Stories

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Governments across Europe and Central Asia gathered at the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development to discuss the progress and share best practices of achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
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This year, the sixty-sixth session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66), the UN’s largest gathering on gender equality, is taking place 14 to 25 March 2022. It will focus on the theme, “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes”.
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UN Women spoke to two Georgian colleagues and researchers – Gvantsa Jibladze, a social researcher, and Dako Bakhturidze a gender data specialist and monitoring and evaluation consultant – who made up one of the two winning teams of the Gender Data Datathon organized by UN Women and ForSet, a creative data design and technology enterprise based in Tbilisi, Georgia. Organized as an extension of the 2020 Tbilisi DataFest, the Datathon engaged 60 participants divided into six teams that competed to develop the best data product based on the results of UN Women’s Rapid Gender Assessment (RGA) of the impacts of COVID-19 on women and men in 13 countries in Europe and Central Asia. The winning female duo – with the technical support of a graphic designer – Tamta Bakhsoliani - created an animated video about how dramatically the pandemic has increased the burden of unpaid work on women from different groups.
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This research was part of the campaign #SOSagainstViolence conducted by non-governmental association Fenomena under UN Women programme on ending violence against women in the Western Balkans and Turkey “Implementing Norms, Changing Minds,” funded by the European Union. Ćopić spoke to UN Women about the main findings of the research, including the biggest challenges in the functioning of institutions and organizations that provide support to women survivors of violence.
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On 26 May 2021, the UN Women country office in Kyrgyzstan held a final conference presenting the result of the project entitled: Responding to the urgent needs of women and girls in a vulnerable situation aggravated by COVID-19 in Kyrgyzstan. This UN Women and Government of Japan project has supported rural women in Naryn, Osh and Jalal-Abad regions to revive their economic activities.
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UN Women’s first regional “Women’s Entrepreneurship Expo” in Europe and Central Asia will be held virtually with the participation of hundreds of women entrepreneurs from 12 countries. The Expo aims to support and empower women entrepreneurs during and after COVID-19.
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Building back better from COVID-19 needs investment in feminist, grass-roots leadership. Yet, direct funding to women’s organizations accounts for less than one per cent of the global official development assistance provided for gender equality. In six stories, learn about the critical support that grass-roots women leaders and their organizations bring to their communities.
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In her statement for International Women's Day, UN Women Executive Directory Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said: "We need women’s representation that reflects all women and girls in all their diversity and abilities, and across all cultural, social, economic and political situations. This is the only way we will get real societal change that incorporates women in decision-making as equals and benefits us all."
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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the daily struggles women face in Kosovo . In responding to the pandemic, the Agency for Gender Equality (AGE) has played a key role in ensuring that the needs of women and girls are met, and that no one is left behind. As its Chief Executive, Edi Gusia has prioritized financial support for women and protection against domestic violence.
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For almost two decades, Dr. Javorka Zagorac has made working with the most vulnerable communities her second job. In spite of a great demand by the many remote and marginalized families in her region, the general practitioner at the local health clinic in the municipality of Aleksinac, southern Serbia, is the only doctor who has committed to this work. She does so because she believes it assists and empowers people.
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The National Commission for Women, Family and Demographic Policy under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, UN Women in Kazakhstan and the Applied Economics Research Center with support of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan, conducted a large-scale study to identify the problems of women entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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On the eve of International Women’s Day, the European Commission and UN Women take a strong step forward in their commitment to end the shadow pandemic of violence against women.
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Focusing on women’s economic empowerment, digital transformation and climate resilience, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and UN Women will seek to jointly contribute to women's and girls' socio-economic resilience in the long-term recovery from the pandemic.
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Violence against women and girls has been increasing globally as the COVID-19 pandemic magnifies economic and social stresses, with spikes of 20 to 40 per cent in some countries. Meanwhile, crowded homes, measures to restrict contact and movement, and limited access to services are making it harder for survivors to seek help.
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According to a recent UN assessment, police reports from across Kosovo show a 22 percent increase in domestic violence in the first months of the pandemic. ‘The Rapid Socio-economic Impact Assessment of COVID-19’ was carried out by UN Women, UNDP and UNFPA. As domestic violence increased, so did the survivors' need for a safe space, a shelter, and a safe environment.
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While everyone is facing unprecedented challenges with lockdown and social distancing measures, women are paying a heavier price as the pandemic worsens existing gender inequalities.
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Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, more women (35 percent) than men (23 percent) have been working from home. This has significantly increased their time spent on unpaid domestic activities and care for children, a recent UN Women assessment reveals.
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Zeliha Ünaldı, the Programmes Manager of UN Women Turkey, talks about her experience of participating in the Fourth World Conference on Women.
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During the 16 Days of Activism, Business Fights Poverty are holding a Virtual Gender Summit on Thursday 3rd December 2020 in partnership with UN Women, CDC Group, The 2X Challenge and CARE International.
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Around 100 representatives from the protection and justice sectors of the Western Balkans and Turkey, including the police, judges, prosecutors, social workers and lawyers, discussed how to improve the protection and justice sector’s response to violence against women, especially during crises.