Impact and Expansion of the Journeys Regional Launch | Highlights of the Month

Newsletter — May, 2024


Representatives of the Government of Panama, embassies, United Nations agencies, and civil society organizations met for the launch of Journeys on April 5, 2024, in Panama City. Photo: UN Women

On April 5, 2024, representatives of the Government of Panama, embassies, United Nations agencies, and civil society organizations met in Panama City to launch Journeys. This event, attended by 65 people, marked a significant beginning for the initiative, generating extensive media coverage and a warm welcome from the Government of Panama.

"UN Women has the mandate to contribute to ensuring that women's and girls' human rights are protected in contexts of high precariousness and vulnerability, both those who are on the move and those who live in communities passing through." —María Noel Vaeza, Regional Director of UN Women for the Americas and the Caribbean.

María Noel Vaeza, Regional Director of UN Women for the Americas and the Caribbean, H.E. Hideo Fukushima, Japanese Ambassador to Panama, and H.E. Juana Herrera, Minister of Women of Panama, were some of the distinguished participants. Also present were H.E. María Inés Castillo, Minister of Social Development, representatives of the Ministry of Security and the Foreign Ministry, other national and international organizations, and diplomatic corps from Costa Rica, Spain, and Honduras.

"Japan recognizes that women's empowerment is the key to building resilient and sustainable societies. We have witnessed the transformative impact of initiatives focused on women and girls, and 'Journeys' embodies this spirit of transformation and progress towards lasting peace and sustainable development." —Hideo Fukushima, Japanese Ambassador to Panama

Through Journeys, UN Women joined the EMISUR Southern Zone Protection Roundtable in Costa Rica, led by UNHCR, in collaboration with national authorities, United Nations agencies, and civil society organizations in the border response. Photo: UNHCR Costa Rica.

Costa Rica: Partnerships and Protection in the Southern Zone

UN Women joined the EMISUR Protection Roundtable in Costa Rica, led by UNHCR. In collaboration with national authorities, UN agencies, and civil society organizations, Journeys reinforces protection and technical support with a gender perspective. Communication materials are currently being developed to provide life-saving services and information for women in transit, focused on the prevention and attention to gender-based violence.

Learn about the Preparation and Response Plan for people in transit for 2024 in Costa Rica here.

On April 29, Ambassador Jun Nakahara received Ms. Margarita Bueso, representative of UN Women in Honduras, and Mr. Sergio Bahr, project coordinator, to discuss new assistance from the Government of Japan in partnership with UN Women to support the empowerment of women in human mobility. Photo: Embassy of Japan in Honduras.

Honduras: Collaborating for High Impact

In Honduras, UN Women registers progress in expanding and implementing its programs. During a crucial meeting with local partners working on the borders, areas of intervention and current trends affecting approximately one million people were discussed. This meeting was essential to coordinate efforts and strengthen collaboration, face the most urgent challenges, and take advantage of opportunities to impact the communities positively.

To strengthen the reach of its initiatives, UN Women continues to consolidate the Journeys team in Honduras by incorporating Human Mobility Specialist and Administrative Support staff. These additions are crucial to optimize the response and efficiency of programs in the region.

In May, Journeys will begin activities at a significant launch event with allied organizations and women who lead response projects for women in transit.

Photo: UN Women

Panama: Mapping Key Actors in Darien

In Panama, UN Women meticulously mapped key actors with a particular focus on the southern Darien province. The Journeys team organized meetings with various entities to strengthen their programs and expand their influence. This effort included meetings with key ministries such as Women, Health, and Safety, and the Gender Office of the Foreign Ministry, which coordinates the expanded Mobility Group. This group comprises organizations working on human mobility and the protection of women's rights.

Strategic meetings were also held with civil society organizations and actors such as UNHCR, IOM, UNFPA, UNICEF, JICA, Casa Lat, HIAS, RET International, and CONAMUIP. These meetings allowed UN Women to identify and engage critical partners, ensuring effective strategies and actions targeted to the needs of women in the region.

At the regional level, the alliance between UN Women and the Government of Japan, through Journeys, was announced at the First Thematic Consultation of Cartagena+40. This alliance strengthens protection mechanisms and includes women's voices in human mobility, promoting international cooperation.


About UN Women

UN Women is the United Nations organization dedicated to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women globally. As a global advocate for women and girls, the organization was established to accelerate progress towards significantly improving in their living conditions and achieving gender equality.


From the programmatic area of Women, Peace, Security and Humanitarian Action, UN Women addresses conflicts and humanitarian crises with a focus on how they disproportionately affect women, implementing strategies so that women can play a key part in the solution to the challenges that conflicts and humanitarian crises present.

Learn more about UN Women's work in humanitarian action here.


Acerca de la Embajada de Japón

The Embassy of Japan in Panama, representing the diplomatic interests of Japan, works tirelessly to strengthen bilateral relations, promote sustainable development, and cooperation in various fields between both countries. This launch marks the beginning of a strategic collaboration and a renewed commitment towards gender equality and women's empowerment in human mobility crisis in Central America through the joint collaboration of UN Women with the Embassies of Japan in Costa Rica and Honduras.

Learn more about the Japanese Embassy in Panama here.


Press Contact

Miguel Trancozo
Analyst in Communications and Women, Peace, and Security UN Women,
Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean
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