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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has clearly outlined her commitment to eliminating this scourge of violence against the women of Bangladesh. Nothing hurts her more, she has said, than violence against women. Her government has enacted several strong policies and action plans to promote gender equality and address violence against women, including the Domestic Violence Protection and Preservation Act 2010, National Women Development Policy 2011, Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act 2012 and the Child Marriage Prevention Act 2017, which clearly demonstrate the will to make changes.
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Statement by Ms. Alison Davidian, Country Representative a.i. for UN Women in Afghanistan, on the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan, during the daily press briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, 25 July 2022.
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Young people are disproportionately impacted by interlinked global crises, from climate change to conflicts to persistent poverty. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these fragilities. In 2020 alone, youth employment fell by 39 million. Today, 24 million young people remain at risk of not returning to school.
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The entirety of UN Women and HeForShe movement share with the bereaved family, the government and the people of Japan, the feelings of great loss at this moment of deep sorrow. Please join us in extending our heart-felt condolences.
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On 22 June, at 01:30am, an earthquake of magnitude 5.9 struck the south-eastern provinces of Paktika and Khost in the Central Region of Afghanistan.
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I am gravely concerned by the Taliban's announcement that all women must cover their faces in public, that women should only leave their homes in cases of necessity, and that violations of this directive will lead to the punishment of their male relatives. Freedom of movement is a fundamental human right. It is an absolute prerequisite for women’s ability to exercise the full range of their rights and to be active participants in society.
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UNAMA is deeply concerned with today’s announcement by the Taliban de facto authorities that all women must cover their faces in public, that women should only leave their homes in cases of necessity, and that violations of this directive will lead to the punishment of their male relatives.
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What does it mean to make laws gender responsive and survivor-centred in the context of ending violence against women? In simple terms, it means to ask survivors of violence about how a specific law would impact their daily lives and then draft laws with the input received. When drafting laws, it is important to engage with women, and the people that support them, such as those who work in shelters, and not just assume what the impact will be on survivors. It is extremely important to speak to survivors and ask them frankly what would make their lives easier. We ask survivors what laws would make them feel safer, and hold the offender accountable, knowing that, especially in the case of domestic violence, the relationship between offender and victim may continue.
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[OP-ED] In climate action, the green transition, and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), the rights and needs of women and girls must be met, to protect and empower them, and thus strengthen resilience across society. Only by mobilizing everyone’s potential can we fight climate change together.
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The rights of migrants across the Asia-Pacific region have seen considerable progress in the three years since the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) was adopted. However, much remains to be done, particularly ahead of the first international review in 2022 (International Migration Review Forum), to effectively face both longstanding and emerging challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
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UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and UN Women, the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women signed a letter of intent committing to strengthen their partnership to protect the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan. The complex humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan is marked by gender-specific restrictions that directly impact the ability of women and girls to realize their rights. Afghan women and girls face unique vulnerabilities and risks as gender inequality is interwoven with conflict dynamics and humanitarian needs.
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The delay is a setback to the tireless advocacy and dedication of civil society and women's rights activists, who have long fought for a comprehensive legal umbrella that protects the rights of victims and survivors of sexual violence.
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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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The climate and resource crises, as well as global inequality, have not disappeared during COVID-19. If anything, the pandemic has underscored the critical need to address gender inequality if we want to successfully combat the global pandemic and the climate crisis. It has also demonstrated the leadership roles that women and girls are playing in health and disaster response, especially at the local level.
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On Thursday, 21 October, the UN Security Council will convene its annual Open Debate on Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security, the landmark resolution that recognized the impact of conflict on women and girls and the importance of women’s leadership in peacebuilding and peacemaking. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic added to the evidence on the effectiveness of women’s leadership at the highest levels of public life.
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In an op-ed for the Global Governance Project, UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous writes: "The international community, including G20 leaders, have an opportunity to work together in unity to prevent the reversal of the hard-won rights of Afghan women and girls and to work constructively to enable a more inclusive trajectory that will actively foster peace and resilience in Afghanistan – and the region."
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The Asia Gender-Smart Investing Forum will discuss the foundations and applications of gender-smart investing in Asia. This 2-day forum aims to bring together industry leaders from across the region to provide investors, entrepreneurs, corporates, and advocacy organizations and provide them with guidance and good practices to advance women's economic empowerment and women in leadership roles through gender-smart investing.
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“Women have a right to peaceful protest and to a life free of violence. In taking control of Afghanistan the Taliban authorities assume a duty to respect and protect these rights,” Pramila Patten said. “I am shocked and outraged by the images of women in Afghanistan being whipped, hit with shock batons and beaten simply for exercising their right to peaceful protest. I stand in solidarity with all Afghan women who are fighting for the respect of their fundamental rights.
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“Women’s political participation is a fundamental prerequisite for gender equality and genuine democracy. Women’s participation in all walks of life is essential for an inclusive, strong, and prosperous society in Afghanistan, both to meet the many challenges the country faces today and to succeed tomorrow. It is therefore critical that political decision-making processes are participatory, responsive, equitable, and inclusive,” stated Pramila Patten.
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In line with the statement by the UN Secretary-General, UN Women remains fully committed to support women and girls in Afghanistan. We will remain operational and engaged with our partners at this critical juncture for the country.