Women’s Rights – UNIFEM Events and Updates Around the World

By R.E.A.L. Organization • on August 6, 2009

UNIFEM around the World

Call for Proposals: Fund for Gender Equality
UNIFEM is pleased to announce the first call for proposals for the Fund for Gender Equality. The Fund will accept applications from governmental and non-governmental organizations in developing countries to accelerate progress towards the goal of gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Fund will prioritize 30 innovative, impact-oriented programmes from around the world. The online application will be available on UNIFEM’s website from 15 to 30 September. Read the application guidelines.

UN Trust Fund Alert: Drastic Shortfall in Resources Threatens Women’s Safety
The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women is a leading global source of support for country- and local-level action to end violence against women and girls. It relies on voluntary contributions from governments, the private sector and concerned individuals. Due to the global economic and financial crisis, the UN Trust Fund is facing a dramatic shortfall in donor contributions. This year, the Fund has received more than 1,600 proposals from all over the world. But there is only US$9 million available, not even half of the US$22 million granted last year. Read the complete story.

UNIFEM Joins “Seal the Deal” Campaign
UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi signed on to the United Nations Seal the Deal campaign on 30 July 2009, joining a number of UN agencies and organizations that are encouraging governments to reach an ambitious and effective global climate agreement by the end of this year. The S eal the Deal campaign — launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in April 2009 and supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) — encourages world leaders to work together to seal the deal on an equitable and effective climate agreement that will bolster the resiliency of vulnerable countries and protect the lives and livelihoods of all. Time is pressing as talks lead up to the Conference of the Parties (COP-15) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen, December 2009. Read the complete story.

Global Programme on Safe Cities for Women and Girls
UNIFEM and UN-HABITAT in June signed a Memorandum of Understanding to join forces in an effort to make cities and towns free from violence against women and girls. The global “Safe Cities” programme builds on an ongoing collaboration between the two organizations in Latin America, and focuses on reducing sexual harassment and violence in urban public spaces, through community empowerment and partnerships with local authorities on practical measures. Read the complete story.

EC and UNIFEM Partner to Support Gender Equality in the Context of HIV and AIDS
The European Commission (EC) and UNIFEM are embarking on a programme that will focus on promoting the leadership of HIV-positive women’s groups and gender equality advocates, to ensure that gender equality priorities are identified, realized and budgeted in national HIV and AIDS responses. The programme will be implemented for three years in Rwanda, Kenya, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Cambodia, with a total budget of €2,450,353. Read the complete story.

100/100 Campaign at Mid-Year
In the second year of its 100/100 campaign for resource mobilization, UNIFEM has received contributions from 44 UN Member States, totaling US$25 million in the first six months of 2009. Sixty-seven Governments have pledged their support, with many more on the horizon. This places UNIFEM in a good position to build upon the unprecedented growth in 2008 — with a total of 80 donors for US$51 million — despite the difficulties presented by the current financial crisis. The 100/100 campaign aims to garner the support of 100 UN Member States contributing US$100 million to core resources by the year 2011. Read the complete story.

Series of Training Workshops on Evaluation
UNIFEM’s Evaluation Unit has initiated a series of training workshops with the aim of building the skills of UNIFEM staff and partners in all regions to plan, manage and make use of high-quality evaluations from a gender equality and human rights perspective. More than 70 UNIFEM staff and partners successfully completed the first two rounds of training, in Bang kok in June and Johannesburg in July. Read the complete story.

AFRICA

Central Africa: UNIFEM Executive Director on Official Visit
UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi paid her first official visit to the Central Africa region in May. During the ten-day visit, Ms. Alberdi met with high-level officials, gender advocates and activists, including H.E. the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, H.E. the President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, and H.E. the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Adolphe Muzito. The aim of the visit was to monitor the progress in fostering gender equality and women’s rights in the region, discuss existing challenges and strengthen partnerships with key stakeholders. In all three countries, Ms. Alberdi launched the UNIFEM flagship report, Progress of the World’s Women 2008/2009. Read the complete story.

