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.
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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,
"This is a critical time for the girls of our world. It is a time for the protection and assertion of rights, a time to listen hard and speak louder, no matter how difficult; to call out the continuing imbalances of power; to band together and take a stand on the changes that must happen so that girls and women are heard and their experiences are taken seriously. It is a time to act, together with men and boys, on the issues that will determine a lived equality for all, central to which is the ending of violence against women and girls."
On 15 October, the United Nations commemorates the International Day for Rural Women. This year’s theme, “Sustainable infrastructure, services and social protection for gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”, places empowerment of rural women at the heart of fulfilling the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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.
A refugee from Iraqi Kurdistan, Taffan Ako fled to Sweden in 1997 with her family. Today she is the Coordinator of One Young World Ambassadors for Scandinavia and Eastern Europe and founder of EmpowHERment, an organization that assists women and young girls who have been former ISIS sex slaves or victims of human trafficking. Her foundation finances integration projects for children and women in Europe and in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Nadia Murad, a Yazidi rights activist and the first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist helping victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC) won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. The decision to jointly-award the prestigious prize, has the potential to help end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, the UN said - a cause which is central to the Organization's work.
More than 80 girls from 34 African countries attended the first Coding Camp in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for 10 days in August 2018. The camp served to launch the African Girls Can CODE Initiative, a joint programme of the African Union Commission (AUC), UN Women Ethiopia and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
"At UN Women, we have asked why the messages we see every day, echoed on screens, pages and posters, don’t show women as equal to men, girls as able as boys, and people in all their magnificent diversity. We know that where there is inequality, there is discrimination; where there are power imbalances, there is violence; where there is exclusion, there is poverty of every kind. And we wondered if there was an unintentional legacy of harm accumulating from unconsidered characterization."
Gender gaps in agriculture in Africa are holding back progress towards ending hunger and must be urgently addressed, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's Director-General José Graziano da Silva said at a joint event with the African Union (AU) on the margins of the UN General Assembly.