Intro: Global Goals Week! But Waite “WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?” We Got You Covered: #GlobalGoalsWeek #GlobalGoals #SDGs

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PARTNERS UNVEIL NEW WEBSITE AND PLANS FOR GLOBAL GOALS WEEK 2017

GLOBAL GOALS WEEK 2017 TO FEATURE EVENTS AND ACTIVATIONS ALONGSIDE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN SUPPORT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS PROGRESS

Organizers announced plans and unveiled the website for Global Goals Week 2017 – a collective effort to maximize the value of events and activations held during UN General Assembly week and focused on driving progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals. This year’s Global Goals Week will be held 16-23 September, with events and activations taking place in New York and around the world, all of which will be connected in social media conversations using the common hash tag #GlobalGoals. Global Goals Week was originally piloted last year by organizing partners Project Everyone, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Foundation. This year, more than a dozen new partners have joined the effort, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Economic Forum, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Skoll Foundation, Concordia, UN Global Compact, and other UN agencies and departments, positioning the week as a strong platform for collective action in support of the SDGs, maximizing the impact of a variety of events, public activations, and digital surges that are all designed to raise awareness and spur progress toward achievement of the global goals.

Global Goals Week events include:

  • Hult Prize Awards Ceremony at UN Headquarters (date TBA)
  • The Social Good Summit, 17 September
  • SDG Media Zone, 18—22 September
  • Solutions Summit at UN Headquarters
  • United Nations Private Sector Forum, 18 September
  • Global Citizen LIVE!, 18 September
  • Climate Week Opening Ceremony, 18 September
  • Concordia Annual Summit, 18—19 September
  • World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Summit, 18—19 September
  • International Conference on Sustainable Development, 18—19 September
  • Global Citizen Movement Makers, 19 September
  • Global Goals Awards Dinner, 19 September
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeepers, 20 September
  • TED Global NYC, 20 September
  • United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit, 21 September
  • We the Future, 21 September
  • Global Citizen Festival, 23 September

For a full schedule, visit globalgoalsweek.org. The events listing will be updated as new events come online.

Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General, said, “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, the ambitious plan adopted by world leaders in 2015, is a promise for people and planet, that requires concerted action across all sectors. The vision of Global Goals Week is to ensure continued attention and momentum for the SDGs at the highest levels and to inspire unique partnerships and collaboration across all sectors.  These events will help spur partnerships and your action in support of delivering the SDGs on the ground.”

Richard Curtis, Writer, Campaigner, and Project Everyone Founder, said, “We’ve got under 5,000 days left to reach the Global Goals – and that can’t be done unless we continue to press world leaders to keep their promises and inspire people all over the world to act. All of the activities during UNGA remind leaders of their promises, energize today’s excellent activist generation, and puts the long-term optimistic, practical vision of the Goals in the spotlight – the definitive plan to end extreme poverty, fight injustice and inequality and defeat climate change.”

Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, said, “Global Goals Week is an opportunity both to celebrate the Sustainable Development Goals and progress made so far toward achieving them, as well as to look to the future and all the work that still needs to be done. UNDP stands ready to continue that work on this very ambitious, but achievable, agenda.”

Kathy Calvin, President & CEO of the UN Foundation, said, “The Sustainable Development Goals present both a bold vision for a better future and a challenge for collective action to achieve the goals. Global Goals Week is a response to that challenge – creating opportunities for partners to work together to drive change.”

For more information, including how to participate in Global Goals Week, see globalgoalsweek.org. To participate in the social media conversation, use the hashtag #GlobalGoals.

About Project Everyone

Project Everyone seeks to put the power of great communications behind The Global Goals for Sustainable Development, accelerating the creation of a fairer world by 2030, where extreme poverty has been eradicated, climate change is properly addressed and injustice and inequality are unacceptable.

Their mission is to ensure that everyone on the planet knows what The Global Goals for Sustainable Development are, so that they stand the greatest chance of being achieved. The assumption at the heart of this project is that if people know about the goals they can hold their governments, businesses, local and international institutions to account.

About UNDP

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual donors. Learn more at: www.unfoundation.org.

ORIGINAL POST AS SEEN: HERE

International DAY OF DEMOCRACY!

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International Day of Democracy

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Democracy is annually held on September 15 to raise public awareness about democracy. Various activities and events are held around the world to promote democracy on this date.

