Annual Meeting of the Membership of UN Women USA featuring a conversation with Shoko Ishikawa, Country Representative, UN Women Bangladesh
Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 7:00 PM EDT via Zoom
Join us for a conversation with Ms. Shoko Ishikawa, Country Representative of UN Women, Bangladesh to learn about UN Women’s strategies in Bangladesh and its work on gender equality. You will hear about the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women and girls and the crisis of female migrant workers who were forced to return home due to COVID-19 lockdown.
Hear from the national board and chapter leaders, learn about UN Women country programs, and network with members from around the country.
Celebrate the UN's 75th birthday, the 20th anniversary of UN Resolution 1325, and UN Women's 10th birthday!
Shoko Ishikawa has over 18 years of experience working with the United Nations advocating for gender equality and women’s rights. As the Country Representative for UN Women in Bangladesh, she has been steering the country program that addresses a wide range of issues from women’s economic empowerment, women’s participation in disaster prevention and response, violence against women to humanitarian response to the Rohingya refugee crisis. Ms. Ishikawa started her career in the UN as a Program Officer for UNIFEM’s Sub-regional office in Bangkok managing projects in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Thailand promoting women’s leadership and economic empowerment. She has since held various positions in UNIFEM and UN Women in its Headquarters and Regional Office for Asia-Pacific, including as Regional Program Manager for a program covering 7 countries in Southeast Asia supporting law reforms to advance gender equality, access to justice for women, and civil society activism for women’s rights. From 2013 to 2017 she served as Country Representative for UN Women in Viet Nam. Ms. Ishikawa holds a MA in International Development Studies from the George Washington University, and a Bachelor’s degree from Keio University in Japan.
Mary Luke, program moderator, is a board member of UN Women USA and Past President UN Women USA NY. Over her 25 year global career in women’s reproductive health, she planned and managed programs in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America.
Bangladesh is the most densely populated country in the world with a population of approximately 160 million. It is has made progress towards gender parity in primary and secondary education, and maternal mortality has declined by 66 per cent over last few decades. However, significant gaps remain, especially in relation to a high level of partner violence at home; laws on marriage, divorce, custody of children that discriminate against women, and limited economic opportunity for the majority of women employed in the informal economy as wage earners and unpaid family labor. The socio-economic impact of the coronavirus has exposed the long-standing discrimination that women and girls face at home and in the economy. The poorest are hit hardest, including migrant and domestic workers. Ms. Ishikawa will describe UN Women’s Bangladesh’s multiple strategies to address the needs of vulnerable women for health, economic and food security, and prevention of gender-based violence.