Please scroll down to see all the exhibition photographs from Asia & Pacific.
One of several UNDEF-funded projects in Afghanistan is an initiative on human rights within the context of Islam. The initiative, implemented by Equal Access Afghanistan, includes a 100-episode radio drama, women’s and girls’ listening circles and human rights leadership training. The radio series raises issues such as forced marriage,
violence against women, and access to education, employment and health care, often using humour as a tool to encourage audiences.
UNDEF funds a project for more active civic engagement among the Bangladeshi poor, and better local government capacity for accountable and effective governance. The initiative is implemented by BRAC, some of whose beneficiaries are shown here with UNDEF Executive Head Roland Rich. It addresses both the demand and supply sides of governance, develops information-sharing practices, and targets local bureaucratic and political culture to make it more responsive towards the poor.
How to engage young people in one of the world's youngest democracies? In Bhutan, an UNDEF-funded initiative trains students to use film to tell stories of social and political change. It enables them to produce documentaries on topics ranging from poverty and climate change to the life of migrant workers. The training is part of a project implemented by the Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy to strengthen media and civic education as a means to consolidate democratic processes.
In the world’s largest democracy, elected women still face multiple obstacles to full and active participation. UNDEF funds an initiative in India’s largest state, Rajasthan, to increase women's participation in local electoral
processes. Implemented by the Hunger Project India, the initiative strengthens the leadership of women elected to Gram Panchayats, or village councils; advocates policies enabling more women to participate; and engages with media for positive coverage of elected women's work.
With its vast quantities of untapped mineral wealth, Mongolia could be one of the world’s fastest growing economies in the coming decade. Its governance will depend on the quality of civic engagement by the next eneration, and transparent and accountable
institutions. UNDEF backs a project to increase participation, build a more transparent election process, and strengthen civil society through training electoral observers. Training sessions for youth range from technicalities of the ballot box to an overview of the Constitution. Implemented by Women for Social Progress, the project uses creative methods such as role play, brainstorming, and teamwork
How to train future leaders in Myanmar at a time of incipient change? UNDEF funds an initiative to educate youth in leadership skills, civil society engagement and organizing self-help groups, with the overall objective of building communities and livelihoods. Working among the minority Shan, Kachin and Kayah groups, the project
also aims to reconcile differences between communities. In one case, six villages from the Shan and Kachin communities agreed to work together to rebuild the bridge that linked them all to the market. The project is implemented by Action Aid Myanmar.
In a traditionally patriarchal society like Nepal, the rights of widows are high on the agenda for democratic development. UNDEF supports a project to integrate the rights of widows in Nepal's forthcoming new Constitution, and to build leadership skills for widows to run for parliament in future elections. The project is implemented by the Nepalese Women for Human Rights Single Women Group, who led a protest
in Kathmandu against a government policy of providing monetary incentives -- equivalent to 700 dollars -- for widows to remarry.
How do women in rural Pakistan combine community participation with agricultural work? By holding meetings on democracy in the field. This session in the Thatta District of Sindh was part of an UNDEF-supported initiative to educate rural women about their basic constitutional rights, the role and value of democracy, and the power of their votes. The project is implemented by the local Aasthan Latif Welfare
Society in regions of Pakistan where women’s participation is very low and where their votes are often appropriated by the men in the family.
Papua New Guinea
One of the most rural and culturally diverse countries on Earth, Papua New Guinea faces particular challenges in political participation. An UNDEF-funded project train women politicians and candidates running for office in leadership skills, policy and budget formulation as well as women's advancement, while fostering cooperation with strategic partners. The initiative, implemented by the National Council of Women, covers both parliamentarians and local government councillors.
People’s Republic of China
The next few years will be critical to addressing environmental challenges in China. UNDEF funds a project to raise public awareness of the environment, protect clean environment as a human right, and promote policy efforts to establish an environmental public interest litigation system. It is implemented by the Environmental Legal Service Center, shown here collecting illegal waste from a paper plant in Hunan Province. The action led to the subsequent closure of the plant
by the local government. The project also works to provide legal aid to victims of environmental damages, especially vulnerable groups; promote the establishment of environmental tribunals; and advocate legislation on liability and compensation for