HeForShe Arts Week 2017 will take place across London venues starting on International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, and continuing for a week, until the 15th March.
Part of a global movement, we’re working with arts and cultural venues across the city to raise funds and awareness – and get more people to make the #HeforShe commitment.
There are plenty of events taking place all across the capital. So check out the calendar, and pick your event now!
Don’t forget to share your stories with us on twitter and facebook and help us make even more of a difference during #HeforShe #Artsweek.
At least 200 million girls and women alive today around the world have undergone some form of female genital mutilation (FGM). If current trends continue, 15 million more girls could be affected by 2030.
On the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation raise your voice to #endFGM.
While there has been an overall decline in the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) across countries, this progress is likely to be offset by rapid population growth in countries where FGM occurs, unless efforts to eliminate the practice are renewed in light of recent research, and urgently stepped up.
A 2016 report of the UN Secretary-General showed that the single largest factor influencing the continuation of FGM is the desire for social acceptance and avoidance of social stigma. The social norms, customs and values that condone FGM are multi-faceted, vary across countries and even between communities, and can change over time. This presents a powerful and complex challenge for all those engaged in the effort to end FGM.
We have witnessed how the powerful personal testimony and advocacy of activists such as Jaha Dukureh in The Gambia can bring increased understanding of the issues to local communities and amplify the voices of a growing movement calling upon leaders to put an end to this practice. In Western Kenya FGM rates among younger girls is going up: Janet Anyango talks about what it will take to root out the practice.
The collection and analysis of data is crucial to better tailor our interventions in light of the specific factors associated with the practice globally. Further research is needed in areas outside Africa, as FGM is also prevalent in Latin America, South-East Asia and areas of the Middle East, as well as now being present in the United States and United Kingdom. We must pay greater attention to the risks associated with migration and the greater movement between borders. Women and girls are still extremely vulnerable, even in countries which are not traditionally associated with the practice of FGM, if families on the move maintain the practice.
Legal structures are only part of the solution; they must be complemented by multiple prevention strategies, for example mobilizing communities, and influencing social norm change, and engaging those who can bring about those changes, such as men and boys, civil society and faith-based leaders. In Somalia, the Y-PEER network has helped mobilize young people, including young men to discuss sensitive issues, such as female genital mutilation.
FGM is inextricably linked with other forms of gender inequality, such as violence against women and girls, and other harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriages. To accelerate progress towards ending FGM, UN Women continues to work with governments, local administrations and civil society partners to address the root causes that perpetuate unequal power relations between women and men, and also with sister agencies, such as UNICEF and UNFPA, on their long-standing campaigns. Together, we must keep this issue at the forefront of the human rights agenda.
Read the statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, on the occasion of International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
Always ready to take up new challenges, the UN Women UK London Leadership Team grasped the nettle of macroeconomics and successfully held an event in October last year hosted by Garden Court Chambers.
Our excellent speakers Rachel Noble, Women’s Rights Policy Advisor, Action Aid; Chiara Capraro, Policy Manger for Women’s Economic Rights at Womankind; and Professor Sue Himmelweit, a feminist economist and founding member of the Women’s Budget Group, ensured that our audience – some experienced economists and some keen to know more – understood more about the impact that public economic policies including taxation, currency, exchange rates, government borrowing and interest rates, trade and investment have on women/girls and that measures introduced should explicitly promote gender equality and ensure women are not disadvantaged. We need to be absolutely clear in our calls for an economic system that serves women’s needs, recognises their contributions and facilitates their empowerment in every aspect of life. That means macroeconomic policies must embrace social objectives, such as human rights, alongside conventional economic policies to be truly transformative.
Rachel highlighted the importance of quality of jobs for women: her examples were taken from manufacturing and the garment industry, where stereotyping of what is often defined as ‘women’s work’ means that women make up some 80-90% of the workforce. Chiara focussed on taxation and gender justice, asking what corporations can do to actively promote gender justice. Taxation urgently needs reviewing to reflect the disproportionate impact of austerity, for example, on women. Sue shared with us the work of the Gender Budget Group to influence policy to reduce gender inequalities and encourage the Government to carry out gender impact assessments. Sue spoke about a feminist and fiscal economic strategy based on public investment in social infrastructure. Interestingly, amongst a number of positive impacts women’s employment rate would rise by more than 5% points reducing the gender employment gap by a quarter through such a strategy.
