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December 24, 2014

Women stereotyped and under-represented in global film industry

The global film industry perpetuates discrimination against women, a UN-backed study on female characters in popular movies has found. Girls and women are over twice as likely as boys and men to be shown in sexually revealing clothes, partially or fully naked.

December 23, 2014

Timeline: Gender Equality, 2014 Year in Review

From the passing of one of the Arab region's most progressive constitutions enshrining women's rights to changes in legislation to provide long overdue redress to wartime survivors of sexual violence, this timeline is a selection of some of the gender equality achievements, milestones and noteworthy moments from around the world this year.

December 22, 2014

UN Security Council urged to act on alleged international crimes in Democratic People's Republic of Korea

The Security Council has been urged to take action to ensure that individuals and institutions in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) account for alleged international crimes they have committed. Crimes, identified in a report by the UN Human Rights Council's Commission of Inquiry, include extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, sexual violence, political violence, abductions and deliberate starvation.

Cooking Can Save Lives

The lack of clean cooking facilities and access to cooking fuel affects the health, safety, livelihoods and environment of a third of the world's population. This is especially the case in the world's most vulnerable settings, where people have no choice but to cook over open fires or cookstoves that generate a lot of indoor smoke. Exposure to these poisonous emissions rank as the world's fourth worst health risk according to the World Health Organisation, and the second worst for women and girls.

Germany Donates US$30 Million For Nutrition, Safety Nets and Girls' Education In Yemen

The German government has donated €24 million (US$30 million) to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Yemen to support nutrition, protective safety nets and girls' education.

Higher education programme helps refugees in Syria continue studies

Excelling at high school is no easy task for teenagers. But for Fatima, an 18-year-old Iraqi refugee student living in Syria, it has been harder than most.

December 21, 2014

Ending the abuse of domestic workers in Asia

Although there are more than 52 million domestic workers world-wide, including more than 21 million in Asia Pacific, only a small minority are covered by general labour laws. This lack of protection leaves them vulnerable to – sometimes terrible – abuse and exploitation. Journalist Karen Emmons has been working with the photographer Steve McCurry on a documentary project, "No one should work this way," to record and expose some of the abuses faced by Asian migrant domestic workers.

December 19, 2014

Ending the abuse of domestic workers in Asia

In a report issued on 19 December, the Human Rights Division of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has said there is reason to believe that at least 11 civilians were killed and several other serious rights abuses were committed during an attack by opposition forces on Bentiu, the capital of Unity state, in October this year. Investigations into the incident are ongoing but the report offers preliminary findings on allegations that the attack on Bentiu was accompanied by the deliberate targeting of civilians by armed elements and that women were abducted by opposition forces and subjected to conflict-related sexual violence.

Refugees: A Chance to Learn

Samia and Tomasa are close in age, but their prospects in life are decidedly different. Samia is a 10-year-old Afghan girl living in Karachi, Pakistan. After several years at a Koranic school there, she recently switched to a more formal school set up for Afghan refugees. While one of her sisters was married at an early age, Samia is intent on becoming a doctor. She sees that education will play an important role in her future, and family's as well. "I want to become educated," she says. "I have so many dreams."

Côte d'Ivoire's First Lady honoured for her humanitarian commitment

At a ceremony in Abidjan, UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé has honoured the First Lady of Côte d'Ivoire, Dominique Ouattara, for her humanitarian work and her commitment to improving access to paediatric treatment for children living with HIV.

November 14, 2014

In Liberia, mobile banking to help Ebola-affected women traders

Hard-hit by closed markets and travel restrictions, some 2,500 women cross-border traders will receive cash transfers via mobile technology from the Central Bank of Liberia with a grant from UN Women to help them save and expand their businesses.

UN welcomes Malaysia's court ruling to decriminalizes transgender women

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) today welcomed the recent judgment by the Court of Appeal of Malaysia that declared unconstitutional the criminalization of Muslim transgender women for cross-dressing.

UN mission continues investigation into alleged mass rape in North Darfur town

Allegations of the mass rape of 200 women and girls in a town in North Darfur continue raise concerns in the war-torn Sudanese region as the African Union-United Nations hybrid mission there presses ahead with its efforts "to shed further light" on the reports.

November 13, 2014

Family farming in Africa: lessons in closing the gender gap

Closing the gender gap is not only the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do for improved agriculture and food security for all. This was a key message among several discussed at the recent High Level Side Event on "Family farming interventions to close the gender gap: lessons from Africa".

Bollywood icon appointed as first-ever male UN Women Goodwill Ambassador

The United Nations body focused on gender equality and women's empowerment today announced that it has appointed its first male Goodwill Ambassador ever – Bollywood superstar, Farhan Akhtar – who will focus his efforts on South Asia.

Afghanistan: UN expert calls for sustainable measures to address violence against women

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, has called on the Government of Afghanistan and the international community to adopt sustainable measures to address the causes and consequences of gender-based violence in the country.

Nearly 30% of Young Latin American Women Have Been Teenage Mothers

Nearly 30 % of young women in Latin America become mothers before 20 years of age and the majority of them are socioeconomically underprivileged, which fosters the intergenerational reproduction of poverty, hinders women's autonomy and their life projects, and underscores the need for sex education and reproductive health services to be made a public policy priority, according to a new report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

November 04, 2014

Experts and Authorities Propose Policies for Family Farming to Reflect Rural Reality

A new generation of policies is needed to continue strengthening family farming in the region and respond to rural reality, particularly the situation of women and young people. Such policies must include the farming population, according to authorities, experts and other representatives who participated in an event that opened today at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in Santiago, Chile.

A Special Report - Ending Statelessness within 10 years

UNHCR has launched a global "I Belong" campaign aimed at ending within 10 years the problem of statelessness – a devastating legal limbo for the millions of people worldwide who lack any nationality and the human rights protections that go with it. At present, twenty-seven countries still prevent women from passing on their nationality to children on an equal basis as men.

Promoting women's economic empowerment: what works?

A review of rigorous evaluations of interventions that seek to empower women economically shows that the same class of interventions has significantly different outcomes depending on the client. Capital alone, as a small cash loan or grant, is not sufficient to grow women-owned subsistence-level firms.

Inheritance law reform, empowerment, and human capital accumulation : second-generation effects from India

This paper uses evidence from three Indian states, one of which amended inheritance legislation in 1994, to assess first- and second-generation effects of inheritance reform using a triple-difference strategy. Second-generation effects on education, time use, and health are larger and more significant than first-generation effects even controlling for mothers' endowments.

October 17, 2014

Getting a century of land: it takes (more than) a village

Ninety-nine years of secure access to good-quality land. To a rural women's group in Banizoumbou, Niger, this isn't just a fairy-tale. It represents the kind of happy ending you can have when everyone in and around a rural community – from the village chief and the landowning men to the landless women, from government ministries and local NGOs to international organizations and research institutes – communicate effectively, share information and work together.

E-learning course puts gender equality at the centre of agricultural planning

Rome - To strengthen the capacities of member countries in reducing gender inequalities in agriculture and increasing productivity, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, with support from the European Union, has produced a new e-learning course to help policy-makers and agricultural planners develop gender-responsive policies and programmes for food and nutrition security.

Online Discussion: Unpaid care in the post-2015 agenda

Wikigender is holding an online discussion on "Addressing unpaid care in the post-2015 agenda" from 20-24 October 2014. The four lead discussants are: Alison Aggarwal, Australian Human Rights Commission; Deepta Chopra and Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed, IDS; and Valeria Esquivel, UNRISD.

October 3, 2014

World Investment Forum - Session on Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality

This event is a moderated dialogue on the ways in which TNCs and foreign investment can play a role in supporting women's empowerment and gender equality in emerging and developing countries.

UNESCO eAtlas of Teachers

Universal primary education (UPE) will remain a distant dream for millions of children living in countries without enough teachers in classrooms. Current discussions of the post-2015 development agenda include a target to bolster the supply and training of teachers as part of efforts to ensure that every child is in school and learning. To help formulate and monitor this type of target, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) produces an annual set of projections concerning the supply of and demand for primary teachers at the global and national levels. According to the latest data, more than 27 million teachers will need to be recruited to ensure every child's right to a primary education by 2030.

October 2, 2014

Vigilant UNHCR staff reunite long-separated mother and daughters in Tanzania

Eleven years ago, newly widowed Congolese refugee Sifa Risasi put her two young daughters in the care of a neighbour and ran away from a camp in Tanzania after hearing that her in-laws wanted to marry her off to her husband's brother. Earlier this year, thanks to eagle-eyed UNHCR staff conducting a refugee verification exercise in Tanzania's Nyarugusu camp, she was finally reunited with her girls in an emotionally-charged and sensitive meeting organized by UNHCR and the International Rescue Committee, unaware that they had been living in the same camp for five years.

October 1, 2014

UNHCR: Nansen Winners 2014 – Butterflies

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres presented the Colombian women's rights group, Butterflies with New Wings Building a Future, with the prestigious Nansen Refugee Award in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday night, 29 September. The Nansen Refugee Award marks its 60th anniversary this year and is UNHCR's top humanitarian honour. The courageous Colombian women's rights network received the Award for its outstanding work to help victims of forced displacement and sexual abuse in Buenaventura, Colombia.

Eggs For Some But Not For All In Lesotho

Semonkong - That a man can enjoy eggs while his wife and daughters endure a poor diet is commonplace is some parts of Lesotho. "We have many families keeping chickens to lay eggs in this area," said Masekhohola Nkunyane, a nurse at St Leonard Clinic in Semonkong. "Eggs are a delicacy preserved only for men in some households. This is because of an old belief that, if eaten by women and girls, they can cause problems."

September 23, 2014

Understanding customs and people's lives: Gender and land in the Western Balkans

This FAO-World Bank film addresses the challenges to increasing female land ownership in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia). Although sound legal frameworks protecting women's rights to own property are in place throughout the region, longstanding customs and traditions continue to favor male property ownership. A joint FAO-World Bank project in the region produced gender-disaggregated data on land ownership for each country, indicating low levels of female ownership. Armed with their new data, country gender teams set about working to reverse the trend in pilot communities. the below FAO-WB videos.

September 20, 2014

Press release: UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson calls out to men and boys to join HeForShe campaign

New York, 20 September—In her new role as UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, British actor Emma Watson will call on men and boys worldwide to join the movement for gender equality today. The actor who built an immense global fan-base through her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter series is co-hosting a UN Women special event for the HeForShe campaign from the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The event aims to kick-start a global solidarity movement in support of women's rights and full equality between women and men.

September 17, 2014

World Conference on Indigenous Peoples

The first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples will be held on 22-23 September 2014. The meeting will be an opportunity to share perspectives and best practices on the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples, including pursuing the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Violence against Women and Girls: Lessons from South Asia

This report documents the dynamics of violence against women in South Asia across the life cycle, from early childhood to old age. It explores the different types of violence that women may face throughout their lives, as well as the associated perpetrators (male and female), risk and protective factors for both victims and perpetrators, and interventions to address violence across all life cycle stages.

September 16, 2014

UN General Assembly 69th Session

The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. Comprising all 193 Members of the United Nations, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter. This year's theme is "Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda".

Post-2015 development agenda takes centre stage as General Assembly's 69th session opens

16 September 2014 – The United Nations General Assembly opened its 69th annual session today with the body's new President declaring that it would be a historic opportunity to formulate a post-2015 development agenda that is transformative, brings tangible results in fighting poverty, and leads to improving lives of all people. "As I stand in this newly opened magnificent Assembly Hall, I cannot help but think that we are here at the dawn of a new day. Let us approach this pivotal 69th session with a sense of urgency, hope and greater cooperation," said the General Assembly President Sam Kahamba Kutesa in his opening address to the 193-Member States body.

September 15, 2014

Women Ambassadors Make History on the Security Council

There are currently a record 6 women sitting on the 15-nation Security Council, making history at this venerable United Nations institution and sending a strong message about women's empowerment.

FEATURE: Record number of women makes history at UN Security Council

15 September 2014 – The United Nations Security Council has long been a bastion for men selected to represent their countries on what many consider to be the Organization's most powerful body. But now, women ambassadors are filling over a third of the Council's 15 seats, making history at the venerable institution and sending out a strong message about women's empowerment.

UN Women at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly

United Nations, New York — The sixty-ninth session of the UN General Assembly represents a unique opportunity to position gender equality and women's empowerment at the heart of the global agenda as it occurs at the conjunction of major historic processes: the deliberations on the post-2015 development framework and Sustainable Development Goals, the 20-year review and appraisal of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the 29th special session on the follow-up to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the high-profile World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. Preparations are also underway for the 15th anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325, the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, as well as the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC to be held in Paris in 2015.

Engaging young people on democracy

One-fifth of the world's population today is made of young people between the ages of 15 and 25, and in many developing countries, the proportion is even higher. Youth have the highest stake today in ensuring their futures are sustainable. For this, their voices must be heard and taken into account at all decision-making fora.

Combating Tanzania's high child marriage rates

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – Happiness Rhobi, in the Mara Region of Tanzania, was 12 years old when her parents decided she was old enough to be married. They pulled her from school, planned to have her undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) and prepared to marry her off to a man of their choosing. But Happiness took a stand.

