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?

07 Mar 2017

Participants from pose with a 'before PSKS/after PSKS' list of changes they have experienced in their community © Angela Kelly Hanku
Questions arising out of Violence Against Women prevention experiences in Bougainville, PNG … 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

Why combating corruption in government contracts is key to funding the Sustainable Development Goals

01 Mar 2017 by Elodie Beth, Bangkok Regional Hub

As government's cast the net wider to fund the Global Goals, the savings from combating corruption remain a cache of untapped funding. Estimates show that about a fourth of global procurement budgets is drained through corruption, roughly two trillion USD annually. Photo UNDP Viet Nam
As the world looks for new ways to finance the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, combating corruption in public procurement may trigger a virtuous cycle of ensuring higher quality public services and infrastructure that is built to last longer, as well as savings that can finance new development projects that bring us closer to the goals. … Read more