Jessica Woodroffe, Director of the Gender and Development Network, chaired the event. Her in-depth knowledge of the subject area, highlighted the absolute importance of the mutual dependency of gender and economics. She spoke powerfully for the need to calibrate women’s unpaid care work into the macroeconomic equation. We need more women’s voices at the macroeconomic decision-making table!
Our enthusiastic audience joined in a lively debate and raised interesting issues and questions. The message of the event was loud and clear that “macroeconomic policies shape women’s lives at every level” – it’s too important a subject not to engage with! We need to continue to increase the confidence of gender equality advocates everywhere to operate proactively in the area of macroeconomics and policy making.
Donations of £100 were received to support UN Women programmes.
For more insight and interesting reading:
Thanks to our speakers and audience for a great event!]]>
This week we join UNiTE and campaign groups around the world in the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
Galvanizing global attention and action to end violence against women and girls, led by UN Women under the ‘Orange the World’ umbrella, a host of public events will draw attention to the pandemic that impacts one in three women worldwide. From marches in Uganda, Serbia and Timor-Leste, to a public rally on motorbikes in Pakistan, people will take to the streets to say no to violence.
Get involved – orange your profile picture, wear orange for the day, change your nail colour, make a donation – and spread the word using #orangetheworld and #16days.
Despite growing recognition that the pandemic of violence against women is a gross human rights violation and a serious obstacle to development, concrete efforts on preventing and ending violence against women and girls continue to be a low priority on the international development agenda, with inadequate funding. Achieving the ambitious targets set by the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, which emphasize ending violence against women and girls as a core objective, demands innovative solutions and the forging of new partnerships to mobilize funds from all available sources—including national governments, overseas development agencies, the private sector, philanthropic bodies and individuals.
Urging governments and international actors to back up agreed international commitments, this year’s “Orange the World” initiative will focus on raising money to end violence against women and girls. Activities will be carried out during the civil society-driven 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which runs from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
“Women and girls who experience violence have their rights trampled on, they live in fear and pain, and in the worst cases they pay with their lives. Yet, still in many countries, the laws and services are inadequate, or unavailable, and the criminal justice system is remote, expensive and biased in favour of the male perpetrators”, said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “Change to these elements has a cost, yet the price of no change is unacceptable. Even relatively small-scale investments that are timely and well targeted can bring enormous benefits to women and girls and to their wider communities,” she reiterated.
Of all women who were victims of homicide globally in 2012, almost half were killed by intimate partners or family members. Not only does violence against women and girls have negative consequences for those who suffer it, but also their families, the community and society at large. Available evidence shows the immense cost of violence against women and girls on many levels, with significant threats to the household’s economic welfare both in the short and longer term.
A recent study estimated that the cost of intimate-partner violence accounting in 2013 could be as high as 5.2 per cent of the global economy. Evidence also illustrates how even relatively small-scale investments that are timely and well targeted can bring enormous benefits to women and girls and to their wider communities. A recent multi-country study in Southeast Asia found that the cost of delivering a minimum package of essential services (over three fiscal years) for women and girls who experience violence amounted to 0.31 per cent of GDP (in 2015) for Timor-Leste and 0.25 per cent of GDP (in 2015) for the Lao People’s Democratic Republic—a fraction of the cost of the consequences of violence.
The United Nations commemorates the International Day today with an event convened by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has been a champion at the highest levels for women and girls, including through his UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign.
The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women celebrated 20 years of grant-making to vital work around the world at a fund-raising gala co-hosted by UN Women Executive Director and Oscar-winning actress and Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman.