September 13, 2014

Nicaragua: Acting against violence

United Nations - The sad truth about violence against women is that it's not just the emotional and physical suffering that destroys lives. The ability of millions of women around the world to participate as equals in their countries is also diminished. In Nicaragua groups of determined women and men are now taking to the stage and acting against the violence.

Women parliamentary leaders address gender issues

Women Speakers represent less than 15 per cent of all Speakers of Parliament in the world, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). To tackle this inequality, senior women parliamentary leaders recently met in Geneva at the annual meeting of the IPU.

September 12, 2014

ILO at OATUU Women Conference in Kenyas

NAIROBI (ILO News) – The ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Africa, Aeneas Chapinga Chuma, will address the OATUU Women Conference in Nairobi, Kenya to discuss ways and means of organizing informal economy workers and promoting equality for women and men in the world of work.

September 11, 2014

ILO Director-General welcomes G20's "ambitious" commitments to promote decent jobs

MELBOURNE – The Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, has welcomed commitments made by the G20 Ministers to tackle the global jobs crisis, at the close of the Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting, (LEMM), in Melbourne, Australia...“Ministers also recognized the importance of gender equality and boosting women’s participation in the world of work. There was also genuine and universal concern about the youth employment crisis and the difficulties young women and men have in finding a decent job that reflects their capabilities and aspirations,” Mr Ryder added.

Pregnant women forced to flee escalating crisis in Iraq

DUHOK, Iraq – With hostilities nearing her village in northern Iraq, 30-year-old Khawla had little choice but to flee – while she was eight months pregnant. It was a day her family had been dreading. Attacks by the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) were drawing near. But with seven children and another on the way, 30-year-old Khawla and her husband were apprehensive about leaving their home, in the village of Solagh, for an uncertain future.

September 10, 2014

Model protocol: Ending impunity for femicide across Latin America

The UN Human Rights Office in collaboration with UN Women has developed a Model Protocol to guide investigations and prosecutions launched in the wake of gender-based murders of women in Latin America.

September 4, 2014

New global data expose acute prevalence of violence against children: UNICEF

NEW YORK, 4 September 2014 – The largest-ever compilation of data on violence against children shows the staggering extent of physical, sexual and emotional abuse -- and reveals the attitudes that perpetuate and justify violence, keeping it 'hidden in plain sight' in every country and community in the world.

August 25, 2014

"Island States are not homogeneous" – Adelsia Duarte, Cape Verde

With a population of just over half a million, Cape Verde is an archipelago of 10 islands that lies off the western coast of Africa. Due to its semi-arid climate, the island state confronts frequent water shortage and erosion problems. Adelsia de Jesus Almeida Duarte is a Professor for gender and local development at the Cape Verdean Institute for Social and Legal Sciences in Praia, the capital of Cape Verde. A passionate advocate for women’s rights, she has worked with human rights and development NGOs, a network for survivors of gender-based violence, and now also works on gender issues for the Cape Verdean Institute for Gender Equity and Equality.

HIV infections on rise among young gay men, other at-risk groups in Thailand – UN study

25 August 2014 – An estimated 70 per cent of new sexually transmitted infections cases are occurring among young people, especially among men who have sex with men, those involved in sex work and those who inject drugs in Thailand, where "social media, online dating websites and mobile application make it much easier for young people to meet others in order to engage in casual sex," says a new United Nations report.

August 22, 2014

Restoring dignity, ensuring 'safe space' for returning Nigerian schoolgirls critical – UN official

20 August 2014 – A United Nations official for Nigeria today said that restoring the dignity and integrity of returning schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in Chibok is instrumental in reintegrating the girls back into a “safe space” in society.

UN Secretary-General talks to the student from Mozambique Raquelina Langa

United Nations - Ban Ki-moon met the 10th grader in her home town Maputo in 2013; she drew his attention after asking him if "a girl like her could one day become Secretary-General of the UN". On 12 August Ban invited Raquelina to visit the United Nations to celebrate International Youth Day as his special guest for the day. Check out their interview at UN TV studios to Monica Villela Grayley from UN Radio Portuguese.

August 14, 2014

Lost in the chaos - LGBTI people in emergencies

Unaddressed protection needs, rigid systems and research gaps imperil lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in humanitarian emergencies. While the experiences of sexual and gender minorities during disasters and conflicts are drawing increased attention from some responders, structural barriers remain and experts are urging a rethink of policies and protocols that could fuel exclusion and harm.

A young girl dreams, despite adversity

After floods forced her family to abandon their home, a young girl in Paraguay holds on to the hope that education will guide her to a better life.

August 11, 2014

First UN female force commander takes reins in Cyprus

11 August 2014 – Major General Kristin Lund today officially assumed her duties as Force Commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus where the top UN official, Lisa Buttenheim, is also a woman. That UN operation is now the first in the world to have a dual female leadership.

August 08, 2014

Northern Iraq: UN voices concern about civilians' safety, need for humanitarian aid

OHCHR has voiced concern at "very disturbing reports" about the treatment of women. In specific, Ms. Shamdasani said they were told of women being sold as sex slaves, and being punished for not adhering to misinterpretations of Islamic laws.

Fuel Efficient Stove 'LOLA' Makes School Kitchens Smoke-Free in Bolivia

Cooking on stove tops with heavy exposure to smoke has always made preparing school meals uncomfortable and unhealthy for mothers in Chuquisaca schools. The smoke irritated their eyes and throats, and not only consumed a lot of firewood but also time.

Early marriage in Jordan shows no signs of abating: UNICEF

One third of all marriages in Jordan involve girls under the age of 18, a new UNICEF study has found. These newly released figures show that there has been no or little progress in reducing the number of early marriages.

Supporting the struggles of indigenous women everywhere

Indigenous women have long faced multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence, both as women and as indigenous peoples. In cities and villages and in their communities around the world these women struggle to overcome the myriad challenges they face daily.

UN Women Executive Director: Message for the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Today, 9 August, is the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. On behalf of UN Women, I join with people around the world in commending and commemorating the achievements and struggles of indigenous peoples.

HIV-Positive Mothers and Breastfeeding: Contribution of the IAEA

Infants who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their lives are less likely to suffer from diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition; have better, more resilient immune systems, and they are less prone to chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease during adulthood. Mothers benefit too. Those who breastfeed exclusively experience better mental health and less risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

August 06, 2014

Japan's stance on 'comfort women' issue violates victims' rights – UN official

6 August 2014 – The United Nations human rights chief today expressed profound regret that Japan has not provided effective redress to victims of wartime sexual slavery leading back to the end of the Second World War.

UN promotes 'effective' breastfeeding, aims to cut on breast-milk substitutes

4 August 2014 – The United Nations children's agency today said it is working with governments, the private sector and local communities to make it easier for women to breastfeed their infants, and to end false marketing of breast milk substitutes.

August 01, 2014

UNAIDS welcomes Uganda's Constitutional Court decision to annul anti-homosexuality law

GENEVA, 1 August 2014—UNAIDS welcomes the decision of Uganda's Constitutional Court to overturn the law that called for a 14-year jail term for a first conviction, and imprisonment for life for 'aggravated homosexuality'. Challenged by 10 petitioners including civil society, parliamentarians and academics, the law was annulled by the Court over a lack of quorum when the bill was passed.

July 30, 2014

On World Day against Trafficking in Persons, UN calls for action to eradicate scourge

30 July 2014 – Emphasizing that the practice of slavery still plagues modern society, the United Nations marked its first-ever World Day against Trafficking in Persons by calling on the international community to end impunity for perpetrators and help victims, especially women and children, who continue to be particularly vulnerable to the perfidious trade.

UN Women statement on the occasion of the first World Day against Trafficking in Persons

Today, on 30 July 2014, we commemorate the first World Day against Trafficking in Persons. Trafficking in persons is a grave human rights violation and a serious crime. It affects millions of people worldwide. The majority are women and girls.

UNODC marks first human trafficking day with call for countries to step up fight against this crime

30 July 2014 - Today the United Nations marked the first World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Human trafficking is a global problem and one of the world's most shameful crimes, affecting the lives of millions of people around the world. Traffickers deceive women, men and children from all corners of the world and force them into exploitative situations every day.

July 28, 2014

Giving hope to victims of human trafficking

Ahead of the first ever World Day against Trafficking in Persons (30 July), we hear the harrowing experiences of human trafficking survivors, as well as their stories of hope thanks to the work of grassroots organizations helping the victims of this despicable trade. Managed by UNODC, the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking supports on-the-ground humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims in a bid to help them start a new life free from slavery.

Women shepherds in Somaliland determined to change their odds

Water is a central concern year round in Somaliland, a self-declared autonomous state in northern Somalia. Over a third of households in Somaliland's urban areas do not have access to clean drinking water and the proportion is far higher in rural areas, the UN says.

July 23, 2014

New UN data shows need for urgent action to end female genital mutilation, child marriage

New data released today by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) shows the need for urgent action to end female genital mutilation and child marriage – two practices that affect millions of girls across the globe.

July 9, 2014

Woman Alone: The fight for survival by Syria's refugee women

There are nearly 150,000 Syrian refugee women who are single-handedly providing for their families. Read their extraordinary stories of loss and resilience.

Fish drying method changes lives in Burundi

An FAO project to equip small fishing communities with the tools and know-how to dry fish on simple raised racks instead of on the sand has changed lives along the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Burundi. Women had always dried catches of small sardine-like silver lake fish called ndagala on the ground, where they were easy pickings for animals and vulnerable to being trampled and contaminated. During the rainy season, many fish would be washed away or start to rot.

Jordan: High Commissioner Visits a Struggling Syrian Family

A new UNHCR report reveals that over 145,000 Syrian refugee families in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq are headed by women alone. UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres paid a visit to Awah, who is raising her children on her own in Amman.

July 8, 2014

UN Women announces Emma Watson as Goodwill Ambassador

UN Women, the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, today announced the appointment of British Actress, Emma Watson, as Goodwill Ambassador.

July 7, 2014

UN Millennium Goals 'scorecard' spotlights successes, gaps and path towards 'the future we want'

With the 2015 deadline for achieving the landmark Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) less that 550 days away, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today launched the final push towards the United Nations targets – many of which have been met or are within reach – and urged a strong, ambitious successor blueprint "that will leave no one behind."

Right to education still not a reality for many women and girls

Despite international consensus on the need for the elimination of discrimination against women in the field of education, an estimated 35 million girls are still unable to attain the education they require, according to the UN Human Rights chief.

Cameroon: Alarming levels of malnutrition among refugee children and women from C.A.R.

YAOUNDE/DAKAR - In Cameroon, up to 1 out of 3 refugee children from Central African Republic suffer from malnutrition, a recent United Nations assessment found.

Video: MDG 3 - Women's Empowerment

Women in Nepal are getting a chance to learn skills in areas such as traditional weaving. Now they are leaving the comfort of their homes to set up their own small businesses to lift themselves out of poverty. With the help of IFAD, the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development, attitudes are changing across the nation as to what women can and cannot do.

Video: MDG 5 - Maternal Health

Child marriage not only violates the human rights of girls, but also gravely threatens their lives, education, and future prospects. When girls are married, they are expected to begin childbearing while still children themselves, with pregnancy-related complications being a major cause of death for adolescent girls in the developing world. In Mozambique, a country with one of the highest rates of child marriage and maternal mortality in the world, efforts are underway to ensure all young girls enjoy their right to equality.

July 1, 2014

Nepal: Women Weavers Launch Businesses

United Nations - Women in Nepal are getting a chance to learn skills in areas such as traditional weaving. Now they are leaving the comfort of their homes to set up their own small businesses to lift themselves out of poverty. With the help of IFAD, the UN's International Fund for Agricultural Development, attitudes are changing across the nation as to what women can and cannot do.

India: Breaking Down Barriers To Girls' Education

United Nations - Young girls in India are struggling to get an education due to the lack of facilities and understanding about their monthly menstruation. Combined with a social stigma that has been handed down for generations, many girls feel too ashamed to go to school at all, with up to a quarter of schoolgirls in India leaving school when they reach puberty. The UN's Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, WSSCC is working with the Indian government to change the curriculum in India, and change the future of girls.

UN Women Executive Director statement on the situation in Iraq

Statement of Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women on the situation in Iraq, July 1 2014.

Text and voice messages help close Bangladesh health gap

Bangladesh is moving to boost maternal health services in poorly-served rural areas by targeting voice and text messages at expectant and pregnant mothers and their families. The aim is to educate and support mothers in places where health services are weak.

June 23, 2014

Marking International Widows' Day, Ban urges end to harmful practices, abuse against women

23 June 2014 – No woman should lose her status, livelihood or property when her husband dies, yet millions of widows in our world face persistent abuse, discrimination, disinheritance and destitution stressed United Nation Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today in his message for this year's International Widows' Day.

Rethinking Nepal's uterine prolapse treatment

The Nepal government's commitment to treat uterine prolapse, a debilitating life-long gynaecological condition, sparked an uptick in hysterectomies, but a new, less drastic low-cost intervention could spell hope for the thousands of Nepali women in need of treatment.

