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In the wake of crisis, economic response and recovery plans often forget the needs of women and girls, hindering sustained peace and development. In Bangladesh, UN Women supports the Generation Equality Compact on Women Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action (WPS-HA) and is working with local partners to put recovery back on track by increasing economic security for crisis-affected women through grants and job training.
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Pannapa (Aimee) Na Nan has more than 14 years of experience coordinating disaster management at national, regional and international levels. As the director of International Cooperation Section at the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), Ministry of Interior of Thailand, she co-chairs the Technical Working Group on Protection, Gender and Inclusion (TWG-PGI) convened by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Committee on Disaster Management.
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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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A total of 315 vulnerable women-headed households affected by the 2020 flooding and COVID-19 in four communes of Quang Tri province, central Viet Nam, received cash grants of VND 4 million (173 USD) each from UN Women to rebuild their livelihoods.
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[Press release] UN Women has been working since the first week of the pandemic to help recognize and address the specific challenges faced by women and girls across Asia and the Pacific. It has handed out cash to women in need, analysed social media for trends of domestic violence, and drawn up checklists that make sure shelters protect women from both COVID-19 and further abuse.
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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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The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated gender discrimination and inequality among the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya living in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar and among the surrounding communities. Women and girls face increases in unpaid care work at home, safety risks inside and outside their homes, mental health problems, and simultaneously, less access to life-saving services and support.
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Female leaders have called for greater efforts to promote women on the front lines in responding to humanitarian crises in Bangladesh.A diverse group of women front line-humanitarian workers and leaders from Rohingya and host communities spoke at an online forum on Feminism
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COVID19 has completely changed my life. After the university closed, all academic activities were suspended, and I was forced to return home. I live in a remote village in Bogura district and aside from worrying about my studies and the health risks posed by COVID19, I am also suffering from poor connectivity issues. However, I am trying to do my part during the crisis.
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Two dozen Vietnamese journalists are now able to better report on how women can help prepare for and mitigate the effects of natural disasters, thanks to a training co-organized by UN Women.Empower Women for Climate-Resilient Societies, a joint project UN Women and United Nations Environment Programme, collaborated with the Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority in organizing the training last November 21-22 in this city in central Viet Nam. A total of 26 print, broadcast, digital and photo journalists from 17 media outlets attended.
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Three women led the making of the film in 2018 when they were students at Massey University/The University of New Zealand: Wiktoria Ojrzyńska as director, co-producer and editor, Amiria Ranfurly as co-producer, and Alexandra Brock as cinematographer and editor. Subject to Change shows scenes of near-apocalyptic destruction wreaked by cyclones and climate-induced disasters.Through the voices of women like Ravaga, the film offers moments of reflection on how much there is to lose — land, culture, languages, life.
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When Tran Thi My Linh, a 51-year-old rural woman first said that she would replace her rice fields with lotus fields, she raised many eyebrows. In the little commune of Hoa Dong in Phu Yen province, just south of Viet Nam’s capital, Ha Noi, villagers had planted rice for generations. However, with the changing weather patterns in recent years, millions of people have been affected in Phu Yen and in rural Viet Nam in general and people have started looking for new livelihoods.
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“When the husband doesn’t get the meal coming back home, he’ll hurl abusive words, that’s only normal. So during the flood, when the family went without food, it was common. Sometimes it was too much. I wanted to retort but couldn’t, fearing his beating. Since I couldn’t run away to escape his beating, with water all around. If I did snap at him sometimes, he would beat me and not give money for food for days.” Selima Begum from Nimkusharpar village at Pachgachi Union of Kurigram Sadar was narrating the plight women endured during the last monsoon flood that brought untold sufferings to women in her village.
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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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Nimarta Khuman, a Gender and Protection Advisor, explains what it means to incorporate gender and protection in humanitarian action and why it’s important.
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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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“Livestock and rice fields of villagers were damaged,” recalled Kanha, “but the drowning death of a 7 year-old girl was heart-breaking for me.” The girl’s death brought grief to the community in Kampot, the southern Cambodia city where Kanha is Deputy District Governor. When a disaster hits, boys and girls, and men and women have distinct vulnerabilities, and this shapes the way the experience and recover from a disaster. One such vulnerability is gender inequality.
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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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Every morning at 10 a.m., Sok Sopheap sets off to run errands and pick up her two grandchildren from school in Tropang Thom village, southern Cambodia. Sopheap is in her 50’s – a stage in life when many women in her country might slow down – but like many local women, she is bearing an increasingly heavy burden as a result of climate change. Like other villages in Takeo province, Tropang Thom has been in the grip of an oscillating water crisis.