Tuesday, May 30, 2017

UNA-USA Hosting an Advocacy Training Webinar

UNA-USA Advocacy Training Webinar:

How to Make the Case for the UN!

Micah Spangler

Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs for the Better World Campaign 

Mel Boynton

UNA-USA National Advocacy Chair, Pomona Valley, CA 


Please join UNA-USA for a one-hour advocacy training webinar with Micah Spangler, Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs for UNA’s sister organization, the Better World Campaign; Mel Boynton, UNA-USA National Advocacy Chair; and special guests. Whether you plan on participating in UNA’s Lobby Day next month in DC or you’re simply interested in organizing your own in-district meeting, this webinar will detail how to plan and execute an effective dialogue with your Members of Congress and their staff. Over the course of the hour, our presenters will share tactics to help you influence your elected officials, provide helpful resources, and answer any and all questions you have! If you’re unable to attend this webinar, please join us for a repeat webinar on this same topic on Tues. June 6 at 4pm ET. Email membership@unausa.org with any questions. We hope you can join us!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Take action for the SDGs for a chance to win tickets to the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany on July 6th!

Take action for the SDGs for a chance to win tickets to the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany on July 6th!

Tell the SDG Action Campaign how you or someone you know are taking action to advance the Sustainable Development Goals in your community, region or city for a chance to be recognized for those efforts and win 2 tickets to the Global Citizen Festival Hamburg. On 6th July you will be invited to see Herbert Grönemeyer, Coldplay, The Chainsmokers, Ellie Golding and many more live on stage.

Participate on this Facebook post:

1) Share a photo or video as a comment & tell the SDG Action Campaign how you or someone you know is taking action on the Sustainable Development Goals in the below comments section of this Facebook post.

2) The Facebook community will choose their favorite best 17 stories of SDG Action by liking their favorite posts. Tell all your friends to like your entry!

3) On Friday, May 26th, the 17 entries with the most ‘likes’ will win a pair of tickets for the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, Germany on 6 July 2017.

4) Winners are responsible for any and all expenses, including, but not limited to: travel, accommodation, insurance, visa. All participants must abide by the full terms & conditions listed at http://bit.ly/2pSeJ63

Spread the word! and let all your friends participate for a chance to spread their word on what they are doing, inspire others to follow their example and to win the tickets.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Chatham House Sponsors Video Competition on Gender

#SheCanWeCan Video Competition
Are you aged between 18 and 25? Have you ever thought about what you can do to make the world a better place for women? Enter our video competition and you could join decision-makers from around the world in London to discuss gender equality at the 2017 Chatham House International Policy Forum on 10-11 July 2017.

What you need to do

Create your own video of no longer than one minute explaining what you would do and the impact you think it would have

Upload your video to YouTube by 26 May 2017 - only video submissions via YouTube will be eligible for consideration. However, given restricted access to YouTube in certain areas, format such as YouKu and QQvideo will also be accepted

Ensure your video is set to Public for viewing

Fill out this official entry form and send it to IPFvideocompetition@chathamhouse.org

Please note, only the contents of the video will be used in the selection process. No additional information will be considered by the judging panel.

What we are looking for

Your video should explore ideas or actions which would make the world a better place for women around the world. It should explain why it is important for all of us - regardless of gender - that the world becomes a better place for women and what you would do to make sure that it becomes that way.

Remember you have only one minute to grab attention, so try to focus on something meaningful such as a unique idea, experience, or recommendation.

Make sure we can hear and see you clearly, but don't spend time rephrasing the question or introducing yourself.

Please read the competition rules carefully and follow each one.

You can also look back to last year's competition winner.

