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  1. 13 September 2017

    UN Women and technology leaders launch Global Innovation Coalition for Change

    On 14 September, UN Women will launch the Global Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC) in New York City. This unique alliance with 22 partners from private sector, non-profit organizations and academic institutions will work over a two-year period to drive industry-wide action to make innovation and technology work better for young women and girls.

    The Coalition has the support of a diverse set of global industry leaders, such as BHP Billiton, CISCO, Citi, Dell, Ericsson, Facebook, General Electric, HP Inc., Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, LinkedIn, Pax Worldwide Management, PwC, SAP, Sony, South32 and Statoil, all working together to advance the gender equality agenda. The Coalition also includes academic institutions like MIT Solve and New York Academy of Sciences, as well as organizations like Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship (South Africa) and Ellevate Network.

    The global partnership will build market awareness of the potential for innovations that meet the needs of women through research and advocacy. The Coalition will also identify the key industry-specific barriers to women’s and girls’ advancement in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship; and work collaboratively to identify key actions to address these barriers and needs. Such actions may include sharing good practices, developing capacity and investing in specific innovations through targeted support.

    “Innovation and technology provide unprecedented opportunities to reach those who are the most likely to be left out of the benefits of progress. They can break women out of isolation and create a market for their innovative ideas and products. This is an important asset for gender equality and women’s empowerment, but it also brings broader benefits to society,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “Through the Global Innovation Coalition for Change and similar partnerships we can bring together the best of academic brain power and research, industry practical know-how, and civil society’s drive and reach to creatively disrupt the status quo,” she added.

    Innovation and technology offer enormous opportunity for women, girls and societies to thrive. For example, according to GSMA—who represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide—closing the gender gap in mobile phone ownership and usage could provide women with access to education, health and financial services, as well as unlock an estimated USD170 billion in market opportunities for the mobile industry by 2020. However, this potential is constrained by a number of barriers, including the significant under-representation of women in STEM-related fields, a gender-bias in research, and the lack of gender-disaggregated data, all of which limit industries’ understanding of women’s needs, access to, and usage of innovation and technology.

    Harnessing the enormous potential and opportunity to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment through innovation and technology will require public-private partnerships that address these challenges in an integrated manner. UN Women’s Global Innovation Coalition for Change is an important step in creating such partnerships to bring about transformative change in the lives of women and girls.

    Attended by senior industry and UN leaders, the inaugural meeting of the Coalition will take place on the margins of the UN General Assembly on 14 September, at the SAP Leonardo Centre in New York City.

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  2. 4 September 2017

    Calling all youth – we want to hear from you!

    Calling all university students and youth! Are you passionate about gender equality? Do you want to help make a difference to youth engagement with gender equality in Australia? We want to hear from you! Read more »
  3. 29 August 2017

    UN Women’s Position on Marriage Equality

    UN Women National Committee Australia’s Position on Marriage Equality Postal Survey

    As an organisation advocating for gender equality, we stand firmly behind the full human rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LBGTI) people.

    UN Women National Committee Australia encourages all Australians to use their voice and vote in the upcoming Marriage Equality Postal Survey. We urge all Australians, regardless of their opinion, to act with civility, respect and kindness throughout the campaign.

    UN Women’s position on Marriage Equality

    UN Women stands for human rights of all LGBTI people. Violations of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people undermines the shared international goal of gender equality. Addressing and ending such violations is part of the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s promise to leave no one behind.[1]

    In order to make sure no one is left behind we must make sure no one is left out. Those who are furthest behind, most vulnerable and least supported are our priority. Action to end discrimination and exclusion on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is therefore a natural aspect of planning to implement the 2030 Agenda, as homophobia and transphobia are still all too common and result in violence and exclusion from social services and decision-making.[2]

    UN Women is committed to working closely through and with inter-agency mechanisms, UN Country Teams, civil society partners and others to contribute to the empowerment and realization of LGBTI people’s rights.

