The legal landscape regarding women’s rights has changed fundamentally within the last few decades. However legislation alone is not sufficient and to achieve gender equality we need to change how society views women, their rights and potential. In recognition of the vital role the media plays, not only as a channel of information but also as a medium which has the capacity to change social norms and behaviours, UN Women NC UK invited Sepi Roshan, the Founder and Managing Director of the Astute Radio, to deliver a workshop on how to engage media in social change.
Sepi began by increasing our understanding of how to work with the mainstream media, where to find and how to engage with alternative media and the role of social media. Sepi skilfully used sound bites from her radio station to illustrate the importance of story-telling as a way of engaging an audience about gender equality. She also shared with us some shocking statistics – 46 % of stories reinforce gender stereotypes but only 6% of stories highlight gender equality issues. Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that only 27% of top management jobs in media organisations are held by women.
Equipped with this theoretical knowledge, we were ready to roll up our sleeves and do some work! The group, with expert support from Sepi, started to develop media plans for their organisations and a strategy of how to work with the media, including: how to engage mainstream media and make sure they report in a gender-sensitive manner; the importance of alternative media and of forging alliances with like-minded people and organisations; and how to effectively use social media.
At UN Women NC UK we are always looking for opportunities to empower women. This exciting and interesting workshop equipped us with the knowledge and tools to improve our techniques in media relations and make it work for gender equality. During the networking session we spoke with some of the participants, and they told us that the event was “really thought provoking and well presented,” and what they learnt “would help with strategy and determining which platforms to use”. Another participant summarised it succinctly as “wonderful workshop. Very insightful and fantastic trainer”.
UN Women NC UK would like to thank Sepi Roshan for this exciting and interesting workshop. We are also very grateful to the Baha’i Centre for hosting us.]]>
At UN Women NC UK we were delighted that a number of representatives were able to attend the session and participate in the formal agenda and side events. This year the focus of our parallel side event was “Corrupt-free accountable public service delivery to women and girls”. Once again this was a collaborative event with International Association of Women Police (IAWP). The event explored the challenges of corruption and showcased examples of best practice which are beginning to deliver an impact. There is still sadly a long way to go to eliminate pervasive corruption that inhibits achievement of the sustainable development goals. The importance the UK government attaches to ending corrupt practices was underpinned by a strong keynote presentation from Baroness Sandip Verma.
On our return to the UK we wanted to share our learning at CSW with our supporters in the UK and we were delighted to welcome guests and speakers to an event at Garden Court Chambers at Lincolns Inn Fields.
Alice Fookes reminded us that in May this year the UK government hosted an Anti-Corruption Summit to step up global action to expose, punish and drive out corruption in all walks of life. The Summit dealt with issues including corporate secrecy, government transparency, the enforcement of international anti-corruption laws, and the strengthening of international institutions.
This was the first summit of its kind, bringing together world leaders, business and civil society to agree a package of practical steps to:
* expose corruption so there is nowhere to hide
* punish the perpetrators and support those affected by corruption
* drive out the culture of corruption wherever it exists.
We hope that the summit will have triggered a concerted effort to tackle corruption and pave the way for gender equality.
Participants engaged in a lively debate and everyone departed wanting to know more and how they could be involved in CSW next year and get involved in the campaign to end corruption.
One young women made the point: “young women are the future; what are you doing to engage with me?” We need to ensure that all young people women and boys understand the issues and are able to play a role to build a world where gender equality truly exists – 50:50 by 2030 agenda has been achieved.
Positive steps are needed to ensure implementation of the sustainable equality agenda.]]>
The media is a powerful and increasingly indispensable part of society. It can win elections, back causes and highlight inequalities. Join us and find out how we can all be inspired to increase the amount of coverage of women’s issues in the media
After a successful career in finance and accounting Sepi was inspired to navigate a major career change into the world of communication, leadership and the media. While working in media, it became clear to Sepi there was little dedicated to conversations that went beyond stereotypes, or reflected the experiences and challenges faced by women. This was the impetus for creating Astute Radio a platform for the voices of minority women. Sepi is the Founder and Managing Editor.
Join us for this exciting brunch and find out how women can harness the media and ensure that their voices are heard. Sepi will share with us her experience including successfully navigating a major career change and practical tools and techniques you can apply immediately to support the campaign for gender equality as well as support your own personal development. This is a free event but a £6 donation to support the work of UN Women is warmly encouraged. You are welcome to bring a guest with you, however it is essential to register prior to the event to secure places for you and your guest. We expect this to be another popular event and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. To secure your place please email email@example.com
Date: Saturday, 2nd July 2016
Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Venue: Baha’i Centre 27 Rutland Gate, London SW7 1PD
Directions can be found here. The nearest tube station is Knightsbridge.
