Fourth Quarter Newsletter  October-December 2017
News Highlights
In Focus: A Region Unites: Gender-based violence must end 

Marches, exhibits, concerts and sporting events all had one cry: “Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls.” That was the theme of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence from 25 November to 10 December. Across the region, UN Women and its partners organized under the banner of the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women by 2030, using the signature colour orange. Iconic buildings and monuments were ‘oranged’ to advocate a violence-free future, including the Parliament of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the bridges in Istanbul that connect Europe and Asia, the Tirana clock tower, the television tower in Tbilisi, and the National Philharmonic concert hall in Chisinau. Read more. 

Want to be inspired? Read about people who Resist violence in our region, like 16-year-old gender equality activist David Kovačić, who believes that real men are not violent, and about organizations that Empower survivors, such as businesses in Georgia. Luiza Karimova, a former sex slave who now advocates against sex and drug trafficking, speaks about how to Rise from adversity. A Roma mother is on the vanguard of efforts to Transform social norms by refusing child marriage for her daughter. 
Empowering Women in the Economy

First impressions: Women who are changing rural Armenia
A UN Women programme analyst travels to remote areas of Armenia, chronicling the dynamism of women who have collectively formed small agribusinesses to produce wine and other products. The results: more income, and more of a say in homes and communities. Read more.
Photo essay: Rural women mobilize to improve their lives
Rural women keep rural economies moving, from planting fields to performing unpaid care work in homes. With UN Women’s support, they are mobilizing across Europe and Central Asia to build better livelihoods. Read more.

Leaders: Global goals depend on equality
A summit organized by the Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation with UN Women and the UN Development Programme convened government and business leaders in Istanbul to call for putting gender equality and women’s empowerment at the top of the global agenda for sustainable development. Read more.
Leadership and Political Participation

Parliamentarians join forces to tear down barriers
Around 90 parliamentarians, local elected officials and civil society representatives from 11 countries gathered in Chișinău to outline actions to eliminate discrimination and violence against women and improve legislation to fully promote equality. Read more. Check out perspectives from conference speakers: activist Sonja Lokar, army officer Sanja Pejovic and parliamentarian Ainuru Altybaeva.
High-level event spotlights women's crucial political presence
Over 400 people joined the Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and other high-level government officials to deliberate measures advancing women’s leadership and political participation. Read more.

Moldovan women with disabilities demand their "possibilities"
For the first time, 40 women with disabilities across Moldova gathered at a national forum, “We Have Abilities – We Want Possibilities!” Read more. Participant Olga Berdeu shares her hopes for women with disabilities being more active in public life.
Ending Violence Against Women

Activists plan intersectional action to end violence for all women
Women’s groups from the Western Balkans and Turkey met in Istanbul to shape a roadmap for intersectional approaches that tackle multiple forms of marginalization to end violence and discrimination. Read more.
Kosovo[1] pledges 1 million euros for sexual violence survivors
In the wake of a conference on access to justice and reparations for conflict-related sexual violence in Kosovo, the Government announced new funds for survivors. 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).
Ending violence against women in Serbia's custodial institutions
A recent study found that women institutionalized for mental disabilities face multiple forms of violence, including forced sterilization. Advocacy centred on sharing their stories is bringing about changes in practice and policy. Read more.
Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action

"Women-only" centre launched for refugees in Turkey
A centre for refugee and Turkish women and girls supports livelihood opportunities, and provides space for dialogue and social integration. Read more.
Mapping obstacles to services in eastern Ukraine
A gender accessibility audit found that a series of public buildings in the city of Kramatorsk are not fully accessible to women with disabilities. Comprehensive recommendations outlined changes in training, design and equipment. Read more.
Infographic: Surveying shortfalls in the rights of violence survivors
New research chronicles diverse socioeconomic obstacles faced by survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The study provides detailed evidence to close gaps in policies and services, and fulfil survivors’ rights. Read more.
Governance and National Planning

Women claim a say in local spending choices
Across the Western Balkans, women are taking on new roles in local public budget processes, acting on issues such as improved public transport and the provision of agricultural subsidies. Read more.
Hear Our Voices!
In the following stories, UN Women captures the powerful first-hand perspectives of women with whom it partners to galvanize the drive for gender equality.
In the words of Marai Larasi: "We need to create seismic shifts across our social norms" 
Marai Larasi is the Executive Director of Imkaan, a black and minority ethnic women’s organization dedicated to stopping violence against marginalized women and girls in Europe. In early 2018, she joined UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and global star Emma Watson at the Golden Globe awards as part of the Time’s Up movement to fight workplace sexual harassment and abuse. Read more.
Expert's Take: "Neither men, nor women should be objectified by advertising"
Elena Ratoi manages the UN Women component of a joint UN programme on women in politics. She details recent efforts to combat sexist advertising as well as breakthrough legislation in Moldova. Read more.

From where I stand:"Changing the present, we are also changing the future"
Only 16 years old and already a source of inspiration, Lamija Gutić is on her way to building technology solutions for a better world. On the International Day of the Girl Child, she talked about what the global Sustainable Development Goals mean for her. Read more.
Upcoming Events
The European Anti-Poverty Network conference, 8-9 March, Belgrade, Serbia. Hosted by UN Women and SeCons, the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) branch in Serbia, the conference will gather network representatives from 25 countries and other relevant bodies to discuss gender, poverty and the Sustainable Development Goals. The EAPN is the largest European network of non-governmental and grass-roots organizations active in the fight against poverty and social exclusion.

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 13 countries, was established in Istanbul in 2014. To see UN Women’s main areas of work in the region click here.

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