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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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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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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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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 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.
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Essential equipment worth VND 483 million (USD 21,200) has been donated to the Vietnamese organization Peace House, for their helplines and shelters for survivors of human trafficking and violence against women. The donation, funded under the UN Women-UNODC joint programme on Enhancing Women’s Role in Law Enforcement and Border Security to Prevent Trafficking in Person and Transnational Crimes was ceremonially handed over by UN Women last week.
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Naw Moh Moh Than, 18, aspires to become a teacher but she has had her journey disrupted several times. When she was in secondary school, armed conflict in Kayin State forced her and her family to flee to a displaced persons camp. With the help of one her teachers, she resumed her schooling in the nearest town but then the COVID-19 pandemic forced all the schools to close since the start of 2020. Still, Naw Moh Moh Than remained determined. She joined a sewing training that UN Women organized in the camp and made cloth masks that humanitarian groups bought and distributed to women across Kayin State, which is mostly populated by the Karen ethnic minority.
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Women-owned businesses that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic are receiving support with recovery efforts from a new project jointly implemented by UN Women China and the All-China Women’s Federation.The project, Supporting Women to Recover from the Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19, was launched in Wuhan on 16 September. It is funded by China’s Rockcheck Puji Foundation. The project will target women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in two of the Chinese cities most-affected by the pandemic, Wuhan and Tianjin.
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When the Covid-19 pandemic struck Sri Lanka, women faced some of its most severe and unforeseen impacts. The pandemic exposed deep, structural inequalities that exist within our social and economic systems. A total of 61 percent of the country’s working women are in informal employment, where livelihoods were hit faster and harder by the pandemic and measures to control it.
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UN Women and Reckitt have come together to create economic opportunities for women in the health, hygiene and sanitation sectors with a commitment to promote gender equality, diversity and inclusion as well as incorporation of highest standards of governance.