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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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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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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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Andhika Chrisnayudhanto is Deputy for International Cooperation of the National Counter Terrorism Agency (BNPT) of Indonesia. He is the chair of the Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC), Working Group on Counter Terrorism, of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Working Group on Counter Terrorism led in developing the ASEAN Bali Work Plan 2019-2025 on countering extremism. BNPT partnered with UN Women on the report, Gender Analysis of Violent Extremism and the Impact of COVID-19 on Peace and Security in ASEAN.
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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 Aliansi Masyarat Adat Nusantara, or The Indigenous People’s Alliance of the Archipelago. 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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Alexandra Phelan is the deputy director of the Monash Gender, Peace and Security Centre at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. She recently led the research report, Gender Analysis on Violent Extremism and the Impact of COVID-19 on Peace and Security in ASEAN: Evidence-based Research for Policy. The report was done for the UN Women project, Empowering Women for Sustainable Peace: Preventing Violence and Promoting Social Cohesion in ASEAN.
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UN Women joins the United Nations Secretary-General and the UN family in Afghanistan in strongly condemning the horrific attack near a school in Dasht-i-Barchi, Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed and injured scores of civilians, including many girls. Attacks such as this constitute a grave violation of the rights of children and human rights more broadly.
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Laxmi Badi, a Dalit woman leader from Nepal is at the forefront of the struggle for equal rights, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In South Asia, persons from Dalit community are at the bottom of the archaic “caste system” – a social stratification, whereby individuals face multiple generations of discrimination and segregation based on their descent.
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As a demonstration of commitment to place gender at the core of collaborative security action in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in the Philippines, representatives from the Government and from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, security actors and representatives from women’s organizations came together for a three-day workshop (3–5 February 2021) to discuss how to strengthen cooperation on a range of issues related to gender and security in BARMM.
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In January 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic began spreading across China. Of the 42,600 medical workers dispatched to the hardest-hit Hubei Province, as of early March, two-thirds (28,000) were women, who have been dubbed “roses in the battlefield”. Women without any medical background also joined the fight, volunteering for vital roles across other provinces.
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Good news for market vendors and market goers in Gizo, Western Province, Solomon Islands: Today, the Australian Government is celebrating the grand official opening of the Gizo Market with the Western Provincial Government and the Gizo Market Vendors Association (GMVA).
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Indra Maya Tamang says that for as long as she can remember, her family has farmed the land here in the hills of Nepal. “We have carried on with the practical knowledge that has been passed on to us from generations ago,” she says. But Tamang now also knows this: “Times are changing, the air we breathe is changing, and if we don’t learn new techniques now, we’ll be stuck in the past. One cannot afford to be constant — change is inevitable. That is why we too must keep moving forward.”
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UN Women and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) commemorated International Day of Rural Women with an event that showcased stories from rural women themselves and culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
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Message by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on the occasion of the International Day of Rural Women, 15 October 2014
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Rural women are now able to demand work, manage worksites and ensure wages are paid, largely due to a project that has reached over 30,000 women in 69 villages in northern India.
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Organized as part of a UN Women programme, gram sabhas (village councils) have re-defined the manner in which half a million women are participating in local governance. In Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh, issues that were once ignored by men are now being taken up by women.
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The grand prize winner and two runners up were announced for the UN-sponsored photo contest that invited residents of Asia-Pacific to send in their best shots that reflect UN values in their neighborhoods, cities, countries or the region. Ms. Dwi Kristyadi took the grand prize, with her submission of “On the Wet Ground” which shows a volunteer giving lesson to street children in Jakarta. In a makeshift classroom on a bare concrete are gathering impoverished children of the Indonesian capital.
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Humsana from Sriramnagar village in Andhra Pradesh (AP) picks tamarind leaves from the forest for a living. Dalit women like her are largely unaware of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), 2005 that guarantees 100 days of paid employment to rural households per year.
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To celebrate International Women’s Day, 8 March, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in the Pacific took part in a community radio broadcast, hosted by femLINKpacific’s Generation Next young women volunteers, in Nausori, Fiji.