UN Gender Focus: Gender advocate, new Rohingya mothers and tackling gender discrimination

Listen /

Major Seitbebasto Pearl Block, recipient of the 2017 UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award. Photo: UNIC Pretoria

“We will not allow ourselves to be limited”:
Gender Advocate Award Winner

The vision of gender in peacekeeping will change “One woman at a time.  That’s the optimistic view of the recipient of the United Nation’s Military Gender Advocate of the Year award, Major Seit-be-basto Pearl Block from South Africa, who serves as an Information Operations Officer with the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUSCO.  Major Block’s outstanding work includes developing a mission-wide SMS campaign on conflict-related sexual violence reaching communities who would otherwise not be easily accessible.  She shared with Zeenat Abdool the significance of receiving this award, which was presented during the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference in Vancouver.

Rohingya refugee Mubina Khatun at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border with her newborn baby. ©UNICEF/UN0144602/Brown

UNICEF shines spotlight on the plight of new mothers in the Myanmar crisis

As the exodus of Rohingya Muslims continues from Myanmar to Bangladesh, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has highlighted the plight of some of the most vulnerable: heavily pregnant women, whose babies are born in desperate conditions.  One of them is 30-year-old Mubina Khatun.  Her daughter – who’s nine days old – was born at the border in Myanmar, while her family waited for a chance to cross the Naf River into Bangladesh, as UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac told Daniel Johnson.

Vitit Muntarbhorn, UN’s Independent Expert on violence and discrimination. UN News/Elizabeth Scaffidi.

“UN in unity” is preferred approach to tackling gender discrimination: UN Independent Expert

“No distinction, no discrimination, no violence”, words to live by from Vitit Muntarbhorn, the first-ever UN Independent Expert tasked to protect against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  Mr Muntarbhorn works with countries to make sure that human rights are protected.  During a recent visit to New York, Mr Muntarbhorn spoke to Liz Scaffidi about his work, including a visit to one country where transgender people were subjected to abuses.

Presenter:  Paulina Greer
Production Assistant: Fatima E. Mendez
Duration: 10’00″