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Shorifa Jahan (not her real name) is a Community Leader under UN Women’s Combatting Gender-Based Violence (CGBV) Project in Bangladesh funded by the Government of Canada. The project focuses on primary prevention, stopping violence before it occurs, so that all women and girls live a life free of violence at home, at work and in public spaces
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Rakhine State, Myanmar – Daw Aye Mu had always wanted to learn how to expand her small business making snacks in western Myanmar. In July 2021, she was selected to attend the UN Women and World Vision Start to Improve Your Business (SIYB) training, along with a cash grant from partner organization Meikswe Myanmar. She explains how the opportunity was a stroke of personal good fortune amid difficult times for her country.
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The past year has seen an encouraging rise in companies that promote gender equality in the workplace, with over 1,500 organizations in the region adopting the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). Despite the limiting effects of the pandemic, a growing number of firms now have women in leadership positions, giving them greater representation in boardrooms and a louder voice in critical business decisions.
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Jesmin Aktar lives in a village of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. She regularly attends UN Women's "Shanti Khana" [Multi-Purpose Women's Centre – MPWC] learning sessions and is dedicated to improving her life by pursuing a challenging job and contributing to society.
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Jyotsna Siddharth, actor, writer and activist from India, spoke at a side event during the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, co-organized by UN Women and the National Alliance of Women’s Organisation in India. In this interview, Ms. Siddharth talks about India’s anti-caste and young feminist movement.
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We have come a long way, from struggling to manage our own expenses to registering our very own company and employing women workers. It gives me immense joy that many households are prospering because of our work. When someone in need comes to me and I am able to help them, that’s what fulfilment and real joy is. So far I have transformed the lives of 200-250 women. The people who used to criticize me now come and ask how they can improve their income.
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The Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum brings together representatives from government, business, workers organisations and the international community for wide-ranging discussions on maximising the positive contribution of business to human rights and developmental goals in Asia.
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For immediate release, Bangkok (4 June 2020) – The annual United Nations Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum will this year be held online, June 9 – 12.  Where: Online When: June 9 – 12 Time: Event begins at 10.00 am (Bangkok time, GMT+7) Webcast: Journalists are invited to register and view the event on our dedicated platform The Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum brings together representatives from government, business, workers organisations and...
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Ana Paula Soares stands in front of her family’s house in Ermera, Timor-Leste. Photo: Courtesy of Natercia Saldanha  “Starting from this month, I won’t go to work. My family and I are sad that I can’t earn money anymore to help the family and pay for my nephews and nieces’ education.  After high school graduation in 2011, I wanted to pursue a university degree, but then I realized that I could never afford it. So I decided to work and sustain...
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Nicha Nitinavakarn is a police captain working in the Arrival Immigration Bureau at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, where women make up most of the workforce. Her responsibilities include passport check, entry approval and problem-solving for all arrival issues.
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Parinya Sirirattanapanya used to have a pop-up clothing shop in Bangkok, which is now shut down because of the COVID-19 outbreak. She has turned to the food delivery industry, since that’s one of the few essential services still operating.
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[Updated] Over the course of two weeks in early March, stock exchanges across Asia, in partnership with the joint European Union-UN Women programme, WeEmpowerAsia, will hold a series of “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” events in a symbolic gesture to mark International Women’s Day (8 March).
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Private sector leaders, social entrepreneurs along with European Union and UN officials will meet in Bangkok to discuss the business case for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment at a panel hosted as part of the ASEAN Women CEOs Summit.
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“I was born to parents belonging to the lower middle class in a small village near Sialkot in north-eastern Pakistan. I lived a simple and peaceful life before marriage, but my ordeal started as soon as I stepped into my husband’s house. My husband was a drug addict who would expect from me to work and provide for his bad habits. I would work at home stitching working gloves, only to see my meagre income taken away by my husband. I lived through constant humiliation, violence and dilemma for years. But I survived.
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Sufia Khatun from Pirganj, Rongpur, found herself without any source of income after her husband passed away. Through a joint UN programme, she was able to learn tailoring and get access to finance to invest in her own business. Today she employs 20 women in her community.
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Tie Lingmei 40, lives with her family in Qiaotou Village of Qinghai Province in China. With her ambition and the help of UN Women, she improved living conditions for herself as well as for many other women in her village. “I used to work as a taxi driver along with my husband in the county. Because I could not leave my child alone in my hometown, I decided to sell the car, came back and set up an agricultural cooperative with the help of our village secretary.
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When I was in Class 11 and there was no money for attending school, I dropped out. I continued with my studies at home by taking notes from my friends and borrowing books. This is how I kept myself connected with studies, and I joined back school as soon as I had the means to do so. I am currently pursuing my studies and working simultaneously at the Empowerment Centre. At Pragya, I got the opportunity to help women find jobs...
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On 1 February, 2017 UN Women in Lao PDR will launch two landmark reports in Vientiane Capital, on the importance of gender equality, women’s empowerment and advocacy for gender-responsive policies. The reports are: (*) Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016: Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights, and (*) Baseline Study on Situation of Women Market Vendors in Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR. The launch event will also include a robust discussion panel by expert panellists...
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Edna Valdez, 58, a former migrant domestic worker, is now the President of Bannuar Ti La Union, an organization that works for migrant women’s rights in the La Union province of Philippines. Having experienced the hardships of migration first-hand, Ms. Valdez conducts trainings in her community about migrant workers’ rights, risks of illegal recruitment and trafficking, and access to services.
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The men at the factory would stare at me and tell me that I was old enough ‘to be eaten. I was the newcomer. Walking the small distance from my sewing machine to the toilet used to be very uncomfortable.’ New women coming to work at the factory often experienced harassment. I felt so angry. I wanted to tell them that their behaviour was...