June 16, 2014

Ending female genital mutilation vital for healthy communities, stresses UN official

16 June 2014 – The United Nations human rights chief today called for concerted efforts to urgently address female genital mutilation, calling it a form of gender-based discrimination and violence that must be eradicated if women, girls and their communities are to thrive.

Feature: UN findings flag violence, abuse of older women accused of witchcraft

Did you know violence and abuse against elderly women, the worlds fastest growing demographic group, range from sexual violence, property grabbing, financial abuse and increasingly, extreme violence against older women accused of witchcraft? Throughout history, women described as witches have been persecuted, tortured and murdered.

June 13, 2014

Modern slavery: UN rights experts welcome new international agreement on forced labour

13 June 2014 – A group of United Nations independent experts on slavery, migrants, trafficking, sale and sexual exploitation of children, and internally displaced persons today welcomed this week's adoption of a legally binding international Protocol to tackle forced labour worldwide and end what they call 'modern slavery.'

Film: Sierra Leone's women behind bars

Twelve years after Sierra Leone's long civil war came to an end, its broken institutions and weak development indicators continue to impact on the lives of its people.

June 10, 2014

At global summit, UN envoy Angelina Jolie calls for end to sexual violence in conflict

10 June 2014 - Hollywood actress, activist and United Nations Special Envoy Angelina Jolie today called for concerted action to end once and for all the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war. "It is a myth that rape is an inevitable part of conflict," Ms. Jolie stated in her address to the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, which opened in London and brings together over 900 experts, non-governmental organizations, survivors, faith leaders and international organizations from around the globe. The three-day summit, co-chaired by Ms. Jolie and Foreign Secretary William Hague of the United Kingdom, aims to create momentum against sexual violence in conflict and practical action that impacts those on the ground.

Twenty-sixth Regular Session of the Human Rights Council Begins

The Human Rights Council will hold its twenty-sixth regular session from 10 to 27 June 2014 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Highlights of the three-week session will feature a wide range of issues including presentations by the commission of inquiry on Syria, by the Special Rapporteur on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and by the Independent Expert on the Central African Republic, and interactive discussions on the issue of safety of journalists and combatting child, early and forced marriages.

UN Women to push for concrete action at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

10 June 2014 London - British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie are co-chairing the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on 10-13 June 2014 at ExCel, an exhibition and conference centre in London, United Kingdom. It aims to bring together the international community to agree on actions to end the use of sexual violence in conflict, seek reparations for those affected, and to shatter the culture of impunity by bringing those who commit these crimes to justice. This is the largest gathering ever brought together on the issue, with over 1,200 attendees including 100 NGOs and international partners, 48 Foreign Ministers and over 600 government delegates from 113 countries.

Global summit urges end to sexual violence in conflict

In conflicts the world over, women's bodies become battlegrounds and rape becomes a weapon of war. This week, government ministers and representatives from the United Nations and other organizations are joining legal, military and judicial experts to generate momentum towards ending the use of rape and sexual violence in conflict.

June 09, 2014

Farmers' battle to cope with climate change could spark rural renewal

Shifting world agriculture to a "climate-smart" approach will not only help prevent future food security crises but holds the promise of sparking economic and agricultural renewal in rural areas where hunger and poverty are most prevalent, argues a new FAO publication.

Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

The British Foreign Secretary and Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, are co-chairing the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on 10-13 June 2014 at ExCel London.

Nigeria: UN envoy urges national actors to 'close ranks' to ensure release of schoolgirls

A United Nations envoy on 9 June renewed the world body's commitment to supporting ongoing efforts by the Nigerian Government to secure the safe release of the abducted schoolgirls from Chibok, and called for concerted efforts to tackle the insurgency in the north-east of the country.

Photo Gallery: "Vouchers for Work" in Bolivia

A severe drought has plagued the El Chaco region of Bolivia, withering the crops of more than 10,000 Guaraní families. Guaraní women, with the assistance of WFP, built a communal garden through WFP's 'Vouchers for Work' programme. In this photo gallery, the women are receiving their vouchers and ready to exchange them for nutritious food.

Ending violence against women and girls: 25 policies nominated for Future Policy Award 2014

World Future Council partners with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women to highlight solutions to a global human rights emergency.

June 05, 2014

Launch of PRECAMA study website

The PRECAMA study (Molecular Subtypes of Premenopausal Breast Cancer in Latin American Women) is a large, multicentre case-control study that aims to advance the prevention and management of breast cancer in countries in epidemiological transition in Latin America, through a better understanding of the molecular, pathological, and risk factor patterns. Women recruited from four Latin American countries (Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico) complete questionnaires on lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors and provide biological specimens that will be used for research purposes. The study is unique as it is the first to study specific genetic factors in the Latin American population that may be associated with specific subtypes of breast cancer as well as with specific lifestyle and dietary habits.

Eliminating forced, coercive and otherwise involuntary sterilization

Like any other contraceptive method, sterilization should only be provided with the full, free and informed consent of the individual. However, in some countries, people belonging to certain population groups, including people living with HIV, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, and transgender and intersex persons, continue to be sterilized without their full, free and informed consent.

Briefing paper: Fleeing Boko Haram's relentless terror

As the world's attention has focused on Boko Haram's kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok, other aspects of the Islamist group's terror have been largely overlooked. Not least among them, its brutal violence has caused significant forced displacement in the north-east of the country and beyond.

Beijing+20 In Focus: Women and the environment

As debate on climate responses persists, water levels rise and climate change is causing destruction around the world. Among the most affected are women, as they gather water, fish, or farm land affected by flooding. During pregnancy and motherhood, their health is more at risk. Meanwhile, their voices are often the last to be heard in environmental planning and management. They also have less access to land and productive resources.

May 19, 2014

Quality care at birth could save nearly 3 million children – UN-backed study

The majority of the almost 3 million children who die before they turn one month old could be saved if they received quality care around the time of birth, according to the findings released today in a study supported by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), which is urging additional attention and resources for this group of children.

May 14, 2014

UN's first female force commander talks peacekeeping and why she's not taking her Harley to Cyprus

This August, Major General Kristin Lund will become the first female commander of a United Nations peacekeeping force, taking the military helm in Cyprus where the top UN official, Lisa Buttenheim, is also a woman.

May 09, 2014

The colour purple, changing the future of Afghan mothers

Purple is the colour that midwifery students proudly wear in a small but revolutionary school in the busy Afghan capital, Kabul. In addition to a purple scarf, they have one other thing in common: They all come from one of the most remote and hard-to-reach areas of Afghanistan, Daikundi, a mountainous region dotted with isolated green valleys.

May 08, 2014

Caught in crisis, South Sudanese women learn to plan their families

Teresa Aruoth never knew she could use family planning to help space the births of her children. Married in her teenage years, she counts herself lucky to have remained healthy in a country where one in seven mothers dies in childbirth.

Nigeria abductions could deter parents from sending girls to school

A senior United Nations representative will be going to Nigeria to discuss how the UN can support the country's "internal challenges", as it struggles to find more than 230 abducted schoolgirls. The proposal came from the UN Secretary-General on Thursday during a phone call with Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan.

UN official to support Nigeria's struggle to find abducted schoolgirls

A senior United Nations representative will be going to Nigeria to discuss how the UN can support the country's "internal challenges", as it struggles to find more than 230 abducted schoolgirls. The proposal came from the UN Secretary-General on Thursday during a phone call with Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan.

May 07, 2014

Sexual minorities given right to vote in India's elections

Transgender people in India are for the first time recognized as voters in the elections currently taking place in what is known as the largest democracy in the world.

Concerns grow after Boko Haram video claims Nigerian schoolgirls to be sold

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says that it is deeply concerned about claims made in a video, believed to be by the leader of Boko Haram in Nigeria yesterday, concerning the fate of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls, abducted from a school in the northern state of Borno on April the 14th. The man in the video says that the girls will be sold in the market and married off, referring to them as slaves.

#BringBackOurGirls: A joint op-ed on the abduction of more than 200 school girls in Nigeria

A joint op-ed by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, and Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund.

Boko Haram Must Release Girls Abducted Three Weeks Ago

Statement attributable to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Leila Zerrougui

May 05, 2014

International Day of the Midwife

5 May is International Day of the Midwife. Established by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the Day has been celebrated since 1992. This year's theme is "Midwives changing the world one family at a time". This falls under an overarching theme from ICM for the past years that "The World Needs More Midwives than Ever".

Statement for the International Day of the Midwife

Joint statement by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA, The United Nations Population Fund and Frances Day-Stirk, President, International Confederation of Midwives

"Life Starts in the Hands of a Midwife"

Every two minutes, a woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth, according to UN estimates, adding up to 287,000 maternal deaths each year. Nearly 3 million newborns die each year as well. Most of these deaths are entirely preventable: Prenatal care and the presence of a skilled attendant at birth – services provided by midwives – could avert as many as 3.6 million deaths a year.

WHO joins partners in celebrating midwives and their critical role for mothers and newborn babies

WHO joins partners in celebrating the International Day of the Midwife 2014, observed every year on May 5th. The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) theme this year is "Midwives: changing the world one family at a time" accompanied by the overarching theme "The world needs midwives now more than ever". WHO takes this opportunity of this day to highlight the critical role that midwives have in ensuring the care and survival of newborn babies.

ECLAC Proposes Compacts for Equality and Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean must bet on social compacts that promote development with equality and environmental sustainability, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) says in the document Compacts for Equality: Towards a Sustainable Future, presented at its Thirty-fifth session, which began on 5 May in Lima.

ILO to publish new report on maternity and paternity at work

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is to launch a new report, Maternity and paternity at work: Law and practice across the world on Tuesday, 13 May.

May 02, 2014

Palestine adopts significant human rights treaties

From today, the State of Palestine is bound by international human rights standards, having brought into force five treaties, with two others coming into effect in July. The treaties include the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Women-led organization provides education in Afghanistan

An organization led by woman has been working for 20 years to provide education in Afghanistan. Working underground when the country was ruled by the Taliban, the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) has provided teacher training and supported education for girls and boys.

Stories of survivors portrayed by journalists in Georgia

Actors and playwrights use interactive verbatim theatre to perform real-life stories produced by journalists trained at a UN Women workshop on gender-sensitive reporting.

May 01, 2014

Finding More Than Food at the Markets in Liberia

Every Thursday, 39-year-old Jartu Kollie walks several kilometres to the market in Pleemu Town, near the Liberian capital Monrovia. But this vibrant local market is not only a place where she can sell her products; it is also where she goes to access the family planning services that have saved her life.

April 28, 2014

Parliamentarians Spotlight Rights of Women and Girls

UNITED NATIONS, New York – Hundreds of parliamentarians, dignitaries and policymakers from around the world gathered in Stockholm, Sweden, from 23 to 25 April to reaffirm their support for women's and adolescents' human rights, particularly their reproductive rights.

Press Release: "We Just Keep Silent": A report on gender-based violence amongst Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

UN Women has launched a new report on gender-based violence among Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq which reveals increased levels of intimate partner violence, high levels of sexual harassment by employers and taxi drivers, and a significant number of reports of sexual commercial transactions inside and outside camps. Almost all men also reported feeling afraid for the safety of their wives and daughters.

April 25, 2014

International Girls in ICT Day

The annual International Girls in ICT Day will take place on 24 April 2014. International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative that is aimed at creating a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the ICT field. It is observed annually on the 4th Thursday of April and serves to inspire girls and young women to explore their options and get involved in the ICT sector.

Midwives, emergency care key to reducing Cambodia's maternal deaths

Sixteen-year-old Hang Dèng travelled for an hour by boat to reach the health centre closest to her remote Cambodian village. She was in labour and suffering complications.

Ugandan Parliament adopts resolution to address needs of war-affected women

Years of advocacy by women's rights groups including those monitoring justice for women with disabilities in northern Uganda pays off.

Interview with Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende

The Government of Norway has always been among the top donors to UN Women's core funding, contributing USD 16.24 million in 2013; representing the organization's top donor in 2012, with a 14.83 million contribution; and leading by example with a USD 14.68 million contribution in 2011.

Preventing HIV/AIDS among women who use drugs in north eastern India

UNODC, together with UNAIDS, UNICEF and UNDP, has established a project to reduce the risk and impact of HIV/AIDS in the north east region of India, an ethnically diverse area bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh. Building on years of experience on similar efforts, this project aims to help local communities prevent the spread of HIV through unsafe injecting drug use, especially among vulnerable populations -of which women represent a large part.

Disability Inclusion: Translating Policy into Practice in Humanitarian Action

A new report from the Women's Refugee Commission, produced in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, highlights the challenges facing the estimated 6.7 million people with disabilities who are forcibly displaced around the world due to persecution, conflict and human rights violations, as well as advances in improving accessibility and inclusion in humanitarian programs.

April 23, 2014

International Girls in ICT Day

The annual International Girls in ICT Day will take place on 24 April 2014. International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative that is aimed at creating a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the ICT field. It is observed annually on the 4th Thursday of April and serves to inspire girls and young women to explore their options and get involved in the ICT sector.

Midwives, emergency care key to reducing Cambodia's maternal deaths

Sixteen-year-old Hang Dèng travelled for an hour by boat to reach the health centre closest to her remote Cambodian village. She was in labour and suffering complications.

Ugandan Parliament adopts resolution to address needs of war-affected women

Years of advocacy by women's rights groups including those monitoring justice for women with disabilities in northern Uganda pays off.

