I used to work for Port Moresby Municipality as a book keeper for market venders when I got the opportunity to become a UN Youth Volunteer with UN Women’s Safe City Programme.
Over 80 per cent of vegetable sellers in Port Moresby are women, especially single mothers and widows who experience all sorts of abuse in public places. The programme promotes the safe use and enjoyment of public spaces by women through empowering them economically and through other means.
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.
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."
In Mali, there are many armed groups which have an impact on the lives of women. The project that I work on fosters economic and social empowerment of young women and men to help them regain some stability and social cohesion.
Statistics indicate that worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children. A concerning 17 per cent of them, or 125 million, live in Africa. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have set a target to eliminate this practice by 2030.
According to recent data, women who marry as children have fewer years of schooling than those who marry as adults, potentially leading to lower labor force participation and poorer long-term economic opportunities for themselves and their families.
Driven by a partnership between the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), UN Development Programme (UNDP), and UN Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina, IT Girls aims to make girls and women more visible in the world of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
According to the National Employment and Income Survey (ENEI), in Guatemala, 58.6 per cent of women live in poverty and 22.8 per cent in extreme poverty.
Poverty is greater in the rural population, particularly in the Maya, Xinca and Garífuna peoples, communities that live under a constant condition of injustice and deprivation of their basic rights, affecting their women, girls and adolescents with greater ferocity.
This four-day long event served as the starting point for the implementation of the agreement between the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, signed earlier this year, through which the Russian Federation will deploy fully funded Russian UN Volunteers with UNV.
A large youth population offers astounding potential. With masses comes the power to influence democratic governance and stimulate economic growth. However, a multitude of risks come with a huge youth population, especially one that is unemployed, underserved and disgruntled. From illegal migration to violent extremism, a potential resource can easily degenerate into a significant challenge, not just for the region, but globally.