Women, Peace & Security

In the News: Friday, 25 September 2020

Ugandan Assumes Leadership of Young African Women Congress

Source: allAfrica

Ms Jacqueline Nyapendi, the first Global President of Young African Women Congress (YAWC) assumes office on Friday. YAWC Network is a fraternity of young women of African descent living in Africa and the Diaspora who seek to be empowered and be themselves. According to Ms Nyapendi, the members are change makers for leadership and development on the continent and membership of the network is segregated by Chapters based on country demarcations.

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South Africa: Cabinet Reiterates Determination to Win GBVF Fight

Source: allAfrica

Cabinet has reiterated its determination to fight gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) by strengthening the law, and providing psychosocial support and advocacy programmes within communities. Based on data obtained through the South African Police Service (SAPS), government has identified 30 GBVF hotspots around the country.

“Cabinet has assured the affected communities that working with the police, intervention measures will be strengthened to ensure the protection and safety of women and children,” said Cabinet in a statement.

Cabinet has welcomed the R50 million donation from the United Kingdom, which will extend the Solidarity Fund’s ongoing efforts to counter the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Media advisory: Historic gathering to call for political commitment at the highest levels for the achievement of gender equality

Source: UN Women

On 1 October 2020, under the theme, “Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls,” the UN General Assembly will convene a High-Level meeting on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women. The High-Level meeting is an opportunity for Member States to demonstrate the political will and leadership to ensure the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Platform for Action. Towards this end, world leaders are invited to present concrete actions and commitments.  The meeting will consist of an opening segment, a plenary, and a closing segment.

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Domestic violence ‘pandemic’ is costing countries billions

Source: Aljazeera

Countries could save billions of dollars a year by tackling the “disgusting pandemic” of domestic violence, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said on Friday. She made the remarks following the release of a study that found the scourge costs the tiny African Kingdom of Lesotho 5.5 percent of its annual economic output measured by the gross domestic product (GDP).

Scotland listed the many ways in which domestic violence takes an economic toll, from burdening health, police and judicial services, fostering absenteeism at work and school, to permanently damaging children who witnessed it, affecting future generations.

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There’s only one way to protect women and children from the pandemic: cooperation

Source: Thomas Reuters Foundation

Good news first: more than a billion children were vaccinated over the past decade. Maternal deaths declined by 35 per cent since 2000. Deaths of children under five reached an all-time low in 2019, a year when more girls were attending school than ever before. The progress was not universal, of course. Women and children living in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia accounted for over 80 percent of under-5 deaths and maternal deaths.

Then, in just a few short months, the COVID-19 pandemic set back this progress, reversing hard-won advances in maternal and child health, women’s rights, and poverty reduction – by decades. The fragility of the gains has left women, children and adolescents vulnerable to a wide range of devastating impacts. As resources and attention are focused on the pandemic, other vital social structures and systems have been constrained and extreme poverty is surging.

The ability of children and adolescents to survive and thrive is threatened by school closures, lack of sufficient or quality food, and sharply limited access to basic and critical health services. Women’s lives are upended by the same challenges, with many also at greater risk of domestic violence as families are forced inside cramped living spaces and despair increases from job losses.

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