Good luck and please share with friends, using the hashtag #SheCanWeCan

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Women, Girls, and Science: Contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Tuesday, May 17, 2017, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) UN Team Volunteer Representative Kristen Grennan recently joined a panel discussion at the Science, Technology and Innovation Forum at the UN in New York (read more about the forum here). The panel, Women, Girls, and Science: Contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, was hosted by the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) and the UN Major Group on Children and Youth (of which WAGGGS is a member and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 Focal Point) and featured an array of esteemed panelists with a range of experiences in engaging women and girls in science and technology:
  • Co-moderator and panel organizer: Walter Staveloz, Director International Relations, Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC)
  • Co-moderator: Kristen Grennan, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts UN Team
  • Opening remarks: Guy Labine, Chair Elect of the ASTC Board 
  • Panelist: Dr. Miyoko O. Watanabe, Deputy Executive Directorr, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST); Director, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, JST, Japan; Chair, Gender Summit 10 Asia-Pacific; Director-General of the Center for Science Communication. 
  • Panelist: Maria Bilal, Australian medical student; Australian Delegate to G(irls)20 (a Canadian-based globally active social enterprise that cultivates a new generation of female leaders through education, entrepreneurial training, leadership, and global experiences – with one ultimate goal, increasing female labor force participation around the world)
  • Panelist: Dorothy Bennett, Director of Creative Pedagogy, New York Hall of Science 
  • Panelist: Daria E. Cirnatiu, high school student and Finalist of the Canadian World Biotech Tour Stop (for her work on biotech to clean the St. Laurent River in Montreal). 
  • Closing Remarks: Gillian Thomas, Interim President/CEO of ASTC

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting, screen and indoor
Kristen Grennan, left, with panelist Maria Bilal, right.
WAGGGS Team Member, Kristen Grennan, had the opportunity to give a few remarks. She focused on WAGGGS' use of data collection via social media to capture girls' voices around the world, and then giving the data to girls to advocate at international conferences on behalf of girls worldwide. You can read more about this program, known as U-Report, here.

Full remarks:

Thank you so much for joining us today at this panel discussion on women in science and technology. My name is Kristen Grennan and I am a volunteer member of the World Association of Girl Guide and Girl Scouts, also known as “WAGGGS,” their United Nations Team here in New York. WAGGGS is the largest organization of women and girls worldwide, representing 146 countries and more than 10 million girls globally.

While we all know that SDG 5’s ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, women and girls also play a critical role in and component of achieving all SDGs as well. Science, technology and innovation can play a role in achieving gender equality and the realization of the SDGs, or they can widen the gap in inequality if they are not utilized effectively and do not acknowledge the current structural barriers that prevent women and girls from benefiting from these advancements as well as playing a role in developing new technologies.

For example, WAGGGS has partnered with UNICEF to poll women and girls about issues they face daily. One way this is done is through U-Reporter, where Twitter polls are disseminated through direct message to followers. WAGGGS is able to break down its results by age, gender, and location, and it has been working with leaders to show what girls’ priorities are.

For example, Girl Scouts from Ecuador brought poll data from 1,500 poll participants to Habitat III to show city mayors and national authorities that they need to consider girls and women when they develop their plans to implement the set of recommendations for safer cities

The data demonstrated that street harassment was a major concern for women and girls:

  • 60% of girls reported that they’ve experience harassment 
  • Girls were less likely to report harassment than boys with the most popular reason being ‘don’t think any action will be taken’ (40%). 
  • 52% of girls said they avoided public transport or places from fear of harassment. 
  • U-Reporters said governments should provide stronger punishment for those who commit harassment, educate citizens on why harassment is wrong and said governments should improve ways to report harassment. 

Not only did U-Reporter collect poll data, it also asked for personal responses:

  • "In addition to physical & sexual violence, things like street harassment are also significant issues but are 'brushed off' by society." - Girl Guide U-Reporter from Australia 
  • "Sexual harassment isn't taken seriously within my community. I am raising awareness of the problem and encouraging those who have experienced the problem to report it!" - Girl Guide U-Reporter from United Kingdom 

Just by using simple technology through social media, WAGGGS is able to poll thousands of people around the globe. It is able to collect the voices of girls through the disaggregated data, and empower girls to bring this data to the attention of world and community leaders.

It is important to note that the digital divide is an issue: only 33% of U-Reporters self-select as being female, demonstrating not only that it is incredibly important to disaggregate data when collecting data this way, but also that women and girls need greater access to these technologies and resources.

