UN Gender Focus: Sexual Violence in Conflict, Disaster Management and Disabled Women Fight for Equal Rights

UN Gender Focus: Sexual Violence in Conflict, Disaster Management and Disabled Women Fight for Equal Rights

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Uniting political will and theatre to end wartime rape

The sentencing this week of a former Congolese rebel leader for crimes against humanity committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) has been hailed by the UN as a sign of progress in global action to end impunity for wartime rape. The conviction of Jean-Pierre Bemba by the International Criminal Court came just days after the first commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, observed on 19 June. The UN-backed court found Jean-Pierre Bemba guilty for allowing his forces to rape, murder and pillage during a 2002 armed conflict in the CAR. Dianne Penn reports.

Women involved in community meeting to discuss village reconstruction. Yogyakarta, Indonesia. File Photo: World Bank/Nugroho Nurdikiawan Sunjoyo

“Empower women” to be part of disaster management policy making

Greater efforts need to be made to empower women to be part of the decision-making process for disaster risk reduction policies, according to a senior Canadian emergency management official. Studies show that women and children are heavily impacted when natural and man-made catastrophes strike. Experts from across the Americas recently gathered at a UN conference in Asuncion, Paraguay to discuss disaster mitigation in the region using the Sendai Framework as their focus. Agreed in Japan last year, the Framework is a strategy to reduce the number of people who die in disasters and to curtail environmental damage and economic losses. Daniel Dickinson asked Lori MacDonald, Canada’s Assistant Deputy Minister for emergency management, why risk reduction is a gender issue.

Stephanie Ortoleva, center, at a side event of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Photo: L. Jarriel

All women, abled and disabled, are sisters in the fight for equal rights

“Sisterhood is powerful” and can be used to bring both able-bodied and disabled women together in the fight for equal rights; that’s according to  Stephanie Ortoleva, who is President of the US-based advocacy group Women Enabled International. Ms Ortoleva has been at the United Nations to participate in a meeting focussed on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She says that she has always had a difficult time getting women’s organizations to consider disabilities issues to be of importance. Laura Jarriel asked her how this conference might lead to more inclusion and participation for women with disabilities.

Presenter: Dianne Penn

Production Assistant: Ana Carmo

Duration: 10’00″

Audio Duration
10'
Photo Credit
PM of Argentina to the UN