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The International Day of Democracy aims to raise public awareness about democracy – its meaning and importance.
The International Day of Democracy aims to raise public awareness about democracy – its meaning and importance.
©iStockphoto.com/Richard Goerg

What Do People Do?

Many people and organizations worldwide, including government agencies and non-government organizations, hold various initiatives to promote democracy on the International Day of Democracy. Events and activities include discussions, conferences and press conferences involving keynote speakers, often those who are leaders or educators heavily involved in supporting and endorsing democratic governments and communities.

Leaflets, posters and flyers are placed in universities, public buildings, and places where people can learn more about how democracy is linked with factors such as freedom of expression and a tolerant culture. Organizations, such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), organize activities such as public opinion surveys about democracy and political tolerance.

There has been a campaign, known as the Global Democracy Day Initiative, which involves a petition being made to the UN and heads of states to officially adopt October 18 as Global Democracy Day to support International Day of Democracy.

Public Life

The International Day of Democracy is a UN observance day, however, it is not a public holiday.

Background

The UN strives to achieve its goals of peace, human rights and development. It believes that human rights and the rule of law are best protected in democratic societies. The UN also recognizes a fundamental truth about democracy everywhere – that democracy is the product of a strong, active and vocal civil society.

The UN general assembly decided on November 8, 2007, to make September 15 as the annual date to observe the International Day of Democracy. The assembly invited people and organizations, both government and non-government, to commemorate the International Day of Democracy. It also called for all governments to strengthen their national programs devoted to promoting and consolidating democracy. The assembly encouraged regional and other intergovernmental organizations to share their experiences in promoting democracy.

The International Day of Democracy was first celebrated in 2008. The UN general assembly recognized that the year 2008 marked the 20th anniversary of the first International Conference of New or Restored Democracies, which gave people a chance to focus on promoting and consolidating democracy worldwide.

Symbols

The UN logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centred on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map represents all the people of the world. It has been featured in black against a white background.

Know Your NUMBERS Week; BLOOD PRESSURE is on the RISE.

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You’d be amazed how many people don’t know their blood pressure. According to the British Heart Foundation, around 7 million people in the UK are living with undiagnosed high blood pressure.(Now imagine the African diaspora and her most populous country Nigeria) Surprising, when you consider the knock on risks of heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease.

Put simply blood pressure is the force that moves blood through your blood vessels around the body. So clearly it’s incredibly vital, however high blood pressure can be critical. High blood pressure can produce several symptoms, but the best way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to get it tested before they or the knock on effects strike. That’s where Know Your Numbers Week & the Evergreen Life blood pressure app comes in.

Know Your Numbers!!!

The awareness week was first launched in 2001 by Blood Pressure UK to educate and encourage us to monitor our blood pressure. Now, 15 years on, there are around 250,000 free checks available across the UK during awareness week between 12-18 September 2017 (In Africa and Nigeria, not much is being done if at all….both from the government and well meaning but oft crippled non-profits alike) With the potential risks linked to high blood pressure, it is important to understand what your readings mean. Blood pressure readings consist of two numbers – systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. Systolic blood pressure is the force at which the heart contracts and blood is pumped through the arteries. Whereas diastolic blood pressure is the lowest point of pressure in between beats when the heart relaxes. A reading for people in good health would be below 120/80.

Blood pressure can be reduced by making some simple lifestyle changes including lowering your salt intake, increasing physical activity, reducing alcohol consumption, and eating a healthy balanced diet. If lifestyle changes cannot reduce your blood pressure enough you will be provided with prescribed medication by your doctor to help bring it under control and reduce your risk. With more than one in four people in the UK suffering from high blood pressure it is important for individuals to be able to keep a record and manage their own pressure levels.

High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart attacks, stroke, heart failure and kidney disease. It doesn’t have any symptoms, which is why you need to have it checked regularly, to make sure that you aren’t running unnecessary risks with your health.

A blood pressure check is quick and painless, and it’s important to know your numbers. There are two: systolic pressure (the higher number) is the force with which your heart pumps blood around your body. Diastolic pressure (lower number) is the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.

Both are measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg).

What is a healthy blood pressure?

Blood pressure varies depending on a range of factors, including your age and activity. For example, it’s likely to be higher if you have been exerting yourself physically, you’re feeling stressed, or you’ve just drunk a strong coffee.

