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Women

March 29, 2021 
Mexico and France are hosting a United Nations forum that aims to accelerate the agenda laid out 26 years ago at the landmark Beijing women’s conference: securing equal rights and equal opportunities for half the population of the world. Beginning in Mexico City on March 29-31 and culminating in Paris in early July, the …
March 24, 2021 
Incoming Secretary-General Takes Oath of Office
Unless a strong candidate backed by an influential member state comes forward soon, it looks unlikely that Secretary-General António Guterres will be denied a second term and that a woman could be elected to succeed him, starting in 2022. Any challengers for the United Nations’ top leadership post will need to step up in …
March 16, 2021 
Facing a world unsettled and even shocked by what has happened to the United States in recent years and not sure what to expect of Americans now, Vice President Kamala Harris spoke today in clear, reassuring terms to a United Nations audience, tuned in globally. But she warned that democracy everywhere was in peril …
March 1, 2021 
Monique Nsanzabaganwa
The African Union, living up to its longtime promise to improve the gender balance in its leadership, has elected the first woman as deputy chair of the organization’s operating commission. She is Monique Nsanzabaganwa, an economist who was deputy governor of the National Bank of Rwanda and earlier Rwanda’s minister of trade and industry. …
January 31, 2021 
Fulfilling promises that he made in his 2020 election campaign, President Joe Biden restored United States contributions to the United Nations Population Fund on Jan. 28. Through another executive order, he also overturned crippling US aid restrictions worldwide that had been demanded by anti-abortion lobbies. The Mexico City policy restrictions — also known as …
January 4, 2021 
In the early afternoon of May 13, 2020, Joana Mamombe, a member of parliament in Zimbabwe, was seized by security officers after she participated in a pop-up protest, demanding aid for the poor during the Covid pandemic. She and two other rights advocates were accused of violating a lockdown, an act intended to demonstrate …
November 19, 2020 
Monique Yéli Kam
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — Monique Yéli Kam’s war room is not a typical campaign headquarters for a national presidential candidate. A dusty white marquis stands next to stacked blue chairs fanning out to a balcony that leads to a room where teenage boys jostle to play a soccer video game. Upstairs in her apartment, …
November 10, 2020 
When it comes to power and influence in the United Nations system, the president of the General Assembly has little control beyond a procedural role in managing an often-fractious body of member nations, now numbering 193, each with policies of its own. The Assembly is forbidden by Article 12 of the UN Charter, for …
November 8, 2020 
From a young age, Zahra Mirzaei, 32, decided to become a midwife after she encountered a kind doctor who encouraged her to pursue studies in the field. Observing the role that midwives played in her country — Afghanistan — while challenged by extremely limited educational opportunities for women and girls, Mirzaei said: “It spoke …
October 14, 2020 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Twenty-five years ago this month, tens of thousands of women (and some men) gathered in Beijing for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women. It was a profound moment in the history of women’s rights, convening 5,000 official delegates from nearly every country in the world and more than 30,000 …

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