UN Women spoke with Jean Arnault, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, about gender parity within the Mission and its priorities over the next year. The Verification Mission in Colombia has made impressive strides towards gender parity; 58 per cent of its professional level field staff are women and 65 per cent of field office teams are led by women.
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Bajana Ceveli is the Executive Director of the Association for Women’s Security and Peace (AWSP) in Albania. Over the past three years, the Association, with the support of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, helped draft a National Action Plan (NAP) on UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, which was adopted in September 2018. Ms. Ceveli spoke to UN Women about her personal motivation and why the National Action Plan is important for women.
During the 36-year-long Guatemalan civil war, indigenous women were systematically raped and enslaved by the military in a small community near the Sepur Zarco outpost. What happened to them then was not unique, but what happened next, changed history. From 2011 – 2016, 15 women survivors fought for justice at the highest court of Guatemala. The groundbreaking case resulted in the conviction of two former military officers of crimes against humanity and granted 18 reparation measures to the women survivors and their community.
Tanya Gilly Khailany, from Iraqi-Kurdistan, is a former member of the Iraqi Parliament (2006 – 2010) and a co-founder of the SEED Foundation, an organization that works with survivors of violence and trafficking in Iraq. An outspoken women’s rights activist, Ms. Gilly Khailany was one of the key parliamentarians who legislated the 25 per cent quota for women in Iraqi provincial councils. As an expert on political participation and peacebuilding, she recently spoke at a side event on the margins of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly on 26 September in New York.
Faidah Suleiman is the Superintendent of Police, Gender and Children Desk in Tanzania. With 20 years of police experience, she has been part of the Gender Desk since it was established in 2009. In 2014, UN Women, with support from the Governments of Norway and Sweden, partnered with the Gender and Children Desks to improve the quality of services provided. Today, there are 417 Gender and Children Desks nation-wide, which received more than 31,000 reported cases of violence against women and girls in 2017.
At thirty, Olga Macz is a teacher and entrepreneur, and a force to be reckoned with. She leads a women’s group in Campur, a small municipality in the mostly rural Alta Vara Paz department of Guatemala, which makes and sells organic shampoo. For many of the women, this is the first time that they are making their own money and making decisions.
Alphonsine Nyiranzeyimana, a farmer from Cyahinda, in the southern part of Rwanda, says that learning new farming techniques completely changed her life. She’s not exaggerating. Today, Nyiranzeyimana is the leader of a farmers’ cooperative and the yield on some of her crops has more than doubled. The agricultural sector accounts for a third of Rwanda's GDP and more than 70 per cent of Rwandan women are engaged in farming activities since their childhood. Yet, they don’t have the same access to land, production inputs, finance or markets as men.
The city centre of Apia is festive today. The market stalls are laden with handmade mats, baskets and traditional jewellery made by women from rural Samoa; music and laughter lace the air. The two-day market is part of an event to showcase the results of a project that trained and empowered 5,170 nofotane women in the course of the last two years, funded by UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality.
Jessica Bennett is gender editor at The New York Times and has recently led an exciting multi-media project releasing on the International Day of the Girl Child (11 October), "This is 18". It shows what life looks like for girls turning 18 in 2018 around the world, captured through photographs,
Fifteen-year-old Eno Ekanem was among 80 girls from 34 African countries who attended the first Coding Camp in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 24 August 2018. The camp marked the launch the African Girls Can CODE Initiative, a joint programme of the African Union Commission, UN Women and the International Telecommunication Union.