“Corruption is the biggest barrier to development ”
“Powerlessness and silence go together”
Policy makers, government representatives and many more came to hear from a fantastic panel of influential speakers at the UN Women National Committee UK and the International Association of Women Police’s parallel event at CSW 60.
Opened by Laura Haynes, co-Chair of UN Women NC UK, we heard from a range of speakers highlighting the challenges of corruption and projects underway to tackle it. Dinah Adiko, Technical Advisor on Gender for Ghana’s Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection, highlighted the unspoken nature of corruption, and Baroness Hodgson spoke of need for corrupt-free security and support for victims of gender based violence.
Holly Abbot, from NAWO, spoke of the different ways corruption can affect women and girls. Ana Lukatela highlighted programmes already working in Gaza to strengthen laws and training police to be gender responsive. Finally Margaret Shorter was strong and articulate on need for gender responsive policing and security to deliver SDGs.
Baroness Verma announced a global summit, headed by David Cameron, on ending corrupt practices in May, and we look forward to hearing more on this.
UN Women NC UK would like to thank our speakers for their thoughtful speeches, attendees for their engagement and especially the dedicated volunteers who organised such an important event.
Psycle are holding two 60-minute rides on Sunday 3rd April to raise money for UN Women NC UK. Psycle’s aim is to inspire everyone to lead vibrant, energetic & happy lives with our high intensity, low impact, full body workout on a bike.
Part workout, part nightclub, part bonkers dance routine – Psycle is the hottest in-door cycle spin house offering high intensity, low impact, head to toe workouts on a bike!
All the profits raised from both 60 minute classes and smoothies with the ride will be donated – so get involved, get active and raise vital funds which can make the world a fairer, safer and more equal place. This really is doing good whilst feeling good!
The rides will take place at 3pm at Psycle’s studios in Mortimer Street and Canary Wharf. Follow the links below to buy a £20 credit and book a bike (you will need to register for an account if you don’t have one already):
Let us know you’re taking part by tweeting @UNWomenUK and @Psyclelondon]]>
UN Women is dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women in all walks of life. On 8 March 2016, the UN Women UK National Committee London Leadership team organised an event to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). The event was hosted by the National Bahá’í Centre in Knightsbridge. The theme of the night was ‘Women Empowering Communities: The power of women’s leadership at the grassroots’, and the event featured three outstanding women who shared their leadership journeys and their work with local communities.
Dr Sharleene Bibbings opened the session. The IWD theme this year was ‘pledge for parity’. Sharleene talked about the research by Ernst and Young that shows that profitability, return on investment and innovation all increase when women are counted amongst the leadership. At least 50% of the world’s women are in paid employment, an increase from 40% in the 1990s, but there is still a pay gap. Globally, women earn 10-30% less than men for the same work. According to the World Economic forum it is estimated it will take until 2133, to achieve gender parity in the workplace globally.
There have, however, been many great achievements to celebrate, especially women’s involvement in empowering the grassroots. Sharleene introduced the speakers who shared their leadership experience at the local level.
Eleanor Barrett and Rosie Freeman are Co-directors of The Brick Box, an arts organisation and social enterprise. Through The Brick Box, they create spaces which serve as social spaces for the local community to express themselves freely. Their previous projects include The Electric Fireside, Thamesmead, and A13 Green, all of which see the local residents take ownership of the space to co-create artwork for the community. Eleanor and Rosie said: ‘’It was a very empowering event to be part of’’.
Stephanie Busari, founder and curator of TEDxBrixton, was inspired to start up a TEDx conference in her local community following the August 2011 riots. Within three years, TEDxBrixton has had 1600 attendees, 50 speakers, 80 volunteers, and 2 million video views. Stephanie ensures that the conferences are inclusive and truly representative of Brixton, embracing the diversity of the community. With her storytelling experience, the speakers are able to share their personal stories in memorable ways that strike a chord with the audience. Stephanie remarked: ‘’Speaking at the event was very fulfilling as it was a lovely warm atmosphere…. A wonderful way to celebrate international women’s day’’.
The event was really uplifting – a participant remarked that this was ‘the best International Women’s Day event she has been to’. Eleanor and Stephanie shared that it was at their most vulnerable point in life when they were inspired to make a difference in society. Sharleene said women’s leadership for her is about growing your ambition and changing the narrative. All agreed that showing up, collaborating, and providing support to others were crucial.
Indeed, women’s leadership was strongly felt that evening – women representing various organisations from all walks of life got involved and found ways to collaborate through conversations with one another, just by attending this International Women’s Day celebration.
We’d like to extend our thanks to our amazing speakers, the dedicated volunteers who led the event and all those who attended to show their support!]]>
The new Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals include a specific goal to achieve gender equality, which aims to end discrimination and violence against women and girls and ensure equal participation and opportunities in all spheres of life. Important provisions for women’s empowerment are also included in most of the other goals.
