United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) UNIFEM Currents: UNIFEM's Electronic Newsletter

UNIFEM Welcomes Strong Support by the General Assembly for the Establishment of a New Gender Entity

UN General Assembly resolution 63/311 on system-wide coherence, adopted on 14 September, paves the way for the creation of a single UN body to promote the rights and well-being of women worldwide and work towards gender equality. In a statement, UNIFEM welcomed the unanimous strong support by the General Assembly for the establishment of a new gender entity. “This is an important step towards addressing the gaps and challenges in the existing UN gender architecture. Effecting the consolidation will strengthen the effectiveness of the UN system, including UNIFEM, in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.” Read the complete statement.

New Security Council Resolutions Strengthen Women’s Protection in Conflict and Participation in Peacebuilding

Nine years after the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, the Council has signalled its intention to deepen accountability to women and girls in situations of armed conflict by passing two consecutive resolutions that strengthen women’s protection and address their exclusion from peacebuilding.
        Security Council resolution 1888 (30 September 2009) provides concrete building blocks to advance the implementation of SCR 1820 (2008) on sexual violence in conflict. The resolution specifically mandates peacekeeping missions to protect women and children from sexual violence during armed conflict and requests the UN Secretary-General to appoint a Special Representative to provide leadership in addressing the issue.
        Security Council resolution 1889 (5 October 2009) builds on SCR 1325 and pays particular attention to its implementation in the immediate post-conflict, peacebuilding period. The resolution urges Member States, UN bodies, donors and civil society to ensure that women’s protection and empowerment is taken into account during post-conflict needs assessment and planning, and is factored into subsequent funding and programming.
        “With these two new resolutions we are all challenged to enhance women’s peace leadership and greatly improve women’s protection in conflict,” UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi said in a statement welcoming the resolutions. Read the complete statement.

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Launching in November: Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women

Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against WomenIn November, UNIFEM will launch Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women, a global call for actions on ending violence against women and girls. It is presented by UNIFEM as a contribution to advance the objectives of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women through social mobilization. Building upon the momentum generated during its first phase — when more than 5 million people signed on to a global call to make ending violence against women a top priority worldwide — Say NO aims to trigger and highlight actions by individuals, governments and civil society partners.

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UNIFEM around the World

UNIFEM Deputy Executive Director Joanne Sandler with Commitment Presenter Ricky Martin at the Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global InitiativeClinton Global Initiative Selects UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women as Commitment to Action
The UNIFEM-administered UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women was featured as a Commitment to Action by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) during the CGI Annual Meeting in New York in September. A Commitment to Action is a unique feature of CGI membership and translates practical goals into meaningful and measurable results. After making a commitment, members report to CGI on progress made over time. Read more.
        UNIFEM is also part of a new initiative to address the rights violations and health impacts of sexual violence against girls, which was launched at the CGI Annual Meeting. The initiative brings together the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), five UN organizations (UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNIFEM, WHO) and private sector supporters. Read more.

Spain Contributes EUR 31.5 Million to UNIFEM in 2009
The Government of Spain will contribute EUR 31.5 million to UNIFEM this year, as part of its efforts to boost official development assistance and in line with the emphasis on gender equality and women’s empowerment in its international cooperation policy. Increasing its total contribution by EUR 12 million from 2008, Spain is designating half the amount in 2009 for UNIFEM core funds. Read more.


West Africa: Women Particularly Vulnerable to the Negative Impact of Climate Change
Being the main providers of food and responsible for the collection of water and firewood, women in Africa are particularly vulnerable to the negative impact of climate change. UNIFEM’s Regional Programme Director for West Africa, Cecile Mukarubuga, called attention to this fact at a regional conference that was convened to harmonize the position of West African states in preparation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December. Read more.

UNIFEM staff visited two cooperatives in Gashora, Rwanda, on 11 September. In partnership with Centre IWACU, UNIFEM is working to empower women economically in rural communities.Rwanda: Empowering Women through Cooperatives
With the objective of improving the socio-economic conditions of rural women and their families in the poor Bugesera district in Rwanda, UNIFEM is supporting women’s cooperatives in the small town of Gashora. By training cooperative members on micro-credit financing, as well as on how to boost production and their access to local markets, the aim is to increase the capacity of the cooperatives to achieve a higher and more sustainable income. As women become economically empowered within the household, they are also less likely to suffer domestic violence. Read more.


Latin America: Economic Policies and Stimulation Packages Must Not Overlook Women
A coordination workshop for UNIFEM programmes on women’s economic security and rights in Latin America was held in Quito in Ecuador in October, with a focus on the current economic crisis. Participants pointed out that women’s contributions have been largely overlooked and highlighted the need for public policies and stimulation packages to take into account women’s roles as economic actors. Read more.

El Salvador: UNIFEM Opens a Regional Training Centre for Women’s Entrepreneurship
UNIFEM, through its regional programme Women and Local Economic Development (MyDEL), has opened a training centre specializing in women’s entrepreneurship and local economic development. Located in Morazán, El Salvador, the training centre will offer courses and host conferences, allowing participants from across Latin America to share experiences. Read more.