Interview with Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende

The Government of Norway has always been among the top donors to UN Women's core funding, contributing USD 16.24 million in 2013; representing the organization's top donor in 2012, with a 14.83 million contribution; and leading by example with a USD 14.68 million contribution in 2011.

Preventing HIV/AIDS among women who use drugs in north eastern India

UNODC, together with UNAIDS, UNICEF and UNDP, has established a project to reduce the risk and impact of HIV/AIDS in the north east region of India, an ethnically diverse area bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh. Building on years of experience on similar efforts, this project aims to help local communities prevent the spread of HIV through unsafe injecting drug use, especially among vulnerable populations -of which women represent a large part.

Disability Inclusion: Translating Policy into Practice in Humanitarian Action

A new report from the Women's Refugee Commission, produced in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, highlights the challenges facing the estimated 6.7 million people with disabilities who are forcibly displaced around the world due to persecution, conflict and human rights violations, as well as advances in improving accessibility and inclusion in humanitarian programs.

April 22, 2014

Teacher Helped by School Meals Inspires Girls in Malawi

Alice Kankhwala was one of the first students to receive WFP school meals in 1999. Fifteen years later, she is now a teacher, inspiring young girls to follow her example and complete their education too.

Senior UN official calls for women to remain engaged in Afghan political life

With the results still being counted from Afghanistan's recent presidential election, the top United Nations official in the country urged efforts to ensure that women remain meaningfully engaged in the political process and improve political life there.

April 17, 2014

Online Discussion: Care Farming

Care farming: an innovative approach for promoting women's economic empowerment, decent rural employment and social inclusion. What works in developing countries? Join the discussion on FAO.

Joint statement on the abduction of school girls in Borno State, Nigeria

Joint statement by UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Hawa Bangura, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, and UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui.

Women in Papua plant roots of independence

Papua, Indonesia's easternmost province is one of the most remote and least developed corners on the planet.

Analysis: Can the world really end poverty by 2030?

The slogan "make poverty history" has been used by development pundits and pop star philanthropists for years. Now, in a bid to turn words into deeds, it is being discussed as a universal global target to be met within a generation.

April 16, 2014

Eritrean seeking safe-passage to Sudan was led into a nightmare

After 20 members of her religious congregation were imprisoned in Eritrea, Semret knew she had to flee to the safety of Sudan. The 25-year-old woman left on foot with a smuggler recommended by a friend – straight into a tragedy. The Pentecostal church is among many denominations suffering severe restrictions. Anyone practising outside the four approved religions of Orthodox Christianity, Sunni Islam, Catholicism and Lutheranism can face prison, threats and harassment.

Memorial in New York to mark 20th commemoration of Rwandan Genocide

Candle lighting and a minute of silence is being held at UN Headquarters in New York on Wednesday for the 20th commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide. In 1994, Hutu extremists slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in a period of 100 days.

UN calls for immediate release of abducted school girls in north-eastern Nigeria

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) have condemned the abduction of some 100 school girls from their hostel in north-eastern Nigeria yesterday and called for their immediate release.

UN rights expert urges United Kingdom to step up response to violence against women

Violence against women remains a pervasive challenge in the United Kingdom and a more comprehensive and targeted response is needed to address the scourge, an independent United Nations human rights expert said today after a two-week mission to the country.

Female car-washers in South Sudan break gender stereotypes

Women in South Sudan are helping break gender stereotypes in the work place by operating a car wash facility at a UN base in Juba. The South Sudan Women empowerment Network (SSWEN) was awarded the contract by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

April 15, 2014

UN rapporteur waits to hear about execution of Iranian woman

The execution of an Iranian woman has reportedly been postponed following the intervention of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran.

Women paying price of Latin America drug wars

As growing numbers of women languish in Latin American jails on drug-trafficking charges, their role in organized crime is under the spotlight - as is the prison system that incarcerates them, and the patriarchal society that appears to be failing them.

April 11, 2014

UN concerned at broad application of death penalty in Brunei's revised penal code

The United Nations human rights office today voiced deep concern about the revised penal code in Brunei Darussalam which stipulates the death penalty for numerous offences, including robbery, adultery, and insult or defamation of the Prophet Mohammed, and introduces stoning to death as the specific method of execution for crimes of a sexual nature...He added that a number of UN studies have also revealed that women are more likely to be sentenced to death by stoning, due to deeply entrenched discrimination and stereotyping against them, including among law enforcement and judicial officers.

Making markets safe for women vendors in Papua New Guinea

Port Moresby's market vendors are, by and large, women – around 80 per cent. Many of them are extremely poor, depend on the selling of their vegetables for daily subsistence, and have experienced multiple forms of violence in public and private spaces, including sexual violence. Single mothers and widows face particular risks, as they are often stigmatized, and lack economic and social opportunities to reach their potential.

Sexual violence continues in the DRC, but some progress achieved

There is still a long way to go in the fight against impunity for sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) although some progress has been made, according to the Secretary-General's Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

April 08, 2014

South Sudanese women and children dying on way to Ethiopia

Women and children fleeing conflict in South Sudan are dying on their way to refugee camps in Ethiopia, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

April 07, 2014

Commission on Population and Development

From 7 to 11 April 2014, the 47th session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) will take place at UN Headquarters in New York. This year's session will focus on assessing the progress made in implementing the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).

April 04, 2014

On International Day, UN hails vital role of women in achieving world free of landmines

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for greater measures to involve more women at higher levels in mine action, stressing their vital role in advancing the vision of a world free of landmines.

Women have critical food security role in sustainable development agenda

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) unveiled today the results of their joint work to develop targets and indicators for a new global development paradigm for sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition.

Syrian refugees in Lebanon face harsh working conditions

BEIRUT (ILO News) – Almost a third of Syrian refugees in Lebanon's labour market are unemployed, said the International Labour Organization in a study entitled "Assessment of the Impact of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon and their Employment Profile"...Female Syrian refugees were particularly vulnerable to unemployment. Over two thirds of women looking for work in Lebanon were unable to find a job. Only two out of 10 working refugees were female, earning about 40 per cent less on average than their male counterparts.

April 02, 2014

UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres: latest IPCC Findings Point to Extreme Climate Risk, Plethora of Opportunities for Climate Action

The UN's climate chief Christiana Figueres said the latest government-approved science more clearly than ever points to the extreme risks posed by climate change, as well as the many opportunities to put the world on a safer and more resilient path.

Women have critical food security role in sustainable development agenda

Women have a critical role to play in ensuring food security in the post-2015 agenda, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). FAO cites the fight against hunger as critical part of the Sustainable Development Goals that will follow the Millennium Development Goals after 2015.

'Go and vote,' UN official urges Afghans ahead of upcoming elections

A senior United Nations official today urged Afghans to use this Saturday's presidential and provincial council elections to shape the future of the country through peaceful, democratic means...Mr. Kubiš has also urged the country's women to maintain and build on the momentum behind a recent petition – signed by more than 250,000 women and girls – calling for peace and a cease-fire.

Unemployment among Syrian refugees in Lebanon reaches 33%

A third of Syrian refugees living in host communities in Lebanon are unemployed, according to a study by the International Labour Organization (ILO)...Female Syrian refugees were particularly vulnerable to unemployment with over two thirds of women unable to find a job.

April 01, 2014

Growing up in war - the DRC's child soldiers

A girl sergeant's testimony: Eshe Makemba*, 17, rose to the rank of sergeant in the FDLR, but enjoyed no such freedom of movement. Being "discriminated" against for being a Congolese national by the FDLR's Rwandan officers prompted her desertion, she says. "I could not speak out as they told me Congolese were no good." After seven years as a soldier for the armed group she ran for two days through the forest evading a search party, which she says would have executed her had she been caught.

Millions of women suffer from unsafe abortions every year

At least 22 million unsafe abortions take place worldwide every year, according to the Wold Health Organization (WHO). Unsafe abortions occur when a pregnancy is terminated either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment that does not conform to minimal medical standards.

Feature: Drawing down – the end of UN Peace Operations in Sierra Leone

Our two white UN vehicles are carefully moving down the dusty and bumpy road between Kenema and Koindu in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone. We pass dozens of burnt, abandoned ruins of what were once sturdy brick and stone homes, some with hundreds of bullet holes in their walls - eerie remnants of Sierra Leone's brutal civil war that started in this very spot. About 1,200 of the former warlord Charles Taylor's rebels launched their devastating campaign here, leading to years of fighting that killed tens of thousands and displaced more than 2 million people (about a third of the population), disrupting nearly every national institution.

UN expert heads to UK to investigate violence against women

Domestic and sexual violence, sexual bullying and harassment, forced and early marriages, and female genital mutilation – all these issues and more will be on the docket as the United Nations expert tasked with monitoring violence against women launched her first mission in the United Kingdom.

New partnership between the Secretariat of the ACP Group of States and UN Women to enhance gender equality and women's empowerment

A new partnership between the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and UN Women was signed today by ACP Secretary-General Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Men's network promotes gender equality in Mozambique

It is increasingly being recognized that for societies to make progress women need to be treated as equal partners with men. And so, as the United Nations works on the Sustainable Development Goals that will replace the Millennium Development Goals after 2015, the role of women is being emphasized time and again.

Saturday night in Viet Nam, migrant women market workers take the floor

During a three-day visit to Viet Nam, UN Women's Executive Director visited the Long Bien night market to spotlight the daily challenges faced by migrant women workers.

March 31, 2014

Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos Statement to the Press on Syria

I would just like to make a very brief statement following my briefing to the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Syria and what has been happening since Resolution 2139 was adopted a month ago...I told the members of the Council today that the situation for millions of desperate people has not improved. In fact conflict and violence have intensified over the past four weeks, with many people killed and injured. Since 22 February some 300 cases of sexual violence have been recorded in Damascus and Rural Damascus alone.

Security Council Authorizes Year-long Mandate Extension for United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo - resolution 2147 (2014)

The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) until 31 March 2015...Noting that more than a year had passed since hundreds of M23 combatants had fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo for Rwanda, the resolution encouraged the Congolese Government to ensure the permanent demobilization of those fighters, paying due attention to the children and women among them.

Women drive out landmines in South Sudan

After decades of civil war, South Sudan gained independence and became the world's newest country. But legacies of the conflict live on. Landmines and unexploded bombs still contaminate large tracts of land, threatening the lives and livelihoods of South Sudanese civilians. This film tells the story of Nancy Sunday, the first Minewolf operator in South Sudan. A Minewolf is an armoured vehicle that tills land in order to crush or detonate landmines that may be buried beneath the surface. With support from UNMAS, the NGO Norwegian People's Aid deploys Minewolves across South Sudan.

Women in Mine Action: Clearing landmines and explosives

UNMAS programme staff is almost 50% female. What motivates these women? What makes this work so fulfilling? In their own voices UNMAS officers tell what they seek to achieve and how mine action work brings them satisfaction. Officers from Afghanistan to Somalia describe what they do to save lives and help re-establish stability.

UN to investigate violence against women in the UK

The United Nations is to investigate violence against women in the United Kingdom for the first time. The UN Special Rapporteur, Rashida Manjoo is due to spend two week in the country studying domestic and sexual violence.

Step by step

"For 18 years, I used to take my pocket money from my dad", says Hanan. Now 35, she has always nurtured great expectations, planning to become a career woman with no need for pocket money.

UN Women Chief goes back to school in Viet Nam

High School students in Hanoi were thrilled today to welcome an eminent teacher back to the classroom. As part of a three-day visit to Viet Nam, UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka visited the historic Chu Van An High School to deliver an important lesson on gender-based violence.

Press statement by UN Women Executive Director in Tokyo

Press statement by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, at the Nippon Press Club, Tokyo, Japan, 28 March 2014.

March 28, 2014

Analysis: Challenges of bringing more women into the Afghan justice sector

Better gender representation in the justice sector in Afghanistan will empower more women to take action against the men who abuse them. This is the reasoning of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), which released a report last week documenting the gains - and considerable challenges that still lie ahead - in bringing more women into key legal positions in the country.

In Kabul, UN peacekeeping chief voices solidarity with Afghans ahead of crucial polls

The United Nations peacekeeping chief expressed his solidarity with the Afghan people on the eve of next week's elections and reaffirmed the world body's support for the country through the polls and beyond...Mr. Ladsous made particular reference to women in the upcoming elections, noting the important role they will play – as candidates, election workers and voters.

DR Congo: Security Council extends UN mission, intervention force for one year

The Security Council has extended for one year the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) – along with its Intervention Brigade – noting the need for the Mission to strengthen its support so the Congolese Government can address security challenges in line with the aims of a regional peace and security accord.

March 27, 2014

UN rights council approves inquiry into alleged abuses in Sri Lanka war

The United Nations Human Rights Council on 27 March voted to open an international inquiry into alleged war crimes committed by both the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the final stages of a decades-long conflict that ended in 2009.

China's Peng Liyuan named UNESCO envoy for advancing education of women, girls

Peng Liyuan, an internationally renowned musician and First Lady of China, has been named by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a Special Envoy for the Advancement of Girls' and Women's Education.

Women: Victims of conflict or agents of change?