As a general guide:

• High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher

• Ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg

• Low blood pressure is considered to be 90/60mmHg or lower.

Between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg, you could be on the way to developing high blood pressure if you don’t take steps to keep it under control.

How to reduce blood pressure?

• Absolutely the first thing is to stop smoking, if you haven’t already.

• Being overweight is the next thing to tackle: obesity increases the risk of developing high blood pressure.

• Eat healthily – a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, cutting down on salt and saturated fat, will help reduce the risk. Drink alcohol with moderation.

• Exercise is also essential. Half an hour five times a week is the recommended minimum to help keep you healthy, though if you haven’t done any exercise for a long time, don’t jump straight in – build up gently. Walking, swimming, dancing and cycling are all good – the important thing is to choose exercise that you enjoy, so that you stick with it.

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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 3: GOOD HEALTH & WELL-BEING

 

Sexual Health Week “Lets talk PORN!” #SHW #SexualHealth #SHAW #SHW17

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Let’s talk about porn!

For Sexual Health Week this year, we’re talking about porn.

We want to support people to have more open discussions about subjects related to porn, such as body image, consent, communication, safer sex…and the difference between fantasy and reality.

Through our work with parents, teachers and young people we’ve often found that the most successful way to have those discussions is through an open-minded, positive and non-judgemental approach to the topic.

Porn is one of those thought-provoking subjects that everyone has an opinion on. So why not join the conversation on Twitter? Just use the hashtag #SHW17.

This week is Sexual Health Week which aims to raise awareness of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) and emergency contraception. 

Within the last decade, there has been a big increase in diagnoses of STI’s particularly amongst young people aged between 16 and 24.

Emergency contraception is designed for use when people have had unprotected sex, or sex without contraception. It can also be used when you think your contraception may not have worked.

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Cathy McInnes, sexual health specialist nurse at Heartlands (UK) Hospital, says: “The sooner women use emergency contraception after unprotected sex, the better chance it will have of preventing pregnancy. Emergency contraception is available from your local GP surgery or sexual health clinic.  It’s important to remember that emergency contraception may help prevent an unplanned pregnancy but it doesn’t protect you against infections.

“There are two methods of emergency contraception. The emergency pill, called Levonelle, can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex.  It is 95 percent effective at 24 hours and up to 58 percent effective at 72 hours.

EllaOne, known as the ‘morning after pill’, can be taken up to 120 hours after unprotected sex.

“Secondly, a copper coil (IUD – intrauterine device) can be inserted into a woman up to 120 hours after unprotected sex.  It is almost 100 percent effective.”

STI’s are passed from one person to another through unprotected sex. Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and genital warts are some of the most common STI’s.

If you think you may have an STI, it is vital you see your GP/Doctor/Health Specialist or visit your local sexual health clinic to get tested as soon as possible to ensure any infections are treated imminently. Long term health problems can occur if infections are left untreated and some infections cause few or no symptoms.

Men and women can experience different symptoms. Some common signs and symptoms to look out for are as follows:

Women:

  • Bleeding between periods or after sex.
  • Lower abdominal pain.
  • Pain or burning sensation during urination or sex.
  • Yellow or green discharge from vagina.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Bumps, blisters or warts on vagina or anus.

Men:

  • Sores, blisters or scratches on the penis, genital area or around the back passage.
  • Have a burning feeling when passing urine.
  • Lump in testicles.
  • Pain in testicles.
  • Swelling or redness near the penis.

Cathy adds: “STI’s are preventable and using condoms can be effective in minimising the chances of getting an infection. Always avoid having sex with anyone who has discharge, genital sores or any other symptoms. Also do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol as being under the influence of alcohol can mean you are more likely to take sexual risks.”

Oops You really though we would talk about porn? Hahah maybe next time…

PARTLY SEEN: HERE

DAY 1: SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY & WEEK “Take a Minute, Save a Life” #SuicidePrevention #EndSuicide

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You are Not Alone.

Suicide as an International Problem
Suicide is an international problem and a major public health concern. Suicide claims approximately over 800,000 lives worldwide each year, resulting in one suicide every 40 seconds. There is an estimated 10 to 20 suicide attempts per each completed suicide, resulting in several million suicide attempts each year.

