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Second Quarter Newsletter  April-June 2018
 
News Highlights
In Focus: Advocating Solutions for Syrian Women on World Refugee Day


UN Women marked World Refugee Day 2018 by issuing the first comprehensive needs assessment of Syrian women and girls under temporary protection in Turkey. Part of the world’s largest refugee population, many struggles to find housing and work, and to speak Turkish. The assessment recommends priority actions to meet their needs and advance their rights.
 
In Turkey, UN Women leads efforts to ensure humanitarian assistance fully responds to gender issues, including through the SADA Women-only Centre with funding from the European Union Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the 'Madad Fund', and the Government of Japan, in partnership with the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (SGDD-ASAM) and the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality. Open to refugee and local women in Gaziantep, near the border with Syria, the centre offers empowering vocational and language classes. Women learn to use computers, packing and marketing products, among other skills to boost income and economic security. They receive psycho-social support, legal advice, and they are guided to services of national and local authorities in line with their needs. They also forge closer ties across refugee and host communities. Since late 2017, close to 2,600 women and girls have registered with the Centre. Menal Suleyman and Retibe Bilal tell how it has changed their lives. Budding journalist Fatma Elzehra Elabo describes her journey as a refugee and her pride in serving as a translator at the centre.
In Focus: Committing to Women's Equal Participation in Water Management


The International Water Conference brought more than 1,000 participants from 100 countries to Tajkistan in June. Their aim: fulfil international commitments linked to water and sustainable development. To help make gender equality provisions integral to the conference agreement, UN Women organized a Women Water Forum in the lead-up to the event. Government and civil society representatives from 20 countries championed equal access to clean water and sanitation for all, including the most disadvantaged communities. They urged women’s broader participation and leadership in water resources management.

At the conference, UN Women urged viewing gender equality as key to all progress related to water, sanitation, ecosystems, knowledge, education, resource management, food security and climate change. The final agreement explicitly commits to reducing inequalities in access to water and to making it affordable. It stipulated taking steps to promote participation in
managing water, including through engaging with women and societies as a whole. Read More.

Women Water Forum moderator Alice Bouman Dentener shares thoughts on the crucial role water plays in women’s empowerment.

 
Empowering Women in the Economy

Rural communities gain access to water on farms and in schools
A UN Women project in Kyrgyzstan, funded by the Government of Finland, improved access to irrigation water for 20,000 people, including 3,000 from vulnerable groups. Read more
Just 16, Dilera Mavlonova speaks eloquently about how this project helped her successfully advocate for more women on local water management councils.
 
Regional Forums declare support for Women's Economic Empowerment
The Balkans and Black Sea Cooperation Forum committed to encouraging businesses and other organizations to adopt the principles, which back gender equality in workplaces, markets and communities. Read MoreUN Women spotlighted women’s role in addressing global challenges at the Astana Economic Forum – the most prominent and ambitious business event in Eurasia. Read More.
 
UN Women launches flagship global SDG monitoring report in Georgia
UN Women launched the global UN Women flagship report “Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” in Georgia. Read More.
Leadership and Political Participation

Moldova honours 10 trail-blazing women 
UN Women’s “You know you can” campaign celebrated women who have been “first” in a male-dominated area, from the computer industry to local governance. It also encouraged youth to challenge gender bias. Valentina Rotari, 23, shares how the campaign transformed her understanding of gender equality.
 
Albania considers equality standards to prepare for local elections 
A national conference organized with the Albanian Parliament discussed gender equality in politics and proposed improvements before local elections in 2019. Lively discussions took place around two new UN Women publications, “Obstacles to Women Participation in Elections” and “Standards of Equal Representation in Political Parties.” Read More. 
Ending Violence Against Women 

Cultivating capacities and awareness in the Western Balkans and Turkey
At the European Development Days, the European Union and UN Women showcased “Implementing Norms, Changing Minds.” Under the initiative, 250 women’s organizations in the Western Balkans and Turkey are better equipped to end violence against women; 3,500 women have a better understanding of their rights. Check out a quick video overview and powerful personal testimonials.
Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action

Kosovo[1] launches Transitional Justice Resource Centre 
Housed at the Univeristy of Pristina, the centre is the first of its type in Kosovo, designed to enhance education on transitional justice processes, peacebuilding and human rights. Read more.
[1] This and all references to Kosovo in this document shall be understood to be in full compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).
 