Women are the biggest victims in natural disasters and conflicts, yet they are also the most resourceful. Thus, aid agencies should do more to develop women as agents for change and development.

March 26, 2014

"Time bomb" in South Sudan camp

A United Nations camp for displaced people in South Sudan has been described as a "time bomb" due to the dire humanitarian situation there. Around 200,000 people who have fled their homes across the country, as a result of ongoing political violence, are living in the Malakal camp. Ninety per cent are women and children.

Gender equality "benefits all people"

Equality between men and women benefits all people according to a US-based global alliance of men's groups which is committed to what it calls "transforming the gender relationship." The alliance, MenEngage, was recently at the United Nations to attend the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Remarks by Lakshmi Puri at a CSW58 side event on Trafficking in human beings

Remarks by UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri at a CSW58 side event on Trafficking in human beings – A severe form of violence against women and girls and a flagrant violation of human rights, New York, 10 March 2014.

Thriathlete crosses a continent to raise awareness on human trafficking

Since the Blue Heart campaign was launched in Mexico in April 2010, UNODC has been working in the prevention of human trafficking and to raise awareness among those most vulnerable to this crime. UNODC has joined forces with iEmpathize to support Mexican-Canadian ultra-marathoner Norma Bastidas, a survivor of human trafficking and sexual abuse, in her latest undertaking: to cover more than 5,000 kilometers between Cancun, Mexico, and Washington, DC, through a mix of running, cycling and swimming and thus give more visibility to the issue.

Levelling the Field: Improving Opportunities for Women Farmers in Africa

Although almost half of the agricultural workers in sub-Saharan Africa are women, productivity on their farms is significantly lower per hectare compared to men, according to a new report jointly published by the World Bank Group and the ONE Campaign.

March 25, 2014

11th Annual Dubai International Humanitarian Aid Development Conference and Exhibition

The Dubai International Humanitarian Aid Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) serves as a platform for officials, aid workers, and regional and international experts to gather and take part in workshops and panel debates focused on International humanitarian aid. This year's DIHAD will focus on the impact of humanitarian crises on women.

UNHCR and WFP seeks US$371 million for inter-agency operations to help South Sudan refugees

Amid the worsening crisis in South Sudan, the UN refugee agency and the World Food Programme this week appealed on behalf of partners and themselves for US$371 million in urgently needed support for the thousands of South Sudanese refugees arriving in neighbouring countries...The majority are women, children and older people. With some 708,900 people displaced inside South Sudan and 3.7 million at high risk of food insecurity, the potential for further cross-border movement is high.

UN Women Executive Director to highlight women's economic empowerment and ending violence against women and girls during her first official visit to the Asia-Pacific region

Starting on 25 March, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will begin her first official visit to the Asia-Pacific region as United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. The agenda of the trip to Japan and Viet Nam will include meetings with high-ranking government officials, as well as representatives from the private sector, civil society and media.

No accountability for sexual crimes in DR Congo

Armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo are not being held accountable for sexual crimes according to the UN Human Rights chief. Ms Navi Pillay said, sexual violence is used as a weapon of war, to intimidate local communities and to punish civilians for real or suspected collaboration with rival forces.

The Care Imperative

An op-ed by Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona, and UN Women Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Programme, John Hendra. - See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2014/3/the-care-imperative#sthash.2qOPU699.dpuf

Married at 13, a girl speaks out against early marriage

Married when she was only 13, an adolescent in Yemen speaks out against the practice of early marriage and its harmful effects on girls.

WFP Executive Director Addresses the DIHAD Conference In Dubai

The Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) Ertharin Cousin delivered a keynote speech today at the 11th Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) on women in disasters.

Air pollution now linked to 1 in 8 deaths worldwide, UN health agency reports

25 March 2014 – Air pollution – both indoor and outdoor – killed some 7 million people across the globe in 2012, making it the world's largest single environmental health risk, according to new figures released today by the UN World Health Organization (WHO)..."Cleaning up the air we breathe prevents noncommunicable diseases as well as reduces disease risks among women and vulnerable groups, including children and the elderly," Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General Family, Women and Children's Health said. "Poor women and children pay a heavy price from indoor air pollution since they spend more time at home breathing in smoke and soot from leaky coal and wood cook stoves."

Sexual violence victims in DRC need "justice and reparation"

Helping victims gain justice and reparation remains a key element to combat sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to senior UN officials. Discussions at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva underlined how prevalent sexual and gender-based violence remains in the DRC, with sexual violence being used as a weapon of war.

March 24, 2014

Annual UN population prize awarded to Italian priest, US non-governmental group

An Italian Catholic priest, who is also a medical doctor, and a non-profit organization in the United States specializing in maternal health are this year's winners of a United Nations award that recognizes outstanding achievement in the fields of population and health.

Central African Republic: sexual violence is constant threat, UN envoy warns

Despite some improvement in the security situation of the Central African Republic (CAR) – especially in the capital, Bangui – conditions remain grave for civilians and sexual violence continues to be used by all parties during attacks, particularly against women and children, a United Nations envoy discovered during a recent trip to the country.

Statement by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on the outcome of the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women

UN Women welcomes the outcome of the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The agreement represents a milestone towards a transformative global development agenda that puts the empowerment of women and girls at its centre. Member States have stressed that while the Millennium Development Goals have advanced progress in many areas, they remain unfinished business as long as gender inequality persists.

Senior UN official hails outcome of forum devoted to empowering women and girls

The head of the United Nations office focusing on the world's women has welcomed the outcome of a two-week meeting in New York that she says represents a "milestone" towards a transformative global development agenda that puts the empowerment of women and girls at its centre.

Shetler from the storm

"Palestine refugee women's lives have always been very difficult. We lead lives of continuous struggle, very different from the normal life enjoyed by others," says Maysoun Za'ttoutt. Those same difficulties and challenges have formed and shaped Maysoun, making her into the kind of woman who can provide an anchor for her family no matter the storm, who can be a rock for her community in the most trying of circumstances.

Central African Republic: The world's forgotten conflict and its impact on children

Raped, shot, abused, traumatised: just a few of the things happening to a generation of innocent children in the Central African Republic. War Child research released today finds that atrocities have been committed against children as young as three years old, and 40% of the most vulnerable children have lost their fathers in the bloodshed...Almost 10% of woman and girls interviewed before the latest violence had been raped. 95% of girls and 75% of boys said they needed support to cope with psychological trauma.

This year at DIHAD: Women and aid

DUBAI, 24 March 2014 (IRIN) - You would be hard pressed to find an aid worker that thought sexual violence was not an important issue. But ask them to define what it is, and you may leave them stumped. Is it sexual violence, gender-based violence (GBV) or violence against women and girls? And what about male victims? How do you address GBV in patriarchal societies? And how do you balance collecting evidence-based data with responding to victims and/or preventing incidents in the first place?

March 21, 2014

First UN humanitarian aid convoy from Turkey sets out for Syria

A United Nations convoy carrying vital humanitarian supplies for hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need in northern Syria is leaving today from Turkey, the first time in the three years of the conflict that aid is being transported via this route...Among other consequences, the ongoing conflict has resulted in a breakdown of health services, shortage of qualified personnel and the disruption of reproductive health supplies. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is calling for urgent support to protect the lives of an estimated 200,000 pregnant women in the country who are facing malnutrition, lack of medical care and unsafe deliveries.

Rural women farmers in Uganda need more access to land and inputs

Rural women in Uganda produce the bulk of the country's food yet they still don't have access to land and inputs needed for agriculture. That's the view of a Ugandan woman farmer, attending this year's session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

UN event spotlights women of South Sudan as partners for peace

The women of South Sudan played an instrumental role in the country's liberation struggle and will continue to make sure their voices ring loud and clear as the world's youngest nation seeks to restore peace and stability amid the recent conflict, women leaders stressed today at the United Nations in New York.

Strategic moment for women in setting of future development goals

Activists from around the world have been at the United Nations in New York over the past two weeks to advocate for the inclusion of gender issues in new development goals. The new poverty targets will replace the Millennium Development Goals the deadline for which is the end of 2015. Non-governmental organisations are pushing for a specific goal on gender equality and human rights and have been busy in the corridors of the UN building lobbying world governments for change.

Joint action to avoid food crisis in the Central African Republic

The World Bank, FAO and the government of the Central African Republic sign $8 million agreement to prevent food insecurity worsening...In the longer term, the project will focus on empowering over 370 female farmer associations, representing more than 11 000 women.

Collecting and carrying water, burdensome reality for women

Around the world women and girls often trek long distances to get water to meet their families' basic needs. The time demands are enormous. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, women and girls spend 40 billion hours a year collecting water, equivalent to a year's worth of labour by the entire workforce in France.

On International Day, UN calls for boosting resources for world's forests

United Nations officials called on countries to scale up efforts and resources devoted to forests, which provide countless economic and social benefits, as well as being essential to combating climate change...An event held at UN Headquarters in New York brought together thought leaders, Forest Heroes and filmmakers to spotlight the role of women as agents of change for forests and sustainable development.

Video: Thirsty Girl

A girl's quest for water goes unrequited. This video was created at the 2014 Nepal OneMinutesJr. workshop on "Child-friendly Cities."

Video: Central African Republic — An adolescent girl pleads for an end to the fighting

As conflict rages on in the Central African Republic, the situation for children is dire. An adolescent girl making her way in a mostly deserted village pleads for an end to the fighting -- and a return to school.

Protecting unborn babies from alcohol-related harm

Alcohol and drug abuse during pregnancy can harm babies. It can also cause miscarriage, preterm birth, and stillbirth. If an unborn baby is exposed to alcohol it can be affected for life. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is the umbrella term for impairments of the growth and development of the brain and the central nervous system caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Aboriginal women in Australia have shown how communities can take action to protect their women and babies from alcohol-related harm in pregnancy.

Key Milestones in the Evolution of International Climate Policy

Friday, 21 March 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This is a moment to celebrate the far-sightedness of the Convention and all of the investment in its implementation that so many thousands of people have made over the last two decades. To mark the anniversary, the secretariat has prepared an interesting, informative and fun timeline. Relive great moments in the history of the Convention in stories, photos and video.

World Water Day 2014: Water and Energy

Water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent. Energy generation and transmission requires utilization of water resources, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources. Conversely, about 8% of the global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers.

March 20, 2014

UN officials urge Security Council to allow for effective post-2015 peacebuilding tools

Inclusivity, institution-building and international/regional support are the three key ingredients to long-lasting post-conflict peace, United Nations officials said this morning as they called on the Security Council to help shape a more effective UN peacebuilding architecture.

World must 'sit up and pay attention' to situation in Central African Republic – UN rights chief

Despite the recent halt in large-scale violence that took place in crisis-riven Central African Republic (CAR) in December and January, people are still being killed every day, the United Nations human rights chief warned, deploring the "dire" humanitarian situation facing the country and calling on the international community to dramatically step up vital aid efforts.

Interrupting the Silence: Addressing Congo's Sexual Violence Crisis within the Great Lakes Regional Peace Process

Sexual and gender-based violence, or SGBV, has been a defining feature of a complex armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that has endured for decades that is rooted in economic, political, land, and ethnic competition. Amid fighting fueled by competition for natural resources and regional power dynamics, sexual and gender-based violence is a tool of war, committed often in tandem with other violations of person and place, including land grabs, illicit minerals trading, and forced displacement. SGBV is thus impossible to understand or address separately from the conflict as a whole.

Video: War on Women

The film explores sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with gripping testimonies from both survivors and perpetrators and insight from analysts and civil society activists. Impunity helps drive the horrific levels of sexual violence in DRC: it is more than a "weapon of war", and is not confined to the battlefield.

March 19, 2014

Nicaragua: Entrepreneuse and Successful

Martha Mautute is a 36 year old single woman from the town of Jalapa, Nueva Segovia. Martha has been an active member of the smallholder farmer's organization "Nuevo Horizonte" (New Horizons) for the past 5 years. While speaking with her she adamantly expressed how "blessed" and happy she is because of the opportunity she has to now share new knowledge with other women of her community.

Statement at Security Council briefing on South Sudan

Statement by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the Security Council Briefing on South Sudan, 18 March 2014, New York.

Untied Nations Mission in South Sudan to Suspend Current Activities, Re-focus Priorities, Peacekeeping Chief Tells Security Council

Amid extreme violence and a national political crisis now entering its fourth month, the raison d'être of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) no longer applied, the head of peacekeeping operations told the Security Council today, saying it would suspend its current activities and re-focus on five priority areas.

Explaining gender differentials in agricultural production in Nigeria

This paper uses data from the General Household Survey Panel 2010/11 to analyze differences in agricultural productivity across male and female plot managers in Nigeria. The analysis utilizes the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition method, which allows for decomposing the unconditional gender gap into (i) the portion caused by observable differences in the factors of production (endowment effect) and (ii) the unexplained portion caused by differences in returns to the same observed factors of production (structural effect).

Interview with Osami Takeyama, Mayor of Sakai City, as it joins the UN Women Safe Cities Global Initiative

On 19 March, 2014, Osami Takeyama, Mayor of Sakai, announced the city's commitment to end violence against women and girls in public spaces. This brings to 17 the number of cities that have joined UN Women's Safe Cities Global Initiative. In an interview, Mayor Takeyama outlines Sakai's existing policies, plans under the initiative and his hopes to end violence against women and girls.