Suicide and suicidal behaviour affects individuals of all ages, genders, races and religions across the planet. Suicide affects more men than women in all countries but China.
Risk factors remain essentially the same from country to country. Mental illness, substance abuse, previous suicide attempts, hopelessness, access to lethal means, recent loss of loved ones, unemployment and vulnerability to self-harm are just few examples of risk factors.
Protective factors are also the same in all corners of the world. High self-esteem, social connectedness, problem-solving skills, supportive family and friends are all examples of factors that buffer against suicide and suicidal behaviours.
World Suicide Prevention Day represents a call for action and involvement by all governments and organizations worldwide to contribute to the cause of suicide awareness and prevention through activities, events, conferences and campaigns in their country. By collaborating together in this endeavour, we can indeed save lives.

Taking a minute can save a life

People who have lived through a suicide attempt have much to teach us about how the words and actions of others are important. They often talk movingly about reaching the point where they could see no alternative but to take their own life, and about the days, hours and minutes leading up to this. They often describe realising that they did not want to die but instead wanted someone to intervene and stop them. Many say that they actively sought someone who would sense their despair and ask them whether they were okay.
Sometimes they say that they made a pact with themselves that if someone did ask if they were okay, they would tell them everything and allow them to intervene. Sadly, they often reflect that no one asked.
The individuals telling these stories are inspirational. Many of them recount reaching the point where they did try to take their own lives, and tell about coming through it. Many of them are now working as advocates for suicide prevention. Almost universally, they say that if someone had taken a minute, the trajectory that they were on could have been interrupted.
Life is precious and sometimes precarious. Taking a minute to reach out to someone – a complete stranger or close family member or friend – can change the course of their life.

No one has to have all the answers

People are often reluctant to intervene, even if they are quite concerned about someone. There are many reasons for this, not least that they fear they will not know what to say. It is important to remember, however, that there is no hard and fast formula. Individuals who have come through an episode of severe suicidal thinking often say that they were not looking for specific advice, but that compassion and empathy from others helped to turn things around for them and point them towards recovery.
Another factor that deters people from starting the conversation is that they worry that they may make the situation worse. Again, this hesitation is understandable; broaching the topic of suicide is difficult and there is a myth that talking about suicide with someone can put the idea into their head or trigger the act.
The evidence suggests that this is not the case. Being caring and listening with a non-judgemental ear are far more likely to reduce distress than exacerbate it.

Use Available Resources

There are various well-established resources that are designed to equip people to communicate effectively with those who might be vulnerable to suicide. Mental Health First Aid, for example, is premised on the idea that many people know what to do if they encounter someone who has had a physical health emergency, like a heart attack (dial an ambulance, administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation), but feel out of their depth if they are faced with someone experiencing a mental or emotional crisis. Mental Health First Aid teaches a range of skills, including how to provide initial support to someone in these circumstances. There are numerous other examples too; relevant resources can be found on the websites of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (https://www.iasp.info/resources) and the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int).

Join In on World Suicide Prevention Day #WSPD

2017 marks the 15th World Suicide Prevention Day. The day was first recognised in 2003, as an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and endorsed by the World Health Organization. World Suicide Prevention Day takes place each year on September 10.
On September 10, join with others around the world who are working towards the common goal of preventing suicide. Show your support by taking part in our Cycle Around the Globe campaign aimed at raising awareness through community action. Find out what local activities have been scheduled as well – or initiate one yourself!

 

September is #Hunger ACTION Month #GlobalGoals #SDGs

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HUNGER ACTION MONTH

September is Hunger Action Month, a time to raise awareness of hunger in our community and look for ways to get involved in the fight to end it

Hunger is a problem that exists throughout the world from third world countries to the shining pinnacle of modernity in places like Poland, Germany, and the United States. No one should have to go hungry, and Hunger Action Month reminds us that there are those out there who need the help of a kind soul with an open hand, and that there are more than enough resources in the world for us all to eat well. Isn’t it time we all stood up and did something for the hungry in our community and our world?

History of Hunger Action Month
Hunger Action Month was established by Feeding America back in 2008, when it decided it was time for a nationwide push to get involved with the hunger crisis across the country. During September people everywhere help to feed the needy in their neighborhood and country, working to ensure that the 48 million people who live with hunger every day can get some relief. Food depravation is a problem for more than just adults as well, children all over the country go to school without a proper breakfast, leading to difficulty focusing on their education, alertness, and generally performing well.