An Anata woman cooking traditional Palestinian bread at a UNIFEM co-sponsored event to mark International Rural Women’s Day.Palestinian Women Mark the International Day of Rural Women
UNIFEM and the Palestinian Ministry of Women’s Affairs organized for the first time in the Occupied Palestinian Territory an event marking the International Day of Rural Women. The Minister of Women’s Affairs, Ms. Rabiha Diab, attended a traditional pastoral breakfast organized by local women in the village of Anata in East Jerusalem, where UNIFEM implements its Sabaya programme. The Minister stressed the fundamental role that rural women play in the Palestinian economy. Read more.


A woman shows her finger, marked with ink, as proof she voted in the presidential and provincial council elections in Afghanistan on 20 August 2009.Afghanistan: Photo Exhibition on Women and the Afghan Elections
UNIFEM and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) launched the photo exhibition “Women Count” in Kabul on 31 October. The photos document women’s challenges and achievements in the presidential and provincial council elections in Afghanistan in August. The exhibition features photographs taken by local Afghan photographers across the country, highlighting the participation of women as voters, candidates and electoral workers. Read more.

UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi (second to the right) at the opening of the liaison office in Sakai City, Japan, with the Mayor of Sakai City, Mr. Osami Takeyama (centre), and Ambassador Gert J. Grobler from the Embassy of South Africa in Tokyo (far right).Japan: UNIFEM Liaison Office Opens in Sakai City
UNIFEM has opened a liaison office in Sakai City, Japan. The office will represent UNIFEM to the Government of Japan, relate with NGOs, the media and the diplomatic community, and share information about UNIFEM’s work. The liaison office in Sakai City is established along the lines of UNIFEM liaison offices in Brussels and Madrid. It is UNIFEM’s first donor liaison office in Asia, and builds on the efforts of the National Committee for UNIFEM in Japan. Read more.

Philippines: Landmark Legislation for Gender Equality Officially Enacted
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Philippines, signed the country’s Magna Carta of Women in Manila in August, formally enacting legislation for gender equality that women’s rights groups have been lobbying for in the last seven years. The landmark legislation is closely aligned to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which, with assitance from UNIFEM's CEDAW South East Asia Programme, provided the framework for the Magna Carta. Read more.

50 Million Women in Asia at Risk of Contracting HIV from Intimate Partners
An estimated 50 million women in Asia, who are either married or in long-term relationships with men who engage in high-risk sexual behaviours, are at risk of becoming infected with HIV from their partners, according to a report published by UNAIDS in partnership with UNIFEM and other agencies. Read more.

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Recent Speeches & Statements

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Recent Publications

Afghanistan’s Parliament in the Making: Gendered Understandings and Practices of Politics in a Transitional Country Afghanistan’s Parliament in the Making: Gendered Understandings and Practices of Politics in a Transitional Country (2009). Based on interviews with male and female parliamentarians in Afghanistan, the report analyzes the role of women Members of Parliament and the challenges they face.

Promoting Gender Equality in HIV and AIDS Responses: Making Aid More Effective Through Tracking Results Promoting Gender Equality in HIV and AIDS Responses: Making Aid More Effective Through Tracking Results (2009). This publication presents the key findings of the expert consultation “Tracking and Monitoring Gender Equality and HIV/AIDS in Aid Effectiveness.” It highlights the need for a framework that links structural, social and individual determinants of gender inequality as well as presents opportunities (provided by the Paris Declaration) to strengthen the focus on intersections between HIV, violence against women, and sexual and reproductive health access and rights. The publication also underscores the need for comprehensive gender equality indicators for use in monitoring progress to meet key targets and goals outlined within the United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV and AIDS.

A User’s Guide to Measuring Gender-Sensitive Basic Service Delivery A User’s Guide to Measuring Gender-Sensitive Basic Service Delivery (2009). This guide is intended to contribute to the development and more effective use of gender-sensitive indicators so that services are delivered more efficiently and effectively to women. It should be seen as a generic and basic tool to map and anlyse governance of basic service delivery from a gender perspective. It includes indicators and measurement tools and presents examples of newly developed and innovative measurement initiatives in women’s access to public services.

Results-Based Initiatives – Women’s Economic Empowerment Works. We Can Prove It. Results-Based Initiatives – Women’s Economic Empowerment Works. We Can Prove It. (2009). In partnership with governement agencies, development groups, civil society organizations and donors, UNIFEM works to implement Results-Based Initiatives (RBIs) to advance and measure the impacts of women’s economic empowerment. This brochure is a snapshot of what results-based initiatives are and how they work to economically empower women.

Adivasi Women – Engaging with Climate Change Adivasi Women – Engaging with Climate Change (2009). This study aims to decipher the gendered impact of climate change in indigenous societies in Asia with a particular focus on the Adivasi ethnic and tribal group of India. In conclusion, the study offers policy recommendations to enhance women’s resiliency to these impacts.

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Current & Upcoming Events

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About UNIFEM Currents

UNIFEM Currents is the electronic news bulletin of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). It provides up-to-date information briefs on UNIFEM initiatives, successes, events, projects and activities worldwide. It is published several times per year and delivered by e-mail. Click here to subscribe to UNIFEM Currents.

is the women’s fund at the United Nations. It provides financial and technical assistance to innovative programmes and strategies to foster women's empowerment and gender equality. Placing the advancement of women's human rights at the centre of all of its efforts, UNIFEM focuses its activities on reducing feminized poverty; ending violence against women; reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS among women and girls; and achieving gender equality in democratic governance in times of peace as well as war. For more information, visit www.unifem.org.

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