Source: UN News

The armed groups in Darfur have largely been defeated and the ferocity of intercommunal violence has declined, but anxiety over safety continues to keep many people from returning to their homes, a senior United Nations peacekeeping official told the Security Council on Wednesday. 

Source: NewEra

Windhoek-Veteran journalist and gender activist, Sarry Xoagus-Eises who died on Monday was a ‘warrior for women’s rights. This is according to gender activist, Ngamane Karuaihe-Upi who also said it would be hard to replace her.

Source: IPS
“Five years ago, when we first started talking about including gender in the negotiations, the parties asked us, ‘Why gender?’ Today, they are asking, ‘How do we include gender?’ That’s the progress we have seen since Doha,” said Kalyani Raj.

Source: UN News
With the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 23), in Bonn, Germany, entering its final week of negotiations, the Fiji Presidency today announced an agreement on a Gender Action Plan, highlighting the role of women in climate action.

Source: UN Women
More than 2 million people across Mozambique, especially in the southern and central regions, have been affected by severe drought since 2015. The prolonged crisis has exhausted household food stock, disrupted lives and livelihood. For Mozambican women and girls, who are primarily responsible for managing food and water for their families, the drought has also meant increased work burden and earlier marriages, leading to lost childhood, education and opportunities.

Source: AllAfrica

Despite efforts to stem malnutrition, children across Africa remain deeply impacted, says the Global Nutrition Report launched this week in Abidjan.

The report says Africa is the only region where absolute numbers are rising, due to population growth.

At least 10 million children in Africa are now classified as overweight, out of 41 million world over.

Up to 59 million children on the continent are stunted-too short for their age due to lack of nutrients and suffering irreversible damage to brain capacity.

African economies lose between 1.9 and 16.5% of gross domestic product annually to undernutrition, due to increased mortality, absenteeism, and chronic illnesses and associated costs, and lost productivity.

Some 14 million children are wasted-too thin for their height.

Almost every country in the world now faces a serious nutrition-related challenge, whether stemming from undernutrition, obesity, or non-communicable diseases.

The gathering brings together high-profile global leaders, 60 countries and 700 participants to discuss how to tackle malnutrition

"The problem of malnutrition, be it undernutrition or obesity, is an alarming public health problem and real global concern. Malnutrition is at the heart of the problem of fighting extreme poverty, and an important dimension of social and human development," said Daniel Kablan Duncan, Vice-President of Côte d'Ivoire.

Source: Reuters

At least 46 children, some as young as 18 months, were raped near the village of Kavumu between 2013 and 2016.

Source: Reuters

Big foreign companies growing crops in Africa often promise jobs and development to local communities then leave them in even greater poverty when their projects falter, a campaign group said on Wednesday.

SOURCE: Guardian

Promised economic and educational opportunities her parents thought too good to refuse, Rose left home for Zanzibar. But a life of fear and exploitation awaited the 13-year-old – a fate that has become all too familiar to kids in the region.

Source: UN NEWS

Thanks to the recent expansion of HIV/AIDS services conducted by the United Nations migration agency, some 171,000 civilians and their host communities have gained benefit from these health facilities in South Sudan.

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

"I stay because I don't have a choice. I'll put up with it until I can't take it anymore."

Source: World Economic Forum 

Gender parity is fundamental to whether and how economies and societies thrive. Ensuring the full development and appropriate deployment of half of the world’s total talent pool has a vast bearing on the growth, competitiveness and future-readiness of economies and businesses worldwide. The Global Gender Gap Report benchmarks 144 countries on their progress towards gender parity across four thematic dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. In addition, this year’s edition also analyses the dynamics of gender gaps across industry talent pools and occupations.

Link to download PDF file:

Source: UN News
Briefing the press at United Nations Headquarters in New York for the first time, the first-ever UN advocate for the rights of victims of sexual exploitation and abuse on Friday highlighted her role to give those who have suffered “visibility” and amplify their voices.

Source: OpenDemocracy

When we hear about irregular migration from Africa to Europe, migrants are frequently portrayed as victims of human traffickers who exploit vulnerable people on the move. Migrants have even been called ‘modern-day slaves’ in need of humanitarian protection. But is this an accurate assessment? Are irregular migrants today really enslaved, or are they simply trying to make their way through borders that have become progressively securitised?