How to celebrate Hunger Action Month
Celebrating Hunger Action Month starts by taking action against hunger, seems obvious, right? All you need to do is to help raise awareness of hunger as a problem, and there are a lot of ways of doing that even if you’re short on time and money. One popular way of raising awareness is to take a plate and writing “On an empty stomach, I can’t:” and then filling in the blank to help people learn what effect suffering from a shortage of food can have. Examples are “Study” and “Sleep properly”, even “Be active.” You then take this photo of yourself holding the plate and post it on social media and get others to do the same with themselves. Post by post, the world will become a little more aware.

If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious and want to be directly involved, you can find people in your community who are working with Feed America or any other food based organization to help bring food to the needy in your area. Food drives, volunteer efforts, and donations are always welcome and help to battle this epidemic in our country and around the world.

WHY NOW?

As you already know September is the month to stand up, stand together and take action. We’re working to eliminate barriers to healthy food so that there’s always a compassionate solution when anyone in our community is facing hunger.

For a real and lasting impact in the fight against hunger, we need your voice to make ending hunger a priority. Working hand in hand with community leaders and policy makers, we can solve this problem. Will you join in

 

 

August 2017: Violence against Women and Girls in Humanitarian Crises #OrangeDay

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The 25th of every month has been designated “Orange Day” by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Campaign UNiTE to End Violence Against Women, to raise awareness and take action to end violence against women and girls. As a bright and optimistic colour, orange represents a future free from violence against women and girls. Orange Day calls upon civil society, governments, and UN partners to mobilize people and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls, not only once a year on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), but every month.

In 2015, all 193 Member States of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Through its 17 goals, the 2030 Agenda calls for global action over the next 15 years to address the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. All the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) are fully integrated with one another and therefore we cannot think of them in isolation.

SDG 5 recognizes gender equality and the empowerment of women as a key priority pledging that “no one will be left behind.” Building on this vision, throughout 2017, the UNiTE Campaign will mark all Orange Days (the 25th of every month) under the overarching theme “Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls” to underscore its commitment towards reaching the most underserved.

 

ORANGE DAY

This Orange Day, 25 August 2017, the UNiTE Campaign focuses on Violence against Women and Girls in Humanitarian Crises.

With continued population growth, urbanization, stretched natural resources, protracted conflict, and the impact of climate change becoming more apparent, the number of humanitarian crises continues to grow, as does the number of communities requiring humanitarian assistance.(1)

For instance, through changing temperatures, precipitation and sea level rises, among other factors, global climate change is already modifying hazard levels and exacerbating disaster risks. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) assessed that from 2005 to 2015, 87 per cent of disasters have been climate related.(2)

Within crises affected communities, women and girls are often disproportionately at risk to the effects of these crises. They are more likely to lose their means of livelihood and face heightened risks of gender-based violence, such as sexual violence, including rape, as well as early marriage and human trafficking due to displacement and the breakdown of the normal structures of protection and support.(3)

Further, in the aftermath of disasters, their specific humanitarian needs are often neither adequately identified nor addressed in the ensuing response by governments and humanitarian agencies alike.(4)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development clearly posits that all women and girls, regardless of their location, situation, and circumstances or migratory status, should be entitled to a life free from violence and its consequences. Any measure taken to achieve Goal 5 and eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls must include those affected by crisis and conflict.

(1) Promoting the rights, need and agency of women and girls in humanitarian action, UN Women, 2016, p.2
(2) Ten-year review finds 87% of disasters climate-related, UNISDR, 2015
(3) Report of the Secretary-General, Trafficking in women and girls, 2016, p.6
(4) Promoting the rights, need and agency of women and girls in humanitarian action, UN Women, 2016, p.2

SOME RELEVANT PROGRAMMES AND PROJECTS:

