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A fatwa was issed against me; they condemned me for normalizing obscenity and indecency among women by persuading them to come out of their homes. … I said, ‘You should also give a fatwa against Hazrat Khadija (the first wife of Prophet Muhammad) because she was also a trader.’ “God has not made us as weak as we have made ourselves.”
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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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Beena Pallical is the Executive Director at the Asia Dalit Rights Forum and the current Manager of a programme seeking to strengthen Dalit Women’s Economic Rights across South Asia . The Dalit community in this region is still considered the lowest of the historical castes and suffers widespread discrimination, despite recent legislation and initiatives. Within the community, the specific problem of women’s economic empowerment has received little attention, but is now the focus...
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Seualuga Tauasa Malietoa, the 70-year-old Talking Chief at Manase Savaii village in rural Samoa, has pledged to support women’s rights. His commitment is the result of trainings that the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG), an FGE grantee, is conducting to engage local leaders as advocates for “nofotane” women. The term refers to women married to men from a different village and living with their in-laws. They are often exploited as domestic...
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In five rural districts of Battambang and Siem Reap provinces in Cambodia, Banteay Srei, a local women-led NGO works with the poorest, most marginalized women – including those who are illiterate or single mothers, to help them improve their livelihoods.Twenty-year-old Vern Chantha is one. The fifth in a poor family of seven children with unemployed elderly parents, she decided to participate in training on agricultural techniques to improve productivity on her 100-square-metre family farm. “Sometimes the plants didn’t grow...
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Many of the Philippine women working abroad face exploitation and abuse, but they may face even greater challenges when it’s time to go back home. After long years of separation from family and country, they are estranged from children and spouses and have problems finding new work when they return back home. And despite so many hours of toil abroad, they often don’t have enough savings to get started again. These women have...
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An estimated 40 – 50 per cent of migrants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the two biggest cities in Viet Nam, are women, and they face distinct challenges. Low and unstable incomes and lack of social protection make them particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. But migrant women workers of Viet Nam refuse to live on the fringes any longer. More than 10,000 migrant workers have learnt how to access social welfare benefits, legal protection and health care. They are advocating for...
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With more than 700 million young people in the Asia-Pacific region, youth-friendly spaces for discussion and participation are essential. However, these kinds of scenarios remain scarce and more often than not young people’s voices, in particular girls’ voices, are side-lined in national, regional and international fora, even on issues that directly affect and concern them...
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UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality announced the awarding of USD 1.4 million in grants to four innovative programmes in Asia and the Pacific starting in January 2016. These high-impact programmes were designed by women-led civil society organizations, and have been selected to jumpstart the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The new programmes will strengthen women’s right to adequate standard of living, dignity and...
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Liao Bin, from the Hunan province in China, was elected as the head of her Village Committee at 27. Her average day looks like this: hours spent in efforts to boost the economy of the village, caring for left-behind children of migrant workers, and then whatever is left of the day, she spends visiting village residents to hear about their concerns, and organizing various skills training programmes for the villagers.“Chinese women are as capable to govern and lead as men, and must be given equal opportunities to do so,” she says...
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“It’s important to understand CEDAW because it acts as an umbrella, protecting all women across the globe,” said Maria Abrantes, a high school student and women’s rights advocate from Timor-Leste. She attended a 2014 workshop organized by the International Women's Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Asia-Pacific with support from UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality (FGE). Participants learned how to recognize gender-based discrimination and fight for change using the...
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20-year-old Kalaichelvi Kanagalingam could no longer afford her tuition fees in Kilinochichi, the Northern Sri Lanka, and received valuable training with the help of a UN Women Fund for Gender Equality-supported programme...
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the ITU event in Bangkok, April 23 rd 2015 “Information and communication technologies (ICTs) play an important role in empowering women, especially when it comes to their political and social rights” said Ms. Anupama Suresh. She then proceeded to recount a concrete...
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Innovative civil society initiatives seeking to spur women’s economic and/or political empowerment are invited to apply for funding. Fund for Gender Equality call for proposals, now OPEN!
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The engaged and confident voices of more than sixty women reverberated around the conference room of a Phnom Penh hotel as they gathered to discuss politics. In a society where the traditional code of conduct Chbab Srey portrays women’s role as obedient and silent caretakers, this was an important event...
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More than 500 rural women shared their experiences when it comes to using information and communication technology to improve governance and access to women’s rights with each other and a delegation from UN Women that included Executive Director and Under-­‐Secretary General Phumzile Mlambo-­‐Ngcuka, on Sunday in Shihore Block of Bhavnagar district, Gujarat.
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The Dibabawon indigenous people live in the remote Calinogan community of Compostela Valley Province, Mindanao. I travelled for seven hours from Manila, by plane, car, and finally on a local ‘skylab’ motorbike along unpaved roads through lush forests, to reach this community of 256 people. I was there to...
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The five-day workshop builds the capacity of the attendees by teaching them the importance of critical thinking and evidence-based arguments when advocating for political change.
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Manual scavengers represent arguably one of the most inhumane ‘jobs’ that a person can have. Ms. Chotti Bai from Chittorgarh district of Rajasthan used to be one of the hundreds of thousands of manual scavengers in India. Their daily task it is to remove human waste from unsanitary and ‘dry toilets’ (without flushing system).
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Statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women