Third Quarter Newsletter  July-September 2018
News Highlights
In Focus: UN Women Achievements in 2017

In 2017, UN Women in Europe and Central Asia helped 18 countries with SDG implementation, 7 with better laws to combat violence and 5 with the introduction of gender-based budgeting. These were among the achievements showcased in a brief summarizing results from the year. “Advancing Gender Equality in Europe and Central” outlines a rich array of programme advances in ending violence against women and girls, engaging women in peace and security, promoting women's economic empowerment and security, encouraging women's leadership and political participation, and gender-responsive budgeting.
Successes included the Parliament of Georgia adopting a milestone legal framework harmonizing domestic legislation with the Istanbul Convention. In Kyrgyzstan, over 20,000 people, including 3,000 from the most vulnerable populations, gained improved access to irrigation. In Albania, women made significant strides in elections, including a 28 per cent jump in the number of women parliamentarians. Women legislators from Ukraine put forward a powerful case for further inclusion of women in peacebuilding, recovery and security sector reform. Read More.
Empowering Women in the Economy

Serbian mothers and children with disabilities find hope in 'granny's jam'
A women-run organization is making jam to fund assistance for children with disabilities, while building a wider community of support and encouragement. Read More.
In Georgia, partners discuss study on women's economic empowerment
A workshop convened representatives of government agencies, civil society and international organizations to discuss a study on women’s low level of economic activity. Read More.
Conference boosts regional  cooperation to empower Afghan women
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and the European Union hosted a regional conference uniting a wide range of regional actors behind the empowerment of Afghan women and girls, and their full engagement in national reconciliation and development. Read More.
Leadership and Political Participation 

Moldova commits to collaboration in internal affairs, security and defence
UN Women and the Ministry of Internal Affairs affirmed a formal plan to work together on gender equality, the prevention of gender-based violence, and peace and security. Read More. With the Ministry of Defence, UN Women signed a three-year agreement to achieve joint results in security and defence as part of advancing the national gender equality strategy. Read More.
Ending Violence Against Women

Albania amends law to bolster protection
For the first time, the domestic violence law protects women and girls in intimate relationships without having formal ties to the perpetrator, such as marriage or cohabitation. Read more. A related regional programme, Implementing Norms, Changing Minds, helps providers of services for survivors of violence to act in accordance with the law. Read more. 
A royal visit spotlights UN Trust Fund grantees in Serbia
Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie of York visited grantees of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, drawing attention to organizations dedicated to helping women survivors of trafficking. Read more.
New briefing note backs advocacy of the Istanbul Convention
Issued by the Regional United Nations Development Group Issue-Based Coalition on Gender, the brief summarizes core principles from the comprehensive framework of the Convention and answers FAQs. Read more.
Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action

OSCE and UN Women sign first Memorandum of Understanding
Eleven areas of partnership cover issues such as peace and security, ending violence against women and girls, combating trafficking in human beings, and preventing violent extremism. Read more.
Assessment probes needs of Syrian women and girls in Turkey
A comprehensive needs assessment of 1,291 refugee women and girls in seven cities chronicled challenges in accessing services and recommended priorities for improvement.
Kyrgyz and Tajik youth work together for peace and gender equality
After training at a summer camp, youth activists get busy promoting sustainable development, gender equality, natural resources management and peace on the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border. Read more.

Regional conference promotes women in peace
Women leaders from Central and Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia gathered to proclaim that there will be no peace without women’s meaningful participation, and to debate strategies to boost women’s roles. Read more.
Governance and National Planning

Albania's gender-responsive budgeting pushes gender equality forward
A regional leader in applying gender-responsive budgeting, Albania can now demonstrate that state budgets and spending respond equally to women and men. Check out some examples from everyday life. Members of Parliament are learning about the practice (read more), and for the first time, civil society organizations are monitoring budgets through a gender lens (read more). Watch the video on Albania’s progress on gender statistics.
Gender-responsive budgeting proposed to achieve fair play in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Women still run a distant second to their male counterparts in sport. A new analysis shows how budgets can help close the gaps. Read more.
Moldovan civil society groups embark on a budget push
Twenty organizations from nine districts created the Platform for Gender-Responsive Budgeting to work together on monitoring and promoting the practice. Read more.
Campaigns and Advocacy

