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[Press release] New data from seven countries in the Asia-Pacific region shows that, since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, more women than men have left their paid jobs to provide essential services to their families, such as cleaning, caring for the sick and home-schooling children. Tighter household budgets also mean that many are experiencing food hardship, while water and fuel are becoming increasingly unaffordable. Furthermore, medical and hygiene products remain unavailable to many, while supply-chain issues and misinformation about vaccines have left more women than men unvaccinated.
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Bangladesh has already demonstrated great success in disaster risk reduction. We have the National Development Framework that has powerful instructions for climate change and disaster risk reduction. We have our own local adaptation and mitigation strategy. But there is gap in translating those plans into concrete actions. So in order to advance toward the objectives of the 66th CSW, we need to be more action-oriented.
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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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Farah Kabir is the Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh. Over close to three decades of vast experience in the field of development and research has made her renowned human rights figure and a CSO leader at home and abroad with an uncompromising voice against human-rights violation. She is a member of Advisory committee of Bangladesh’s NDA to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a member of such Child Rights Committee National Human Rights Commission, Board member of UCEP. She is a member of the Global Board of the Global Network of Disaster Risk Reduction (GNDR), Board Member of Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) since 2019. steering committee member of ACIAR-Rupantar program of Australian Government, advisory committee member of Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE).
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This year, in honour of and the 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women and International Women’s Day theme, UN Women put a spotlight on the intersectionality of gender inequality and climate change with an event on the theme: “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow,” underscoring how women and girls continue to bear the burden of climate change while leading empowerment and sustainability efforts across the globe.
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Kert Tandog has been working for two years with the Liyang Network, which raises awareness of front-line environmental activists in Mindanao. One focus is training Indigenous communities on legal literacy and land property laws.
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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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Madam Maa Zenai stands proudly at the entrance to her brand-new shed. Inside is the small herd of cattle that has changed her life, thanks to a project that employed a ground-breaking partnership between IFAD and UN Women to empower rural women in China.
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Women and girls need to be better represented in all aspects of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction (DRR) policy and programme processes, from the leadership and decision-making spaces, data collection and analysis, to policy formulation, programme design, and all the way through to implementation on the ground, as well as the monitoring and evaluating of these efforts.
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Keya Khan is Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of the Government of Bangladesh. She was interviewed in her office in Dhaka by Shararat Islam of UN Women. This year’s International Women’s Day theme is, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. How can we ensure gender equality and empowerment of women in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies, and programmes?
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[Joint Press Release ] The countries and territories of the Pacific share some common energy challenges, but their success in meeting them has been uneven, particularly in rural areas. Addressing the shortfalls will require a renewed focus on women at every stage, as key and informed users, decision-makers, and also engineers of the region’s sustainable energy solutions.
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[Press Release] UN Women and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement today to continue working together to promote women’s equality and empowerment in Asia and the Pacific. The memorandum of understanding formally extending the partnership to March 2027 was signed in an online ceremony by the bank’s president, Masatsugu Asakawa, and the executive director of UN Women, Dr. Sima Bahous. The two sides had been cooperating since 2016 under an earlier 5-year agreement.
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On 6 January 2022, UN Women Indonesia supported the Government of Indonesia by hosting a Peace Festival (Kenduri Perdamaian) themed “build back better by protecting and empowering women and girls in social conflict".
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The climate and resource crises, as well as global inequality, have not disappeared during COVID-19. If anything, the pandemic has underscored the critical need to address gender inequality if we want to successfully combat the global pandemic and the climate crisis. It has also demonstrated the leadership roles that women and girls are playing in health and disaster response, especially at the local level.
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Devishi Jha, is an 18-year-old climate activist who was born in India and now lives in the United States. She is the Director of Partnerships at Zero Hour, an international youth-led climate justice organization, and serves on the National Council at UNICEF USA.
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[Press release] UN Women China and its partners today launched a five-year project to boost agricultural productivity in China’s Hunan Province while protecting livelihoods against the risks of climate change. The project, focused on women farmers, is expected to benefit about 328,000 people.
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Statement by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka for World Environment Day, 5 June 2021
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[Press release] At the signing ceremony, Ms. Sharmeela Rassool, said, “Over the years, Pakistan has worked towards creating progressive legal frameworks to safeguard the rights of women and girls. The implementation of the law remains imperative for real change on the ground. Only a gender-sensitive, systematic and coordinated response mechanism from the state, the judiciary, legal community, and other stakeholders will be important to improve women and vulnerable communities’ access to justice.”
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Women who are “most disadvantaged” need “equal participation in all relevant planning and decision-making processes,” with regards to multi-stakeholder engagement for climate action, said Saad Alfarargi, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to development. This includes in particular “women with disabilities, girls and young women, minority women, indigenous women, and members of other disempowered and marginalized groups,” he said.
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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.