SDG 5: Gender equality
How do you see the partnership between UN Women and UN Volunteers and why is this important?
UNV has developed a successful partnership with the UNODC Regional Office for West and Central Africa based in Dakar, especially in the mobilization of youth volunteers. Over the course of three years, 21 UN Volunteers and UN Youth Volunteers have supported UNODC in Senegal in the fight against illicit drugs and transnational organized crime in the region. They especially contribute in the cross-cutting areas such as programme management, communications and monitoring & evaluation.
This year, International Women’s Day comes on the heels of an unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice. Echoing the priority theme of the upcoming 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, International Women’s Day draws attention to the rights and activism of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world population, and are being left behind in every measure of development.
Two years ago, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development shaped a roadmap to promote peaceful and inclusive societies, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels, therefore recognizing the intrinsic link between peace and sustainable development.
In Indonesia, two in five women experience some kind of violence in their lifetime. Growing up watching her childhood friends struggle with domestic violence, Grace, a national UN Volunteer in Papua Province, Indonesia, is highly motivated to contribute to preventing violence against women and girls.
UN Volunteers and other volunteers are advancing gender issues and impacting on women's lives in rural and urban settings. In line with Sustainable Development Goal 5, they are volunteering to safeguard the basic rights of women and girls, achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, counter deeply rooted gender-based discrimination, and avail opportunities for women and girls to learn, engage and lead.
They came to share their experiences, learn from each other and build a network of colleagues and friends to help them overcome the many difficulties they face in challenging contexts like Mali, the Democratic Republic of thr Congo, Liberia and elsewhere.
The community radio project helps improve access to information and public services for marginalized rural communities. The radio stations are entirely run by volunteers from the communities, a diverse bunch of inspired, mostly young people, eager to learn and contribute their time and energy. They know the communities, people and various ethnic languages.
Living in Pakistan since September 2015 has truly been an eye-opener. In a developing country where most of the population are youth, I have seen first-hand how we in the UN can actively influence young people to realize the benefits of women’s empowerment and give equal opportunities to women and girls. As a UN Volunteer, I encourage people to take action.
UN Women and UN Volunteers launched a community-focused radio project in Quetta, Pakistan, in 2017. The aim of this project was to empower women through community focused-radio and volunteerism. It engaged marginalized women and youth in two towns, and established establish community-based radio programmes for entertainment, information and education purposes.