  • On 25 April 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, followed by another powerful 7.3-magnitude quake on 12 May. In the ongoing response to the earthquakes in Nepal, UN Women worked side-by-side with the government, UN OCHA, other UN agencies, as well as women’s groups to highlight the distinct needs of women and girls, and to promote their role as meaningful participants in the eventual recovery, reconstruction, and development. Find out more about UN Women’s work in humanitarian action here.
  • The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) has established a special funding window that supports organizations which specifically address violence against women and girls in the context of humanitarian crises and disaster response. Under this window, it is currently investing US$2.5 million in five organizations. One of them is the Free Yezidi Foundation. In 2015, the foundation opened a women and children’s center in Dohuk in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The center, located inside a camp for Internally Displaced People (IDPs), provides targeted assistance, such as individual and group counselling and trauma therapy, to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and other female IDPs. Find out more.
  • In South Sudan, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) coordinates the response to the ongoing sexual violence that continues to take place there, including supporting a referral system that helps direct survivors to post-rape medical care and psychological first aid.
  • The World Food Programme (WFP) is addressing violence against women through prevention, empowerment and food assistance. WFP seeks to implement food assistance programmes that take the inter-linkages between hunger and gender-based violence into account, such as, for example: distance to and safety of programme sites. The objective is to ensure that programmes are safe and dignified, and to support an overall environment in which violence is reduced and its effects on survivors are mitigated.

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TAKE ACTION THIS ORANGE DAY!

  • Organize an Orange Charity 5K Run, a Zumba-thon or a charity soccer game. Partner with your local sports club and request pledges based on distance and time!
  • Volunteer your skills! Reach out to a local organization in your community that addresses the issue of violence against women and girls affected by crisis, or check out online opportunities offered by many organizations, such as the International Red Cross or catchafire.org, to support their work in the field.
  • Help us raise awareness about the specific needs of women and girls in humanitarian crises. Share our sample social media messages and write or tweet your country’s leader and ask them to commit to humanitarian action that includes women and girls!

USEFUL RESOURCES

  • This free online course by UN Women provides guidance on the fundamentals of applying gender equality in humanitarian programming and response, including: in camp management and coordination, education, food security, gender-based violence,
  • UNFPA has recently launched an updated version of its free online course on “Managing Gender-Based Violence Programmes in Emergencies.” The course targets new or emerging gender-based violence (GBV) specialists, humanitarian or development practitioners, and anyone who wants to increase their knowledge around GBV prevention and response in emergencies.sdg5a

Women’s Equality Day: Remembering the Suffrage, honouring the Heroines and Soldiering on!

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Women’s Equality Day commemorates 26th August 1920 when votes to women officially became part of the US constitution. This day marks a turning point in the history of the struggle for equal treatment of women and women’s rights.

In 1920, the day stood for the result of 72 years of campaigning by a huge civil rights movement for women. Prior to movements like these, even respected thinkers such as Rousseau and Kant believed that woman’s inferior status in society was completely logical and reasonable; women were ‘beautiful’ and ‘not fit for serious employment’.

Over the last century, great women have proved these views wrong as the world has witnessed just what women are capable of achieving, from the likes of Rosa Parks and Eleanor Roosevelt fighting for civil rights and equality to great scientists such as Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin and Jane Goodall and several versions of these powerful names resonates within the African diaspora and from country to country, women have been pivotal in both advocacy and implementation. The last century has shown more than ever what both women and men are capable of achieving, given the opportunity.

Today, women’s equality has grown to mean much more than just sharing the right to the vote. Organisations such as Equality Now and Womankind Worldwide continue to work to provide women across the globe with equal opportunities to education and employment, pushing against suppression and violence towards women and against the discrimination and stereotyping which still occur in every society.

So on Women’s Equality Day, let the men do the dishes and the women do the DIY, think about supporting women’s empowerment projects in developing countries, stop thinking about men and women as separate beings with separate roles and start thinking about treating people as equals.

Even though they make up at least half the population, women and girls have endured discrimination in most societies for thousands of years. In the past, women were treated as property of their husbands or fathers – they couldn’t own land, they couldn’t vote or go to school, and they could be beaten and abused. Over the last hundred years, much progress has been made to gain equal rights for women around the world, but many still live without the rights to which all people are entitled.

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Women’s Equality Day commemorates the certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting American women the right to vote in 1920. This occasion has been celebrated since 1973 by Presidential Proclamation after a bill introduced by Congresswoman Bella Abzug. Women’s Equality Day is an opportunity to celebrate the victories for equality that women have won, and to rededicate our commitment to eliminate discrimination against women.

