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

The UN’s First Feminist, Peg Snyder, Describes Her Brilliant Career

As the Commission on the Status of Women convenes to tackle 21st-century feminist issues, Margaret Snyder — “Peg” to almost everyone who has met her — can take a long view of the history of women in the United Nations system, the hurdles they overcame and the changes they have made. Best known as the founding … Read more

Justin Trudeau, Self-Described Feminist, Wows the UN Crowd

“Because it’s 2015,” Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada and self-proclaimed feminist, said simply, using the vernacular of his generation to reinforce his position on gender equality as he spoke at the United Nations recently during an “armchair conversation.” Trudeau, who is 44, was addressing a large audience at an event presented as part … Read more

Women’s Rights and the UN: A Long History of Ups and Downs

The 2010 creation of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (or UN Women) represented an unusual organizational consolidation instead of the typical proliferation. It had a promising start under strong leadership but faces serious challenges with growing resistance to gender equality. Support for women’s rights has a long and checkered history … Read more

Minding Your Pronunciations and Protocols at That ‘Women’s Conference’ [Video]

Are you wondering what happened at that “women’s conference at the United Nations,” as one (male) writer at The New York Times called it? Here is a recap of things to think about from the annual Commission on the Status of Women, held March 9-20, assessing how women’s rights and related gender issues are faring … Read more

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Solving Bangladesh’s ‘Living Wages’ Problem Demands Global Support

Garment workers in Bangladesh

The dialogue on living wages has come a long way since the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,000 people in 2013, but there will be no solution to the living wage problem until all parties involved work together, a diverse group of panelists agreed at a panel on the topic, held … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Women Must Have Control Over Their Own Bodies

Women in Sri Lanka

Earlier this year France was the latest to join a handful of progressive countries to expand access to reproductive health services — with its National Assembly amending the country’s laws to affirm a woman’s right to an abortion through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and criminalize attempts to obstruct this right. What is refreshing … Read more

Vibrant Networking Keeps the Door Open for Arab Women

Women in Cairo protesting sexual harrassment

Throughout the media coverage in recent months of the tumultuous events in Egypt, little attention has been paid to Egyptian women, who may have the most to gain or to lose in any new political order that emerges in the country. Social media and dedicated Web sites are filling the gap for many women eager … Read more

Why UN Peacekeeping Falls Far Short of Female Soldiers

Sudanese police women in North Darfur

Since Security Council resolutions began demanding more significant attention to roles for women in conflict areas and the peace-building that follows, much of the discussion has justifiably centered on protection of civilians, because women and their children suffer most in war and dislocation. Less attention has been paid to the woeful numbers of women in … Read more

Helping Congolese Women, One Community at a Time

League for Congolese Solidarity

Two innovative women from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, where violence against women and girls has been harsh and unrelenting through years of lawlessness and civil conflict, came to New York in early March with a message of progress and hope. They have been chipping away at the epidemic of abuse, working not … Read more

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The Lethal Effects of Arms on Women

Stop rape in conflict event Colombia

­ The $100- to $120-billion international arms trade in 2012 intensified the internal conflicts in Colombia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo but also brought guns into homes in these countries, where men turned them against women. That was the message that the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom brought to an event … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Take Two: Arms Trade Treaty Talks Resume

Control Arms Coalition

The second act of the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations has opened at the United Nations this week. Like any good drama, these talks, which began on March 18, are sure to feature tense moments and plenty of controversy, although many people involved in the process are optimistic that this act will deliver a final agreement. … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Michelle Bachelet, UN Women Chief, Resigns

Michelle Bachelet, the head of the United Nations agency promoting the rights of women and gender equality, has told Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that she is stepping down after two years in the job. Bachelet, a former Chilean president, is likely to run for president of her country again in elections this fall. She made the announcement about … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

UN Women’s Conference Agreement Is Under Assault

UN Commission on the STatus of Women

As the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women’s annual conference enters its final week, the political agendas of different countries are reflected in the deep divisions over how to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls, the theme this year. Furious arguments are going on over the use of such language as … Read more

Paying Attention to the Hidden Strengths of Rural Women

commission on status of women

Rural women are worse off than their urban counterparts and their male neighbors. They are generally poorer, less educated, discriminated against and left with limited health care choices and jobs, yet they are classic behind-the scene doers, often performing most of the unpaid work at home and on farms, while producing a majority of the … Read more

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Assessing the Power of Farm Women: A New Approach

index of women farmers

As the world pins hopes on more effective farming to end cycles of hunger in many developing countries, an important factor holding back food production is a persistent cultural opposition to giving women more power over the land. Nearly half the farm labor in the developing countries is done by women, who are hardworking and … Read more

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