Purna Sen is UN Women’s Director of the Policy Division, and has been recently appointed as the UN Women Executive Coordinator and Spokesperson on Addressing Sexual Harassment and Other Forms of Discrimination. In an interview, she explains her new role and what UN Women is doing to address sexual harassment in the UN system.
“I believe in women having control over their own bodies, but I feel like my own body is getting a little out of control. I’m in my 30’s, and it feels like my body is a band. The older I get, different parts are pursuing solo careers,” joked Aparna Nancherla to a packed house of delegates, United Nations staff and civil society organizations at the event Comedy for Equality, held on 28 June on the sidelines of the High-level Conference on Counter-Terrorism in New York.
Birtukan Fekadu, 22, and her husband struggled to find a way to support themselves until Fekadu joined a women’s savings and credit cooperative. Through the cooperative, she learned about agriculture productivity, business skills, leadership and women’s rights, and received a small loan. Now she earns enough to feed her family, and no longer worries about money to send her son to school.
Marianela Galarza, from a rural community called Flor y Selva in Cuenca, Ecuador, believes that women must have sustainable income so that they are financially independent. The community is in one of the main cacao producing regions of Ecuador, but without a processing facility, the income is low, and women must leave their families to go to the city to work in the chocolate factories in near cities.