ISS Africa

As 2017 comes to a close, so does the African Union’s (AU) Year of the Youth. It was crucial for the AU Commission to mainstream young people in its policies and structures for good governance, peace and security. The task now is for the commission, regional economic communities (RECs) and African states to match policy commitments with investments in implementation.

Source: IISD

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released a report that calls for investments in health, education and the protection and empowerment of women and girls in Africa. The report argues that the right investments can set the foundation for a demographic dividend that could lift hundreds of millions of Africans out of extreme poverty and contribute to enhanced prosperity, stability and peace.

Source: HRW

While Egypt conducts wholesale persecution of sexual and gender minorities at home, its United Nations representatives are undermining universal human rights by using the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people as a wedge issue. 

Source: UN Women 

“Your fear is controlling you,” instructor Amany Abdel-Aal told a roomful of women at a Wen-Do self-defence class, held in a cheerfully painted youth centre on the outskirts of Cairo.

Source: IPS
A UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution adopted on 31 October 2000, underlying the role of women in peacekeeping, has long been described as both historic and unprecedented.

Source: United Nations 

At the Security Council today, a senior United Nations official called on Member States, regional organizations and civil society for greater partnership to boost women’s participation at all levels and help ensure UN peace efforts are stronger and more sustainable.

“We will ensure our prevention initiatives and monitoring include a focus on women’s rights violations [and] we will tackle the structural and root causes of crisis, including gender inequality,” Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the Chef de Cabinet, speaking on behalf of the Secretary-General, told a day-long debate in the Security Council, underlining the need for more action on the ‘women, peace and security agenda’ – with prevention as a core pillar.

Noting the importance of gender equality and security of women as reliable indicators for peace, she added: “We will [also] strengthen the collection and analysis of gender statistics and encourage Member States to monitor gender equality indicators as part of their work to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

In her briefing, the Chef de Cabinet spoke of the need to ensure adequate representation of women in the security sector both to reduce their exposure to harm as well as to realize their potential in conflict prevention.

Noting, further, that only three per cent of peacekeepers are women, she informed the 15-member Council of the Secretary-General’s efforts with troop- and police-contributing countries to increase the number of female uniformed personnel.

Ms. Viotti also noted that 17 years after its adoption, Security Council resolution 1325 on women and peace and security was too often being implemented in an ad hoc fashion, and called on UN Member States to share evidence and examples in order to examine gaps and successes.

‘Women, peace and security’ agenda central pillar of global affairs

Also briefing today, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Womensaid said that while atrocities against women and girls in armed conflict are now the focus of attention and documentation, it is critical that perpetrators are brought to justice, and that survivors are accorded dignity and support.

Michaëlle Jean, Secretary-General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (La Francophonie), addresses the Security Council’s open debate on women, peaceand security. At left is Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). UN Photo/Kim Haughton “This impunity cannot be allowed to continue,” she underlined.

Further, informing the Security Council of an overall decline in women’s participation in UN-led peace processes, inclusion of gender-sensitive provisions in peace agreements and consultation with women’s civil society organizations, in comparison with one year ago, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said that the political marginalization was not only limited to peace talks.

Only 17 countries have an elected woman Head of State or Government and the proportion of women parliamentarians in conflict and post-conflict countries has stagnated at 16 per cent in the last two years.

“The use of quotas and temporary special measures would help,” she said, noting examples from Somalia and Mali, and called on donors to continue supporting efforts targeted at women’s empowerment and highlighted the importance of ensuring gender-conscious funding for policies and programmes.

Concluding her remarks, the head of UN-Women stressed that women, peace and security agenda is now an essential pillar of global affairs.

“This is only the beginning. The chorus of voices that are appalled by the persistent political marginalization of women in decision-making is speaking louder […] this agenda unites us because people from all over the world, every day, look up to the United Nations for peace, equality and inclusion,” she said.

Also speaking today were Charo Mina-Rojas of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, and Michaelle Jean, Secretary-General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, who underscored the need to effectively combat sexual and gender-based violence and end impunity.

“The silence around these crimes is as appalling as the crimes themselves,” stressed Ms. Mina-Rojas.

They also called for greater participation of women’s organizations and community leaders in the design and implementation of security and peacebuilding efforts.

“More than lip service should be paid to ensuring that women were invited to participate in national dialogues,” said Ms. Jean.

Via UN News Centre

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