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.
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.
Fishing has traditionally sustained communities in the Lake Chad Basin area, supporting nearly 30 million people living along its shores in Chad, but also Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger. However, the once huge lake which covered 250,000 km2 has now shrunk to one tenth of its original size, largely due to unsustainable water management and the corrosive effects of climate change. With fish now more scarce, and fisherfolk needing to travel further to find them, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has stepped in to offer support.
In Moldova, widespread patriarchal attitudes and gender-based stereotypes perpetuate the idea that women are responsible for child and home care, with fathers expected to be breadwinners. To challenge this widespread notion, the Embassy of Sweden organised in partnership with the UN in Moldova the photo exhibition Dads from Moldova and Sweden.
25 May is Africa Day, a day to celebrate Africa's liberation from colonialism and formation of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963, precursor to the African Union. Every day, across the continent of Africa, women and men are shaping a better future for their countries and the world.