TOPIC: WOMEN

UN Women Declares Its Neutrality in the Sex Trade Debate

The surprising controversy over women in the sex trade — tangled in issues of legality, terminology and competing feminist visions — has produced an unequivocal statement from the executive director of UN Women that the agency is not taking sides in this debate. The acrimonious dispute has erupted just as the United Nations is preparing … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Margot Wallstrom’s Feminist Foreign Policy for Sweden Catches On Globally, She Says

Margot Wallstrom, as Sweden’s newly appointed foreign minister, announced in 2014 that her priority would be the creation of the world’s first feminist foreign policy. The concept left some in her diplomatic corps “gasping for air,” she said. Now, having recently completed a hectic five years in office despite numerous global crises, she is confident … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

A New UK Hotline for Victims of Sexual Harassment Is ‘Constantly Ringing’

A new hotline is offering free, confidential legal advice to women in England and Wales who are experiencing sexual harassment at work. Launched in August, it is the only hotline of its kind dedicated to addressing a problem affecting women from all walks of life. Already, the hotline has been inundated with calls from women … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

UN Women Is Criticized for Appearing to Take Sides on Decriminalizing ‘Sex Work’

A group of civil society organizations is warning that a growing global movement to decriminalize and rebrand prostitution as “sex work” could lead to more, not less, violence against the world’s most vulnerable women and girls. The critics are petitioning UN Women, which is leading a review of the results of the 1995 Fourth World … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

US Money for Global Women’s Health Is Jeopardized Again

For the third year, the Trump administration and its Republican allies in the United States Congress are refusing to abandon their harsh restrictions on aid to health programs for women around the world. Instead, all amendments calling for a repeal of what is known as the “global gag rule” have been eliminated in the Senate … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Women Sighted at #UNGA. Plus: Iran’s Warnings to the US and Russians Denied Visas

How women’s issues could be more prominent at the United Nations General Assembly’s annual opening session remains an enigma. The topics of women’s rights and gender equality pop up in speeches by world leaders, including those by women, but their remarks just don’t stand out — especially this year. “As the UN rightly tries to … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Women Leaders to Watch at the UN’s Big Meet

Kersti Kaljulaid, the president of Estonia,

Men will dominate the podium during much of the United Nations General Assembly but, as Abigail Adams urged her husband and other founding fathers of the United States in 1776, “remember the ladies.” This is advice that the UN needs to be reminded of — just as the opening session begins, on Sept. 17. Women constitute … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

My Year in Africa: Why This Brazilian Woman Peacekeeper Wants to Return

In one of the world’s most fragile and violent settings, Lieut. Comdr. Marcia Braga, a 45-year-old Brazilian naval officer, arrived in April 2018 as the third military gender adviser for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic. She ended her yearlong stint there bestowed with the UN’s annual Military Gender Advocate award … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Call Me Dame Karen: UK’s Ambassador Dashes Style With Diplomacy

Karen Pierce, Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations

Reporting on activists who work with the United Nations and other global institutions on issues related to the women, peace and security agenda is crucial, but it can be, admittedly, dry. So we decided to look at the diplomats and others working at the UN who are advancing women’s rights in what is still a … 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

TOPIC: WOMEN

An Assault on Trump’s Global Women’s Health Policy Begins

Syrian refugees stuck in Rukban camp, near the Jordan border

With a fierce national budget battle looming in the United States Congress, Democrats on a key committee have formally proposed legislation overturning Trump policies that deny millions of women and girls in developing countries access to vital reproductive health care, including family planning. The legislative bill that emerged on May 16 from the House of … 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

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

TOPIC: WOMEN

Feminist Foreign Policy Advocates Go to Washington

“To reboot the world, we need to change the way we make policies,” says the New York-based advocacy group Madre, whose latest goal is nothing less than to “bring global women’s voices and solutions to progressive policymaking in the US.” Madre is not the only organization wanting more women at the world’s most-powerful tables. But … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Celebrating Women’s History Month, Trump-Pompeo Style

Here’s how the United States government marked the 2019 monthlong celebration of the world’s women in March: Donald Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got off to an early start on March 13  by releasing the State Department’s annual global human-rights report, scrubbed of all references to reproductive health and rights. Hewing to the obsession … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

In the Drive for Gender Equality, the Law Is Not Always on Women’s Side

Bangkok Woman

So how are women doing these days, during the global push for gender equality? Not all that great in work and legal protections, according to a new World Bank report, even in some prosperous countries — including the United States. The US ranked 65th on the report’s scorecard, below Malawi, Kenya and the Bahamas. With … 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

TOPIC: WOMEN

The US Goes ‘Bonkers’ at the UN Women’s Conference

“Hold the line” was the frequent refrain heard during the contentious negotiations swirling around the annual meeting at the United Nations ensuring the rights of women. Delegates from the UN’s 193 countries were urged by conference leaders to remain steadfast against a rising tide of conservative national positions, which included the United States, regarding the … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

The Goal of Gender Parity in the UN: Proving That Women Are Equal to Men

Ana Menéndez is a former Spanish diplomat who oversees the gender parity strategy at the United Nations, working directly for Secretary-General António Guterres for a year and a half now on one of his main priorities at the institution. Menéndez is tasked with the role — besides being responsible for overall UN policy — after a … Read more

 

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