Forgotten Crisis In CAR Rapidly Deteriorating Into A Neglected Tragedy, WFP Head Warns

United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin today witnessed alarming food insecurity and malnutrition in Central African Republic (CAR) amid a deadly combination of violence and insufficient funding for the humanitarian response.

Women's participation in upcoming elections in Afghanistan essential: UN envoy

Women's participation in the upcoming elections in Afghanistan is essential to ensure that the process is inclusive and credible. That's what the Secretary-General's Deputy Representative in the country, Nicholas Haysom said in the capital Kabul after meeting with representatives of civil society on Wednesday. Afghanistan is scheduled to hold Presidential and Provincial elections on 5 April.

March 18, 2014

Indigenous women bid to influence post-2015 development agenda

Indigenous women in Asia should be given a key role in deciding the future path of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, according to a rights group in the region. Indigenous women from around the world recently gathered at the annual Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York, to advocate for their needs.

In the Sudan, a transformed school transforms children – and their community

Thirteen-year-old Malaz remembers a time when her school was dirty and lacked latrines. Now it has transformed into a welcoming environment where learning is both quality and fun.

March 18, 2014

Indigenous women bid to influence post-2015 development agenda

Indigenous women in Asia should be given a key role in deciding the future path of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, according to a rights group in the region. Indigenous women from around the world recently gathered at the annual Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York, to advocate for their needs.

In the Sudan, a transformed school transforms children – and their community

Thirteen-year-old Malaz remembers a time when her school was dirty and lacked latrines. Now it has transformed into a welcoming environment where learning is both quality and fun.

March 17, 2014

How equal rights boost food security

Eliminating the gender gap in agriculture is widely seen as crucial to alleviating poverty and improving food security, and the effects of inequality are likely to be further compounded by climate change.

North Korea rejects report on human rights violations

North Korea has rejected as mere fabrication, the report by the Independent Commission of Inquiry set up to examine human rights violations in the country... The Commission said extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual offences were part of policies established at the highest level of the state.

At Dubai forum, UNESCO chief calls for scaling up efforts to educate girls worldwide

The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today called on Governments, the private sector and civil society to scale up efforts to provide quality education for girls, stressing the transformative benefits this has for all of society.

"Investing in gender equality: moving from rhetoric to reality" – Deputy Executive Director John Hendra

Remarks by UN Women Deputy Executive Director Policy and Programme John Hendra at a side event on "What women get: promoting transparency and increasing accountability in financing for gender equality in the post-2015 agenda", New York, 14 March 2014.

Iran urged to increase age of criminal responsibility for children

Iran has been urged by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility for young people. Currently, girls aged nine and boys aged 15 can be held criminally responsible.

March 14, 2014

Guatemala: The Launch of "Mi Comidita" to Prevent Childhood Malnutrition

The Government of Canada has donated $2 million for the manufacturing of "Mi Comidita" a fortified food supplement and project of the Government of Guatemala. The pilot project has been launched in the department of Totonicapán with the aim of assisting 3,000 pregnant and nursing mothers, and their children as part of Guatemala's Zero Hunger Pact coordinated by SESAN.

"Justice for All" in the Caribbean to combat HIV/AIDS

The Caribbean is the first region in the world expected to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. Edward Greene, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for AIDS in the Caribbean, highlighted this success during his last visit to UN Headquarters.

Jordan: Syria's refugees meet Mama Munira

Over the past three years, Syria's civil war has left more then 130,000 dead and forced millions to flee to neighbouring countries like Jordan. In the midst of this catastrophe, one extraordinary woman remains focused on her work: changing lives for the better.

March 13, 2014

Equal opportunities promote gender equality in Jamaican sports

Few people would argue that athletics and especially sprinting is the sport that Jamaica is most famous for worldwide. The Caribbean country's track and field athletes- both men and women- have won many Olympic medals over the years It's not by accident, according to Michael Fennel, President of the Jamaica Olympic Association and member of the International Olympic Committee's Women and Sport Commission.

Children more at risk of sexual exploitation than ever before

Children are more at risk of being sexually exploited or sold than ever before according to the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. In a presentation to the UN Human Rights Council, Najat Maalla M'jid, said that "millions of girls and boys worldwide are victims of sexual exploitation", even though the issue has recently gained "increased visibility".

Sport powerful social tool to shape young minds and attitudes

Sport is a powerful social tool and can help shape the minds and attitudes of young people towards their relationships in life. That's according to Michael Fennel, President of the Jamaica Olympic Association and Member of the International Olympic Committee's Women and Sport Commission. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is expected to address the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on its work regarding the promotion of gender equality and social development through sport.

Why are adult women missing? Son preference and maternal survival in India

This paper is the first to show that excess mortality among adult women can be partly explained by strong preference for male children, the same cultural norm widely known to cause excess mortality before birth or at young ages. Using pooled individual-level data for India, the paper compares the age structure and anemia status of women by the sex of their first-born and uncovers several new findings.

Child trafficking, exploitation on the rise, warns UN expert

In an increasingly interconnected world, children are more at risk that ever of being sexually exploited or sold, a United Nations independent expert warned today, calling for decisive steps at the global level to stop crimes such as child prostitution and trafficking.

UN Women Arab States office launches Arabic version of the UN Women "One Woman" song

On Saturday 8 March 2014, UN Women hosted an event at the Cairo Opera House to celebrate 2014 International Women's Day and the opening of its Arab States and North Africa regional office. The event brought together leaders from the League of Arab States (LAS), the Egyptian Government, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), gender advocates, policymakers, donors, civil society organizations, UN Women partners and media.

Bringing health care to Afghanistan's vulnerable women

Improving women's access to medical care is helping reverse troubling trends in Afghanistan, one of the world's most dangerous places to bear children.

March 12, 2014

Close the Gap: How to eliminate violence against women beyond 2015

At least one in three women worldwide will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, often perpetrated by an intimate partner. Violence against women and girls is a fundamental human rights issue and a central challenge to development, democracy and peace.

Countries urged to look at gender equality ahead of 2015 MDG deadline

The international community is being asked to look at what can be done to improve gender equality and women's rights ahead of the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals. The MDGs are a set of internationally agreed targets to halve world poverty and include specific targets on equality and the empowerment of women as well as reducing child mortality.

Voicing alarm at recent spike, UN human rights experts urge Iran to halt executions

A group of independent United Nations human rights experts today expressed alarm at the ongoing spike in executions in Iran, including the recent hanging of a former child bride amid questionable circumstances. At least 176 persons have reportedly been hanged in Iran this year alone, as part of what appears to be "a steadily increasing rate" since the summer of 2013, the experts stated in a news release. Most of these executions were carried out for drug-related offenses, in violation of international legal provisions limiting the permissibility of capital punishment to the 'most serious' crimes.

March 11, 2014

Making Investments In A Healthier Future For Malawi

One in two childrenh risk being stunted in central Malawi. To address this alarming problem of undernutrition, WFP has launched an innovative Prevention of Stunting project to improve the nutritional well-being of young children and their mothers.

Improving conditions for women workers has a domino effect

The world's clothes are mostly made by female workers. Typically, they are young, with limited education, and live in developing countries. It has been well documented that working conditions across garment industries are in much need of improvement. Yet these jobs are important. In their world, paid factory work can provide a better alternative to workers than other options available, such as unpaid family agriculture or domestic work. But is this work a catalyst for female empowerment or a better life for women?

Women in parliament reaches global record high

The number of women in national parliaments around the world has reached a record high of almost 22 per cent. The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) says the level of women's representation is particularly encouraging in the Americas, Nordic countries in Europe and in Africa.

Data Visualization: International Women's Day & Post-2015

This data visualization takes "the Post-2015 pulse" during International Women's Day and CSW.

March 10, 2014

Ending gender inequality is underlined as Commission on Status of Women begins annual session

The 2015 deadline for meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) to eradicate extreme poverty and improve people's lives is around the corner. These goals include the provision of universal primary education, promoting gender equality and improving maternal health.

Too Much Pain: The Voices of Refugee Women

The six-part series tells the stories of refugee women who have undergone FGM and are engaged to end this practice. These women explain their experiences of flight, asylum and integration in the EU.

WFP And Partners Launch Nutrition Programme For Syrian Refugees In Jordan

AMMAN – Together with partners Save the Children Jordan and Medair, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has launched a nutrition programme for the treatment and prevention of moderate acute malnutrition among Syrian refugee women and children living in camps and communities in Jordan.

"Transform the world" by empowering girls

The world can be transformed if girls are empowered according to the head of the UN Population Agency, UNFPA. The agency has teamed up with the World Bank to promote regional peace, security and sustainable development in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Press Conference: Where are the women in politics?

The proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments is one of the key indicators measuring progress on gender equality in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As the MDGs draw to an end, the IPU-UN Women Global Map provides a snapshot on where women stand in politics globally.

Times Square lights up for UN Women and women's rights

On 8 March 2014, International Women's Day, a series of UN Women messages lit up the Nasdaq screen in Times Square, New York. Rather than the usual stock market information, NASDAQ's seven-story-tall MarketSite video tower ran a series of UN Women images five times an hour throughout the day. This key public spot was provided free of charge to help raise awareness of women's rights and the organization's work.

Breaking the Cycle

"It is my favorite time reminiscing about the past," said Ina'am Hadad, and it's easy to understand why: Her impressive past illuminates the strides that not just she but also Palestine refugee women in general have made.

Penetrating the remotest areas of Haiti to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus

Marlène Jean's face is stoic, as the needle punctures her flesh. She is among dozens of women receiving their third vaccination. Haiti is carrying out a nationwide campaign against maternal and neonatal tetanus. Marlène Jean's village of Milord is in South-East department.

March 08, 2014

Equality for women means progress for all, UN officials declare, marking International Day

To mark International Women's Day, the United Nations family is spotlighting a simple truth: achieving equality for women and girls is essential not merely because it is a matter of fairness and fundamental human rights, but because progress in so many other areas depends on it.

High-powered call for women's full participation in shaping global future

At a high-powered UN event to commemorate International Women's Day, top international leaders called for full realization of women's rights in the 21st century.

Women of the UN Making a Difference

Women of the UN share a passionate commitment to make a difference in the world. The UN needs more professional women among our ranks. Through the lens of professional women working at the UN learn about the diverse professional opportunities open to women at all professional levels, across all occupational groups world-wide.


March 06, 2014

WHO issues new guidance on how to provide contraceptive information and service

In advance of International Women's Day on 8 March 2014, WHO is launching new guidance to help countries ensure human rights are respected in providing more girls, women, and couples with the information and services they need to avoid unwanted pregnancies. An estimated 222 million girls and women who do not want to get pregnant, or who want to delay their next pregnancy, are not using any method of contraception. Access to contraception information and services will allow better planning for families and improved health.

UN Assembly spotlights key role of women, youth, civil society in development agenda

Equality, inclusiveness and participation must guide the framing of the world agenda for sustainable development, the President of the General Assembly said today, urging Member States to ensure that women, young people and civil society participate fully.

UN unveils global campaign to end use of child soldiers in Government forces by 2016

The United Nations on 6 March launched a new initiative to end the recruitment and use of children in Government forces in conflict by 2016, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressing that children should be armed with pens and textbooks, not guns. Around the world, thousands of boys and girls are recruited into Government forces and armed opposition groups to serve as combatants, cooks, porters, messengers or in other roles. Girls – and sometimes boys – are also recruited for sexual purposes.

The Unknown Road

"As if leaving our motherland was not enough, we also had to leave the countries where we found asylum, without knowing where we were going," says Rania. Thirty-seven, Rania was displaced at the beginning of the conflict in Syria from Harasta, in rural Damascus, to Daria. Violence intensified in Daria and her family of five sought safety in al-Wafideen camp in Damascus, but even that was not spared bullets and snipers, and the family was forced to resort to Yarmouk camp - which has, since then, suffered months of siege and blockade.

Press release: Targeted actions required to increase and improve women's work opportunities

International Women's Day commemoration at UN Headquarters will bring together top political leadership and grassroots women's groups.

Life of an Ant

A young woman muses on the strength of those who must stand strong and make their own way. Created at the 2014 Jordan OneMinutesJr. workshop on "Our Voice."

Executive Director press statement for noon press briefing at UN

Press Statement by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka for Briefing of UN Correspondents, at the UN, New York, 6 March 2014.

Young people know what they need and want: GA President

Young people around the world know what they want and need, according to the President of the General Assembly. Ambassador John Ashe spoke at an event on "The Contributions of Women, the Young and Civil Society to the Post-2015 Development Agenda." 2015 is the deadline for meeting the Millennium Development Goals set by world leaders in 2000 to, among other things, eradicate poverty and promote gender equality.

The ILO Office for Pacific Island Countries Calls on Governments, Employers and Unions to Focus on Eliminating Gender Discrimination and Harassment in the workplace

The occasion of International Women's Day provides an important opportunity to reflect on progress towards gender equality in the labour markets of Pacific Island Countries.


