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According to the 2022 World Economic Forum Report, Bangladesh continues to top the gender gap index in South Asia. While the country has achieved a high ranking on women’s political empowerment, it has scored low on gender parity in economic participation and opportunities. We know, there has been a reduction in both men and women’s workforce participation due to the COVID 19 pandemic, however the proportional impact has been higher for women.
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Senior Indonesian Government officials today discussed how they could follow up on a joint report by National Counter Terrorism Agency and UN Women that showed that violent extremist groups in South-East Asia have been strengthening their campaigns by exploiting social hostilities towards women.
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Myanmar’s population is facing a double crisis from the COVID-19 and the military takeover of February 2021, which is steadily wearing out their social and economic resilience.
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[Press release] During her official visit to Sri Lanka recently, the Officer-in-Charge for UN Women Asia and the Pacific met with key partners to reaffirm UN Women’s commitment to ensure that women and girls are not left behind amidst recovery from the ongoing economic crisis.
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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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The brunt of the pandemic has been borne by women and girls. Emerging evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded existing vulnerabilities faced by women and girls and threatened to further widen gender and socioeconomic inequalities. Yet, during this difficult time, women around the world have exhibited remarkable resilience in contributing to the response effort as well as economic recovery.
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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 the Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN) Indonesia. Rana was interviewed by Xinyue Gu of UN Women.
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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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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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In commemoration of International Women’s Day, the Indonesian Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, joined heads of international organizations, members of the business sector, and the Indonesian Stock Exchange rang the Bell for Gender Equality. Ring the Bell for Gender Equality is a ceremony that aims to raise awareness of the key role private sectors play in accelerating progress for gender equality.
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The coming year may not see the end of the pandemic, but it will give us a chance to start applying many of its lessons. With more and better data, we are getting a clearer picture of the impact on women and other vulnerable groups, and of structural changes that are long overdue. UN Women is poised to work with partners and stakeholders in 2022 to make sure the opportunities to bring about lasting change are not missed.
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A total of 220 women living with HIV in four Vietnamese provinces now have a chance to rebuild their livelihoods with cash handouts from UN Women after losing their incomes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar handouts, of VND 4 million (USD 170) each, also are creating brighter futures for 44 ethnic minority women in another province who had to return home after losing their migrant jobs because of the pandemic.
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Lilian Laki is a tailor in Wewak market in East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, and her family’s dreams are a step closer to reality thanks to a little help from UN Women. Laki is one of the 311 women vendors who benefited from UN Women’s Markets, Economic Recovery and Inclusion programme. The programme provided the women with training in textile designing and sewing, baking and food handling, and linked them to micro-banks for savings and affordable finance.
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Thanks to a UN Women programme, hundreds of schoolchildren and their parents in Timor-Leste have learned how to treat each other with greater respect in the classroom, at home and in the community. UN Women works with educational institutions, civil society organizations Alola Foundation and Mane ho Vizaun Foun (Men with a New Vision) and the Ministry of Education to run the Connect with Respect programme on preventing violence against women and girls by promoting healthy relationships in 15 schools in three municipalities of Timor-Leste.
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Bhagya Krishanthi, 43, is the owner and manager of a boarding house and a small corner grocery store in Malabe, a suburb a few kilometres outside of the commercial capital of Colombo. She built up her store from humble beginnings, first selling simple items such as coconuts, oil and eggs, then expanding into a larger variety of goods when more capital and profits trickled in.
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Teiyo Amos was struggling to make ends meet from her income as a market vendor after the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Her husband was back from Australia where he had been working in mining, leaving her as the family breadwinner. But her profits from selling betel nut and potatoes in the main market of Goroka, Papua New Guinea, were not sustaining her family.
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Merolyn Tuwasa is a physiotherapist and team leader for the Community Based Rehabilitation programme at Cheshire disAbilty Services Papua New Guinea (PNG). UN Women has implemented a COVID-19 Disability Inclusion Project, in partnership with the organization, to raise COVID-19 awareness among people living with disabilities, their parents, caregivers, and communities. The project has reached more than 200 beneficiaries across the capital.
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Ramida Juengpaisal, 24, from Thailand, is a digital product designer and front-end developer from 5 Lab Group co., ltd. a creative software company that created the COVID-19 Tracker in Thailand. She aims to bridge design and technology to make a better society.
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Before the pandemic, Pariyar was able to get food and other essentials on loan from shops in her village and clear the bills when she received her wages, but things became increasingly difficult for Pariyar and her family under lockdown. “Without daily wages, my debts kept adding up. The shops were reluctant to give me more food without money, so my family started cutting down on food,” shares Pariyar.