In communities hardest hit by conflicts, such as Bambari, Bangassou and Ndelé, UN Volunteers are at the heart of social cohesion, awareness raising, the restoration of state authority, capacity building activities or access to economic opportunities for populations suffering from the crisis.
Since August 2017, close to 700,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, creating the world’s largest refugee camp in an area that was before a forest on the border with Myanmar.
According to UNFPA, more than half of the new arrivals are women and girls. To respond to the sharp increase in pregnant women, new mothers and newborns in need of care, five UN Volunteers are now serving with UNFPA in Bangladesh.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the most malnourished countries on earth, with over 4.6m children acutely malnourished, including 2.2m children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. The country is also facing an epidemic of sexual violence. Spiraling humanitarian needs and the rapid escalation in grave protection violations against women and children in the DRC should be of concern to everyone.
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.
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.
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.
From 25 November to 10 December 2011, UN agencies, civil society organizations, universities, governments and volunteers in Darfur joined efforts to fight gender-based violence (GBV) during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign.
On the theme No violence - Speak out - Protect, the 2011 campaign created a solidarity movement to raise awareness around gender-based violence and highlight the connections between women, violence, and human rights.
Thanks to UN Online Volunteer Dominique MacNeill from France, the website of the Gender-Based Violence Information System (GBVIMS) (www.gbvims.org) is now available in French.
The GBVIMS is an inter-agency partnership of various UN agencies and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and enables humanitarian actors responding to incidents of gender-based violence to effectively and safely collect, store, analyze and share data reported by GBV survivors.