For Nepal's Chepang people, one of the indigenous groups living in the Himalaya foothills, poverty and marginalization remain a daily reality. Chepang women are further marginalized by lower literacy rates, lack of access to health services, and scarce economic and political influence in a traditionally maledominated environment.
Asia and Pacific
Pakistan has a massive youth population which comprises 60 per cent of the country’s 190 million people. Many of them are increasingly active on social media. An UNDEF-funded project works uses this tool to engage youth on political and governance and local development issues.
For Nepal's Chepang people, an indigenous group living in the Himalaya foothills, poverty and marginalization remain a daily reality. Chepang women are further marginalized by lower literacy rates, lack of access to health services, and scarce economic and political influence in a traditionally male-dominated environment.
UNDEF-funded Khabar Lahariya is an award-winning rural weekly newspaper published in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in local languages and run by collective of 40 rural women journalists. In May 2014, it won Deutsche Welle's Global Media Forum Award.
An UNDEF Nepal project works to increase participation of women in local governance at the most basic level of the ward, through Ward Citizen Forums. It educates women in democratic rights and gender-responsive budgeting, making them more vocal in their demands in the decision-making process.
An UNDEF Cambodia project to strengthen ethics in journalism organized the country's first awards in this area in December 2013. Awards were distributed to 13 Cambodian media organizations -- TV stations Bayon, Apsara, Hang Meas, SEATV, TV 5, TV 3, TV 9 and CTN.
A graduate of an UNDEF-funded project for women’s empowerment in India has been elected Mayor of Ahmedabad, a city with a population of six million. Meenaxiben Patel, elected Mayor in April 2013, participated in a training and capacity-building programme funded by UNDEF and implemented by the New Delhi-based Centre for Social Research before being elected.
An UNDEF project in Bangladesh empowers indigenous people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts to access information on public services offered by local government institutions and departments. In this way, the initiative contributes to indigenous communities' participation in the democratic governance process.
With more than 60 per cent of the population aged under 30, Tajikistan is one of the world’s youngest countries. Yet youth participation, both political and social, is low and young people’s opinion undervalued. This is why UNDEF funds a project in Tajikistan to encourage young people to participate in political debates on youth policy issues.
An UNDEF-funded project in Iraq has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with six Governorate Councils as part of an effort to strengthen civil society participation in democratic processes and advance accountability in Government institutions.