills when she received her wages, but things became increasingly difficult for Pariyar and her family under lockdown. “Without daily wages, my debts kept adding up. The shops were reluctant to give me more food without money, so my family started cutting down on food,” shares Pariyar.
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“If you love God, how can you abuse your wife, your children? Sister Doreen, as she is simply known, has supported thousands of women and children survivors of domestic violence, raised funds to build two safe homes, and is at the forefront of the nation’s SAFENET1 approach of improving support services for survivors. As a young village girl growing up in the Makira-Ulawa Province of Solomon Islands she knew something was “not right”.
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Around 6.3 million Nepalis lack citizenship certificates, with a higher proportion among women and marginalized communities. When a person is without citizenship certificates, this can put them at the risk of being stateless. In addition, in Nepal, the citizen certificate is required for accessing most basic services such as opening bank accounts, owning property, or even buying a mobile sim card.
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More than 41 per cent of women lost their jobs during the COVID-19 lockdown in Nepal. Responding to their practical needs, UN Women with support from the Government of Finland has been ensuring their access to food and nutrition through women-managed community kitchens across Nepal. Pushpa Sunar is one of the 123 people employed in the community kitchens, which is providing an income to the women working there and helping to alleviate the care burden among other women, as well as build trust and cohesion in the communities.
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In recent months, South Asia has had some of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases globally, driven predominantly by the second wave of the pandemic in India and Nepal. Since January 2020, India has reported over 30 million cases and more than 400,000 fatalities, figures that are likely substantially underestimated. Cases in Nepal rapidly spiked in mid-April 2021, with over 635,000 confirmed cases by the end of June and at least 9,000 deaths. Both countries have seen critical gaps in life-saving vaccines, treatment and tests, and in skilled human resources.
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From supplying food and hygiene products, to training health workers and nurses in COVID-safe protocols, providing personal protective equipment to front-line responders, protecting women’s livelihoods and sustaining shelter and essential services for survivors of violence, UN Women is channeling its funds, programmes and expertise to support women’s organizations on the ground. We are also working with national and state governments in India and Nepal to promote gender-responsive policies that support women’s recovery from the crisis.
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Solomon Islands has high vulnerability to natural disasters such as cyclones, high tides, floods and earthquakes, and in 2020 the Pacific Island country experienced the combined impacts of Tropical Cyclone Harold and the COVID-19 crisis.
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The review of an assessment tool used after a disaster is helping strengthen national mechanisms in responding to the needs of women, girls and vulnerable groups in Solomon Islands, following a humanitarian crisis.
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Women’s empowerment and gender equality are defined as a key priority of the Solomon Islands Government. Ministers in all sectors share the responsibility for ensuring and achieving equal rights with men, especially in the lands sector.
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In every region of the world, LGBTIQ+ people are routinely denied their rights to freedom, safety, and equality. They may face pervasive discrimination, experience intolerable acts of violence that go unpunished, and lack access to justice. These experiences cannot be separated from struggles they may also face on account of other intersecting identities. Throughout this year’s moments of collective crisis, celebration, and all that is in between, LGBTIQ+ activists have continued to fight against inequalities, anchored in and strengthened by the work of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of colour, to push for a safer, more equal world.
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Close to 30 women gathered in Honiara, Solomon Islands last week to research, develop and validate gender-inclusive recommendations to the Traditional Governance, Customs and Facilitation Bill (TGCFB), tailored to reflect the unique challenges women face, and work with the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affair to ensure women’s and girls’ voices are heard and included when adopting the Bill.
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The Malaita Provincial Government of Solomon Islands received the additional infrastructure work done to the Auki Market through the Markets for Change [M4C] project, in the presence of partners including representatives of the Australian High Commission and the Market Vendors Association, in a hand-over ceremony last week, that observed local custom and protocol.
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Laxmi Badi, a Dalit woman leader from Nepal is at the forefront of the struggle for equal rights, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In South Asia, persons from Dalit community are at the bottom of the archaic “caste system” – a social stratification, whereby individuals face multiple generations of discrimination and segregation based on their descent.
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[Press release]   Photo courtesy of UNDP Solomon Islands/ Andrew Tahisi.   Photo courtesy of UNDP Solomon Islands/ Andrew Tahisi. Solomon Islands, February 2021 – More than 100 landholding groups’ representatives including 60 women leaders from three provinces – Guadalcanal, Malaita and Western Provinces will participate in a series of consultation and awareness programs to learn how to make customary land available and accessible for the future...
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This is a series of articles from the Inclusive Governance of Natural Resources (IGNR) project in Solomon Islands, the heroines of which are local leaders who participated in the Traditional Governance and Facilitation Bill consultations organized by the IGNR project this year.
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Partners of the Markets for Change (M4C) project in the Solomon Islands, including the Hon. Freda Tuki Rangirei, Minister for Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs and H.E Dr Lachlan Strahan, the Australian High Commissioner, joined other stakeholder representatives from the national and provincial governments, municipal councils and market vendor associations, for the M4C Phase II Design Validation Workshop today.
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Advances in LGBTIQ rights in Nepal began with a 2007 Supreme Court ruling to legally recognize a third gender category; audit all laws to identify those that discriminated against LGBT people; and open the door to consider same-sex marriage. In 2003, another Supreme Court decision said a person cannot be prohibited from cohabitating with someone of the same gender. But an analysis Prevention Collaborative did in July 2020 with support from UN Women Nepal said that, “Translating the Supreme Court rulings into a legal framework that guarantees inclusion and protections is slow-paced and hindered mainly by bureaucracy and dominant patriarchal institutional and social culture.”