UN Gender Focus: access to water, burkini ban and gender inequality in the labour market

UN Gender Focus: access to water, burkini ban and gender inequality in the labour market


Time wasted collecting water a “double whammy” for women and girls

Time wasted collecting water is a “double whammy” for women and girls around the world. That’s according to Sanjay Wijesekera, Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programmes at the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). He said that apart from losing time that could be spent in class, girls’ health also suffers due to the hard physical labour involved. At World Water Week which has been taking place in Stockholm, Sweden, UNICEF said that 200 million hours are spent each day collecting water. Sustainable Development Goal 6 calls for universal access to safe and affordable drinking water by 2030. Matthew Wells asked Mr Wijesekera how many people lacked access today.

UN Women's Director of Policy, Purna Sen. Photo: UN Radio/Daniel Dickinson

Women have right to wear controversial burkini bathing suit

Women should have the right to choose to wear a controversial bathing suit known as the burkini without coercion from the state or individuals; that’s according to the UN agency focused on gender issues, UN Women. The burkini is a full-body swimsuit with a headscarf which is favoured by many Muslim women and other non-Muslims. A ban on the clothing by a French town was overturned by the country’s highest court recently, after photographs were taken of police confronting a woman and forcing her to remove part of her burkini. The French authorities said the woman's beachwear was "inappropriate," and a public order issue. Daniel Dickinson has been speaking to UN Women’s Director of Policy, Purna Sen. He began by asking her for her reaction to the ban and it subsequent lifting.

Women of Takalafiya-Lapai village (Niger State). File Photo: Arne Hoel/World Bank

Accelerating gender equality in Africa

Gender inequality in the labour market cost sub-Saharan African countries more than US$90 billion annually between 2010 and 2014. That finding comes in the latest African Human Development Report which looks at efforts to accelerate women’s empowerment on the continent. Launched by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), it details the high cost when women are not fully integrated into national economies. Dianne Penn has been speaking to UNDP Chief Economist Ayodele Odushola. He began by explaining what “human development” means.

Presenter: Daniel Dickinson

Production Assistant: Ana Carmo

Duration: 10’00″

Audio Duration
Photo Credit
UNICEF/Sam Phelps