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  UN Volunteers working for the empowerment of women    
International Women's Day is marked on 8 March and is an opportunity to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women and to raise awareness about the struggles still faced in achieving gender equality.

The official theme for International Women's Day 2012 is Empower Rural Women - End Hunger and Poverty. UNV supports this through different activities and initiatives such as South-South cooperation, knowledge products and training, and the development of inter-agency mechanisms.

Through UN Volunteer assignments and collaborative projects, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to the inclusion of women in decision-making, promotes gender sensitive services and policies, and works to prevent sexual and gender-based violence.

"Today, International Women’s Day gives us the chance to recognize the invaluable contributions women make around the world, and mark the challenges we still have to meet to achieve gender equality. UNV cooperates with its partners to build the capacities of women and youth to ensure their full participation in their communities.  We will continue to do so.  The commitment of UNV to provide women with a greater say in their destiny is absolute."
-- Flavia Pansieri, UNV Executive Coordinator

UNV recognizes the efforts of all those who are working to promote women's participation and inclusion. On this International Women's Day, meet some of the UN Volunteers, UN Online Volunteers and Former UN Volunteers who are providing expertise and support for the empowerment of women. 

UN Volunteer Germán Robles Osuna (right), UNV Programme Officer in Khartoum, Sudan, fields questions at a press conference to open the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign in Nyala, South Darfur.  Germán helped design the campaign and mobilized more than 80 community volunteers from Nyala University to take part. With him, from right to left, are Sayda Nasor, GBV Officer, UNFPA Nyala, Fatima Kanyud, Wali Advisor, an unknown participant and a representative with Sudan's Human Affairs Committee. (UNV, 2011)
16 Day campaign against gender-based violence
08 March 2012
Sudan: “The dramas often depicted men confronting other men about the consequences of gender-based violence. This is a powerful method which created a high level of awareness, because of the taboo on this issue, especially among men.” Read
More about: Gender
Countries:  Sudan
Julie Lillejord, former UN Volunteer, with one of the interview teams that were working on the ground, collecting data for the national study on violence against children. (Matthew Gladden, 2012)
Addressing violence against children
08 March 2012
Tanzania: "Working for UNICEF was very interesting, meaningful and important. It made it clear to me that this is the line of work I want to be in. The memories of living and working in Tanzania will stay with me for life. It gave me valuable insight into complex development issues many, particularly African nations, face today." Read
More about: Children  Gender  Youth
Other languages: en español  en français  
Donna Torsu, UN Online Volunteer
Creating training material to address gender-based violence in emergency settings
08 March 2012
“[Online volunteering is] beneficial to women all around the world who wish to contribute their knowledge and experience as well as enhance their capacity.” Read
More about: Gender
Countries:  Ghana  Kenya  United States
Other languages: en français  en español  
Designing poster for students essay contest about preventing violence against women
08 March 2012
Cambodia: “I am interested in using my professional skills in areas that can help influence the positive changes that are happening in Cambodia as young people become more educated.” Read
Countries:  Australia  Cambodia
Other languages: en español  en français  
Gender, Climate Change and Community-Based Adaptation (CBA): a Guidebook for Designing and Implementing Gender-Sensitive Community-Based Adaptation Programmes and Projects
08 March 2012
This Guidebook presents valuable advice on how to design gender-sensitive, community-based projects and programmes. It draws on a wealth of experiences and examples from UNDP CBA Programmes, together with lessons learned from Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programmes and UN Volunteers’ experiences within the field. Read
In Sudan, more than 1000 women and men from several organizations paraded through the main streets of Nyala to speak out against gender-based violence during the 16-day campaign which ran from 25 November to 10 December 2011.  (UNV, 2011)
International Women’s Day: UNV Executive Coordinator’s statement
08 March 2012
Bonn, Germany: International Women’s Day gives us the chance to recognize the invaluable contributions women make around the world, and mark the challenges we still have to meet to achieve gender equality.  Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently highlighted the importance of addressing the needs of women and young people to ensure their full participation in peace-building and development.

