International women's day
The DRC is a beautiful and rich country with lots of human and natural resources. Let me congratulate the Congolese people who, in spite of the ordeals facing the country, continue to work for peace.
I joined MONUSCO as a UN Volunteer in March 2016. I am the Contingent-Owned Equipment (COE) Database Assistant, responsible for managing and updating comprehensive electronic files/records on day-to-day activities relating to field units and their inspections to the e-COE databases.
On November 24, 2016, after a confrontation lasting more than half a century, the National Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP) agreed to definitively end the internal armed conflict, with the signature of the Final Agreement for Ending the Conflict and Building a Stable and Lasting Peace.
In 2013, South Sudan entered a civil war – a conflict which continues till today. The impact of insecurity has had a profound impact on people. Poverty has worsened, from 44.7 per cent in 2011 to 65.9% in 2018. Female-headed households (48.6 per cent of all households in South Sudan) experience more severe depth of poverty owing to detrimental social norms, and limited access to education, productive assets and resources.
Grace Otieno, a UN Volunteer who serves as an Air Operations Planning Officer at the MOVCON aviation section of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).
Posted in Goma, Grace is working in a largely male-dominated sector. Her everyday tasks include planning for daily flights, coordinating ramp activities for smooth and timely flights and briefing the crew on their daily route requirements as per UN procedures.
Having been raised in a socially conservative environment, Natalie explains that she was one of the lucky ones. Empowered to pursue her education, she obtained a Master’s degree in Media and Development from the United Kingdom.
Perhaps this is why joining UN Women as a volunteer after she settled in Jordan seemed like a natural move. Though she acknowledges that gender inequality is a worldwide issue, she says, "It’s hard to be a woman from the Middle East and not be affected by the issues around women’s rights."
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.
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.
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 photos of women volunteers presented in this video were sent by users all over the world. We extend a special thanks to all the people that contributed to this social media campaign intended to highlight how women volunteers contribute to peace and development worldwide.