    UN Women condemns the widespread forms of discrimination, exclusion and violence against the LGBTI community across the world. We call for the protection of individuals from discrimination and violence, for the repeal of discriminatory laws, and for individual rights to be addressed as an integral part of the path forward to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.[3]

    UN Women stands with the LGBTI community and calls for equal rights for all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression.


    Further Resources:

    UN Free and Equal: ‘The Price of Exclusion’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvSxLHpyFOk
    UN Free and Equal: ‘Why we fight’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi_tGaGyyM8
    UN Women: A Tale of Discrimination and Love in Cambodia: http://asiapacific.unwomen.org/en/news-and-events/stories/2016/05/a-tale-of-discrimination-and-love-in-cambodia
    UN Women Executive Director’s 2017 Statement on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2017/5/statement-international-day-against-homophobia-transphobia-and-biphobia-2017
    UN Joint Statement on Ending Violence and Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People: http://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/news/stories/2015/joint_lgbti_statement_eng.pdf?la=en&vs=4632
    UN Joint Op-ed: ‘Equal Rights Begin at Home’: http://asiapacific.unwomen.org/en/news-and-events/stories/2017/05/equal-rights-begin-at-home


    [1] 2017 IDAHOT Statement, available: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2017/5/statement-international-day-against-homophobia-transphobia-and-biphobia-2017

    [2] 2016 IDAHOT Statement, available: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2016/5/ed-statement-idahot

    [3] 2016 IDAHOT Statement, available: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2016/5/ed-statement-idahot

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  4. 19 August 2017

    UN Women statement for World Humanitarian Day

    Every year World Humanitarian Day is a tribute to the humanitarian workers who risk their lives in the service of millions of women, men, boys and girls caught up in crisis. UN Women is proud of our staff, and the staff of our partners, who are working across the world in humanitarian crises; both protracted, such as those around Syria or Lake Chad, and more sudden, such as the landslides and rains currently affecting Sierra Leone.

    This year we are focusing on the issue of civilians trapped in situations of conflict. UN Women fully supports the UN’s #NotATarget campaign, and we demand again, as mandated by international humanitarian law, that civilians not be a target of armed conflict. They should not pay the price of warring parties whose interests are not theirs. Yet we know the reality is that it is indeed civilians who are often the primary targets of today’s wars, and that this is the single largest driver of humanitarian crises.

    These violations of international humanitarian law have generated a global protection crisis. The impact on civilians is devastating, with bombs and rockets destroying schools, hospitals, markets and places of worship. Children are pulled from the rubble of their homes. Every day, young girls are increasingly exposed to early and forced marriage and young boys are forcibly recruited into armed groups. Sexual and gender-based violence continue to shatter lives and undermine community cohesion.

    This is particularly true for women and girls. Some sixty per cent of preventable maternal deaths take place in conflict, displacement or natural disaster settings; girls are two and a half times more likely to be out of school in conflict countries; and a reported one in five refugee or displaced women experience sexual violence, with the actual numbers potentially much higher. Crises also dramatically increase the number of women who support their families alone: in Yemen, the proportion of female-headed households has jumped from nine to thirty per cent during the current crisis. By any metric, gender equality must be an urgent priority in humanitarian action. But we are not there yet. In 2014 only four per cent of projects in UN inter-agency appeals were targeted at women and girls, and just one per cent of funding to fragile states went to women’s groups or women’s ministries.

    Women and girls represent our greatest untapped resource in humanitarian response. Women are the leaders in their families, communities and societies who drive effective responses to crisis. When supported to play this leadership role, they are the true humanitarian actors, protecting children, the sick, the elderly and other vulnerable groups far more effectively than any international organization can. And it is women and girls who have insights into what is needed and what works, which must inform effective humanitarian response.

    On World Humanitarian Day, we must come together to change the status quo—for women and girls, and for all civilians caught up in crises.

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