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Women’s role in peace, recovery should be strengthened: UN

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United Nations:  As the world is grappling with rising violent extremism, women’s role in achieving peace and security should be enhanced, the leader of UN Women has said.

“Women need to be full participants at the peace tables, as negotiators and decision-makers in a much more inclusive process,” Xinhua news agency quoted Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, as saying at a press conference on Monday.

“Women have to be able to control where resources are needed, for example to overcome trauma and the scars of war, or directing practical recovery matters like restitution of property and fields,” said Mlambo-Ngcuka, who is also UN Under-Secretary-General.

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council will conduct a high-level review in commemoration of resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, which in 2000 recognised the role of gender equality and women’s leadership in international peace and security.

Prior to adoption of Security Council resolution 1325, 11 percent of peace agreements made a reference to women or gender. Since then, this percentage has increased to 27 percent.

Yet, this shows that almost three-quarters of peace agreements over the past 15 years made no mention of women, according to UN Women statistics.

The historic review is timely, coming at a moment when the world is grappling with rising violent extremism that places the subordination of women at the centre of the ideology and war tactics, according to UN Women.

“UN Women is calling for accelerated action to achieve women’s leadership in peace and security with stronger political direction, greatly enhanced financial support and well-targeted spending. This anniversary must mark that threshold moment where words become action,” Mlambo-Ngcuka said.

“Peace endures when women participate in peace talks, and states are more resilient in the face of conflict and extremism when gender equality is prioritised,” she said.

UN Women is the UN organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Since its creation in 2010, UN Women leads coordination on women, peace and security in the UN.

(IANS)

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It’s not what you wear, but the way you wear it

Men lack the enzyme which processes self-awareness, which is why we think we look good in Speedos

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A lot depends upon what we wear and how we carry it. Wikimedia Common
A lot depends upon what we wear and how we carry it. Wikimedia Common

Definition of being behind on the laundry: When you find yourself seriously considering wearing a Halloween costume to work.

I expected my wife to veto the idea, but she was okay with it, saying: “It’s not what you wear that counts, but whether you can carry it off.”

Mind you, this was a phone conversation and so she couldn’t see what I was wearing. In the event, going to work in a killer clown outfit was not as bad as it might have been, and the fake bloodstains on the costume proved advantageous. Fellow passengers quickly gave me a seat on the bus — actually, a whole block of seats.

Also Read: Get quirky with your shoes

The main (and possibly only) advantage of marriage for guys is that we are given full-time aides (“wives”) who generally prevent us going out looking too ridiculous. Men lack the enzyme which processes self-awareness, which is why we think we look good in Speedos.

Proof: In my true-crime file is a report about a criminal fugitive on the run in Japan who disguised himself in a girls’ sailor suit school uniform. Since he was a tall man with massive shoulders, he managed to evade detection for only minutes.

Definition of being behind on the laundry: When you find yourself seriously considering wearing a Halloween costume to work. Wikimedia Commons
Definition of being behind on the laundry: When you find yourself seriously considering wearing a Halloween costume to work. Wikimedia Commons

Another true story: Last year, a pair of bank robbers decided to dress as women to scope out a bank in Thomasville, Florida. The result was the opposite of what they expected: They became the centre of attention, of course.

It is really hard for men to dress convincingly as females as we lack the two main things that make a woman a woman — good taste, and the ability to walk with our feet clamped in instruments of torture known as “lady’s shoes”.

There’s one exception which proves my point. In November last year, the coach of the Thailand women’s kabaddi team was dismayed to find out that males were banned from attending women’s sports events in Iran, where his team was playing. So he wrapped his head in a female scarf and marched straight in.

Also Read: Why Do People Get Aggressive After Drinking?

He fooled nobody but correctly judged that the women would be too nice to throw him out. Smart guy.

Our UK correspondent shared a sad news item about a group of men who raised money for their local hospital by dressing as nurses and pushing a bed around town. The hospital refused to accept the cash as they said it was considered politically incorrect for men to dress as nurses these days.

It is really hard for men to dress convincingly as females as we lack the two main things that make a woman a woman. Wikimedia Commons
It is really hard for men to dress convincingly as females as we lack the two main things that make a woman a woman. Wikimedia Commons

This seems unfair, as I have seen marathon runners dressed as bananas, dinosaurs and Q-Tips without complaint from fruit sellers, palaeontologists or people who like to poke things in their ears.

But the political issues surrounding women’s clothes are complex. In 2011 someone organised a “slutwalk” in Canada. This involved scantily-clad females marching down the road with protest banners. When the Slutwalk arrived in Asia, the women were fully covered up and many of the marchers were male; so the event missed the point, a bit like the Animal Rights Barbecue that a friend of mine once tried to organise.

Also Read: 7 Unfailing Ways To Impress Your Lady Love & Swoon Her Off Her Feet

Anyway, like my wife says, it’s not what you wear but how you wear it. By the way, I look great in a Speedo. (IANS)

(Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send ideas and comments via his Facebook page)