TOPIC: WOMEN

Why Do You Treat Us Like This?, Iranian Women Challenge Their Government

ZAHEDAN, Iran — “They give all of the rights to men,” said Neda, a young woman living in Zahedan, a border city near Afghanistan and Pakistan, who did not want to reveal her last name. “You can never make your own decisions. Many women need permission from a man in their family to leave the … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

A Taste of Running for Political Office Has Left This UN Retiree Ready for More

ORANGE, Conn. — Margaret Novicki is a 22-year veteran of the United Nations, having served in various regions in Africa and as the director of strategic communications at UN headquarters in New York. Upon her retirement in 2017 at age 62 from an eventful, complicated career at the UN, Novicki, an American, ran as a … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

US Congress Strikes Back at Trump’s Goals to Curtail Family Planning

In a rare act of legislative sabotage, the Trump administration’s plan to starve international family planning of funds has been killed for now as committees in both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate slipped hundreds of millions of dollars to support reproductive health programs into a 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion US budget package … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

In Colombia, Female Ex-Combatants Still Face Risk of Stigmatization

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and the resulting agenda on women, peace and security has called for more inclusive peace processes, stressing that women’s specific needs and experiences should be taken into account during and after peace negotiations. Yet the role of female ex-combatants in peace processes remains understudied and somewhat neglected in policy … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Women Descend on the UN, Riding on the Heels of #TimesUp

As women across the world battle systemic harassment and worse abuses for merely being female, the United Nations has opened its annual gathering of women in one of its biggest conferences of the year. This time, the 12-day meeting focuses on the status of rural women, but since it follows closely on the heels of … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Thank You, UN, for Protecting the Rights of Women

There is still a long way to go to uphold the rights of women worldwide, and UN Women, a department of the Secretariat, is now carrying the torch in this struggle. It builds on the efforts of the UN human-rights program going back to the earliest days of the organization. For International Women’s Day, on … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

The ‘Incredible Courage’ of Asma Jahangir, Pakistan’s Human-Rights Advocate

Only a few days before Pakistan’s most famous human-rights advocate, Asma Jahangir, was felled by a heart attack on Feb. 11, she was speaking out in support of a group of ethnic Pashtuns who had marched across the country from their homes along the Afghanistan border to protest military brutality. A Pashtun boy had been … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

As Sweden and Canada Push a ‘Feminist Foreign Policy,’ Others Resist the Label

After years of civil war, Somalia is beginning to build democratic institutions with support from the West, even as horrific violence repeatedly strikes the capital, Mogadishu. Help from foreign countries and regional groups — such as the European Union, Italy and the United States — was provided in Somalia’s 2016 election, where electoral processes and … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

US Visa Rules Can Create Heartbreak for Women

Imagine an accomplished young woman — we can call her Amrita — who has a caring husband and maybe a child or two. He is a highly skilled professional in his field with a doctorate or even postdoctorate qualifications. She has the same level of achievement or possibly higher. He has been offered a good … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

At Sciences Po in France, a Lack of Gender Studies Rankles Some Students

PARIS — Women outnumber men in international affairs graduate programs across the world and are increasingly demanding that curriculums reflect feminist thinking and include gender mainstreaming. Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in New York, Sciences Po’s Paris School of International Affairs and the London School of Economics are three of the … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Blessed Are the Peace-Builders in Ukraine: Female Activists Repair a Broken Country

KYIV, Ukraine — There is no escaping that Ukraine is at war — although it is not totally apparent who the Ukrainian military and volunteer vigilantes are fighting in the east: Russian “separatists” or Russians themselves? No one can definitively say who is who or decide up from down, one of the living puzzles of … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Michelle Bachelet, Outgoing President of Chile, Gets a WHO Post

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has agreed to chair the board of the World Health Organization’s Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health after she finishes her government role on March 11. The announcement came after a Jan. 10 meeting at the presidential palace in Santiago, during which the WHO leadership offered Bachelet the position. “This … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Sexual Harassment at the UN Is Alive and Persistent

As its people of the year, Time magazine recently named the Silence Breakers — people who have spoken against sexual harassment and launched the hashtag #MeToo into an international phenomenon with more than seven million hits on social media. Just before the announcement, more than 230 women who work in national security for the United … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

From the Kingdom of Women, With Love

LIOUSHUI, China — Known as the Kingdom of Women, the Mosuo are a small ethnic minority group living in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, predominantly around Lugu Lake. The Mosuo have become somewhat famous for their matriarchal society, where the family name and other legalities are passed to the next generation through the women, and the … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

‘Period Poverty’: Why No One Is Talking About Eco-Friendly Solutions

The United Nations has recognized menstrual hygiene as a global public health and human-rights issue, yet across the world, “period poverty,” as some call it, is the reality for millions of women and girls. In India, for example, it is estimated that only 12 percent of the country’s 355 million menstruating women can afford to … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

#MeToo Must Include All Women: A Chat With UN Women’s Director

November 25 marks the annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which encompasses 16 days of activism through Dec. 10, with this year’s theme being “leave no one behind.” The annual commemoration couldn’t be better timed this year, coinciding with the #MeToo movement reverberating across the United States — and far beyond … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

A New Index Rates the Well-Being of Women in 153 Nations and US Ranks 22d

A new women, peace and security index was unveiled at the United Nations recently. At its core, the WPS index, as it is known, provides evidence for what advocates have been saying all along: that the active and equal participation of women in all aspects of society is critical for peace and security, especially in … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Afghan Women Write New Narratives About Themselves, With Courage

Throughout the world, Afghan women are often portrayed as victims by the media and other institutions, needing foreign rescue or summoning deep pity for their oppression. Women’s literacy rate is less than half that of men’s in the country, and it remains one of the worst places in the world for a girl to obtain … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Women Break the Ice for Peace in Guinea-Bissau

Since attaining independence from Portugal, in 1973, Guinea-Bissau has had almost a dozen presidents, none of whom has managed to finish his mandate. Recurring coups, assassinations and political turmoil at the elite level have contributed to a landscape of instability and underdevelopment and vulnerability to organized crime, especially the illegal drug trade. However, unlike some … Read more

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