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In the wake of crisis, economic response and recovery plans often forget the needs of women and girls, hindering sustained peace and development. In Bangladesh, UN Women supports the Generation Equality Compact on Women Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action (WPS-HA) and is working with local partners to put recovery back on track by increasing economic security for crisis-affected women through grants and job training.
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“Women in management positions are twice as likely as men in the same position to spend more time on DEI work that falls outside their formal job responsibilities,” says UN Women APAC’s Sarah Knibbs. Read on for Sarah’s thoughts on creating sustainable DEI impact, eliminating tokenism and accelerating equity. In this exclusive interview, Sarah spoke to People Matters about the key to sustainable DEI impact, the essentials to shaping transformative learning experiences and the role of men in enabling gender equity.
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These stories showcase the vision and (expected) impacts that some of the outstanding women entrepreneurs participating in WEA-initiated programmes aim to bring to creating a more inclusive workplace, marketplace, and community.
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A total of 315 vulnerable women-headed households affected by the 2020 flooding and COVID-19 in four communes of Quang Tri province, central Viet Nam, received cash grants of VND 4 million (173 USD) each from UN Women to rebuild their livelihoods.
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Three women led the making of the film in 2018 when they were students at Massey University/The University of New Zealand: Wiktoria Ojrzyńska as director, co-producer and editor, Amiria Ranfurly as co-producer, and Alexandra Brock as cinematographer and editor. Subject to Change shows scenes of near-apocalyptic destruction wreaked by cyclones and climate-induced disasters.Through the voices of women like Ravaga, the film offers moments of reflection on how much there is to lose — land, culture, languages, life.
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When Tran Thi My Linh, a 51-year-old rural woman first said that she would replace her rice fields with lotus fields, she raised many eyebrows. In the little commune of Hoa Dong in Phu Yen province, just south of Viet Nam’s capital, Ha Noi, villagers had planted rice for generations. However, with the changing weather patterns in recent years, millions of people have been affected in Phu Yen and in rural Viet Nam in general and people have started looking for new livelihoods.
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“When the husband doesn’t get the meal coming back home, he’ll hurl abusive words, that’s only normal. So during the flood, when the family went without food, it was common. Sometimes it was too much. I wanted to retort but couldn’t, fearing his beating. Since I couldn’t run away to escape his beating, with water all around. If I did snap at him sometimes, he would beat me and not give money for food for days.” Selima Begum from Nimkusharpar village at Pachgachi Union of Kurigram Sadar was narrating the plight women endured during the last monsoon flood that brought untold sufferings to women in her village.
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Nimarta Khuman, a Gender and Protection Advisor, explains what it means to incorporate gender and protection in humanitarian action and why it’s important.
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“Livestock and rice fields of villagers were damaged,” recalled Kanha, “but the drowning death of a 7 year-old girl was heart-breaking for me.” The girl’s death brought grief to the community in Kampot, the southern Cambodia city where Kanha is Deputy District Governor. When a disaster hits, boys and girls, and men and women have distinct vulnerabilities, and this shapes the way the experience and recover from a disaster. One such vulnerability is gender inequality.
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Every morning at 10 a.m., Sok Sopheap sets off to run errands and pick up her two grandchildren from school in Tropang Thom village, southern Cambodia. Sopheap is in her 50’s – a stage in life when many women in her country might slow down – but like many local women, she is bearing an increasingly heavy burden as a result of climate change. Like other villages in Takeo province, Tropang Thom has been in the grip of an oscillating water crisis.
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“When the cyclone finally arrived, we were all huddled in the house. The cyclone strength was getting stronger and stronger, and the damages started in the kitchen.” “The next morning, we saw the complete devastation in front of us. The roof was completely destroyed. All the doors and windows were completely damaged. The walls had collapsed because of the fallen roof. We all stood in shock, crying and holding on to each other,” recalls Sesalina Vaiangina...
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Le Thuy district, located along Kien Giang river, is among the high-risk flood zones in Quang Binh province, central Viet Nam. People here are used to gauging the weather patterns from observing the water level. After two years without flooding, in October last year, Le Thuy’s luck turned for the worse—three consecutive floods came within a month. "Most of the villagers were sleeping when the flood was rushing in,” recalls Huong Duong, a small shopkeeper living near Kien...
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In rural areas in Viet Nam, a country severely affected by climate change, 64 per cent of working women are in the agricultural sector. In addition, women are primarily responsible for gathering food and water for their families. They are also the primary caretakers for children, elderly and disabled members of the family. There is no division of labour at home even when women work in the fields, since gender inequality is entrenched in the family and society. Women also do not have access to the same information and knowledge as...
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Even disasters discriminate. More women die in disasters than men. Women face even greater risks of violence in the aftermath and their ability to make an income is often more affected. They end up caring for even more people – other people’s children, the elderly, the injured. Considering this reality, and on World Humanitarian Day, we have to ask ourselves: Where are the women’s voices in disaster planning, response...
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A few days after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on 25 April 2015, the the wounded started streaming in to Gorkha Bajar, a small town some 150 kilometres from the capital of Kathmandu. The epicentre was less than four hours away by car on rough mountain terrain. As some villages didn’t have roads, many injured were flown in to the district...
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Severely traumatized after losing her four-year-old daughter during the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal, Kalpana Shrestha is on the road to recovery today, thanks to psychosocial counselling she received at a UN Women-supported multi-purpose women’s centre in Sindhupalchok District. To date, the centre has provided psychosocial counselling to nearly 500 women and young girls. Kalpana Shrestha doing her day-to-day chores in Sanosirubari VDC-2 at her home in Chautara, Sindhupalchwo,...
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The first thing that hits you about a country that has felt the full force of a category five cyclone is the trees. It’s like they have been ravaged by a forest fire, one that strips them of their foliage but otherwise leaves no visible scorch marks. Unfortunately, I was seeing this for the second time in less than a year. Surveying the damage, talking to women who are battered and exhausted—but far from broken by Mother Nature’s fury—I have witnessed women’s incredible strength and resilience....