Men, the fashion industry and a ministry champion HeForShe in Ukraine
In Ukraine, men and women at the HeForShe Congress talked about what it means to be a man and how to change attitudes to support gender equality. Watch the video. At Ukrainian Fashion Week, inspired by HeForShe, industry members spoke out about the  freedom to choose and challenge social expectations to an audience of 20,000 attendees. Watch videos of the show and famous designers sharing their perspectives. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs became the first state institution to join the HeForShe solidarity movement. Read more.
"Click for Gender Equality" training kicks off
In Moldova, 25 online, print and TV journalists learned about gender-sensitive language, sexism, feminism, harassment and other core issues to improve reporting on women’s rights and gender equality. Read more.
A major film festival shines a spotlight on women
Dokufest, Kosovo’s[1] major international documentary and short film festival, treated audiences to a special focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Read more on the festival and its commitment to raising awareness of conflict-related sexual violence.
[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).
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: " We learned how to deal with conflicts in a constructive manner, transforming them into positive solutions"
Bakirova Kyzdarkan is mobilizing women in her community in Kyrgyzstan to advocate for equal access to water. Several women now serve on local water management councils. Read More.
In the words of Maja Balsha: "The ratification of the Istanbul Convention has been crucial for our work on ending violence against women"
Social worker Maja Balsha champions the transformation of norms and mindsets under an EU–UN Women regional programme to end violence in the Western Balkans and Turkey. Read More.
From where I stand: "I transformed into a new person"
Zuke El Hasan, a Syrian refugee in Turkey, describes how the SADA Women-only Centre helped her build self-confidence and learn new skills. Read more.


In the words of Spartak Kosta: "The media should raise awareness about the issue of trafficking of women and girls"
Spartak Kosta, a third-year journalism student in Albania, joined the first group of students in a new university course dedicated to reporting on the trafficking of women and girls. Read more.
Expert's take: Women refugees on the road need strong advocates to protect their rights
Iris Bjorg Kristjansdottir, a UN Women Gender and Humanitarian Specialist in Turkey, underlines the continued urgency of responding to the immediate needs of refugee women and girls. Read more.
Upcoming Events
Launch of the national action plan to implement the women, peace and security agenda, 31 October, Tirana, Albania: Government representatives, development partners, civil society networks, parliamentarians, youth and other actors will debate next steps in fulfilling Security Council resolution 1325. Contact: Alba Agolli,
“Advancing Social Entrepreneurship and the Green Economy”, 1 November, Tirana, Albania: Representatives of successful social enterprises, government, development partners, civil society organizations and others will brainstorm how to create a friendly environment for social entrepreneurship and the green economy. Contact: Erisa Cela,
“Turning policies into action: Eliminating gender-based violence against women and girls in Central Asia”, 5-6 November, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan:
Government officials, parliamentarians, civil society representatives and experts from all countries of Central Asia will discuss how to accelerate efforts to eliminate gender-based violence against women and girls in the region. Contact: Nargis Azizova,
Presentation of “A Thousand Ways to Solve our Problems, 5 November, Brussels, Belgium: The report highlights the main challenges faced by women’s organizations across the Western Balkans and Turkey when they take an intersectional approach to addressing violence against minority women and girls. Contact: Yolanda Iriarte,
Regional Forum for the Promotion of the Istanbul Convention, 27-28 November, Skopje, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: The forum will foster regional dialogue on accelerating progress under CEDAW and the Istanbul Convention. Contact: Yolanda Iriarte,
Kick-off of virtual reality films for 16 Days of Activism, 29 November, Belgrade, Serbia:  A unique virtual reality event, the first of its kind in the region, will take place at the National Museum. Contact: Bojana Barlovac,
Women’s leadership workshop, November 2018, Sapanca, Turkey: Newly elected parliamentarians and staff of the Turkish Grand National Assembly will learn about key gender equality concepts and their relevance for parliamentary work. Contact: Ebru Özdayı Demirel,

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.

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