Cross-country learning shares women, peace and security lessons
Government and civil society partners in Georgia hosted counterparts from Moldova and Ukraine in a dynamic exchange of good practices under national action plans to implement UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security. Read more.
 
Wiki-Edit-A-Thon boosts online content 
On the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, a Wiki-Edit-A-Thon in Pristina mobilized young Kosovars to file new Wikipedia articles on women’s multiple contributions to peace and security. Read moreAt a separate WikiGap event in Skopje, students and gender experts issued over a hundred new articles on gender equality in the Macedonian language. Read more.
 
New training guide spotlights gender in disasters 
UN Women and UNDP collaborated in issuing a new training guide for integrating women’s needs in disaster risk reduction. Read more.
Governance and National Planning

High-level event in Skopje debates next steps in gender budgeting 
UN Women joined the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to sponsor a regional meeting of ministerial officials, parliamentarians and others on how gender budgeting contributes to a more just society. Read more. 
 
Albanian cities endorse local visions for gender equality
Five municipal councils have adopted gender equality action plans to realize the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life. Read more.
Kazakhstan officials get first-hand look at best budget practices 
An experts meeting studied the latest developments in gender-responsive planning and budgeting in members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Read more.
Campaigns and Advocacy

"Once There was a Girl" offers new takes on fairy tales 
Twelve Georgian authors produced a wonderfully illustrated collection of 21 fairy tales inspired by real female figures from Georgian history. Read more. Listen as contributors explore general equality with children in Part 1 and Part 2 of an accompanying video series.
 
In Moldova, photos challenge stereotypes about dads
To challenge norms that women alone must take charge of caring for children and homes, UN in Moldova and the Embassy of Sweden sponsored an exhibit of thought-provoking photos showing men in these roles. Read more.
Tech conference urges more women in the industry 
The annual DOKUTECH conference in June brought tech executives, entrepreneurs, and top-tier future talent to Kosovo to strategize around closing gender gaps and changing a male-dominated business. Read more.
Hear Our Voices!
In the following stories, UN Women captures the powerful first-hand perspectives of women and men with whom it partners to galvanize the drive for gender equality.
 
From where I stand: "Kids should see their father is not afraid to be weak sometimes, and their mother isn't afraid to be strong"
Dmytro Shurov, Ukranian singer and opinion leader, is the first HeForShe advocate in Ukraine. He speaks about fatherhood, and sharing domestic work and childcare responsibilities at home. Read More.
 
Take Five: "We want to make gender-responsive budgeting a part of every state institution's budgeting processes"
Mimoza Dhembi, General Director of Budget at the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Albania, has pioneered the introduction of gender-responsive budgeting. She details what she hopes Albania will accomplish next. Read More.
 
Take Five: "Services need to be made accessible to women with different types of disabilities"
One of the most vocal advocates for women’s rights in Serbia, Veronika Mitro speaks about her efforts to provide services to women with disabilities who have experienced gender-based violence. Read more.

 
Expert's take: Countries should examine their family legislation to ensure that it protects every type of family
Lawyer and gender equality advocate Dilbar Turakhanova urges Central Asian countries to better understand profound shifts in families, which need to be reflected in legal reforms, among other priorities. Read more.
Upcoming Events
Gender action plan ceremonies in September, Belgrade, Serbia: Two events with selected women’s civil society organizations and local gender equality mechanisms will be hosted by the President of the Coordination Body for Gender Equality and the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Zorana Mihajlovic. The first event will award grants to women’s civil society organizations to implement measures under the National Action Plan on Gender Equality. The second will support advances under local action plans for gender equality. UN Women and the Coordination Body for Gender Equality are organizing the events under a three-year programme supported by the European Union.Contact: Bojana Barlovac, UN Women Communications Consultant, bojana.barlovac@unwomen.org.


About UN Women

UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. The UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, which oversees the work of 12 countries, was established in Istanbul in 2014. To see UN Women’s main areas of work in the region click here.

For more information, please visit eca.unwomen.org.

 
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