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Ko Aung Lin, a 36-year-old famer and a member of the Mro ethnic group, lives in Ah Htet Myat Lay village, Ponnagyun Township, in Sittwe of Rakhine state in Myanmar’s far west. He is the only man among the 10 volunteers chosen in Rakhine for a joint project by UN Women and United Nations Population Fund to prevent violence against women and girls and help survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 restrictions delayed the start of the project.
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Jyotsna Siddharth, actor, writer and activist from India, spoke at a side event during the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, co-organized by UN Women and the National Alliance of Women’s Organisation in India. In this interview, Ms. Siddharth talks about India’s anti-caste and young feminist movement.
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In the spirit of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Japanese Center for Research on Women in Sport (JCRWS) of Juntendo University co-organised the Open Symposium on Gender Equality in Sports with the Japan Sports Agency (JSA) and ASEAN Secretariat, and support from the UN Women. The Symposium is part of the four-day ASEAN-Japan Workshop on Gender Equality in Sports held from 10 to 13 August.
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The transgender teenager fled a military offensive in Myanmar’s Rakhine State and endured a days-long journey by boat and foot to reach a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh in 2017. But at the camp, instead of peace, she experienced continued abuse and isolation, driven by that same familiar discrimination. “I was tortured a lot in Myanmar because of my femininity,” the woman, who still lives in the camp, recalled. “I was beaten and so I went to the village representative, who blamed me, saying that it was my behaviour that caused me to get beaten.
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In every region of the world, LGBTIQ+ people are routinely denied their rights to freedom, safety, and equality. They may face pervasive discrimination, experience intolerable acts of violence that go unpunished, and lack access to justice. These experiences cannot be separated from struggles they may also face on account of other intersecting identities. Throughout this year’s moments of collective crisis, celebration, and all that is in between, LGBTIQ+ activists have continued to fight against inequalities, anchored in and strengthened by the work of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of colour, to push for a safer, more equal world.
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Advances in LGBTIQ rights in Nepal began with a 2007 Supreme Court ruling to legally recognize a third gender category; audit all laws to identify those that discriminated against LGBT people; and open the door to consider same-sex marriage. In 2003, another Supreme Court decision said a person cannot be prohibited from cohabitating with someone of the same gender. But an analysis Prevention Collaborative did in July 2020 with support from UN Women Nepal said that, “Translating the Supreme Court rulings into a legal framework that guarantees inclusion and protections is slow-paced and hindered mainly by bureaucracy and dominant patriarchal institutional and social culture.”
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UN Women is supporting dialogue between the Government and LGBTIQ groups to ensure that Nepal’s LGBTIQ people are properly counted in the 2021 population census. The last census, in 2011, tallied only 1,500 people identifying as LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and queer/questioning). That was because the census lacked specific questions or a method to collect this data, and the nature of the census made many people afraid to come out.
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The HeForShe University Tour sparked debate across Bangkok campuses, driving several institutions to recognize the urgency of addressing gender inequality and violence on campus. In the wake of the tour, supported by UN Women, several leading Thai universities have launched or renewed commitments to strengthening partnerships between faculty and students, and to develop further research on gender-based inequality and violence.
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“I was born on a farm in Rayong, a province just a couple hours south of Bangkok, Thailand. I started muay thai at the age of five to combat the bullying that I faced in school because I was shorter and smaller than most of the other students. My father was also a muay thai fighter and I joined his gym, which started my journey into martial arts.
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A cross-agency training on gender in communications brought together UN staff from 13 agencies in Nepal last month. The two-day session provided the 25 participants with a range of tools and skills to develop gender-responsive communication materials in their respective lines of work. “There is a need for devising coherent communications plans and strategies that position the United Nations as the torchbearer of incorporating gender in communications,” said Valerie Julliand, UN Resident Coordinator.
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[Press release] Students of Chulalongkorn University today raised their voices to bring gender equality conversations out in the open at universities to create a safe and gender-equal campus for all at the very first kick-off event of the HeForShe University Tour in Bangkok. Together with Chulalongkorn University, three more universities-Thammasat (10 September), Webster University in Thailand (11 September) and Mahidol University (13 September)-partnered with UN Women to launch the HeForShe University Tour.
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Inspired by the Women’s Empowerment Principles of UN Women and United Nations Global Compact, more companies operating in Bangladesh -- including multinationals Unilever and Standard Charter Bank -- have pledged to improve conditions and opportunities for female employees. On 9 March, International Women’s Day, UN Women and consumer goods giant Unilever in Bangladesh jointly organized a series of events called Balance for Better that brought together private businesses, youths and academics to start talking about gender equality. CEOs of companies pledged to work on gender equality, youth leaders spoke about their journeys and aspirations
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The sun may not have been shining on the Metro Manila Pride March in Marikina City, but the horizon was nonetheless illuminated with bright rainbow flags and costumes celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) community. Roughly 56,000 people took to the streets in the 29 June march to celebrate diversity of sexual expression and gender identity, and to rally for the rights of the LGBTQI community. This year’s theme was Resist Together, a call for advocates and supporters to fight discrimination against LGBTQI people.
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“I was born in a traditional Newar household in Patan, Kathmandu Valley, and my childhood was highly influenced by my family’s cultural background. I lived in a big family with my grandparents and they did not speak Nepali. So, I grew up speaking Nepal Bhasa, my mother tongue. However, at school I would get shut out of my native language as I was only exposed to Nepali and English, the only two languages used in most educational institutions in Nepal.
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President of the Parliament, His Excellency Arão Noé Amaral, re-affirmed in his opening remarks, Parliament’s commitment to the rights of people living with disabilities and pledged to study the possibility of developing a parliamentary resolution to adopt on the rights of people with disabilities. He also said he would invite the Government to submit a proposal for ratification of ''The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.'' “Government has the obligation to protect persons with disabilities and not to exclude them from development programming and planning,” Amaral said.
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Justin Zhao Peng, now 16, remembers vividly how his grandmother used to favour him over his female cousin when they visited her as young children. She would take him aside and tell him that he would have more responsibility and be more important. In celebrating the New Year, she would slip him 300 yuan more than his cousin. At first, Zhao Peng felt proud that he had been singled out...
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On Tuesday, October 30th, the United Nations in Timor-Leste, through its initiative Empower for Change, launched new partnerships with national organizations of persons with disabilities, the Asosiasaun Defisiensia Timor-Leste (ADTL), The Leprosy Mission Timor-Leste (TLMTL) and the Community-Based Rehabilitation Network (CBRN) to address and prevent violence against women and children with disabilities in Timor-Leste. Through the partnerships...
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A record number of women in the workforce and local women assistant referees are part of this year’s Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship reflecting a global movement to achieve more equal participation of women and men in rugby. The number of women working in the tournament...
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Today, youth representatives from ASEAN countries, together with 100 other young people from Vietnam, participated in the event “Gender Dialogues: Engaging ASEAN Youth in Gender Initiatives” at the Green One UN House in Hanoi. The event highlighted the potential for youth engagement to generate social change for gender equality and the empowerment of women at both regional and national levels. The dialogue concluded a 5-day participatory...
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With the support from UN Women, Cambodian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning (LGBTIQ) people and activists have launched an online media platform to promote the rights of their community. The platform, dubbed LOVEISDIVERSITY, aims to engage youths, especially students, in increasing society’s acceptance of LGBTIQ people and the profile of LGBTIQ issues. It was launched on 8 June in a ceremony at Pannasastra University of Cambodia...