Make a donation to end violence against women and girls
More information, including a report sharing the project’s achievements and lessons learned as well as an educational toolkit, can be found on the WI website.]]>
Last week UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman co-hosted a star-studded gala in New York to mark 20 years of grant-making through UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. The packed high-profile event brought together gender rights activists, UN officials and the private sector, spotlighting beneficiaries and their life-changing work across the world.
Moderated by NBC journalist Richard Lui, with an Honorary Host Committee comprised of actors Sir Patrick Stewart, Danai Gurira, Ruth Wilson, Gillian Anderson, and Kelly LeBrock as well as luminaries such as Kweku Mandela, the event brought together 300 people at the Loeb Boathouse in New York’s Central Park, who heard moving stories of impact and change from beneficiaries of UN Trust Fund-supported projects.
“Tonight we celebrate the essential work done by the UN Trust Fund, paying tribute to our grantees, whose success stories embody the resilience of women and girls in the face of violence,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director. “We know that these vital investments in initiatives to end violence have high returns and have already made a difference to millions of women and girls. But there is a great deal more to do to scale up prevention and increase appropriate services, and that needs more funding so that we can bend the curve down and bring the scourge of violence against women to an end,” she added.
Violence against women and girls continues to be a gross human rights violation of pandemic proportions. Today, one in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence—mostly by an intimate partner. The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women is the only global grant-making mechanism dedicated to eradicating all forms of violence against women and girls.
Managed by UN Women, on behalf of the UN system, during the last 20 years, more than 400 organizations have been supported by the UN Trust Fund with results that indicate sustained resources and dedicated work can lead to the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. Focusing on prevention of violence, implementation of laws and policies, and improving access to vital services for survivors, the UN Trust Fund has spent the past 20 years focused exclusively on funding life-changing programmes for millions of women and girls.
“I am here because I support the UN Trust Fund and I applaud and celebrate its 20 years of making a difference,” said Nicole Kidman, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. “When I became UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador 10 years ago, my first mission took me to Kosovo, where I met with women and girls who had survived violence. That was when I first understood what the work of the UN Trust Fund really means. I saw first-hand the real difference it makes in lives of women and girls: They found shelter for themselves and their children. They received counseling to overcome the horrific trauma of rape during the war that had ravaged the Balkans. They were supported to make a living and stand on their own. It was a life-changing experience for me and one that has inspired me ever since. This is why, as UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, I see my role as that of an advocate to end violence against women and girls.”
During the event, Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, Patron of the UN Women for Peace Association, a key supporter of the UN Trust Fund, was presented with the UN Trust Fund’s Orange Heart, for her outstanding efforts to end violence against women and girls.
Stories of change underlined the high-profile event. Award-winning journalist Ann Curry interviewed seventeen-year-old Aiturgan Dzholdoshbekova from Kyrgyzstan, who recounted how a local UN Trust Fund-supported project to prevent bride-kidnapping became a beacon of light and hope for her, and transformed her life.
“We are very happy to be in a school free from violence. We were able to change the situation of girls in our families and in our schools,” said Dzholdoshbekova. “The boys have started to understand the issue and are advocating [with us]. The school has become a safe space where we can be happy, educate and develop ourselves,” she adds.
Tommy Clark, the Founder and CEO of South African NGO Grassroots Soccer and a grantee of the UN Trust Fund, was also interviewed by Ann Curry live onstage and spoke about an innovative sports-based intervention to empower girls and prevent HIV and gender-based violence.
Renowned theatre actress Nehassaiu deGannes narrated the inspirational stories of two other beneficiaries—a woman in Gambia who will no longer subject her daughter to Female Genital Mutilation, a harmful traditional practice that affects at least 200 million girls today; the other a girl in Cambodia who feels safer at her work in a factory.
The gala also saw the official launch of the Orange Label, the result of a partnership between the UN Trust Fund and the UK-based prestigious London College of Fashion, which aims to adorn a variety of products and engage small and large scale companies around the world. Designed by students of the college, the Orange Label will be used as a brand for cause-related marketing initiatives to benefit UN Trust Fund supported programmes. Through the fashion and associated industries, the Label will connect the private sector and UN Trust Fund supported programmes in joint efforts to prevent and end the pandemic of violence against women and girls.