March 05, 2014

Women in Science: Explore the data for countries worldwide

Women in Science, a new interactive tool, presents the latest available data for countries at all stages of development. Produced by the UIS, the tool lets you explore and visualize gender gaps in the pipeline leading to a research career, from the decision to get a doctorate degree to the fields of research women pursue and the sectors in which they work.

16th Annual L'ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science - 2014

Each year, five outstanding women scientists – one per continent – are honoured for the contributions of their research, the strength of their commitments and their impact on society. Each woman represents a unique career path combining exceptional talent, a deep commitment to her profession and remarkable courage in a field still largely dominated by men.

Dying to live: the gender dimension of child mortality in India

"He used to beat me up without any reason. It was an everyday affair. I had multiple miscarriages," recounts Bhuri Bibi with a forlorn look in her eyes. She now works as a casual labourer and lives with her 4-year-old daughter in her maternal village in the Sehore district of the province of Madhya Pradesh, in central India.

Media advisory: UN's Commission on the Status of Women to assess progress for the world's women through the Millennium Development Goals

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the internationally agreed blue-print for global development, set in the year 2000 with a target date of 2015, played an important role in galvanizing attention and resources for gender equality and women's empowerment. Important gains have been made, for instance in girls' access to primary education, but overall advancement for women and girls has been uneven and fallen short of expectations.

An agenda in transition: raising the profile of transgender and HIV issues in Asia and the Pacific

It only takes a minute with the new Coordinator for the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN), Natt Kraipet to see her determination and drive for bringing issues of transgender rights and health to the forefront in the region.

Once Hungry Child Now Scaling Highest Peak In Each Continent

On her quest to climb the highest peak in each of the seven continents, Nimdoma, a former WFP school meals recipient, has just conquered Mount Aconcagua in the Andes. It's the fifth mountain on her list, the highest one in Latin America.

Domestic workers: The need to speed up change

We need to step up the speed of change to better protect domestic workers throughout the world, says ILO economist Malte Luebker six months after the entry into force of ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers.

ILO to mark International Women's Day with a panel discussion on women at work

The International Labour Organization (ILO) will be marking International Women's Day with a panel discussion entitled: "ILO Women at Work Centenary Initiative: Where we are and where we want to be", to be held at the ILO Headquarters in Geneva on Friday, 7 March at 11:00 in Room II.

Gender parity in parliament possible within 20 years

Equal representation of men and women in parliament within 20 years is possible, according to the global organization of parliamentarians. The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) on Tuesday released its annual analysis of statistics and trends on women in parliament.

Tanzania launches an action plan to promote decent work for domestic workers

Dar es Salaam - The International Labour Organization (ILO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MOLE), the Association of Tanzania Employers (ATE) and the Trade Union Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) will launch the tripartite plan of action to promote decent work for domestic workers in Tanzania on 27th February, 2014.

Women and Peacekeeping: A growing force

UN Peacekeeping works to make sure the voices of women and girls are heard. It is essential we have female peacekeepers who act as role models inspiring women and girls in often male-dominated societies to push for their own rights and for participation in peace processes.

Syrians subjected to sieges and starvation

Hundreds of thousands of civilians are besieged in Syria and subjected to relentless shelling and bombardment, according to the latest report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. The report says civilians are systematically denied access to humanitarian aid, food and basic necessities such as medical care, and must choose between surrender and starvation. The commission says Syrian forces and pro-government militia continue to conduct widespread attacks on civilians, systematically committing murder, torture, rape and enforced disappearance and using children in hostilities.

Empowering Women Will End Hunger: Celebrating Women's Role In Meeting The Zero Hunger Challenge

Every year, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) provides more than eight million schoolgirls with food to help keep them in education and around three million vulnerable women with special nutritional support. This year, on International Women's Day (March 8), WFP is celebrating how empowering women can boost global efforts to end hunger.

Lima Will Host ECLAC's Next Session with Focus on Equality

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) is finishing preparations for its thirty-fifth session, which will take place May 5-9 in Lima and where it will present a new position paper that will give continuity to its last two reports, focused on equality.

Moving Beyond Stereotypes: A Discussion Honoring International Women's Day

In honour of International Women's Day on 8 March 2014, the IAEA hosted a discussion on the experience of men working for strong, influential women. The panel, moderated by Ms. Janice Dunn Lee, IAEA Deputy Director General for Management, featured four male ambassadors from four different geographic regions, all with experience working for women in high-profile positions. Each of these women - Park Geun-Hye, Hillary Clinton, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Dilma Rousseff - in her own way represents the recent changes and new opportunities for women in the workplace.

UNWTO, UNODC and UNESCO launch anti-trafficking campaign

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have joined forces to promote a global campaign urging travellers to support the fight against a number of forms of trafficking. The Campaign was presented to the tourism sector at the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin.


March 03, 2014

International Women's Day Message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

This International Women's Day, we are highlighting the importance of achieving equality for women and girls not simply because it is a matter of fairness and fundamental human rights, but because progress in so many other areas depends on it. Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support.

International Women's Day Message from UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Today we join the people of the world in celebration of the progress made for women's rights, women's empowerment and gender equality. We also acknowledge that progress has been slow, uneven and in some cases women girls face new and more complex challenges.

UNAIDS is inspired by the incredible response to the first Zero Discrimination Day

People from all walks of life and in every region of the world are commemorating Zero Discrimination Day with a wide range of activities. UNAIDS called for the annual event, which is being celebrated for the first time on 1 March.


Febraury 28, 2014

Spotlight put on role of women as global leaders

Innovative approaches to getting more women into leadership positions around the world were discussed at a conference recently held at the United Nations. Representatives from the UN as well as the public and private sectors took part in the "Power of Collaboration Summit" to discuss new ways to work together to accelerate the promotion of women.

Mother and baby healthy thanks to food assistance from WFP

NORTH PYONGAN PROVINCE - Ok Yo is 25 years old, and has been receiving food assistance through WFP for nine months, since the third month of her pregnancy. For pregnant women and nursing mothers in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), WFP gives out a kind of blended flour made from powdered rice and dried milk. This powder can be used in a number of ways, for example mixed with water to make porridge or sprinkled on top of cooked rice.

Independent UN expert urges Guinea-Bissau to address critical needs of the poorest

An independent United Nations human rights expert today called on authorities in Guinea-Bissau to address the critical needs of the poorest and most marginalized members of society as she wrapped up her first official visit to the West African nation.

Good governance key to ensuring equality, peaceful coexistence, UN expert tells Nigeria

Good governance is essential for Nigeria – with its rich ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity – to ensure minority rights, equality and peaceful coexistence for all its citizens, an independent United Nations human rights expert stressed.

Costa Rica Makes Progress on Women's Economic Autonomy

To guarantee the effective participation of women in Costa Rica's economic development, the country's President, Laura Chinchilla, signed in San Jose on Thursday, February 27, 2014, an executive order that officially creates the National Network of Support for Women's Economic Autonomy.

Congolese refugees living with HIV forge ahead, gaining independence

Women are cultivating mushrooms and tomatoes, learning about business and agriculture and pooling their funds along with combating social stigma and confronting gender-based violence.


Febraury 27, 2014

Uganda media urged to refrain from fuelling anti-gay hatred and attacks

Media organizations in Uganda are being urged by the UN human rights office to refrain from fuelling hatred and attacks on the basis of sexual orientation.

Alicia Bárcena Calls for the Formulation of a Post-2015 Agenda that has Equality as its Ultimate Goal and Guiding Principle

The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, called for the formulation of a post-2015 agenda centered on a global pact for sustainable development that is based on rights and holds equality as its ultimate goal and guiding ethical principle.

Women encouraged to become journalists in South Sudan

Women are being encouraged to enter journalism in South Sudan bucking a trend which has typically seen only men employed as journalists. Media workers in South Sudan have often reported harassment and physical hardship as part of the job, a situation which has deterred many women from entering the profession.


Febraury 26, 2014

Women encouraged to become global leaders

Innovative approaches to getting more women into leadership positions around the world are being discussed at a conference being held at the United Nations on Wednesday, 26 February.

New programme to help communities recover from the violence in the Central African Republic

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a comprehensive new programme to promote peace-building and recovery across the Central African Republic.

Colombia's Carnival of Barranquilla has a Blue Heart

One of the most traditional festivals in Colombia - the Carnival of Barranquilla - has joined the Blue Heart Campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking. A Blue Heart troupe will parade during this year's festivities, taking place between 1 and 4 March 2014, to lend support to the global campaign.

Fresh water brings life back to traumatized South Sudan village

Would you want to live in a village where dead bodies contaminated the only source of water? That was the predicament that confronted residents of Amadi village when they tried to return home during a lull in the violence that has wracked South Sudan for the last three months.


Febraury 25, 2014

The cost of not knowing how to cost

How the ILO contributes to women's empowerment, job creation and economic growth in Uganda through business management skills.

Anti-homosexuality law in Uganda denounced by UN

An anti-homosexuality law in Uganda has been denounced by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Navi Pillay said the law which has just been passed in Uganda, would institutionalise discrimination against lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

Media alert: UNODC/UNWTO/UNESCO to launch anti-trafficking campaign at International Tourism Bourse (ITB Berlin) 2014

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have joined forces to engage tourists in the global fight against the illicit trafficking of persons, wildlife or cultural artefacts. The campaign will launch on 5 March 2014.

Senior UN officials highlight need for strengthening capabilities of peacekeeping operations

Innovating and strengthening the capabilities of United Nations peacekeeping operations is essential to ensure safety and security, to adequately protect civilians, and to modernize mission postures in line with the evolving nature of conflict, the top officials from the UN peacekeeping and field support departments told a special review committee.


Febraury 24, 2014

Child helpline provides critical support for Kenyan rape victim

Violence against children is everywhere but it's often hidden behind closed doors, according to the UN Children's Fund. The agency estimates that about 20 per cent of women and up to 10 per cent of men report being sexually abused as a child.

Norwegian teachers visit Kalandia Girls School

The students of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Kalandia Girls School hosted 25 Norwegian teachers from the Oslo Adult Education Centre, who were visiting Kalandia camp to observe first-hand the access restrictions that plague Palestine refugee residents of the West Bank. Kalandia Girls (School 2) serves 500 students from grades five through nine while Kalandia Girls (School 1) serves approximately 350 students from grades one through four.


Febraury 21, 2014

UN hails probe into former leader's alleged abuses as 'landmark' step for Haitian justice

The United Nations human rights office today hailed the decision by a Haitian court to open new investigations into former President Jean-Claude Duvalier for crimes against humanity, saying that the move will help ensure accountability for past abuses.

Launch of skill development initiative for domestic workers

The ILO office for Pakistan and the Women Development Department Government of the Punjab have joined hands to start a pilot training programme to skill and re-skill domestic workers. The programme aims to improve the standard of domestic work as well as to enhance the employability and living and working conditions of domestic workers.

Colombia: Displaced Families Redeem "Virtual Vouchers"

In the first week of February 2014, WFP launched massive voucher redemption events in 4 municipalities in Colombia. This photo gallery records the events in Monteria (Cordoba), involving recently displaced Embera-Chami indigenous families, and in Puerto Asis (Putumayo), where more than 300 families benefitted from this voucher programme.


Febraury 20, 2014

World Bank Report: Gender Equality at Work - Where Do We Stand?

A new report by the World Bank Group stresses the need for bold, coordinated actions to advance equal opportunities for women in the world of work, such as addressing gender biases early, expanding women's access to property and finance, and raising legal retirement ages—with major payoffs in tackling poverty.

World Day for Social Justice: UN urges action to end poverty, overcome inequality

A companion to the 2013 World Development Report on jobs, Gender at Work finds huge, persistent gender gaps at work around the world. This major new report advances our understanding of key trends, patterns, and constraints-and offers innovative, promising approaches to policies and programs that can level the playing field.

All We Ask for Is Peace: Voices of Women from South Sudan

A blog post on LinkedIn by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: As the head of UN Women, one important part of my job is listening to women and girls and amplifying their voices on the world stage. I am sending this dispatch from Juba, the capital of South Sudan, where I had the opportunity to meet with displaced women who are bearing the brunt of conflict and raising their voices for peace.

Teenage activist urges improved education for Syrian children

A teenage activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee is calling for better and more accessible education for Syrian children in a refugee camp in Jordan. Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan visited the UN-run Za'atari Camp in northern Jordan which is home to around 100,000 Syrians who have fled the ongoing civil war in Syria.


Febraury 18, 2014

UN-mandated human rights inquiry on DPR Korea documents 'widespread, systematic abuses'

A grim array of human rights abuses, driven by "policies established at the highest level of State," have been and continue to be committed in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), according to a United Nations-mandated report released 17 February, which also calls for urgent action to address the rights situation in the country, including referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Coca-Cola South Africa and UN Women partner to economically empower women

Coca-Cola South Africa and UN Women today announced a partnership of a newly launched programme to promote the advancement and economic empowerment of women. The collaboration aims to identify and address barriers women entrepreneurs are facing and provide women with business skills, leadership training, mentoring, peer networking skills and access to financial assets.

UNICEF Expands its Reach to Displaced Children in the UN Response to Anbar Crisis

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) delivered its third shipment of lifesaving supplies and commodities on Sunday to women and children displaced by violence in Anbar Province, leading the joint humanitarian response to the crisis with UNHCR and IOM.

Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill has 'serious human rights implications' – UNAIDS

The United Nations agency leading the global HIV/AIDS response warned today that the signing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda would have "serious human rights implications" and urged protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people around the world.

Tackling water, sanitation, energy nexus key to future sustainable development – UN officials

The water, sanitation and sustainable energy crises are the among the world's pre-eminent development challenges, senior United Nations officials warned today, urging Member States to adopt coherent integrated policies and innovative strategies to tackle these issues, which take a tragic toll on the lives of millions of poor people, especially women and young girls.

UN rights chief calls for urgent action on 'historic' report on DPR Korea

There can no longer be any excuses for inaction regarding rights abuses in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said today, welcoming a UN-mandated report cataloguing crimes against humanity of an "unimaginable scale" being committed in the country.


Febraury 13, 2014

UN expert calls for an end to human trafficking in the Seychelles

The trafficking in persons in the Seychelles remains hidden as a result of a lack of awareness according to a UN expert. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, recently visited the Indian Ocean archipelago.

Gender equality promoted on UN's World Radio Day

Radio broadcasting is being promoted as a key way to furthergender equality and women's empowerment around the world. On World Radio Day on Thursday, the UN's cultural organization, UNESCO , is raising awareness of the power of radio to promote access to information and the freedom of expression as a means to boost equality.

An Afghan girl and her family live on the edge of survival

In an informal settlement in Kabul, Afghanistan, Fereshta, 15, struggles to help her family get through another hard winter.


Febraury 12, 2014

Infographic: Gender Equality in Radio

Is there freedom of expression, if one's access to expression is limited? As the medium that reaches the largest audience worldwide, radio has progress to make in achieving gender equality. Women reporters and hosts get less airtime than men; and fewer women are in executive positions.

Ignoring equality, rights and women's health risks derailing development – UN officials

While nearly 1 billion people have escaped extreme poverty in the past 20 years and child and maternal mortality have been cut by almost one half, much more work remains to be done to address inequalities and ensure the rights and dignity of all, especially women and children, top United Nations officials stressed today.

Call for Applications: 2014 SEED Awards seek innovative projects on gender equality and women's empowerment

UN Women joins the European Union, the International Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, the Government of Flanders, the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the international law firm Hogan Lovells in supporting the SEED Awards 2014 - an initiative that aims to help the most promising start-up entrepreneurs, women-led enterprises and other social and environmental inspiring businesses to integrate ideas and proposals to address pressing local issues.

World Radio Day

13 February is World Radio Day — a day to celebrate radio as a medium; to improve international cooperation between broadcasters; and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information and freedom of expression over the airwaves.


Febraury 10, 2014

ICC judges to determine if former Congolese rebel goes to trial

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague have four days to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to charge former Congolese rebel leader, Bosco Ntaganda. As the former Commander of the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC), General Ntaganda is suspected of 13 counts of war crimes and five counts of crimes against humanity. Some of the crimes Ntaganda is alleged to have committed include the recruitment and use of child soldiers under the age of 15, as well as murder, rape and sexual slavery.

Women and children bear brunt of conflict in Afghanistan: UN report

The ongoing conflict between government and anti-government forces in Afghanistan claimed close to 3,000 lives in 2013 according to a new report. The 2013 Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict issued by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), says the number of civilians killed or injured in the country increased by 14 per cent.

Gender equality must be enshrined in all post-2015 development goals – UN rights chief

The United Nations committee mandated to ensure compliance with the global treaty to end all forms of discrimination against women opened a new session today with a call for gender equality to be fully integrated into the post-2015 agenda.

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women meets in Geneva

The Kingdom of Bahrain will be the first to brief the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) at the opening of its 57th Session. The Committee is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.


Febraury 06, 2014

UN chief and Hillary Clinton commit to advancing women's empowerment

The former Secretary of State for the United States, Hillary Clinton has committed to working with the United Nations to boost women's empowerment ahead of the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

UN, African Union sign landmark agreement to curb sexual violence in African countries

The United Nations and the African Union (AU) affirmed their common commitment "to put an end to history's oldest and least condemned crime" by signing landmark agreement on the prevention of and response to conflict-related sexual violence in Africa, a senior UN official today said.

On International Day, UN officials urge zero tolerance for female genital mutilation

6 February 2014 – United Nations officials today called for a complete end to genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) to ensure the dignity, health and well-being of every girl, noting that despite a century of efforts, millions of girls worldwide are still threatened by the horrible practice.

Children in Syria conflict suffer torture, sexual abuse and other grave violations: UN

The ongoing conflict in Syria has an alarming impact on children, a new UN report warns. The Secretary-General's very first report on children and armed conflict in Syria describes in detail horrific acts of child abuse committed by "all parties to the conflict" since 2011.


Febraury 03, 2014

Honduras: Now I Watch Every Step I Take

Located within the department of Choluteca in the southern region of Honduras is "Programa Atencion a Grupos Vulnerables" (Attention to Vulnerable groups program) which works with children 6 months to 5 years, pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers to ensure proper nutrition in the first 1000 days of life.

Island nation Seychelles not immune to human traffickers, warns UN rights expert

An independent United Nations human rights expert today called on the Seychelles, an Indian Ocean island off the east coast of Africa, to prevent and fight trafficking in persons, while noting that the problem remains hidden owing to a lack of awareness.

A focus on gender as the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals meets

As the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals holds its eight session in New York from 3-7 February, UN Women is co-organizing a number of side events on gender equality and women's empowerment.


January 31, 2014

Human trafficking campaign targets US Super Bowl

A campaign highlighting the issue of human trafficking has taken to the streets of New York. It's in the form of a huge colourful gift box and has been timed to coincide with one of the biggest sporting events in the US…the Super Bowl.

New "Beyond Zero Campaign" to improve maternal and child health outcomes in Kenya

In order to improve maternal and child health outcomes in the country, the First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta launched the 'Beyond Zero Campaign' on 24 January in Kenya's capital Nairobi. The new initiative also aims to accelerate the implementation of the national plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children.

"Top down" approach denies indigenous Bangladeshis access to health services

Indigenous people in Bangladesh are being denied services because of what is being called a top-down approach to providing health care. Tuku Talukder who belongs to the Chakma community in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh says health policies are made without the participation of local people.

500 people - mainly women, children and the elderly - buried in South Sudan town

The mass burial of 500 people who were killed in fighting in a town in South Sudan is getting underway. The authorities in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, say the victims, mainly women, children and the elderly, were killed by rebels. Bor is one of the towns worst hit by recent fighting between the government and forces loyal to the former South Sudanese Vice-President.


January 30, 2014

In Cuba, Ban spotlights sustainable development, human rights, gender-based violence

Peace and security, sustainable development and human rights are on the agenda at the second summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which opened in Cuba this week and where United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered a wide-ranging address.


January 29, 2014

Girls in Philippines protected from gender-based violence

Women and girls displaced by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines are being advised on how to protect themselves from gender-based violence. Tens of thousands of women and girls are currently still not living at home following the typhoon which killed thousands of people and left millions homeless.

A quiet revolution: Women in Bangladesh

Since the World Conference on Women in Mexico in 1975 – which was a milestone in the battle for equality – Bangladesh has been at the forefront among the least-developed countries (LDCs) in addressing gender disparities.


January 27, 2014

Getting away with sexual abuse in Jordan

AMMAN (IRIN) - Shop cleaner Nawal* from East Amman regrets the day she accepted an offer of extra work from her employer, who said he wanted her to clean his home. It was a trap; he took her home and raped her.

Syria: Civilians to be allowed out of Homs, UN-Arab League envoy says

26 January 2014 – The Syrian Government has agreed to allow women and children in the besieged Syrian city of Homs to leave "immediately", the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States today said after a second day of face-to-face talks in Geneva.


January 23, 2014

Wikigender Online Discussion: Data Gaps on Gender Equality (27 Jan-14 Feb)

Wikigender, the UN Foundation, Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC), the EU-LAC Foundation, European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), ECLAC and PARIS21 would like to hear your views on where are the data gaps and engage in a discussion on pioneering initiatives that generate new data and new methodological approaches to address complex areas (e.g. unpaid care, time use, social norms).

South Sudan conflict: One family's "Problem"

South Sudan became an independent nation in 2011 but last December, clashes erupted between soldiers loyal to the government and forces supporting the former vice-president. UNHCR's Edith Champagne tells the story of a baby girl born during the conflict whose name, when translated, is "Problem."


January 17, 2014

WHO Public health risk assessment and interventions: Conflict and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan

Since its independence, the Republic of South Sudan has experienced internal conflict which has begun to deteriorate into a civil war...There are reports that thousands have been killed in the civil unrest and tens of thousands displaced along ethnic lines, leading to the current humanitarian crisis. The number of people who need life‐saving assistance such as health care and protection is deemed to continue to increase and the UN foresees a further increase in population displacement (up to 400 000 displaced) in the following weeks. Priority populations are: children under five years of age, women who are pregnant or of childbearing age, people vulnerable to violence and sexual or gender‐based violence (SGBV).

UN warns of genocide in Central African Republic

The Central African Republic is facing the risk of genocide according to a senior UN humanitarian official. The country has been in turmoil for the last year after rebels launched attacks and forced President François Bozizé to flee. Around 950,000 people have been displaced by the fighting and widespread human rights violations including extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, mutilations and rape have been reported by the UN.


January 16, 2014

Refugee arrivals in Uganda raise humanitarian, security concerns

AMURU/ADJUMANI (IRIN) - Weeks of conflict in South Sudan have left thousands of people dead and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes. Thousands of the displaced have been arriving in northern Uganda, where their situation is dire and has elicited security concerns.

The pride of working women

A new ILO study examines the constraints on working women in Algeria and the opportunities available to them.


January 15, 2014

UN Secretary-General's remarks at the Second International Humanitarian Pledging Conference on Syria

Salaam Aleikum. Good morning. I thank the Emir of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, for generously hosting this Conference in Kuwait City for the second time...The attacks on civilians and homes are unrelenting. I am especially concerned that the sides are using violence against women and girls to degrade and dehumanize their opponents. I call for an immediate end to these abuses, which harm individuals and undermine Syria's future.


January 14, 2014

Iraq: Syrian women and girls struggle to survive in camps

When 20-year-old Zainab fled the ongoing fighting in Syria, she hoped to find safety in the Arbat refugee camp in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. Though she may have escaped violence in her home country, she was unable to escape it at home. When her father forced her to marry an abusive husband, she fled once again in October 2013--this time to a women's shelter, where she attempted to commit suicide.

UNAIDS and the Global Fund express deep concern about the impact of a new law affecting the AIDS response and human rights of LGBT people in Nigeria

GENEVA, 14 January 2014—UNAIDS and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria express deep concern that access to HIV services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people will be severely affected by a new law in Nigeria––further criminalizing LGBT people, organizations and activities as well as people who support them.

January 13, 2014

Syria: UN-sponsored conference demands full voice for women in seeking to end crisis

The voice of Syrian women must be heard in all efforts to resolve the civil war that is tearing their country apart, a United Nations-sponsored conference declared today, stressing that women's participation is vital in shaping a peaceful future for the strife-wracked Middle Eastern nation.

January 09, 2014

World Food Programme Executive Director Meets Displaced Families In Syria

DAMASCUS – Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), ended a visit to Syria on Thursday after high-level talks with government officials and meeting displaced families in a food distribution centre in the capital Damascus.

What to Expect from the IAEA in 2014

What's ahead in 2014 for the IAEA? Here is a selected preview of what to expect...March: International Women's Day is traditionally observed on 8 March. As an organization committed to promoting gender equality in the workplace, the IAEA's observance commemorates the contributions of women in the field of nuclear science.

Syrian women meet to support peace efforts

UN Women together with the Government of the Netherlands will convene a two-day meeting (12-13 January) of Syrian women in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting is part of the UN's longer-term efforts to support Syrian women and civil society's contribution to peace efforts.

January 08, 2014

DSM And WFP Team Up To Fight Child Undernutrition In Swaziland

As head of DSM, world-renowned for its expertise in nutritional sciences, Sijbesma knew he was looking at a serious problem. Stunting - being too short for one's age - affects three in 10 children in Swaziland. Stunting is not only irreversible, it has permanent effects on physical growth and cognitive development. The only solution for stunting is prevention -- ensuring that pregnant women and infants receive good nutrition in the crucial 1,000 days between conception and second birthday.

January 07, 2014

UN, partners seek $1 billion to save Syria's children from becoming 'lost generation'

The United Nations and its humanitarian partners today appealed for $1 billion to save millions of Syrian children from becoming a "lost generation," doomed by the civil war in their country to a life of despair, diminished opportunities and broken futures.

Burmese family planning left behind

MAE SOT, 7 January 2014 (IRIN) - Despite donor funding to advance Myanmar's healthcare system, experts say more work is needed in life-saving family planning services, which have yet to receive the support they need.

January 02, 2014

In Mali, HIV/AIDS remains shrouded in silence

No sooner had Khadijda Sissoko* been admitted to hospital with excruciating abdominal pain than she faced the emotional torment of revealing to her family what was wrong. "It was four years ago. I felt I should tell them the truth – that I was HIV-positive. But that had painful consequences," says the 38-year-old mother of four.

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