SDG 5: Gender equality
"Voices Against Violence" in Togo is an $85,000 USD project that was funded and implemented by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme between October 2016 and April 2017. The project is based on an informal education program developed by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and UN Women. It aims to fight against gender-based violence by raising the awareness of young secondary students about the root causes of violence, ways to prevent it, and finding solutions.
The Gender Based Violence Sub Cluster Report from West and Central African countries facing armed conflict revealed that the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence has drastically increased since the last report in 2016. It is in this line that we jointly organized, in 2017, a regional capacity building workshop on gender mainstreaming, prevention and response to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in emergency and humanitarian settings in Dakar, Senegal.
According to a recent Oxfam study conducted in six districts in Tajikistan, 96.5% of men interviewed and 71.5% of women consider that women must tolerate violence for the benefit of the family. Needless to say, when I first read this report, only a couple of weeks after I began my assignment, I was shocked by these statistics.
Within the first three weeks after the earthquake, UNV mobilized five UN Volunteers to immediately support the work of UN agencies after the earthquake. The rest of UN Volunteers were deployed during the three months after the disaster. They all worked directly with the communities and the people who suffered the devastation of the earthquake, focusing mainly on reaching families, especially women and children who lost not only their homes but also their livelihoods, helping build their capacity and supporting strategies for economic empowerment.
Women volunteered in Chandragiri, Kathmandu and demonstrated their vital role with their implementation of non-structural earthquake mitigation measures. As part of the USAID/OFDA funded programme Frontline, the residents in Chandragiri identified earthquakes as the top threat in the community, and non-structural mitigation as one of the priority actions to be implemented.
If there is one area where anecdotes seem to rule and myths abound in the field of volunteerism for development, on which views are strongly held and interesting debates had, it is on gender and volunteerism. As a women’s rights activist, I can receive strong reactions from allies when I talk about UNV’s mandate to promote volunteerism – often equated with romanticising women’s further unpaid contribution as a ‘triple burden’ – especially in low income countries. At the same time, volunteer-involving organizations, the most vocal and visible of whom tend to be in the Global North, are ful
Three national UN Volunteers are working to empower adolescent girls by raising awareness amongst adolescents, their families and local authorities on women’s rights, and addressing issues such as early marriage, sexuality and violence against women. Their work contributes to the Saqilaj B’e Joint Programme (JP) implemented by UN Women, PAHO/WHO, UNESCO, UNFPA and UNICEF, together with the Government of Guatemala.
As many as 68 per cent of women and girls aged 15-49 in Asia and the Pacific face some form of violence in their lifetime. This is one of the highest levels reported in the world.
Rapid mobilization of UN Volunteers
Bringing opportunities to all
From education to employment, the opportunities offered to men and women in Gaza are not equal. With programs implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, this is slowly changing. Together, they promote gender equality in Gaza through volunteerism and women’s participation. There are currently 60 UN Volunteers in the State of Palestine, 26 are women.