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The agreement was signed today in Lahore by Sharmeela Rassool, country representative of UN Women Pakistan, and Wajeeha Khalid, business head, Nishat Mills Ltd (Apparel Division). Nishat Mills is also a signatory of the global Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a set of guidelines for businesses to safeguard and promote women’s rights and empowerment in the workplace.
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The transgender teenager fled a military offensive in Myanmar’s Rakhine State and endured a days-long journey by boat and foot to reach a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh in 2017. But at the camp, instead of peace, she experienced continued abuse and isolation, driven by that same familiar discrimination. “I was tortured a lot in Myanmar because of my femininity,” the woman, who still lives in the camp, recalled. “I was beaten and so I went to the village representative, who blamed me, saying that it was my behaviour that caused me to get beaten.
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In every region of the world, LGBTIQ+ people are routinely denied their rights to freedom, safety, and equality. They may face pervasive discrimination, experience intolerable acts of violence that go unpunished, and lack access to justice. These experiences cannot be separated from struggles they may also face on account of other intersecting identities. Throughout this year’s moments of collective crisis, celebration, and all that is in between, LGBTIQ+ activists have continued to fight against inequalities, anchored in and strengthened by the work of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of colour, to push for a safer, more equal world.
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Advances in LGBTIQ rights in Nepal began with a 2007 Supreme Court ruling to legally recognize a third gender category; audit all laws to identify those that discriminated against LGBT people; and open the door to consider same-sex marriage. In 2003, another Supreme Court decision said a person cannot be prohibited from cohabitating with someone of the same gender. But an analysis Prevention Collaborative did in July 2020 with support from UN Women Nepal said that, “Translating the Supreme Court rulings into a legal framework that guarantees inclusion and protections is slow-paced and hindered mainly by bureaucracy and dominant patriarchal institutional and social culture.”
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Launching of the Safe Baucau Market’s taskforce. Photo: TOMAK / Isaac The Baucau Municipal Authority (BMA) launched a Safe Baucau and Safe Markets Technical Working Group (TWG) in commemoration of International Women’s Day (IWD) in Baucau. The TWG is composed of voluntary members from local government, veterans, the Baucau Women’s Association, private sector, organizations of persons with disabilities, church and youth groups, with participation of the State Secretary...
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Sexual harassment in public spaces is highly global, including in Timor-Leste. A UN Women study on the safe city conducted between 2017-2018 in the capital Dili, highlighted that no women (including university students) feel safe in public spaces, including campus environments.
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UN Women is supporting dialogue between the Government and LGBTIQ groups to ensure that Nepal’s LGBTIQ people are properly counted in the 2021 population census. The last census, in 2011, tallied only 1,500 people identifying as LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and queer/questioning). That was because the census lacked specific questions or a method to collect this data, and the nature of the census made many people afraid to come out.
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The sun may not have been shining on the Metro Manila Pride March in Marikina City, but the horizon was nonetheless illuminated with bright rainbow flags and costumes celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) community. Roughly 56,000 people took to the streets in the 29 June march to celebrate diversity of sexual expression and gender identity, and to rally for the rights of the LGBTQI community. This year’s theme was Resist Together, a call for advocates and supporters to fight discrimination against LGBTQI people.
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“I was born in a traditional Newar household in Patan, Kathmandu Valley, and my childhood was highly influenced by my family’s cultural background. I lived in a big family with my grandparents and they did not speak Nepali. So, I grew up speaking Nepal Bhasa, my mother tongue. However, at school I would get shut out of my native language as I was only exposed to Nepali and English, the only two languages used in most educational institutions in Nepal.
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Kalpana Viswanath is Co-Founder and CEO of SafetiPin, a social enterprise based in India that uses data and technology to support cities in their endeavour to become safer, more inclusive and smarter. Since 2013, Safetipin has worked with more than 30 cities in India and other developing countries, collecting public space data and working with governments to use that data for better planning and maintenance of cities....
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No more shouting at the top of his lungs for Paul Tabi, the main staff announcer at Port Vila market in Vanuatu. Today, he’s receiving a microphone to ease communications through Port Vila market’s new Public Announcement (PA) system.
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UN Women has organized discussions among local governments of Metro Manila on how to design and plan public spaces so that women and girls can feel safe when using them. Government officials of 13 cities of Metro Manila attended a forum, “Enhancing Good Local Governance: Gender Equality and Women’s Safety in Urban Planning”, which UN Women Safe Cities Metro Manila Programme organized on 11-12 July in Pasig. The forum was...
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Celebrating the country’s freedom from colonial rule, 65 high school students painted pictures on roads by Quezon City Hall to call for another kind of freedom - for women and girls to go about public spaces without fear of sexual harassment. The Quezon City Local Government held the Street Art Painting Project on 17 June, Independence Day, in partnership with UN Women Safe Cities Metro Manila Programme. In bright, bold colors, the student artists painted the roads from the entrance to the main building of Quezon City Hall...
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With the support from UN Women, Cambodian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning (LGBTIQ) people and activists have launched an online media platform to promote the rights of their community. The platform, dubbed LOVEISDIVERSITY, aims to engage youths, especially students, in increasing society’s acceptance of LGBTIQ people and the profile of LGBTIQ issues. It was launched on 8 June in a ceremony at Pannasastra University of Cambodia...
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Cambodia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people are continuing to urge the Government to make laws and policies to give them equal rights. The effort continued with a public policy dialogue between policymakers and more than 70 LGBTIQ activists, civil society groups and United Nations agencies. The dialogue took place at a hotel in Phnom Penh on 31 May, during Pride Week...
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A long-neglected component of resilience-building, response and recovery in humanitarian settings is the need to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities. Next week over one hundred LGBTIQ activists from twenty countries from Afghanistan to the Cook Islands will meet with international humanitarian organisations to call for action on the exclusion of LGBTIQ+ people from many aspects of...
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In Philippines’ machismo culture, sexual harassment often makes a routine bus ride across town a fearful and distressing experience for women and girls. UN Women’s Safe Cities Metro Manila Programme is trying ease that journey by stepping up efforts to encourage youths to speak up and take action to reclaim public spaces. The Safe Cities team has been meeting with university and school administrators and with student councils and organizations about...
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The Government of India launched the Smart Cities Mission on 25 June 2015. The objective of the mission is to promote sustainable and inclusive cities that provide core infrastructure and a decent quality of life to their citizens; a clean and sustainable environment; and the application of “smart” solutions. Women constitute a little less than half of the urban population in India. It is crucial that the design of upcoming smart cities is gender...
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In her work for a non-governmental organization, Rika Rosvianti, 30, regularly uses commuter trains, motorcycle taxis and other public transport to meet with people and participate in social activities. Her experience has not always been nice. “One day I took a motorcycle taxi to the office and the driver asked for directions by patting my thigh, and practically questioned me at every turn,” she said. “Though I had given him the directions, he kept...
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Metro Manila mayors demonstrated leadership in urban safety today at the SAFE CITIES METRO MANILA MAYORS CONFERENCE: “Leading in Urban Safety and Protection of Women and Girls from Sexual Harassment and Violence in Public Spaces”, held at Novotel Manila in Quezon City, which was co- convened by the Quezon City Local Government and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women) Safe Cities Programme. Fifteen out...