UNDEF debuted at the first Nairobi Film Festival with the story of Maria as she fights her way through the sleaze of elections to Parliament.
An UNDEF-funded project works to mobilize rural women and youth in the Walungu territory of South Kivu, where it is estimated that about 60 per cent of rural youth and 80 per cent of rural women are illiterate.
Allowing women to become political leaders is vital, not only to ensure a fully inclusive democracy, but so that women’s interests and concerns are represented in decision making. With the ongoing conflict in Somalia, the problem of female representation in government is not given a high priority.
Another UNDEF project with Arab NGO Network for Development recently launched in five countries in the Middle East and North Africa region – Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco - with the goal to enhance participation of civil society organizations into the sustainable development agenda.
With populations in both Malawi and Zambia consisting of over 50 per cent young people, there is an increasing push among governments, development partners and civil society to recognize the specific needs and vulnerabilities of young people as well as their immense capacity to contribute positively to development.
An UNDEF-funded project in Liberia works to empower rural women by providing speedy information and networking opportunities via radio and mobile technology. Implemented by the Liberia Women Media Action Committee, the radio-to-mobile service makes broadcasts of Liberia Women Democracy Radio, LWDR 91.1 FM, available via cellphone and on line.
Cameroon suffers from a shortage of communication and accountability between local elected leaders and their electorates in planning and implementation. This is why UNDEF funds a project to build participatory governance and including local communities in local decision making processes.
An UNDEF-funded project in Sierra Leone has empowered the National Council of Paramount Chiefs with a comprehensive five-year strategic plan to be responsive and accountable to the needs and rights of their people as well as contribute to sustained peace, security and development.
In the Longido District of northern Tanzania, UNDEF supports a community development project among the Maasai population with a special focus on women. It works to strengthen women’s role in decision-making and priority-setting to better reflect their needs.
Studies show that voters in Liberia, particularly rural women and youth, vote out of fear and ignorance because the majority are illiterate and have no access to civic or voter education. An UNDEF-funded project provides voter and civic education in rural areas as vital mechanisms to ensure that rural constituents understand their rights.