The evening concluded with a high-powered rendition of the song Rise Up, performed by Jayna Brown, a young musician who was recently a semi-finalist on the hit TV show, America’s Got Talent. Guests rose up to showcase their support and commitment to enable the UN Trust Fund to continue their life-changing work.
You can make a donation to UN Women programmes, including the UN Trust Fund, online now.
On 3rd October Hurricane Matthew, the strongest hurricane to hit Haiti in almost a decade, caused death and devastation in the South, Grand Anse and West regions of the country. It claimed many lives and as many as 4 million people have been affected.
UN Women has responded quickly – and it’s your donations that help us do it.
It costs £85 for one day of a community-based social and safe space for crisis-affected, vulnerable women and girls.
Haiti has still not recovered from the 2010 earthquake that killed over 200,000 people, with an estimated 55,000 still living in temporary shelters. Many of these shelters were damaged and destroyed in the hurricane.
UN Women is coordinating with the Haitian Government and with national women’s groups to make sure that women and girls can benefit in equal measure from humanitarian assistance. During times of natural disasters and conflicts, women and children often bear the brunt of the crisis. Post-disaster, women and girls are more vulnerable to rape, sexual violence and exploitation.
That’s why UN Women will be:
UN Women efforts will concentrate in the Grande Anse Department, which is one of the most affected Departments with 80 percent of its population in need of humanitarian assistance.
For just £40 we could support women to access cash for-work-assistance to immediately restore livelihoods and rebuild communities.
We need everyone’s help to continue to provide this vital support in the immediate and longer-term aftermath of the hurricane, and so that we can always be there to support women and girls affected by natural disasters worldwide.
Please donate online now to help us continue our vital global work.]]>
6:00pm – 8:30pm
Garden Court Chambers
57-60 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ
In an era of unprecedented global wealth, millions of women are trapped in low paid, poor quality jobs, denied basic levels of health care, water and sanitation and carry the burden of unpaid care work. Macroeconomic policies are crucial instruments guiding the achievement of women’s empowerment and gender equality.
We are delighted to welcome a distinguished panel of speakers who will share their experiences and show us how macroeconomic policy shapes our lives at every level. This meeting is for all who want to understand the links between macroeconomics and gender equality. No prior knowledge of economics is required, however, we suggest you may want to read the following two excellent briefings on the subject produced by the Gender & Development Network which can be downloaded by clicking here and here to make the most of this event.
Chair: Jessica Woodroffe Director, Gender & Development Network
Rachel Noble Women’s Rights Policy Adviser, ActionAid
Chiara Capraro Policy Manager for Women’s Economic Rights, Womankind
This is will be an informative and thought-provoking event. We look forward to meeting you and hearing your thoughts and experiences during the open forum.
This is a free event but a suggested donation of £10.00 to UN WOMEN’s Fund for Gender Equality is warmly encouraged. It is essential to register prior to the event to secure places. We expect it to be a popular event, so to secure your place please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.]]>
Katy Pullen is the Regional Programme Manager for UN Women’s Gender and HIV Programmes in East and Southeast Asia. Katy has worked with the UN for 8 years and with UN Women for 6 of those years. We are delighted that Katy has agreed to join us to talk about the programmes she is involved with in Southeast Asia, particularly her work with HIV positive women. Katy will share the voices and stories of the amazing women with whom she works.
UN Women’s work in the field of HIV/AIDS continues to gather momentum and looks set to be more prominent next year when UN Women formally joins UNAIDS as a cosponsor. We will also be discussing these exciting developments and opportunities.
Our brunches are free to UN WOMEN members and we really hope you will be able to join us.
If you would like to attend please email Fran Harris on email@example.com Please note that if you do not book a place in advance you will not be able to attend on the day and the latest date for booking a place is 30th December 2011.
If you want to bring your car, please provide details of the make, model and registration together with the names of any passengers when you book your place.]]>