• women’s rights

    This Entrepreneur Shows Kenyans That Women Can Prosper in Business

    by  • November 16, 2016 • Africa, Development, Women • 

    Jennifer Riria, the chief executive of Kenya’s largest microfinance institution, grew up in a village at the top of Mount Kenya, the second-tallest mountain in Africa. Her birth was cause for disappointment: the fourth of her parents’ daughters. Her father abused her mother, and she grew up watching women carry firewood, water, food and...

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    With Mali in Political Turmoil, High FGM Rates Persist

    by  • November 20, 2014 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Health and Population, Human Rights, Middle East, Women • 4 Comments

    BAMAKO, Mali — In the primarily Francophone and Anglophone region of West Africa, Mali is said to have one of the highest rates of female genital mutilation, with about 91 percent of girls and women having undergone the circumcision — a rate that has not only stayed stubbornly high but may also be inching...

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    For Journalists Covering Climate Change, the Topic Goes Beyond Science

    by  • September 14, 2014 • Climate and Environment, Health and Population • 

    NEW ORLEANS — In this urban symbol of disaster unpreparedness, journalists who cover climate change and the environment gathered this month, almost exactly nine years after Hurricane Katrina tore this city apart, to swap stories and advice while brainstorming communally on their beat. In a world that is ever more intertwined, it was clear...

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    Women’s Feature Service: Mapping the Struggles of Feminism in India

    by  • September 1, 2014 • Asia, Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Women • 

    Pamela Phillipose was editor of the Women’s Feature Service, the only syndicated news service in India with a gender perspective, for nearly six years, until she stepped down this year as editor in chief and director. She wore other hats for the publication as well, writing and photographing. The service began operating in India...

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    Islamism and Politics: Going in Circles

    by  • July 3, 2014 • BOOKS • 

    It must be a drag to live in a strict Islamist regime: the legal system stems entirely from Islamic — sharia — law, in which adulterers are stoned to death, thieves have their hands chopped off, and the renunciation of Islam, or apostasy, is punishable by death. Liberal democracy? Gender equality and women’s rights?...

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    To End Deep Inequalities, Say Doyle and Stiglitz, Create a Ninth Development Goal

    by  • May 7, 2014 • Development, Millennium Goals, Poverty, Responsibility to Protect • 

    A girl holds an umbrella near the port in Guinea-Bissau's capital Bissau

    Two leading international policy experts at Columbia University are calling for more action from individual governments to address inequalities within their borders, in effect adding a bold new goal to the eight measurements of progress reflected in the Millennium Development Goals. Their proposal comes as debate swirls around what the United Nations needs to...

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    More Women Sit on the UN Security Council, but What Does It Mean?

    by  • April 30, 2014 • Security Council, Women • 3 Comments

    Joy Ogwu, Nigerian ambassador to the UN

    As increasing numbers of women embark on careers as diplomats, the United Nations headquarters in New York is slowly but surely undergoing a big change in demographics: the female-to-male ratio of diplomats is becoming — dare it be possible — more balanced. Of the UN’s 193 member countries, about 30 women currently represent their...

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    West African Businesswomen: Stay Fearless in Your Ventures

    by  • February 17, 2014 • WORLDVIEWS • 

    Woman at food stall in Douala, Cameroon.

    For a half year, I published Neue Afrique, a digital newsletter that explored business developments in the Economic Community of West African States, known as Ecowas, reaching more than 1,600 diplomats, development analysts, international civil servants, institutional investors and entrepreneurs. Neue Afrique, which involved low start-up and operating costs, acted as a prelude to...

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    Syrian Women’s Groups Push for Equal Role at Geneva II Talks

    by  • December 5, 2013 • Middle East, Women • 

    Recognizing that women in the Middle East and North Africa must play an active role in their countries’ political processes, especially amid the regional backdrop of upheavals and conflicts, the Netherlands government is providing money for a new program, Women on the Frontline, to help women-run initiatives organize themselves better to assert their rights...

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    War Crimes Against Women and Girls Must Be Prosecuted

    by  • November 4, 2013 • Gender-Based Violence, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Three children walk to clean dishes in the Niger river in Gao, Mali.

      There is now overwhelming evidence that conflicts exacerbate pre-existing gender discrimination and put women and girls at heightened risk of sexual, physical and psychological violence. One appalling example of this evidence is the report recently to the Human Rights Council by the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, which highlights the threat and...

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    For Many Latin American Women, Abuse Never Lets Up

    by  • August 19, 2013 • Health and Population, Human Rights, Latin America, Women • 1 Comment

    Bolivian Women in Oruro

    Latin American and Caribbean nations have pulled ahead of most other developing regions on numerous measures of economic growth and human progress in recent years. The region has one of the world’s lowest poverty levels; hunger has been reduced to under 5 percent of the regional population; primary school enrollment rivals that of rich...

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    It’s Down to Latin America v. Africa to Lead UN Women

    by  • June 29, 2013 • Africa, Secretary-General, Women • 4 Comments

    Alcinda Abreu, environment minister of Mozambique

    After several months of public speculation at the United Nations, two candidates are now in tight contention for the executive director post of UN Women, the main agency tasked with promoting the treatment and rights of women worldwide since it began operating in January 2011. Rebeca Grynspan, 57, is one contender. Since 2010, she...

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    Life for Women and Girls in Afghanistan Grows Deadlier

    by  • March 20, 2013 • Asia, Peace and Security, Security Council, Women • 4 Comments

    Afghan woman in a burqa, Kabul.

    With the deadline for the departure of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan just a year away, civilian casualties in the country remain alarmingly high, says a new report from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama). Although the report said the number of casualties had decreased for the first time in six...

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    Women, Storm Sentinels of the South Pacific

    by  • December 24, 2012 • Asia, Climate and Environment, Women • 3 Comments

    Papua New Guinea women broadcaster and journalist

    When hugely damaging natural disasters strike in developing nations, many deaths occur because warnings and lifesaving advice do not reach people in the path of violent storms, floods or other threats. Decades of calls for better communications and disaster preparedness could not prevent 130,000 people from dying in Bangladesh in a 1991 cyclone, nearly...

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    Gender Parity in Upper-Level UN Jobs Remains Elusive

    by  • December 14, 2012 • General Assembly, Secretary-General, Women • 

    Ban Ki-moon of the UN

    This year, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has so far appointed 55 people to high-level positions. Twelve of the appointees, nearly 22 percent, are women, filling roles like the special representative for children and armed conflict and the executive director of the World Food Program. Some of the people Ban appointed include Zainab Hawa...

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    For Muslim Women, a Careful Script to Combat Violence

    by  • September 17, 2012 • Gender-Based Violence, Middle East, Women • 4 Comments

    Egyptian women protesting sexual harrasment and violence.

    The saddest stories told by vulnerable women in villages or slum shacks across the developing world most often involve violence or subjugation that they must bear because they don’t know how, or don’t have the means, to escape a bad situation. In the poorest countries, women talk of being assaulted or intimidated at home,...

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