It’s an important message:

  • When empowered with data, girls and young women can be powerful advocates and actors in the monitoring and review processes of national SDG implementation 
  • And girls and young women need to be meaningfully engaged in data collection in order for digital solutions to be viable 
  • And not only that, but women and girls need to be engaged in understanding how they can be reached so as to improve access to digital tools to bridge the gendered digital divide 

Today we have an esteemed panel who will be talking about how we can further break down the digital divide and not only empower women and girls through science, technology, and innovation, but also to break down the systems and barriers that are preventing women and girls from being in those space.

How can we meet women and girls where they are? How can we bring the data and technology to them? How can we create an enabling environment that allows women and girls to invent and adapt technologies to address their needs, and not just those of the male creators who made them? And how can we use these advancements to ensure that the SDGs are in fact leaving no one behind.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

United Nations Global Youth Video Competition

The Competition

If you are between the ages of 18 and 30 we want to hear about the inspiring actions you are taking to combat climate change in a compelling and concise maximum three minute video. We would like you to showcase for us a project or campaign you are involved in which relates to one of this year's categories.

Category 1: Climate friendly and resilient cities

3.5 billion people live in cities today and their populations will continue to increase in the coming decades, especially in developing countries. Cities account for 60-80% of energy consumption and 75% of carbon emissions.

Developing sustainable cities and communities is one of the key components in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change. We are asking young people to submit videos that showcase activities which contribute to climate friendly and resilient cities.

We are looking for videos which showcase:

the implementation of climate friendly solutions/ideas about how to promote sustainability in urban areas/communities; including clean energy, clean transportation, community gardening, stepping up recycling and waste reduction, and other projects to reduce emissions;
building resilience to climate impacts such as heatwaves and floods, for example through tree planting, increasing green spaces and creating flood defenses;
actions to increase public awareness, and to advocate change at the policy level regarding the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to build resilience.

Category 2: Oceans and climate change

Oceans contain 97% of the planet’s water, employ over 200 million people and are the primary source of protein for 3 billion people. The degradation of oceans therefore present serious threats to many countries.

Oceans absorb much of the temperature rise and 30% of the carbon dioxide produced by humans, this is leading to higher levels of acidity. Sea levels are also on the rise and threaten many coastal communities. We are asking for videos on actions youth are taking to address challenges related to oceans and waterways.

We are looking for videos which showcase:
  • the restoration of wetlands and mangroves which protect against storm surges and saltwater intrusion;
  • the construction of dykes and other defenses against sea level rise;
  • the increase of scientific knowledge to improve ocean health;
  • activities which increase public awareness about the need to build resilience with regard to oceans and ways to reduce CO2 emissions so that oceans are better protected.

How to enter

Make an engaging maximum of three minute video, using whatever type of camera you have available, about your activities and submit in online to tvebiomovies.

The Prizes

A round trip to COP23 in Bonn, Germany this November 2017
Position as a youth reporter at COP23, where you will assist the UNFCCC Newsroom team with videos, articles and social media posts.

Start date: 10 May 2017
End date: 18 August 2017

The competition is co-organized by the UNFCCC and the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme, and implemented by Television for the Environment-tve.

View the full information here: http://unfccc.int/cooperation_and_support/education_and_outreach/youth/items/10291.php

Monday, May 8, 2017

UN Women Releases New Map on Women’s Representation in Politics

According to a press release from UN Women:

The number of women in executive government and in parliament worldwide has stagnated, with only marginal improvements since 2015, according to the data presented in the Women in Politics 2017 Map launched today by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women. The Map, which depicts global rankings for women in the executive and parliamentary branches of government as of 1 January 2017, shows slow progress towards gender equality in these areas at regional and national levels. The presentation took place at a joint IPU-UN Women press conference in New York, in the context of the ongoing session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61).

Women’s political empowerment and equal access to leadership positions at all levels are fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a more equal world. With limited growth in women’s representation, advancement of gender equality and the success of the SDGs are jeopardized.
Read the full press release and download the map here.