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Special Feature: International Women's Day 2014
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme joins in the global celebration of International Women’s Day with the theme of "Equality for women is progress for all". We believe that volunteerism can help women have a real voice and role in shaping their livelihoods and their communities and helping accelerate development for all.

UNV is committed to supporting women’s engagement in participatory processes, increasing their involvement in, and impact on, local decision-making and enhancing local, national and regional accountability.

In a UNV organized side event to the 58th session of the Commission for the Status of Women, scheduled for 18 March 2014, speakers from UN agencies and civil society organizations will discuss findings and experiences on ways to ensure that women’s participation in public life through volunteerism breaks barriers of gender stereotypes and supports more equitable societies.

Women volunteers are working to support the work of the United Nations in extremely diverse development contexts and initiatives. Read more below about the work of UNV and UN Volunteers.

Other languages: en español  en français


Mirsade Salihu (right) teaches a literacy and numeracy class for girls at The Ideas Partnership’s Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje centre. As Salihu describes it, her passion for education and learning never left, but she was abruptly forced to halt her studies during the region's conflict of the 1990s. “I woke up when I started my education again,” she says. And her excitement to jump back into learning seems to translate into her teaching, for which she clearly has a natural aptitude. (Sarah Murphy, 2014)
Making changes through education
23 April 2014
Inside the classroom, ten young teenage girls sit among four rows of old wooden tables. Pens in hand and eyes on the blackboard, the girls are oblivious to the laughter and community chatter emanating from the street outside. Their teacher is Mirsade Salihu. A 36-year-old mother of three and active member of her local community, Salihu is one of the volunteers that is part of a project supported by UNV and implemented by The Ideas Partnership to empower Roma/Ashkali/Egyptian communities in Kosovo. Read
Solomon Ayiko (Canada), UNV Recovery, Reintegration & Peace Building Officer with UNMISS, conducts one of 13 sessions on Business Management and Bookkeeping, he held for members of Women Vision, an association he set up for business women in Koch County, South Sudan.  Photo: Samuel Emmanuel, Department of Education, South Sudan. 2013
A South Sudan business women's association helps empower its members, keep girls in school and build peace
14 March 2014
Solomon Ayiko (Canada), a UNV Recovery, Reintegration and Peace Building Officer with UNMISS, established Women Vision, an association for business women in Koch County, South Sudan to help the women find mutual support, pool their resources and expertise, gain training and new skills and ultimately improve their livelihoods and standing in the community. The association also participated in a campaign to educate girls and return to school young girls who had dropped out due to early pregnancy, early marriage and heavy domestic workloads.   Read
Hateme Krasniqi, an Ashkali woman in her mid-30s, keeps her eyes on the tip of her pencil as she carefully writes her name during the weekly class offered to neighbourhood women by The Ideas Partnership. (Sarah Murphy, 2014)
Writing her way to the future
08 March 2014
A success story from a United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme / United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) component within a UN Joint project in Kosovo funded by the UN Trust Fund for Human Security and implemented by The Ideas Partnership. Read
Tom Van Den Steen, international UN Volunteer specialist with the UNDP Articulation of Territorial Networks Programme, has worked on issues related to gender and human development in land planning and management in Ecuador. (UNV, 2014)
Contributing to a more inclusive and happy world
08 March 2014
To be a volunteer is to be flexible, to be open to contributing your skills and enthusiasm to new opportunities. This is how I’ve had some of the most rewarding experiences of my assignment, helping ART/UNDP and UNV to organize post-2015 consultations. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to go beyond the expected and contribute to a more inclusive and happy world. Read
Countries:  Ecuador
Other languages: en español  en français  
Sarah Chardonnens (right) is a UN Youth Volunteer Human Rights Support Officer - with the UNDP Governance Unit in Iraq - whose UNV assignment is fully funded by the Government of Switzerland. (UNV, 2014)
Message from the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme on the occasion of International Women’s Day
08 March 2014
“Equality for women is progress for all." Today, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme joins in the global celebration of this compelling theme for International Women’s Day. Read
More about: Gender
Other languages: en français  en español  
UN Volunteer Annie Michèle Wabo talking about social cohesion during an awareness-raising campaign. (UNV, 2013)
"If I have given a lot as a volunteer, I have received so much more in return from the experience"
07 March 2014
As a UNV Civil Affairs Officer with the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire, I work to restore the State’s authority and social cohesion, to promote national reconciliation through peaceful management of conflicts, as well as to raise awareness about the culture of peace and to organize intercommunity dialogue sessions. As a UN Volunteer, I am proud to have made a modest contribution to development and to restoring peace in the world through the missions in which I have served. Read
Countries:  Côte d'Ivoire
Other languages: en français  
Rosilândia is a community volunteer who contributes her time and efforts for the progress of women in her community in Cuntum, Bissau, as part of the UNDP UNV project ‘Reinforcement of the capacity and coordination mechanisms of CSOs to attain the MDGs’ in Guinea-Bissau. (Yanira Santana/UNV, 2013)
"To invest in the progress of women is to invest in the progress of the entire community"
07 March 2014
Having grown up in her birthplace Cuntum, Bissau, Rosilândia spends time volunteering there to help better the future of the most vulnerable women in her community. She works as a community volunteer trainer, involved with helping Cuntum’s vulnerable women learn how to read and write. With funding from the UNDP-UNV project ‘Reinforcement of the capacity and coordination mechanisms of CSOs to attain the MDGs’ in Guinea-Bissau, the National Nucleus of Technicians on Social Intervention (NUNATIS) developed the pilot project ‘Supporting literacy for vulnerable women and girls in Cuntum and Cuntum Madina, Bissau.’ Read
More about: Education  Gender
Countries:  Guinea-Bissau
Other languages: en français  
Yoghurt-making training for mothers of twins. (UNV, 2013)
Enhancing women’s participation in community decisions
07 March 2014
Bien Aimé Delphin Raharilala is a national UN Volunteer specialist in community-based approaches working within the “Enhancing Women’s Participation in Community Decisions” project by UNDP. His work as a volunteer involves strengthening the skills of women and vulnerable families in Mananjary so that they can be aware of and enjoy their civil and economic rights. Read
More about: Children  Gender
Countries:  Madagascar
Other languages: en français  
Women encouraged to apply as UN Volunteers
07 March 2014
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is an equal opportunity organization which welcomes applications from qualified professionals all over the world. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture, as the diversity of UN Volunteers is critical to the United Nation's success. Read
UN Volunteer Marie-Pierre Smets (left), whose four-year assignment was fully funded by the Government of Belgium, during one of the capacity-building sessions she carried out in the Saraguro community about the collective rights of indigenous people. (UNV, 2013)
Promoting gender equality through intercultural communication
07 March 2014
In spite of progress made at the political and judicial level, violence against women continues to persist in many parts of the world. We still have a long road ahead of us in our plight to end gender violence, and Ecuador is no exception. In this country, domestic violence is common, and many women endure emotional, psychological, and/or physical abuse. For all of these reasons, during my assignment, I wanted to help raise public awareness about gender relations and violence against women. Read
More about: Gender
Countries:  Ecuador
Other languages: en español  en français  

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