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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 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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From cooking and cleaning to taking care of children and the elderly, household care work is the backbone of thriving families, communities and economies. Yet many cultures traditionally have regarded men as the breadwinners and women as the caregivers, with unpaid care work their “natural responsibility”. In China, women spend around 2.5 times as much time as men on unpaid care work.
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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.
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India’s vaccine drive has barely reached its significant population of displaced people, despite government initiatives. UN Women and UNHCR partnered up to conduct online dialogues with health experts, refugee communities and service providers to dispel myths, provide health information and how to access support.
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Krishna Sodha, 20, is a Physics graduate, social worker and educator. Her organization ‘little4change’ works on climate action, menstrual health and hygiene, women’s empowerment and human rights, with a focus on trans rights and sustainable living. “I believe that every woman and girl has the right to safe menstruation, free of taboo and misinformation. I was shocked to discover the lack of knowledge that women had about menstruation and menstrual hygiene products, only a few kilometers away from Ahmedabad.
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Originally posted on OHCHR website Photo: UN Women/Nadira Islam During the COVID-19 pandemic, more women lost their jobs than men, and many women who lost their jobs haven't returned to work, according to a recent report from the International Labour Organization (ILO). Even a year and half after the pandemic, gender equality and women's rights continue to be negatively impacted due to a crushing public health and socio-economic crisis, said Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner...
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The second wave of COVID-19 in India brought unprecedented losses. The poorest and the most marginalized, including women and girls, face more risks without the means to absorb the economic shocks and mitigate the health crisis. They are caring for their families, sustaining livelihoods and leading efforts to fight the pandemic, amidst the threat of a third wave.UN Women and health sector experts answer some frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and how it impacts women and girls in India.
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In recent months, South Asia has had some of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases globally, driven predominantly by the second wave of the pandemic in India and Nepal. Since January 2020, India has reported over 30 million cases and more than 400,000 fatalities, figures that are likely substantially underestimated. Cases in Nepal rapidly spiked in mid-April 2021, with over 635,000 confirmed cases by the end of June and at least 9,000 deaths. Both countries have seen critical gaps in life-saving vaccines, treatment and tests, and in skilled human resources.
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From supplying food and hygiene products, to training health workers and nurses in COVID-safe protocols, providing personal protective equipment to front-line responders, protecting women’s livelihoods and sustaining shelter and essential services for survivors of violence, UN Women is channeling its funds, programmes and expertise to support women’s organizations on the ground. We are also working with national and state governments in India and Nepal to promote gender-responsive policies that support women’s recovery from the crisis.