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Chandrawathi Dissanayaka, based in Siyambalanduwa, in Uva Province of Sri Lanka, is the first and only woman elected as president of a Pradeshiya Sabha [local authority] in the country. In October 2021, Dissanayaka attended a series of “multi-party dialogues” that UN Women hosted as part of its project, funded by the Government of Japan, on Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Sri Lanka.
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Twenty-six Vietnamese police officials started receiving training today on international policing and UN peacekeeping roles and responsibilities, particularly how to protect women and girls from sexual violence in conflict-related contexts. UN Women, jointly with United Nations Police Division’s Standing Police Capacity and Viet Nam’s Ministry of Public Security is organizing the three-day workshop (12-17 July 2022) in Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province.
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Reti Khatun is a mother who lives in Kulpala village in Chuadanga, a district in southwest Bangladesh that is extremely vulnerable to climate change and long, devastating droughts in the summer. Her husband cannot work because of a disability, so she is the breadwinner of the family as well as caregiver. She used to clean houses for a living, but people stopped calling her during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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An international workshop to strengthen the capacities of female officers in leadership positions was held today in this city in Ha Nam province for 40 senior policewomen from northern provinces and Hanoi. The Department of Foreign Relations, Ministry of Public Security, hosted the workshop in partnership with UN Women.
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To help fix the acute gender disparity in national political leadership in Papua New Guinea, UN Women is supporting training of a second group of female local politicians so they can rise up in the ranks. Politicians of district and provincial governments are being trained at the Political Academy for Women, which UN Women started last December in partnership with the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance. The Governments of Australia and New Zealand fund the project.
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Palu, Indonesia – Supported by UN Women and its project partner, the Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN) Indonesia, activists and government authorities who believe that women can play important roles in the effort are devising gender-responsive ways to tackle the risks of violent extremism in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province.
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Dewi Rana is director of  Lingkar Belajar Untuk (Libu Perempuan), or Learning Circle Association for Women, a non-governmental organization that promotes women’s rights in Central Sulawesi province, Indonesia. The organization gathered members of civil society and government officials to draft the province’s action plan on preventing and countering violent extremism. That work has been supported by UN Women and its partner the Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN) Indonesia. Rana was interviewed by Xinyue Gu of UN Women.
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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] Rising violence and insecurity are forcing women in Myanmar to stay away from jobs and healthcare services, says a new UN survey of over 2,200 women, which signals a deterioration of development gains in the country.
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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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Hasina Safi served as Afghanistan's acting minister for women from May of 2020 until August 2021, and as Minister of Information and Culture before that. Ms. Safi has over 20 years’ experience in women development programs working with Afghan civil society organizations international organizations and UN agencies.
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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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Dame Carol Kidu is a former legislator, minister, and leader of the opposition in Papua New Guinea (PNG). In July she shared her experience with women intending to contest in the 2022 national elections, during a workshop in Kokopo, East New Britain, organized by UN Women in partnership with the Department for Community Development and Religion.
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Gender-based violence Rapid Response Teams in 17 communities, led by local police, and consisting of a Women’s Union Officer and a Justice Officer, Youth Union Officer or Community Leader, deliver timely and coordinated responses and protection for women and girls experiencing violence in their communities.
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“Women must be represented at every level of society, and they should be economically independent and free of harm.” — I am Generation Equality: Bisliya Bhutto, human rights activist, political leader.
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What seemed like just another training, ended up being life-changing for 25-year-old Luisa Tiotio Afoa Sulu of Poutasi Falealili in Upolu, Samoa. Luisa first participated in the Women in Leadership in Samoa (WILS) Project’s vocational, language and leadership skills training for young women back in 2019, paving the way for a more confident and sustainable future for her and her family.
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Women who are “most disadvantaged” need “equal participation in all relevant planning and decision-making processes,” with regards to multi-stakeholder engagement for climate action, said Saad Alfarargi, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to development. This includes in particular “women with disabilities, girls and young women, minority women, indigenous women, and members of other disempowered and marginalized groups,” he said.
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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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Building back better from COVID-19 needs investment in feminist, grass-roots leadership. Yet, direct funding to women’s organizations accounts for less than one per cent of the global official development assistance provided for gender equality. In six stories, learn about the critical support that grass-roots women leaders and their organizations bring to their communities.