This project is particularly important as although Sri Lanka has ended a 30-year civil war, there remains unresolved issues of psychological trauma, sexual violence and misunderstanding between different ethnicities.
The project is part of the support provided by the UN in Sri Lanka towards the government's 'Peacebuilding Priority Plan (PPP) which serves as the "framework for a coordinated, government, UN, and other stakeholders response to secure lasting peace in Sri Lanka".
Partners for Prevention (P4P) is a UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women and UNV regional joint programme for the prevention of violence against women and girls in Asia and the Pacific. After 10 years of operation, the project came to a close in March of this year. A final report on the programme assessed the role volunteerism played in the primary prevention of such violence.
Women in Loja, mostly of indigenous descent, play a critical role in their economy, by managing small businesses and/or providing informal care for family members. They participate in crop production and livestock farming, and provide food and fuel for their families. However, indigenous women in Loja are disproportionally affected by poverty, gender inequalities and discrimination and do not enjoy the same rights and opportunities as men. For example, Ecuadorian’ women bear disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care work.
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.
Some 103 UN Volunteers served with UNAIDS in 38 countries over the past 10 years. Supporting the mandate of UNAIDS, they have been working towards stopping new HIV infections, ensuring that everyone living with HIV has access to treatment, protecting and promoting human rights and producing data for decision-making.
How do you see the partnership between UN Women and UN Volunteers and why is this important?
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.
In 2014, national authorities in CAR decided to establish a Special Criminal Court (SCC) to investigate and prosecute serious human rights violations, including crimes against humanity and war crimes. The law on the creation of the Court was promulgated on the 3 June 2015. It demonstrated strong political willingness to end impunity and the importance of equality, justice and freedom in achieving sustainable peace.
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.