Speaking at the event, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said: “As the Secretariat of the Elsie Initiative Fund, UN Women is committed to creating an enabling environment that allows and encourages uniformed women to serve in peace operations. The funds provided by Canada and other Member States will help to boost the number of women participating in decisions and actions relating to their own security, and that of their communities, and ensure that women’s unique perspective is included, whether they are in the field or at the peace table."
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On the margins of the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, a high-level side event on "Accelerating the elimination of harmful practices to reap the demographic dividend in Africa" convened Member States, civil society, youth and development partners to discuss decisive measures to eliminate child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) across the continent.
Young girls sold into forced labour are the largest group of trafficking victims identified by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps. IOM counter-trafficking experts warn that more than a year into a crisis that has seen the number of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar soar to almost a million, more desperate families are sending their young daughters off into dangerous work situations because most households have no other way to earn money in the camps.
Women and girls make up nearly half of the 258 million people worldwide who have crossed international borders to escape danger or pursue opportunity. Amidst unprecedented levels of forced displacement – with 68.5 million people driven from their homes by the end of 2017 – about half of refugees, too, are women and girls.
Canada, along with the European Union, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the World Bank, announced an investment of close to $3.8 billion CAD, marking a fundamental shift toward improving access and reducing barriers to quality education around the world. The announcement represents the single largest investment in education for women and girls in crisis and conflict situations. It has the potential to make a difference in the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable women and girls.
Her Excellency President Ellen Sirleaf, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mary Robinson, along with Chelsea Clinton, Jordan Fisher, Whoopi Goldberg and more come together to inspire youth to challenge and encourage current world leaders to live up to their commitments.