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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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A landmark funding opportunity to support local women’s organizations across the country to engage in conflict prevention and promote sustainable peace was launched today in the Philippines by the United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF)*. This new, rapid and flexible financing is being made available for applications from women-led and women’s rights organizations.
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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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Gaiotree Roy lives in Joldhaka, Rangpur in northern Bangladesh. She is currently studying Master of Arts in Philosophy. She is a karate trainer and steps away from achieving a black belt, the last stage of mastery in karate. She actively contributes to preventing gender-based violence and child marriage in her community. I am Generation Equality because… “I don’t want to see girls at risk of early and forced marriage..."