Simuka Africa Youth Association was established in 2006 in response to the growing number of challenges that were affecting young people in Zimbabwe. It was during the time when the country was in the midst of political and socioeconomic turmoil, characterised by high youth unemployment, a high HIV and AIDS prevalence rate of 20.1 per cent among those aged 15-49, a historic hyperinflation, declining health educational services among other social and economic ills.
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.
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.
International Women’s Day 2018 revolves around the theme “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives”– women going on the streets, women fighting in their communities, women coming together for their rights. This is happening as much in big capitals of the world as in small communities and villages.
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.
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.
"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.
As one of the thirteen women who served as engineers in the demolition and debris management operations of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Anima supported the earthquake-affected areas by using her skills in a traditionally male-dominated field.
“Engineering is for boys while girls are supposed to study management and work in banks,” she recalls her uncle as saying when she was still a student asking for career advice years ago.
In her position, she finds herself working across different projects focused on empowering women in every aspect. One week she may be in the field monitoring business and entrepreneurship trainings for producer group members, and the next she may be representing her programmatic team at a Gender and Climate Change training for Members of Parliament. One thing is for sure, there is always something to be done.