26 July 2021 – Aden, Yemen: The Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are working together toward stronger gender justice and health security for 10,000 women and 10,000 children in Aden and Mukalla amid the ongoing conflict and the COVID-19 crisis.
The project, Enhanced COVID-19 Protection through Inclusive Security Governance, will work in partnership with the Yemen Women Union (YWU) to convene women leaders from the Ministry of Interior (MOI), the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (MOSAL), and the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MOPHP) for training and capacity building.
With the on-going conflict now its sixth year, COVID-19 has created a crisis within a crisis in Yemen. As in many other countries, the pandemic has intensified social and economic challenges – in particular for women, leading to a sharp increase in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and a rapidly shrinking social space for women’s participation in public life. Despite this “shadow pandemic,” Yemeni women have demonstrated immense resilience and solidarity, as demonstrated by YWU’s delivery of protection services for women and children, including access to safe spaces for refuge.
On 11 July, UNDP and YWU successfully launched a five-day joint training course for women police from Ministry of Interior and women staff from Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour and Ministry of Public Health and Population in Aden and Mukalla. Training activities will continue until September, building the capacity of 200 women police in five governorates (21 Abyan, 98 Aden, 21 Lahj, 40 Mukalla, and 20 Seiyun) and strengthening their relationships with 20 women social and health workers.
Training topics will include, human rights, GBV, case referral, and community policing, particularly the role of women police to promote gender justice and health security in their communities. UNDP will also facilitate knowledge-sharing on digital gender justice such as prevention and response to GBV cybercrimes, in partnership with experts from the Korean National Police University.
The project will empower women leaders to raise their voices at MOPHP’s Risk Communication and Community Engagement forums in Aden and Mukalla, a key platform for the coordination of COVID-19 response activities across Yemen.
“The financial strain of the pandemic has forced many Yemenis into unchartered territory, finding themselves out of work in a declining economy, or for many women, pressured in to working in new sectors to support their family,” explains Auke Lootsma, UNDP Resident Representative in Yemen. "In these new circumstances, this project will respond to a need for more inclusive and integrated protection and recovery from the consequences of the pandemic by empowering women leaders in public institutions and civil society."
To ensure a sustainable impact, the project will support the development of interagency Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on gender justice and health security in public health crises, engaging relevant ministries and civil society organizations to ensure an inclusive process.
UNDP’s Rule of Law Programme in Yemen will continue to help mitigate the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 and conflict by expanding its partnership with women leaders and men champions for gender equality. The generous contribution from the Republic of Korea (ROK) has laid a solid foundation for greater impact and enabled the scaling up of gender justice and health security programming, demonstrating the value ofintegrated policy solutions to Sustainable Development Goal’s 3 (health), 5 (gender), and 16 (justice) and the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus.
UNDP Yemen: Leanne Rios, Team Lead Communications and Advocacy (Leanne.firstname.lastname@example.org)
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