UN Women for 2011

I am a little bit tardy in posting this, but forgive me, it’s pretty good (and big) news, so you should hopefully welcome this morsel with open arms. Back on July 2nd the United Nations voted to “create a new entity to accelerate progress in meeting the needs of women and girls worldwide”! Sure, that language is a little vague, so, allow me to introduce UN Women a.k.a the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women a.k.a an entity to accerlerate progress for the needs of women and girls worldwide…

Wisely, the UN are going with the first catchy title and under this umbrella term they are uniting four previously distinct parts of the UN: Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), International Research and Training Insititue for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), Office of Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI) and last, but by no means less catchily titled, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). Whilst not only uniting these bodies, UN Women will also build upon these existing bodies’ work on gender equality and women’s empowerment to ensure women and girls have a powerful voice at a local and global level.

UN Women, which be will operational by January 2011 will be varied in its approach. Some areas it will lend a helping hand to will be: working to end violence against women and appointing more women to senior positions and reducing maternal mortality rates. It will be aiming to do this by supporting inter-govermental bodies in their formulation of policies and giving more help to Member States in implementing these standards. It will also help the UN systems to be accountable for its own commitments on gender equality, which will include regular monitoring of system wide progress. Further, in the past, efforts to promote gender equality within the UN have been seriously hampered by tight purse strings. Whilst UN Women will in part be funded by voluntary contributions, crucially Member States have also recognised that $500 million (which is double the budget for all the above acroynms) is the minimum necessary investment.

Gender inequality sadly remains a facet in every society, but all of this makes me feel pretty stoked about the UN’s future efforts. And Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro is also pretty positive about the future. As Migiro says;

UN Women will give women and girls the strong, unified voice they deserve on the world stage. I look forward to seeing this new entity up and running so that we — women and men — can move forward together in our endeavour to achieve the goals of equality, development and peace for all women and girls, everywhere.

You can find more interesting reading here

By: Dearbhaile Kitt, 29.07.2010 | Comments (0)
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‘My Strength’ Posters

My Strength

I came across the My Strength website via the comments on this piece on the F Word. My Strength is a Californian initiative (though it has now spread further), aimed at men, that strives to promote youth empowerment, gender equality and healthy relationships.

I found the My Strength campaign posters (available on the website) to be really refreshing pieces of media. Not only are the sentiments quite unique (in terms of how the media usually responds to and reports rape and sexual violence) but I also think the images are a bit special too. It’s not often that we see a male/female couple where the male meets our eye and the female gazes into the distance (isn’t it usually the other way round?) AND it’s not often that we see a male/male couple full stop (especially one that acknowledges the sexual relationship between the two).

Aaah it’s like an invigorating breath of fresh air! Why can’t we see more campaigns like this?

My Strength

By: Sarah Barnes, 05.12.2009 | Comments (0)
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