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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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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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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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[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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Tarikul Islam is a Commanding Officer and Superintendent of Police at Bangladesh Police’s Armed Police Battalion in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Since 2019, UN Women has supported the Bangladesh Police to strengthen gender-responsive policing in Cox’s Bazar and improve the availability, accessibility and quality of services in alignment with the United Nations "essential services package” for women and girls subject to violence.
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Naheed Farid was among many women leaders who left Afghanistan, fearing for their lives, as the Taliban took over in August 2021. Farid spoke at the UN recently, calling for international support to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and to safeguard women’s rights.
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Pannapa (Aimee) Na Nan has more than 14 years of experience coordinating disaster management at national, regional and international levels. As the director of International Cooperation Section at the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), Ministry of Interior of Thailand, she co-chairs the Technical Working Group on Protection, Gender and Inclusion (TWG-PGI) convened by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Committee on Disaster Management.
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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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Alison Davidian, Deputy Representative for UN Women in Afghanistan, breaks down what women in Afghanistan need most right now, what UN Women is doing for women in the country, and how the international community can support Afghan women now.
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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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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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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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Essential equipment worth VND 483 million (USD 21,200) has been donated to the Vietnamese organization Peace House, for their helplines and shelters for survivors of human trafficking and violence against women. The donation, funded under the UN Women-UNODC joint programme on Enhancing Women’s Role in Law Enforcement and Border Security to Prevent Trafficking in Person and Transnational Crimes was ceremonially handed over by UN Women last week.
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Naw Moh Moh Than, 18, aspires to become a teacher but she has had her journey disrupted several times. When she was in secondary school, armed conflict in Kayin State forced her and her family to flee to a displaced persons camp. With the help of one her teachers, she resumed her schooling in the nearest town but then the COVID-19 pandemic forced all the schools to close since the start of 2020. Still, Naw Moh Moh Than remained determined. She joined a sewing training that UN Women organized in the camp and made cloth masks that humanitarian groups bought and distributed to women across Kayin State, which is mostly populated by the Karen ethnic minority.
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India’s vaccine drive has barely reached its significant population of displaced people, despite government initiatives. UN Women and UNHCR partnered up to conduct online dialogues with health experts, refugee communities and service providers to dispel myths, provide health information and how to access support.
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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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The review of an assessment tool used after a disaster is helping strengthen national mechanisms in responding to the needs of women, girls and vulnerable groups in Solomon Islands, following a humanitarian crisis.
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Just one day after Cyclone Seroja hit Dili in April, killing 41 and displacing 4,022, members of the LGBTI community and a joint force from local non-governmental organization Arcoiris set up a community kitchen to provide food and drinking water to more than a thousand people in their neighbourhood of Bidau, in the east of the capital. As the torrential rain swept away belongings and houses, the spirit of solidarity remained firm, as food, clean water, women’s hygiene kits, and essential household goods were supplied to more than 200 families, including material to rebuild houses.
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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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Still only 17, the girl has endured a life full of violence and abuse, inflicted by the very people who are supposed to look after and love her. Now she may have finally found some measure of peace.After her father abandoned the family, the girl was raped by her uncle, then punished by her mother. “I had been sexually abused by my uncle since I was a teenager,” she said. “My mom thought that was my fault and asked me to keep silent. She hit me many times and during the COVID-19 pandemic, it escalated.”