Rwanda: Centre for Survivors of Violence to Open
In an effort to strengthen support to survivors of child, domestic and gender-based violence, the Rwanda National Police Health Services signed an agreement in July to open a “one-stop centre” of services in Kigali, with joint support from UNIFEM, UNFPA and UNICEF. The centre — which will be located in Kigali’s Kacyriu Police Hospital and named Isange (feel welcome and free in Kinyarwanda) — will offer free and coordinated medical, legal and psycho-social services to violence survivors through trained personnel, in comfortable and confidential surroundings. Read the complete story.

Zimbabwe: Gender Support Programme Launched
The Gender Support Programme (GSP), a fund that aims to enhance gender equality in Zimbabwe, was launched in June with more than US$3 million in funding from the European Commission (EC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Managed by UNIFEM, the fund will support non-governmental, community and faith-based organizations working towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. Read the complete story.

AMERICAS & THE CARIBBEAN

Colombia: Campaigning against Violence at Music Festival
UNIFEM and the MDG Comprehensive Programme against Gender Violence in Colombia joined forces to promote the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign at the Rock al Parque music festival in Bogotá in June, attended by 350,000 people. Taking part in the annual festival for the second time, UNIFEM aimed to involve youth in the recognition o f women’s right to live a life free of violence. Read the complete story.

Ecuador: Rural Women Trained in Information Technology
UNIFEM has embarked on a project with the Association of Women from Rural “Juntas Parroquiales” in Ecuador (AMJUPRE) to encourage rural women to make use of information and communication technologies (ICT). The women receive training in working with web pages, blogs and interactive forums, and learn how to organize video conferences. More than 30 women community leaders attended the first two workshops, and will pass their knowledge on to other women in their “juntas parroquiales.” Read the complete story.

Mexico: Promoting the Rights of Indigenous Women
UNIFEM and the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (CDI) in Mexico signed an agreement in June, aiming to strengthen the protection of indigenous women’s rights under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and other human rights mechanisms. UNIFEM and CDI will join forces in their efforts to promote indigenous women’s rights to a life free of violence, access to education and political participation. Read the complete story.

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Pakistan: Consultation on Gender-Sensitive Responses to Humanitarian Crisis
The Ministry of Women’s Development in Pakistan, with support from UNIFEM, convened a national consultation workshop in July on gender-sensitive responses to the ongoing humanitarian crisis and women’s participation in peacebuilding. As a result of conflict, there are estimated to be more than two million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Pakistan. The workshop sought to take stock of the situation, identify gender concerns in the early recovery process and reflect on ways to strengthen women’s participation in post-conflict rehabilitation, in line with Pakistan’s commitment to implement UN Security Council resolution 1325. A task force was appointed to follow up on recommendations. Read the complete story.

Timor-Leste: Delegation to Present Country’s First Report to CEDAW Committee
Ahead of the presentation of Timor-Leste’s first periodic report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), a preparatory mock session was organized by the CEDAW Southeast Asia Programme of UNIFEM in Dili in June. Timor-Leste ratified CEDAW in 2003, committing to protect, promote and fulfil women’s human rights. The mock session was intended to prepare the six-member State Delegation of Timor-Leste for its presentation to the CEDAW Committee at its 44th Session in New York. Read the complete story.

CEE/CIS

The FYR of Macedonia: Parliamentary Hearing on Gender-Responsive Budgeting
A public hearing on gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) took place at the National Assembly of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in Skopje in May, organized by the Parliamentary Committee for Equal Opportunities, within the framework of UNIFEM’s sub-regional programme on GRB. The purpose of the hearing was to introduce the concept of GRB, to discuss the role of the Parliament in the mainstreaming of gender perspectives in budgetary processes and to exchange experiences with experts from the Netherlands and Austria. It was agreed that capacities need to be strengthened at all levels. Read the complete story.
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Other News

E-Discussion: Women in Local Governments
iKnow Politics is hosting an online discussion on Women in Local Goverments from 10 to 24 August. Join the discussion [ en | fr | es ].

Conversations for a Better World: New Blog on Development Issues
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is launching Conversations for a Better World, a collaborative blog where people can exchange ideas and opinions on development issues. Each month, the blog has an editorial focus on one topic, starting in July with “Women and the Economic Crisis.” Visit the website.

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