One in three women and girls experience violence in their lifetime. It happens in every country and every society. It happens at home, in schools, on the streets, at work, on the internet and in refugee camps. It happens during war, and even in the absence of war. Too often, it is normalized and goes unpunished. No matter where violence against women happens, what form it takes, and whom it impacts, it must be stopped.
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Girls are a source of energy, power, and creativity—and they can drive change and help build a better future for us all. Yet, most girls continue to face challenges, violence, and discrimination that prevent them from realizing their full potential and rights.
Commemorated annually on 11 October, the International Day of the Girl puts a spotlight on the needs and challenges girls face around the world, while advocating for girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.
On 18 September 2018, UN Member States will convene for the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 73) at UN Headquarters in New York. The annual General Debate bringing together world leaders to discuss global issues will take place from Tuesday 25 September to Monday 1 October.
The UN in Zimbabwe is engaged in a collaborative effort to advance the rights of women and girls with disabilities in Zimbabwe. This 90 second clip is part of a sustained media campaign to combat discrimination and shift the negative perceptions around disabilities.
Weddings are supposed to be joyous and festive occasions, but this one is anything but a fairytale. About 15 million girls will be married as children this year - their right to a childhood ripped away. This video produced with Bridal Musings, one of the world's most influential wedding blogs, aims to put a spotlight on this grim reality.
The Rohingya minority in Rakhine state, Myanmar, has undergone a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing marked by widespread sexual violence. As extensively documented by the United Nations and by media and human rights groups, Myanmar's security forces systematically rounded up and sexually abused Rohingya women and girls.
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.
On its opening day, a major United Nations forum on the peaceful uses of outer space, was issued a clear challenge to break through the so-called "glass ceiling" that prevents women and girls from achieving their full potential; especially in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
There are 92 countries which lack national policies ensuring that new fathers get adequate paid time off, to spend with their newborn babies. "Positive and meaningful interaction with mothers and fathers from the very beginning, helps to shape children's brain growth and development for life, making them healthier and happier, and increasing their ability to learn," said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
Addressing a leading forum on development in Brussels, known as European Development Days, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said that the joint Spotlight Initiative was a key element for making Goal 5 on women's empowerment, of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, a reality.