UN Women

This item was included in the March broadcast.

UN Women
1st January 2011 saw the launch of UN Women – the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Up till then the UN’s support for the world’s women had been split between four smaller entities – this marks a new start under a bigger umbrella.

Lesley Abdela is a journalist, women’s right activist and consultant on gender in international development with countries coming out of conflict. She has worked in over 40 countries, most recently Sierra Lieone, Iraq and Nepal. She talked to Cathy Aitchison about how UN Women had come about and what effect it might have for the world’s women.

~ Lesley Abdela (MP3 – 20′ 51″)

For UN Women to succeed, it will need the active support of governments around the world, who will take it – and its aims – seriously and allocate budget for its work.

In the UK, there have been messages of support from the International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, from the Minister for Equalities at the Home Office, Lynne Featherstone, and from Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State, Jeremy Browne.

There was also a debate in Parliament in the week of International Women’s Day, initiated by the Conservative MP for Epping Forest, Eleanor Laing. She spoke to Cathy Aitchison about the debate and about her hopes for UN Women.

~ Eleanor Laing MP (MP3 – 14′ 38″)

To find out more about UN Women, about campaigns to support it and its work, and about projects/reports mentioned in the interviews, please follow the links below:
~ from United Nations Radio – Michelle Bachelet, the head of the new UN Women, talks to Jocelyne Sambira about her aims and plans for the new entity.
~ UN Women UK National Committee
~ from BBC Democracy Live website – the debate in Parliament on UN Women, 10th March 2011
~ Early Day Motion 1318, which led to the debate – see which MPs had signed
~ VSO’s Godmothers campaign to watch over and raise awareness of the new UN Women entity and to try and ensure that it gets the powers and funding which it needs
~ CARE Nepal Report: Women’s Meaningful Participation in Peacebuilding and Governance – published on the IDEAS website (click on first item on the page, or click here to download the pdf direct)

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