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Achieving Gender Equality and Female Empowerment: A Collaborative Vision of Sustainable Development Goal 5

 10 January 2018 – Tackling gender inequality is our shared responsibility, and is fundamental to   reaching a more just, peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world for all, United Nations Deputy   Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed said today as she opened the 2018 Vienna UN Conference. In a statement read out by the conference coordinator, Ms. Mohammed welcomed the focus at this       year’s gathering on Sustainable Development Goal 5, achieving gender equality and empowerment of   women and girls. The Organization would count on all to meet these shared objectives towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Jean-Luc Lemahieu, UNODC’s Director of Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, highlighted some positive trends in the implementation o...

Mental health: A fundamental component of human development

  Mental health issues are a serious concern, and an area that is enormously underrecognized. Globally at least 800,000 people commit suicide each year: one suicide every 40 seconds. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds, and for every suicide there are many more attempts each year. But suicide is only one extreme manifestation of mental health issues. Mental and substance use disorders go much wider: they have consistently been shown as the leading causes of years of life lived with disability worldwide. Many mental health issues are not even counted in these statistics, most often because they are not diagnosed. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines mental health as, “a state of well-being in which an individual can realize his or her own potential, cop...

Working with African judges to protect rights of people living with HIV

  The third Judges’ Forum was held in Johannesburg, South Africa in June. Photo: UNDP Africa More than 30 judges from 14 African countries convened in Johannesburg, South Africa 15­–17 June this year for the third annual Regional Judges’ Forum to discuss HIV and tuberculosis (TB)-related jurisprudence as part of an ongoing initiative to sensitise senior judges and uphold the rights of people living with HIV in Africa. “The judiciary must be available for the minority, and in adjudicating cases on minority issues, we must be guided by information, by science, by law, by consideration of justice. If we do so, then we shall have served our purpose”, said Botswana High Court’s Justice Key Dingake, one of the participants at the UN Development Programme (UNDP)-supported meeting. Duri...

Expanding Women’s Leadership in Mongolian Politics and Business

For centuries, Mongolian women have played a central role in their society, holding positions of power ever since the Mongol Empire – hundreds of years before their counterparts in Europe, or elsewhere in Asia. Challenges Changes to the election law this year reduced the quota for female candidates to be nominated by political parties from 30% to 20%. Within the civil service sector, only 26.6% of State Secretaries are women. Only 56.6% of women active in Mongolia’s workforce, versus 69.3% of men Today, women remain integral to Mongolia’s economy, society and politics. In the home, they are often breadwinners, as well as caretakers. At work, they are increasingly influential, partly because they are often better educated, with more Mongolian girls completing school than boys. But partly al...

Poverty isn’t permanent.

What is poverty? Is it increasing or decreasing?   Camila Gonzalez, 9 years old, studies at home on a computer she received through Uruguay’s “One Laptop per Child” programme. Enrollment in primary education, one of the surest means of reducing poverty, has increased significantly since 2000. The enrolment rate in developing regions reached 91 percent in 2015. Photo: Pablo La Ros/UNDP We challenged people in New York City to rethink what they know about poverty. Here’s what they had to say: Despite common misperceptions, poverty isn’t permanent! The world is making headway in the fight against poverty. Since 1999, we’ve reduced the percentage of people around the world who live in extreme poverty from 28 percent to 11 percent. That’s about 250,000 people worldwide who climb out of pov...

Closing gender gaps throughout the life course

Our choices and opportunities, from childhood to older-age, accumulate over the life course. Breaking patterns of inequality requires us to consider the full cycle of life and identify critical intervention periods and cumulative deprivations. Children who do not have access to early childhood education may not learn as efficiently later. Youth who have a limited education, may resort to informal work or be unemployed, which can later lead to an insufficient pension. Older people may suffer illnesses and disabilities brought on from past physical labour or insufficient preventive health care. Recent Human Development Reports have experimented with presenting data in a way that highlights the gaps in capabilities and opportunities between women and men from childhood through older age. The ...

