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As peacebuilders, all three women have been motivated by their personal suffering from the conflict. And in the communities, the damage lingers, they said. Damayanthi said her father disappeared during the conflict in 1989. “It doesn’t matter if we are Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim -- we have all suffered losses due to the conflict,” she said.
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Mallika Iyer, 26, an Indian-American, served until July 2022 as Director of Asia and the Pacific and Europe Programs and Humanitarian Action at the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders. The civil society organization, based in New York, provides inputs to the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on Women, Peace and Security, to which UN Women provides expertise. ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Iyer is now studying at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
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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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Nidhi Mayurika is a 17-year-old student from Bangalore, India, who is a three-time winner of the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest. Nidhi is a space enthusiast and wants to create awareness about climate action using a scientific approach.
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Jesmin Aktar lives in a village of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. She regularly attends UN Women's "Shanti Khana" [Multi-Purpose Women's Centre – MPWC] learning sessions and is dedicated to improving her life by pursuing a challenging job and contributing to society.
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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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During her first official visit to the state of Odisha, India, UN Women India Country Representative Susan Ferguson meets with government officials and women on the ground, stresses on the importance of education and skilling of women and girls for building back better.
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We have seen the evidence time and again that when women are given equal opportunities, they don't just change their own lives, they improve the lives of their families and the next generation.
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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.
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I'm standing up and speaking out for our right to decide about our body, life and future. Being vocal about these rights means fighting for myself, for my loved ones, friends and family, for strangers across the globe in a world that was not built for us. Speaking up is my way of channeling my rage at our current world, and the process of rebuilding a new one.
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At the age of two, my leg became disabled due to polio. I didn’t realize how sheltered and protected I was from society’s gossip when my parents were alive. My parents encouraged me to pursue education – not to let polio limit life’s opportunities. Unfortunately, by 2005 both my parents had passed away. Being one of the eldest siblings, I took upon myself to look after my six sisters and two brothers. To make ends meet, I took on numerous odd jobs and used to crawl my way to clean people’s homes or wash clothes. In 2007, I pursued a fashion design course to strengthen the hand embroidery lessons I had received from my Dadi (grandmother).
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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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Gemma joined UN Women Timor-Leste’s Communications and Advocacy Internship program for 6 months. This program is designed for enrolled university or higher education students and recent graduates that aims to increase their knowledge on the work of UN Women in the areas of gender equality and women empowerment. Successful candidates can also learn about the UN system as well as experience a bigger picture of being in the development sector.
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Innovative modern fairy tale picture books on gender equality for children were launched in Viet Nam on Tuesday, in a publishing first for the country. The books were launched by UN Women and Crabit Kidbooks. Crabit Kidbooks is to donate 20 percent of proceeds to Peace House, a safe shelter and service provider supporting women and children who are victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual abuse.
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[Press release] More than 300 participants from the Ministry of Education and Training, other central ministries and sectors, as well as lecturers and students from more than 20 universities, institutes, colleges, and technical/vocational schools in Ha Noi and neighboring localities are gathering to make commitments to build safe and violence-free university campuses for female students, faculty, and staff.
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National strategies to recover from the devastation of COVID-19 must include steps to end the gender inequality that has made women particularly vulnerable to the crisis, experts from around the Asia-Pacific region say.The Beijing+25 Expert Group, with representatives from 22 countries, met online on 15-16 September to review progress on carrying out the Asia-Pacific Declaration on Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
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Sat in the cozy classroom of a cyber-celebrity incubator in Aba, Sichuan, Li Ying gestures towards her smartphone with an enthusiastic smile. “I want to study as much as I can,” says the 54-year old, the colours of her clothing bright against the mountain view behind her. “It's much better to make money on my own than to reach out for my husband.
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On July 10th, 2020, young leaders from China together with representatives from UN Women, research institutions, media and private sector companies attended “Promoting Gender Equality through Social Innovations” online dialogue co-organized by UN Women China and Tencent, one of China’s leading tech companies.
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With 1 billion students and youth across the globe affected by school and university closures, there is increasing debate around ongoing disruption in education.