UN: Women's rights can aid recovery from war, disasters
Oct 20, 2010, 14:46 GMT
New York - Discrimination against women and girls makes them more vulnerable to the devastating effects of war and natural disasters, according to a new United Nations report released Wednesday.
Recovering from catastrophe is also hampered if one gender is denied the chance for equal opportunity.
'If we're serious about preventing conflicts, recovering from war and natural disaster and building lasting peace, we need to empower women, as well as the young and the elderly, to become agents of positive change,' said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, the head of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).
The State of World Population 2010 was published by UNFPA to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 which focused on women's rights in conflicts and spoke about ending sexual violence during wars.
In the past decade, men have also increasingly come out to talk about abuse, the report said.
Another key change noted was the increasingly dominant economic roles women were seizing in the stages of recovery from wars and disasters, creating both chances for better gender equality but also fueling domestic violence in some societies.
Other women went on to become rights activists after being forced into a more empowered role by a crisis, according to the report, which was based on field research in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liberia, Uganda, Timor-Leste, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Haiti.
'Governments need to seize opportunities ... to increase the chances that countries are not just rebuilt, but built back better and renewed, with women and men on equal footing,' the report stated.