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Listening to the voices of women and girls with disabilities - what they experience, want, need and demand - is an important step towards achieving inclusive and just societies. World Down Syndrome Day celebrates the unique contribution of persons with Down Syndrome, to encourage us to think about inclusion.
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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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What would a utopian justice system look like? This was the question asked of participants from across Asia and the Pacific in an online consultation with women journalists. Their answer: a system that is people-centred and responsive to gendered needs. In the course of their reporting from different countries, journalists shared that they are witnessing and writing about similar issues in the justice chain.
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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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More than 100 civil society and human rights activists and members of faith-based organizations discussed with government and development partners this and other challenges of efforts to promote gender equality and human rights in Papua New Guinea. UN Women and the Consultative Implementation & Monitoring Council, a government agency, organized the 10 December forum with funding from the European Union-United Nations Spotlight Initiative to end violence against women and girls. The main event was held at APEC Haus in Port Moresby, and satellite events in Lae, Goroka, Mount Hagen and Kokopo cities.
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The status quo is disheartening for women with disabilities seeking justice for sexual and gender-based violence. They experience many of the same forms of violence as all women, including psychological, physical, sexual and economic. However, they suffer up to three times greater risk of rape and are twice as likely to be survivors of domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence.[1] At the same time, they face additional barriers to access services, legal aid and adequate response in the justice system.
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[Press release] On  11 December 2021, the United Nations (UN) in Indonesia will hold its inaugural Comedy for Equality showcase, featuring performances from 10 Indonesian comedians mentored by the multi-award winning Indonesian comic Sakdiyah Ma’ruf. Although the UN did not have a hand in crafting any of the comedians’ sets, each performer will address issues related to gender equality and the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence initiative.
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A fatwa was issed against me; they condemned me for normalizing obscenity and indecency among women by persuading them to come out of their homes. … I said, ‘You should also give a fatwa against Hazrat Khadija (the first wife of Prophet Muhammad) because she was also a trader.’ “God has not made us as weak as we have made ourselves.”
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[:: This interview is also available as an Easy Read document ::] Dewi Tjakrawinata is the co-founder of YAPESDI (Yayasan Peduli Sindroma Down Indonesia, or Down Syndrome Care Foundation Indonesia), a Jakarta-based non-profit organization that empowers youths with intellectual disabilities to become self-advocates. To mark 16 Days of Activism, UN Women’s Access to Justice team spoke to Dewi about ending impunity for sexual violence against women with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities.
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“I grew up in India, in an environment where you see gender disparity around you everywhere in the way women are treated, but I was also brought up in a supportive, inter-caste and interregional environment at home that was very gender-equal. So I believed that if my family can create a nurturing environment, I should be able to do the same.
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On 21 October 2021, UN Women and partners facilitated the participation of a delegation of Afghan women to speak at a series of events and high-level meetings at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on the sidelines of the UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security. The delegation included parliamentarians, women’s rights advocates, journalists, civil society leaders, and researchers.
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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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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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UN Women considers it essential to promote digital literacy so citizens and activists can counter with messages of tolerance and peace.In Mindanao, separatist groups fought the central authorities for decades; tens of thousands died. A 2014 peace treaty between the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front led to the establishment in 2019 of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. But challenges persist because of the slow progress of the new governance system, communal conflict, violent extremism, and threats to social cohesion brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Ramat Khan, 21, comes from a small village near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, where poverty rates are high and the practice of child marriage lives on. Once married, most girls drop out of school and are expected to take care of the household and bear children. As a Community Educator with UN Women’s Second Chance Education programme, she encourages women and girls in her village to complete their education. During the Covid-19 pandemic,
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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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“Society as a whole should standup and protect women against harassment,” the president told a national seminar on protection of women against harassment, adding it is our religious duty. “Harassment cannot end only with legislation but with collective effort of society”He also said that we have a similar duty to respect women’s full property rights, which unfortunately is not protected in some parts of the country.
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The Timor-Leste National Inclusive Education Policy (2011) has the objective that all residents of the country “should receive equally, an education of good quality appropriate to their individual abilities and should gain the necessary knowledge, capacity and skills – suitable vocation – to support themselves and their families and to participate in all areas of national development,” and the National Education Strategic Plan (2011).
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Around 6.3 million Nepalis lack citizenship certificates, with a higher proportion among women and marginalized communities. When a person is without citizenship certificates, this can put them at the risk of being stateless. In addition, in Nepal, the citizen certificate is required for accessing most basic services such as opening bank accounts, owning property, or even buying a mobile sim card.
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Kuhu Srivastava, 22, of Lucknow, India, is the founder of The Feminist Times, an online platform where people of all genders and ages discuss and advocate against patriarchal norms in society by sharing their personal articles, poetry, photo essays, art and videos. Contributors have ranged from 16 to 75 years of age.