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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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“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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[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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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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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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Numbers often tell a story, but when it comes to gender issues, data is often missing or misunderstood. Where gender data does exist, and it is presented effectively to paint a vivid picture of gaps and progress, it can be an important driver of development projects and initiatives for social change. To encourage and expand the use of data in reporting gender stories and accomplishments, 25 participants from eight countries in Asia-Pacific took part in a Workshop on communicating gender data: promoting better use and delivering impactful messages. Jointly organized by UN Women’s Gender Statistics team and the Statistical Office of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
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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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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.