Struggling, adapting and growing... my gender journey with UNDP

25 Sep 2017 by Shoko Noda, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Maldives

Every year on the International Women’s Day I publish an op-ed. This year I wrote “Reaching beyond the glass ceiling”, and shared my personal experiences in facing the glass ceilings and walls in school and at work in Japan. “This is an article our daughters should read and mine, growing up, certainly will”, read an email. Indeed, a lot of colleagues and friends reached me out to say how encouraging my piece was and that it resonated in their daily lives. While pleasantly surprised, I felt frustrated that many continue to face similar experiences every day both at home and at work. Are we getting there at all? While there is still a long way to go, I believe we have overcome many hurdles and made giant leaps towards our goal. And I am proud that I joined UNDP to ride this journey. After completing my first year in a Japanese company, I knew that as a woman my career progression would be limited in my own country, and revived my original dream of working for the development sector. I believed that an international organization would give me a better chance to explore my potential and dedicate myself to development work. … Read more

The 2030 Youth Force - One Year On

22 Sep 2017

It has been more than a year since the 2030 Youth Force was established by 19 young leaders from Asia and the Pacific, sparking a youth- and volunteer-led movement that would engage young people in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, also referred to as ‘Global Goals’). Since then, this group of young women and young men has been actively expanding the regional network, creating their own national chapters and raising awareness on how the SDGs relate to individuals and their communities, as well as how youth can take action to contribute to achieving the Global Goals. Today, the network consists of active chapters in seven countries in the region and has over 5000 members. Most of the chapters also have sub-national or provincial branches to bring the initiative into contexts more relevant to each community. 2030 Youth Force activities include organizing trainings and workshops for young people, attending and speaking at conferences and events with youth and partners from the UN and governments, and participating in global advocacy campaigns for the SDGs, such as the International Youth Day, which is celebrated every year on 12 August. The 2030 Youth Force chapters have been supporting each other at the … Read more

Investing in women's opportunities leads to more returns than one

18 Sep 2017 by Valerie Cliff, Deputy Regional Director for Asia & the Pacific and Director, Bangkok Regional Hub

Muzghan SadaatAfghanistan's Muzhgan Sadaat was 10 when she started playing volleyball. She's broken taboos in her society to excel in the sport and land herself a spot in her country's first-ever women's volleyball team. - Syed Omer Sadaat / UNDP Afghanistan
Women in Asia are, on average, 70% less likely to be in the labour force compared to their male counterparts, and accepting this status-quo stymies growth and human development, leading us along on a path of lost opportunities. … Read more

Not Just A School Drill

07 Sep 2017 by Christian Budi Usfinit, Technical Officer for Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation, UNDP Indonesia

When I heard about UNDP initiating a regional project on school tsunami preparedness my initial reaction was - why us? It’s been a while since our last work with schools through the Safer Communities through Disaster Risk Reduction (SC-DRR) project which was completed in 2012. Since then, we don’t typically work in schools, and so my interaction with the Ministry of Education and schools was limited at best. But as one of 18 countries under this project funded by the Government of Japan, we were guided by the regional office and tsunami experts in identifying criteria for school selection, preparedness, reviewing school plans and evacuation routes, and conducting school drills. … Read more

Shoring up Tuvalu's Climate Resilience

29 Aug 2017 by Yusuke Taishi

The community of Nui island, Tuvalu, waves goodbye to the Prime Minister and his delegation visiting on a 3-day mission following Cyclone Pam. When the Category 5 cyclone struck in March 2015, the storm surges destroyed homes, crops and livelihoods, displacing 45 percent of the nation’s people. Photo: Silke von Brockhausen/UNDP
Tuvaluan people have long waited for this moment. Even though Tuvalu's vulnerability to sea-level rise has been widely recognized on the global stage, proper protection has been almost non-existent. This UNDP-supported project is one of the first, large-scale initiatives that promises to deliver meaningful protection. … Read more