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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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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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“Women and men play a multi-faceted role in peacebuilding. Violent extremism is a phenomenon that impacts everyone and men and women are equally vulnerable to being affected and recruited by extremist ideologies,” says Durr e Maknoon, Director General Outreach of National Counter Terrorism Authority, Pakistan (NACTA).
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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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“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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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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Despite increases in the number of women at the highest levels of political power, widespread gender inequalities persist, according to the 2021 edition of the IPU–UN Women “Map of women in politics”. The data shows all-time highs for the number of countries with women Heads of State and/or Heads of Government, as well as for the global share of women ministers.
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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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Thai celebrity and rights activist Cindy Sirinya Bishop is working to stop violence and other abuses against women as the newly appointed UN Women Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Asia and the Pacific. Bishop, 41, is a model and actress who is best known as the host of Asia's Next Top Model, a television show broadcast in most countries in the region.
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[Press Release] Women’s representation in political decision-making continues to increase but at a dragging pace, with three-quarters of parliamentary seats still held by men, according to new data presented in the 2020 edition of the IPU UN Women map of Women in Politics. The data’s publication coincides with the 25-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, which remains the world’s most comprehensive agenda for gender equality.
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Amid a dizzying array of dialects and attire reflecting Nepal’s rich regional and ethnic diversity, over 700 women local government leaders and representatives of District Coordination Committees from across the country gathered at City Hall in Kathmandu on 30 May (Jestha 16 in the Nepali calendar). On this day in 2006, the current President of Nepal, Bidhya Devi Bhandari, then a lawmaker, presented a resolution before the House of Representatives demanding at least 33 per cent representation of women in all the state mechanisms. The proposal was endorsed that same day. To mark this important milestone in Nepali history, the Cabinet decided in May 2019 to celebrate Jestha 16 as National Women’s Rights Day.
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This year, on the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, we celebrate ten years since the adoption of the United Nations Security Council’s landmark resolution 1820 (2008), which classified the use of conflict-related sexual violence as an impediment to the restoration of international peace and security. Over this decade, we have witnessed groundbreaking advancements in the fight against conflict-related sexual violence, including successful prosecutions...
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UN Women’s HeForShe campaign today announced 10 bold commitments from its IMPACT Champions, demonstrating strong leadership to advance women’s rights and empowerment.
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UN Women is deeply concerned by the escalation of violence in the crisis relating to Gaza. It has taken a catastrophic toll on tens of thousands of civilians, many of whom are women and children.
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Afghanistan has been in conflict for over thirty years, during which Afghans have experienced and witnessed unspeakable violence and upheaval. Enforced disappearance, summary execution, torture, rape, indiscriminate bombardment and wanton destruction have been a daily reality for the people of Afghanistan for decades.
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With few female candidates and poorly financed campaigns, observers wait and watch to see if quotas will be enough to maintain the 33 per cent of women’s representation achieved in Nepal’s previous Constituent Assembly.
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The UN Security Council today demonstrated renewed determination to put women’s leadership at the centre of all efforts to resolve conflict and promote peace.
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At a meeting of around 40 elected women representatives in Rajasthan, there is a dynamic leader who stands out amongst the large assembly of women.
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Bharati Behra has great apirations for her people. As a recently elected Sarpanch or village head, she hopes to become the voice of tribals from the area.