Trump’s Candidate for UN Diplomat in Geneva Faces Dissent as Senate Vote Nears

Is President Trump’s nominee to represent the United States at the United Nations in Geneva in last-minute trouble? A long, detailed letter, sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by prominent global human-rights groups and those concentrating on women’s health, voices strong opposition to the candidacy of Andrew Bremberg as US ambassador in Geneva. The … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

An Ode to Joy: The UN Expert on LGBTIQ Rights Stands

I woke to a flurry of messages from LGBTIQ activists across the world, coordinating activities. It was July 12 and the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva was about to vote on renewing the mandate of the independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity — the SOGI expert, as it is called in … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Global Abortion Laws, Split on a Clear North-South Divide

The most liberal laws on abortion are found in the richest industrial countries. Does that matter? Advocates for reproductive health care say yes, because the abortion gap is often a bellwether indicating that health care for women in many developing countries offers few or no reproductive choices or respect for reproductive rights. The issue has … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Women’s Rights Defenders Are Tired of Being Told to ‘Push Back’ Against the Opposition

As a human-rights defender and women’s rights campaigner, I continue to be struck not by the many challenges now facing women’s rights organizations but by the constant calls for women to “push back against the pushback.” This call for women to push back against the many forces oppressing women’s rights organizations was repeated in a … Read more

 

Human-Rights Lawyers React to a UN Official’s Definition of Rape

A group of several hundred international human-rights lawyers reacted to a first-person opinion piece published by the United Nations expert on torture that “had a problematic definition of rape,” according to the lawyers’ open letter, published on July 1, expressing their legal views. The exchange between the human-rights experts and proponents and the UN specialist, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Widows Lose Much More Than a Spouse: They Lose Their Dignity

For many women around the world, the death of a spouse is magnified by many losses — of their social status, marital home, land, property, social security, dignity and, sometimes, their children. But men, on the other hand, lose none of their human rights while usually gaining support in starting a new chapter in his … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Calling All Women’s Groups: Help Shape the Beijing+25 Agenda

Women in Uruguay preparing to participate in an International Women's Day march, 2019

Twenty-four years ago, the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, yielded a bold declaration from 189 countries calling for improving the rights of women across the globe. Now, plans to mark the 25th anniversary of Beijing are forging ahead, as organizers decide on themes of conferences taking place in 2020 while managing pushback … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Justice for Darfur Is Critical for a Peaceful Future in Sudan 

Women from North Darfur performing a traditional dance

The people of Sudan finally ousted President Omar al-Bashir from power, on April 11, 2019. The people of Sudan must now transfer al-Bashir to The Hague to stand trial in the International Criminal Court, which, more than 10 years ago, indicted him for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur — including the … Read more

 

Pompeo Retreats on Universal Human Rights as US Looks More Inward

Secretary of State Pompeo

In an audacious move that could be the capstone of the Trump administration’s campaign to reverse decades of American support for human rights globally, the State Department is creating a separate new commission to advise Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on redefining United States policies, aligned with “natural law and natural rights.” For many human-rights … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

The Case of Harassing a UN Diplomat Via 1,000s of Text Messages

UN women's conference in March 2019

While Koki Muli Grignon was working as the facilitator during the most intense week of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, a prominent annual women’s rights conference at the United Nations, she received an odd email. It was the middle of nearly round-the-clock negotiations on the conference final summary document. The … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Wazhma Frogh Wants Women in the Afghan Peace Talks Now

Wazhma Frogh is a lifetime campaigner for Afghan women and girls. She co-founded the Women and Peace Studies Organization in Afghanistan in 2011 and is a member of the Afghan Women’s Network. In 2009, the United States State Department granted her the International Women of Courage Award. Frogh recently spoke with PassBlue through a Facebook … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Men Can Experience Sexual Violence in War Too

The United Nations Security Council recognized that men and boys are targets of sexual violence both in wartime and in post-conflict settings. Resolution 2467, approved on April 23, calls upon UN member countries to strengthen policies to provide help for victims. As a human-rights lawyer, during the last nine months, I have been documenting cases of conflict-related sexual … Read more

 

With Scandals Rife Across the UN, Are Managers at Fault?

A sea of new or lingering allegations of harassment and corruption in numerous agencies and programs in the United Nations system appears to be washing over a sprawling organization battered by scandal. Poor or careless management and oversight, from top to bottom, is partly to blame, but so is persistent, overt politicization of high-level appointments … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

At the UN, the US Darkens Women’s Right to Abortion

After four weeks of tumultuous negotiations over a resolution that reinforced decades of international efforts to combat sexual violence in conflict and to introduce more legal reassurances and services for victims, the 15-member United Nations Security Council approved a text whose wording had been rigorously fought over between the United States and many of its … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Will the US Stand With Victims of Rape in War?

The annual debate on sexual violence in conflict is about to take place in the United Nations Security Council. As the UN special envoy on sexual violence in conflict, Pramila Patten, has said, this event — on Tuesday, April 23 — presents a critical opportunity to assess progress in the last 10 years, since the … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Is It Only Mothers, Not All Women, Who Need Social Safety Nets?

Social policy in developing countries provides crucial assistance to women, but evidence shows that it is increasingly being limited to women who are mothers. India is a vivid case in point. Associating women with children and families is hardly new in society. What is surprising, however, is how much recent social policy has embraced and reinforced … Read more

 

TOPIC: WOMEN

Violence Is a Choice: The Peace Philosophy of Filmmaker Abigail Disney

Abigail Disney is an American filmmaker and philanthropist who founded Fork Films and Peace Is Loud, an advocacy group. She also founded — with her husband, Pierre Hauser — the Daphne Foundation. Since her 2009 film “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” which documented women’s peace activism that brought to power Liberia’s first female president, … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Indians Ask Why 21 Million Women Are Not on Voter Rolls

Every national election in India is numerically mind-boggling, and this year is no exception. More than 800 million registered voters are expected to participate in an election spanning 39 days from April 11 to May 19. In this huge exercise in democracy, simultaneously organized at national and state levels, the government’s election commission has identified … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

US Abortion Restrictions Violate Women’s Human Rights

Every year, 25 million women across the world are forced to obtain unsafe abortions. The United States, through its foreign policy, is deeply complicit in the violation of these women’s right to life and equality under international law. International human-rights frameworks guard against these violations and hold the US and other countries accountable. The International Covenant … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

At the UN’s Global Summit on Women’s Rights, the US Looks Chaotic

More than 10,000 people will soon converge on the United Nations for its annual Commission on the Status of Women conference, providing a unique forum to gauge progress and to press for the rights of women and marginalized populations around the world. Founded at a forward-thinking moment in 1946, the commission’s yearly meetings offer a … Read more

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