Human development means realizing the full potential of every life

21 Mar 2017 by Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator

The Human Development Report 2016 emphasizes that poor, marginalized and vulnerable groups—including ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, refugees and migrants—are being left furthest behind. Photo: UNDP
Human development is all about human freedoms: freedom to realize the full potential of every human life, not just of a few, nor of most, but of all lives in every corner of the world—now and in the future. Such universalism gives the human development approach its uniqueness. … Read more

Practice Parliaments: Promoting Women in Leadership in the Pacific

12 Mar 2017 by Lotte Geunis, Parliamentary Development Consultant

When I first learned that ‘Practice Parliaments’ would be part and parcel of my gender work in the Pacific, I was decidedly underwhelmed.  I had worked on the promotion of women in politics before, and I could not see how women ‘playing parliament’ could possibly promote gender equality.  I couldn’t see how it might inspire potential women candidates to step forward, and I certainly couldn’t see how it would convince voters - male or female - to look more favourably on women in politics. My hesitation was not unfounded.  The beauty of the isles can blind new visitors to the less rosy realities these societies harbour.  While there are important differences between the island states, longstanding social, cultural and economic barriers block the road to equal opportunities for women across the region.  This has left them strongly dependent on male family members, more likely to be poor, and more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Gender-based violence is pervasive and persistent. Politics, unsurprisingly, is no exception.  Throughout the Pacific, women continue to be marginalised in how decisions are made and how resources are allocated.  Their lack of representation in national parliaments is a particularly painful reflection of the ongoing struggle … Read more

Do gender equitable attitudes signify a shift in violent behaviours?: Questions arising out of VAW prevention intervention experiences in Bougainville, PNG

07 Mar 2017

    Participants from pose with a 'before PSKS/after PSKS' list of changes they have experienced in their community © Angela Kelly Hanku By Kathy Taylor, Manager, Partners for Prevention Joint Programme, Anik Gevers, Consultant, Partners for Prevention Joint Programme and Julius Otim, Women, Peace and Security Adviser, UN Women, PNG As we prepare to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, it is an opportunity to reflect on our work to prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG) and some challenges to measure the effects of programmes which contribute directly to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 5.2 and to the achievement of all of the SDGs. Research – such as the UN Multi-Country Study on Men and Violence – has shown that VAWG is pervasive in the Asia-Pacific region.  It is a serious abuse of women’s human rights that also has a significant economic cost. While programmes to respond to the needs of survivors of violence against women and girls are growing in the region, to date, less emphasis has been placed on violence prevention programmes that change social norms, including addressing harmful masculinities. Partners for Prevention (P4P) is a United Nations joint program on prevention of VAWG in Asia and the Pacific Region. The P4P team supports … Read more

Be Tech. Be Innovative. Be Bold.

03 Mar 2017 by Eleonora Gatti iWomen App Coordinator

Across Myanmar, technology is transforming the way people communicate, consume and distribute information and engage with their leaders. But it has not been an easy road. Just four years ago, the cost of a sim card could reach up to 3,000USD – making it all but impossible for the general population to access mobile technology.   … Read more

Reaching Beyond the Glass Ceiling

01 Mar 2017 by Shoko Noda, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Maldives

"I think among other things, I had upset the teacher by climbing trees with the boys during PE class", writes Shoko Noda (third from left).
Sometimes I wonder what my fourth grade teacher and first boss would think of my current position. They made me realize that as a girl in school or as a woman at work, we face not only glass ceilings, but glass walls that try to box us in. We are confined within a box of traditional and societal norms, which is more difficult to change than introducing a new equal opportunity law. … Read more