The United Nations Charter was a major milestone for women’s rights because it was the first international agreement to affirm the equality between men and women. Since then, the UN has been an important advocate for the rights of women, adopting an international bill of rights for women in 1979 and sponsoring four global women’s conferences. The Millennium Development Goals, which all nations agreed to at the UN in 2000, sets tangible goals for nations to achieve by 2015, several of which deal directly with empowering women.

International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8 is another annual rallying point to build support for the rights of women everywhere.

FINAL BREAKDOWN

At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.”

The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York.

The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with Women’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities.

Joint Resolution of Congress, 1971
Designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the certification of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and

WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place.

International Day for the Remembrance of Slave Trade and its Abolition 2017

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Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

In the night of 22 to 23 August 1791, men and women, torn from Africa and sold into slavery, revolted against the slave system to obtain freedom and independence for Haiti, gained in 1804. The uprising was a turning point in human history, greatly impacting the establishment of universal human rights, for which we are all indebted.

 

“All of humanity is part of this story, in its transgressions and good deeds.”

Irina Bokova
UNESCO Director-General

 

The courage of these men and women has created obligations for us. UNESCO and NGO’s alike is marking International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition to pay tribute to all those who fought for freedom, and, in their name, to continue teaching about their story and the values therein. The success of this rebellion, led by the slaves themselves, is a deep source of inspiration today for the fight against all forms of servitude, racism, prejudice, racial discrimination and social injustice that are a legacy of slavery.

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The history of the slave trade and slavery created a storm of rage, cruelty and bitterness that has not yet abated. It is also a story of courage, freedom and pride in newfound freedom. All of humanity is part of this story, in its transgressions and good deeds. It would be a mistake and a crime to cover it up and forget. Through its project The Slave Route, UNESCO intends to find in this collective memory the strength to build a better world and to show the historical and moral connections that unite different peoples.

In this same frame of mind, the United Nations proclaimed the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024). UNESCO is contributing to it through its educational, cultural and scientific programmes so as to promote the contribution of people of African descent to building modern societies and ensuring dignity and equality for all human beings, without distinction.

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2017 WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY AND THE #SDGs: #NotATarget #WHD #WHD2017

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THE DECLARATORY VISION AND THE COMMITMENT TO END HUMANITARIAN CRISIS

As at today, over 125 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance around the world. The latest is Sierra Leone where thousands of people have been displaced, rendered homeless and hundreds dead as a result of natural disaster triggered by mudslide. As we observe a minute silence for the dead, we must also feel for the survivors of the crisis in the context of susceptibility, where existing challenges like poverty, unplanned urbanization, food insecurity and exclusion have been compounded by this unfortunate natural disaster.

The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance are changing every minute around the world and this is an evidence that time horizons and the drivers of humanitarian crises are rapidly changing and we need, more than ever, to reaffirm the vision to lead humanity out of the numerous humanitarian crises.

In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, humanity underpins the full range of human rights and fundamental freedoms that enable every man, woman and child to live free from fear and want. At the Millennium Summit, humanity was at the heart of the values agreed upon by world leaders to guide international relations in the 21st century. It is interesting to know that the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals is built on this vision for humanity. However, despite such affirmations of the centrality of humanity, the concern of hundreds of millions of people around today is whether their country or the international community can turn this vision into a reality for each of them.

Drawing from recent humanitarian crisis in Sierra Leone where there are many questions begging for answers, exposes the commitment to end humanitarian crisis.

It true in Sierra Leone that storms and torrential downpours are at its peak in August and September. Also in 2015, floods killed 10 people and left thousands homeless.

It is also true that mudslide triggered by torrential floods is typically considered a natural disaster, but the uprooting of trees for construction on the hillside which can make the soil unstable and more vulnerable to collapse is man-made.

The questions no is asking are; did the country’s officials warn the residents against unregulated and illegal construction on the overcrowded hillsides? Did the country’s meteorological agency issue a warning to hasten evacuations from danger zones before the torrential rainfall? Will anyone take responsibility for these oversights?

If we must achieve these affirmations of humanity for millions of people in danger of experiencing humanitarian crises resulting from natural disasters, conflicts and wars, we need to go beyond a declaratory vision. We need to become proactive rather than reactivate. We must shape our politics to restore democracy and more importantly, we need to steer our personal behaviour – to value human life first before any other thing.

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Ugbabe Adagboyi Damian

Twitter: @UgbabeD

Instagram: @UgbabeD