SDG 5: Gender equality
Based in Goma, a city in the eastern DRC, Italian international UN Volunteer Serena Ricci is assigned to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as an associate protection officer. Her role is to ensure the protection of refugees, forcibly displaced women, girls, men and boys and people with specific needs.
UNV works to ensure gender equality and the empowerment of women from both an institutional and a programmatic perspective. We wish to use this occasion to feature the rich variety of ways UN Volunteers around the world contribute to SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Following the earthquake, the situation of women and girls was of special concern because they are more likely to become victims of violence and discrimination in a humanitarian emergency. Displacement, over-crowed camps, lack of privacy and lighting, limited and unsegregated wash facilities increase the risks.
Many of the activities developed were conducted with families affected by the earthquake, particularly women and their daughters and sons - in training opportunities for the prevention of gender-based violence, helping women and their families identify common patterns of violence, as well the protection routes that they could resort to.
UN Volunteers are an important component of UN Women’s capacity on the ground and have been at the forefront of promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR). Currently, UN Women has 34 UN Volunteers working within its programmes located in ten countries across the region. The largest group is in Kenya where 13 national and international UN Volunteers work to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation, as well as communications and public advocacy of gender equality within communities.
The issue of women’s rights is a global issue. The status of women’s rights around the world is an important indicator of global well-being. Despite many successes in empowering women, numerous issues still persist in all areas of life. For example, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence is increasing in a variety of forms in Liberia. While there may be a decrease in some instances of physical domestic violence, both physical and emotional abuse continue to occur.
UN Volunteers Roselyn Owour, Epher Welavunuka, Petronila Khagai, Anne Munene and Jennifer Kibicho held a sensitization session with school girls to raise awareness about gender equality, the importance of going to school and not missing classes, and the challenges facing girls around the world.
The school - World Hope Academy in the Kawangware slum in Nairobi - has a total student capacity of 400 children, most of them coming from poor families that live in the slums.
Data supports the existence of a significant nexus between gender mainstreaming, sustaining peace, and civic and volunteer engagement. This was the topic of discussion at a side event organized on 27 October 2016 by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women) at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN in New York.
Angela Mejane Nnoko is a UN Volunteer Gender in Emergency Analyst with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN) in Senegal.
Dakar, Senegal: In my assignment as an international UN Volunteer for the Regional Humanitarian Program for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) for West and Central Africa in Dakar, one of my duty is to make sure that humanitarian actions incorporate issues of gender and diversity.
This process aims at ensuring that the needs of women, girls, men and boys of all ages are taken into consideration during Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and the actual execution phase itself.