Globally, just over half of households (55%) have an internet connection, according to UNESCO. In the developed world, 87% are connected compared with 47% in developing nations, and just 19% in the least developed countries.
Women should play a key role in pandemic recovery
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed the need for women to be “front and centre” of the pandemic recovery in a speech made during the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The UN chief made it clear that “Male-dominated teams will come up with male-dominated solutions”, which as he pointed out, was evident through the shortcomings within the healthcare system, social protection, justice system and the overall wellbeing of the planet.
The UN Chief depicted a saddening image of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted women’s rights, which included gender-based violence, the consequences of school closures resulting in girls being at a higher risk of becoming child brides, and the inability of many women to access sexual and reproductive health services.
He drew on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development solutions to outline five “transformative actions” to build women’s representation, participation, and leadership, whilst stressing that it was only through the acknowledgement and cooperation of half the world’s population and the inclusion of diversity that there is strength in the policies we set.
Read more about the UN Chief’s five transformative actions below.
How else can states around the world ensure the sustainable recovery from COVID-19?
Kenya’s High Court re-affirmed their stance on female circumcision, refusing consenting adults to perform the procedure under the assertion it does not provide health benefits and reduces the wellbeing of women.
The three ruling High Court justices on the procedure, Lydia Achode, Kanyi Kimono, and Margaret Muigai, argued that according to the evidence presented, many women who had undergone this practice did not have a choice. Although allowing adults to consent may seem reasonable, in these practicing communities, a girl is considered an adult when her menstrual cycle begins at about 12 years of age. Therefore, the Court ruled that “limiting this right is reasonable in an open and democratic society based on the dignity of women”.
This is a big step in advocating for women’s rights and safety in Kenya. Read more by clicking the button below.
Destination South-East Asia
Alongside reports of surging COVID-19 cases across South-East Asia, girl’s access to education is at the forefront of the conversation.
Prior to the challenges of 2020, there had been a significant improvement in girl’s school enrolments. The pandemic has brought about a new set of challenges, with caring responsibilities, financial constraints, family violence and child marriage among the reasons for the drops in school engagement.
UNESCAP understand that without quick and effective intervention, these indicators will only worsen, widening the gap between women and men in South-East Asia.
See what organisations are proposing should be done by clicking the button below.
Destination New Zealand
New Zealand recently passed a bill that offers paid leave to workers who have suffered a miscarriage. They are one of the few countries in the world to adopt such a hallmark legislation without underlining conditions relating to the duration of pregnancy such is the case in Australia and Britain. The law also extends to pregnancies through adoption and surrogacy.
Previously, women who had experienced a miscarriage less than 20 weeks into their pregnancy had to take sick leave from an ordeal that, as stated by Ginny Andersen, a member of the Labour Party, “…is not a sickness. It is a loss”. This new law offers three days of bereavement leave from work for mothers and their partners.
Loved ones of COVID-19 victims have begun painting red hearts across a wall facing the House of Parliament in Westminster, London. It is part of a mural that will consist of 150,000 red hearts covering more than half a kilometre, initiated by the COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Group, to commemorate those who have lost their lives.
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