Helping Uganda’s Youth to “Line Up, Live Up” and Build Resilience Through Sports

In its ongoing efforts to reduce the risk of anti-social behaviour amongst its large youth population, and to help young people stay away from crime and drug use, Uganda has partnered with UNODC to use sports and physical education to that end. Preparations have started with a programming mission last week, piloting UNODC’s evidence-informed life skills training ” Line Up, Live Up“, with the support of key Ugandan government and civil society actors. For example, the Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL ) , an NGO that works with disadvantaged youth aged 10-24 in marginalized communities around the country, is ready to deploy new prevention practices such as UNODC’s special life skills training curriculum. During the visit of UNODC’s Johannes De Haan to Kampal...

Counting what counts in development

To most people, “development” is best measured by the quantity of change – like gains in average income, life expectancy, or years spent in school. The Human Development Index (HDI), a composite measure of national progress that my office at the United Nations Development Programme oversees, combines all three statistics to rank countries relative to one another. What many do not realize, however, is that such metrics, while useful, do not tell the entire story of development. In fact, to understand how developed a country is, we must also grasp how people’s lives are affected by progress. And to understand that, we must consider the quality of the change that is being reported. When statisticians compare countries, they require commensurate data. To compare school attendance, for example,...

Protecting Our Planet’s Lungs

By UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME IN CLIMATE CHANGE, INDIGENOUS & RAINFOREST The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) initiativeis a partnership between FAO, UNDP and UNEP. “We cannot live without our land,” says Cirila Tete, an indigenous leader living in the last refuge of the Harakmbut Amazonian people: the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve. As a member of Boca Isiriwe, one of the 10 native communities in this protected territory, Cirila defends the largest, most intact primary forest in Peru’s Southern Amazon region. The area is the source of livelihoods for more than 1,700 indigenous people, and Cirila is one of its stewards, protecting it from the ravages of mining and illegal logging. Because they breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, t...

Little Heart, Standing Tall

By UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME IN LATIN AMERICA, LIVELIHOOD & POVERTY REDUCTION In partnership with WHO and UNICEF, UNDP is supporting Mexico’s efforts to ensure full inclusion of children with disabilities. The bread that Maria sells to support her family is a hit with her neighbours. Every day at dawn, Melitón Rodríguez and María de los Santos go out to sell hot bread. The couple live in the town of Tecamalucan, in the southern state of Veracruz in Mexico. They have a 2-year-old son, Charli, for whom they work hard everyday to give him a lifetime of opportunities. Charli’s parents, Melitón and María, rise early each morning to sell hot bread in their neighbourhood. In April 2016, Melitón and María decided to take Charli to the Yoltzin children’s day care ce...

Human Development that “cares”

In a recent dialogue, members of civil society and governments explored the practical and political steps to leave no one behind through the experiences of those who are excluded. Sarah, a 16-year-old from Chicago, USA, asked the decision makers around the table how it was possible that she and her siblings were abandoned and suffered physical violence for six years without anybody raising the alarm to help them. They were neglected by the (under resourced) social services, the government, the neighbors, the hospital employees and even their own family. She was “left behind”. To her, what is even harder than the five years of lost schooling or the trauma caused by the abuse, is trying to understand why nobody cared. The 2016 Human Development Report (HDR) recommends putting in place “natio...

U-Report Cote d’Ivoire Ignites a Youth Movement: 5 lessons on creating content to equitably engage girls and boys

In Cote d’Ivoire, more than 50% of our population are under the age of 25. These 14 million young activists and changemakers within their community represent the generation that will lead progress towards a future that is brighter, better, and more gender equitable. Across the country, many of these girls and boys have raised their voices on the issues, challenges, and concerns they face, coming together to build a movement. And one innovative mobilizing platform that Cote d’Ivoire’s youth movement has been using is UNICEF’s U-Report. © UNICEF/FrankDejongh U-Report Cote d’Ivoire was launched in January 2017 as a platform that amplifies the voices, concerns and solutions of young people. U-Report users, called U-Reporters, can share, receive, and respond to content like polls and surveys on...

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