UNV cooperates with its partners to build the capacities of women and youth to ensure their full participation in their communities.  We will continue to do so.  The commitment of UNV to provide women with a greater say in their destiny is absolute. Read
(Photo: Goodness and Mercy Missions, 2011)
Online volunteer for Goodness and Mercy Missions in Cameroon
15 December 2011
Cameroon: Online volunteer Akanksha Shukla from India helped the Cameroonian NGO Goodness and Mercy Missions (GMM) improve its “Children education through women empowerment” project. The project aims to enable 100 women to secure their family income through palm oil trading, and send their children to school. Read
Countries:  Cameroon  India
Other languages: en español  en français  
Hazel Alfon, UN Online Volunteer
Promoting gender equality online
08 March 2012
Ghana: “I love this volunteer experience… giving a helping hand to achieving gender equality through promoting sustainable livelihoods.” Read
Countries:  Ghana  India  Philippines
Other languages: en français  
United Nations Day, Côte d'Ivoire (2009)
Raising awareness about children’s rights and gender-based violence
08 March 2012
Côte d'Ivoire: “A strong stance on gender-based violence was taken, in an area were rape has been used as a weapon in the internal armed conflict as well as in the post-conflict environment” Read
More about: Gender  Human rights
Countries:  Côte d'Ivoire
Other languages: en español  
UNV volunteer Stefanie Franke at a focus group discussion with children, conducted by SICR member organizations Save the Children UK and UNHCR. (S. Franke/UNV)
Standing up and speaking out
08 March 2012
Sudan: "Sudan made me understand just how crucial it is to support those who are trying to make a change and give a voice to women and girls." Read
More about: Gender
Countries:  Sudan
Through a series of committees, periodic round tables and public dialogues, 100 women, men and youth, including persons with disabilities, are taking part in the UNV and UNDP community radio project designed to empower disadvantaged local communities in Zarqa, Jordan.   (Roqaya Saideh/ UNV, 2010)
Takalam Project: Empowering local communities through community radio
08 March 2012
Jordan: “We talked with the Directorates of Employment and Development and the municipality.  We had proposals and wanted to know how they could help in the future.  We didn’t want promises and words, we wanted action.  And we can feel that some changes have happened.” Read
More about: ICT  Marginalized groups
Countries:  Jordan
Translating the Gender-Based Violence Information System
08 March 2012
“I have a particular affinity with refugees and women’s issues and this assignment allowed me to contribute in a small way to the valuable work of this organization. I have also greatly benefited by learning new IT skills and a deeper understanding of the work of that organization.” Read
More about: Gender
Countries:  France
Other languages: en español  en français  
Marie Johansson (left) and Tweendeni Andreas, with Creative Entrepreneurs Solutions, display a low energy, low pollution cookstove assembled at their workshop in Odangwa, Namibia.  Their company implements the CBA programme in Namibia where they are encouraging rural communities to mitigate climate change by using these stoves instead of open fires for cooking and heating, to reduce deforestation, desertification and greenhouse gas emissions.  (Carol Atwell/UNV, 2011)
UNV-supported low energy stove on display at climate change conference
09 December 2011
Odangwa, Namibia: A simple cookstove developed as part of the UNV-supported Community Based Adaptation (CBA) programme in Namibia is getting its moment in the spotlight at the current United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa. The EzyStove is a fuel-efficient, easy-to-use and environmentally friendly stove designed for poor rural households dependent on burning wood or paper on open fires for their cooking and heating. Read
International UN Volunteer, Emma Wretblad (standing), speaking to lecturers at the University of Equinoctial Technology. (UNV, 2011)
Volunteerism: empowering, transforming and mobilizing; a daily job.
08 March 2012
Quito, Ecuador: In my assignment as an international UN Volunteer for the regional program of Engendering Budgets at UN Women, I oversaw and was involved daily in the volunteerism process.  This was a way to empower women, change the balance of power between men and women and mobilize more volunteers to create a multiplier effect within communities. Read
Countries:  Ecuador
Other languages: en español  
Elsa del Carpio, national UN community Volunteer in Tarija, Bolivia, reviews the municipal budget allocations and analyses the allocations for gender equality. (Carla Alcocer/UNV, 2010)
Women’s volunteer contributions to civic engagement
08 March 2012
The project, ‘Gender Budgeting and Volunteering through Civic Engagement: A Contribution to Democratic Governance and Gender Equality in Latin America’, aims to measure and make more visible women’s volunteer contributions to civic engagement through three case studies in Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador. Read
More about: Gender
Countries:  Argentina  Bolivia  Ecuador
A visit to an indigenous community in Sucumbíos, to conduct workshops and make contributions for the proposal of a joint treaty between the ordinary court and the indigenous justice system, and present certificates to the advocates of The Treaty For Good Coexistence conceptualized by AMNKISE, an indigenous Kichwa women’s association, Lago Agrio, Ecuador. (UNV, 2011)
“Being different is not the root cause of the problem. Rather, it is the importance given to being different” – Carmen de la Cruz
08 March 2012
Quito, Ecuador: These multidimensional aspects of my work as a volunteer, inspire and motivate me daily to act, collaborate and contribute to the processes of change that are happening in the Andean and Amazonian regions.  The indigenous women of the region and their social foundations are credited mostly for generating this process. Read
Countries:  Ecuador
Other languages: en español  
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