In conjunction with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, more than 90 governments have answered UN Women’s call for action to “Step It Up for Gender Equality”. Heads of State and Government have pledged concrete and measurable actions to crack some of the fundamental barriers to the achievement of gender equality in their countries.
Unanimously at the 59th Commission on the Status of Women in 2015, governments reaffirmed the Beijing Platform for Action. Businesses large and small are committing to, and implementing, shifts in culture and practice that foster greater equality and opportunity. Women individually, and civil society together, have called for lasting and transformative change by 2030.
With these unprecedented expressions of political will, the countdown to substantive gender equality by 2030 must begin, accompanied and underpinned by monitoring of accountability and evaluation of progress.
We draw strength from this solidarity as we face world events such as severe population displacement, extreme violence against women and girls, and extensive instability and crises in many regions.
To arrive at the future we want, we cannot leave anyone behind. We have to start with those who are the least regarded. These are largely women and girls, although in poor and troubled areas, they can also include boys and men.
Women and girls are critical to finding sustainable solutions to the challenges of poverty, inequality and the recovery of the communities hardest hit by conflicts, disasters and displacements. They are at the frontline of the outbreaks of threatening new epidemics, such as Zika virus disease or the impact of climate change, and at the same time are the bulwark to protect their families, work for peace, and ensure sustainable economic growth and social change.
On International Women’s Day, we reiterate the greater participation of women as one of the necessary conditions for an inclusive Agenda 2030. Their leadership is insufficiently recognized but must emerge with greater participation in decision-making bodies. Each one of us is needed—in our countries, communities, organizations, governments and in the United Nations—to ensure decisive, visible and measurable actions are taken under the banner: Planet 50-50: Step It Up for Gender Equality.
We build on the commitments that have already been made by all governments. We also build on the legacy of determined and vocal participation by the small group of founding women from all parts of the world, who were in San Francisco in 1945 when the UN Charter was adopted. They laid the foundation for all that has followed in the struggle for the fulfilment of women’s rights.
The participation of women at all levels and the strengthening of the women’s movement has never been so critical, working together with boys and men, to empower nations, build stronger economies and healthier societies. It is the key to making Agenda 2030 transformational and inclusive.
Happy International Women’s Day.
To support UN Women NC UK’s campaign for IWD please visit our JustGiving page or follow us on twitter.]]>
UNWomen National Committee UK and the International Association of Women Police are delighted to be hosting a parallel event at CSW 60. Our event offers policy makers, government representatives, law enforcement, social enterprise and civil society a unique opportunity to share current best practice and address gaps and challenges.
The gender campaign at Business in the Community has been recognising employers for over two decades with the UK’s most prestigious workplace awards for gender equality and diversity and inclusion.
The Global Award, in partnership with UN Women UK, is for a programme or initiative with a global focus. It may describe an activity which focuses on the organisation’s workforce, or which engages women or communities outside of the organisation.
Entries have all now been submitted. Finalists will be announced in February, with the winner announced on 20 April.
Find out more]]>
The unprecedented disclosure was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where many of the firms’ heads gathered alongside Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson.
Last year at the 2015 UN Women session at Davos, UN Women unveiled the HeForShe IMPACT 10X10X10 initiative to galvanize momentum in advancing gender equality. The Corporate Impact Champions have made gender equality an institutional priority since they signed up, and the transparency displayed in Davos will help them measure commitments and inspire action from other employers.
The report figures show that a large gap remains between the representation of women in the workforce at large, and in leadership positions. Although overall representation of women averaged 39.7 per cent across the 10 firms, the proportion of senior leadership roles held by women ranged from a low of 11 per cent to a high of only 33 per cent. While this group outperforms global averages, UN Women has set parity—as part of its gender equality drive for a 50-50 Planet by 2030—as the goal and the individual company commitments reflect a variety of pathways to achieve this.
The group of 10 companies includes: AccorHotels, Barclays, Koç Holding, McKinsey & Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Schneider Electric, Tupperware Brands, Twitter, Unilever and Vodafone.
“I salute the courage of this group to reveal their equality profiles and their evident dedication to make radical change. They lay bare in specific detail what we know to be the global norm –women are chronically under-represented in leadership roles and in formal employment overall. Through their experiences, we can identify and scale solutions to transform sectors, and eventually, achieve an equal world. They are shaping what corporate leadership looks like on this issue,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women.
Other findings from the report include:
Corporate IMPACT Champions are reporting gender representation across:
1. The overall company
2. Senior leadership
4. New hires
You can read more and view the launch on the He for She website.
To support our work for gender parity across the world, make a donation to UN Women UK National Committee online or text UNWN15 £10 to 70070.]]>