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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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Rajeshwari Diaz, 46, and Kaweeda Manohari, 48, are among the many women who have seen these benefits as they attend trainings and community dialogues organized by a project called Promoting Women’s Engagement in Effective Solid Waste Management. UN Women is running the project jointly with United Nations Office for Project Services and Chrysalis, a local non-governmental organization. The 2020-2021 project is expected to directly benefit about 4,000 people in Puttalam and Mannar, fishing and agricultural districts along Sri Lanka’s western coast.
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“Through this project, we are working with women to ensure their voices are heard and that they are fully involved in making decisions that impact them, their households and communities,” said Ramaaya Salgado, Country Focal Point at UN Women Sri Lanka. “Solid waste management was iden-tified as the main community issue that this project addresses, but we are building their capacities so that this whole-of-community approach can be replicated in addressing other conflicts and community issues as well.”
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When I saw this happening, I did not want to be a silent spectator. I wanted to make a difference in my community. This is when I joined the village dengue prevention committee. We worked hard to raise awareness among the public and helped remove mosquito breeding sites. I am proud to say that our hard work paid off and we managed to eradicate dengue in the area.
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Winifrida Elizabeth Nawaratne is a human rights activist and an active member of the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka. She became engaged in social work following a course on human rights at the University of Colombo, which she took after retiring from her job as a typist. She was a participant in UN Women’s multistakeholder dialogues titled “Promoting Women’s Engagement in Effective Solid Waste Management in Sri Lanka”. Winifrida dedicates her time to promoting women’s rights and women’s empowerment in her community in Puttalam, north-western Sri Lanka.
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For the hundreds of families in the coastal communities of Barangay Tanza 2, the always-ready area Administrator, Irma Bantique Glomar, is the one to seek out if something needs fixing. “If something goes wrong, always ask Admin,” they like to say. And with a little help from UN Women, “Admin” has been instrumental in fixing the dilapidated wooden-plank walkways that traverse the community, connecting households and connecting the community to the main road outside.
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Innovative modern fairy tale picture books on gender equality for children were launched in Viet Nam on Tuesday, in a publishing first for the country. The books were launched by UN Women and Crabit Kidbooks. Crabit Kidbooks is to donate 20 percent of proceeds to Peace House, a safe shelter and service provider supporting women and children who are victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual abuse.
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When Tranh Thi Gam first started her biogas digester business, she raised many eyebrows. In the little district of Ung Hoa, located south of Viet Nam’s capital, Hanoi, villagers were not accustomed to seeing a woman take the reins of a business. But eight years later, Tranh Gim has achieved not only financial success, but has played a role in a larger fight in Viet Nam against the devastating impacts of climate change.