Archive | April, 2008

Gender Equality

Liberian Minister of Gender H.E. Vabah Gayflor (left) and World YWCA General Secretary Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda take part in a UNICEF Radio discussion on gender equality in education.<br /><p>© UNICEF/2008/Kamimura

Liberian Minister of Gender H.E. Vabah Gayflor (left) and World YWCA General Secretary Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda take part in a UNICEF Radio discussion on gender equality in education.
© UNICEF/2008/Kamimura

By Gabrielle Galanek

NEW YORK, USA, 29 April 2008 – At the 52nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women last month, global leaders met to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing women and girls today. The theme this year was financing for gender equality and empowerment of women.

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Violence in Iraq disrupts lives and education

© UNICEF/NYHQ2003-0014/Shehzad Noorani</br>One girl stands up to read while others, seated at shared desks, follow along in their textbooks

© UNICEF/NYHQ2003-0014/Shehzad NooraniOne girl stands up to read while others, seated at shared desks, follow along in their textbooks

By Claire Hajaj

AMMAN, Jordan, 21 April 2008 – In recent weeks, families in Basra and Baghdad’s Sadr City have been plunged into one of the most violent episodes in Iraq’s recent history. As Iraq’s security forces mobilized against militia groups, widespread clashes and curfews kept families trapped indoors and led to shortages of water, food and medical supplies.

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Crushed childhoods, cruel choices in Gaza

© UNICEF/NYHQ2006-1275/David Berkwitz</br>Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan speaks at the High Level Symposium on Child Survival (MDG4) at UNICEF House

© UNICEF/NYHQ2006-1275/David BerkwitzHer Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan speaks at the High Level Symposium on Child Survival (MDG4) at UNICEF House

By Rania Al Abdullah

AMMAN, Jordan, 8 April 2008 – Ayman is a soft-spoken 14-year-old boy from Jabalia City, Gaza. His family is poor, as his father has been unemployed since March 2006. Ayman’s parents have already sold almost all their furniture to pay for food and schooling for their children. Recently, after collecting a governmental food handout, Ayman’s father had to sell the milk to get the money for the journey back home.

Ayman works very hard in school. He dreams of a future career. But with 47 students in his cramped classroom and double shifts the norm, his learning environment is very stressful. Home is no refuge: The recent incursion of Jabalia was 200 metres from where Ayman lives. The shooting and shelling so terrorized his five-year-old sister that she still wakes up screaming in the night.

Ayman’s experience is all too familiar in Gaza’s crowded, crippled neighbourhoods, where those who are least to blame for the troubles are the ones who are suffering most. Indeed, among Gaza’s 840,000 children, out of which 588,000 are refugees, Ayman has a luckier story than many.

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