Amid a busy December, when the United Nations was focusing on important conferences on climate change and migration and year-end holidays loomed, a case of harassment that never got the traction it arguably deserved ended in a traditional UN way: it disappeared. On Dec. 14, the chairman of the International Civil Service Commission, which regulates … Read more Another UN Harassment Case Quietly Disappears
Burma has long been a unique country not only for its otherworldly landscape of pagodas and gold-topped stupas but also, paradoxically, as an isolated country where a nationalistic military has given itself extraordinary constitutional powers. Generals, who have warped the country’s Buddhist heritage over half a century, can now attack the Muslim-majority Rohingya people with … Read more Janet Benshoof, Legal Activist, Seeks Help for Burma Through the Global Court
Unwed fathers and mothers may not be treated differently in determining whether their children born overseas can claim American citizenship, the United States Supreme Court has recently ruled. This means that all children born to an unmarried American parent, whether it is a father or a mother, must now be treated the same. The Court’s decision … Read more US Supreme Court Bars Discrimination Against Unwed Fathers, Rejecting Stereotypes
Recently in northern India, a five-months pregnant 10-year-old girl was forced to go to court to request an abortion after conceiving as a result of being repeatedly raped by her stepfather. Indian law does not allow terminating a pregnancy after 20 weeks unless doctors certify that the woman’s life or health is in danger; or … Read more One Major Way to End the Global Rape Epidemic: Through Laws
More than two decades have passed since a series of dynamic international conferences in the 1990s — on human rights, reproductive choices and broad empowerment for women — inspired and encouraged women around the world to raise their hopes in many ways. Subsequently, there have been gains in female education at all levels, a bigger … Read more Women’s Rights Must Be Backed by Legal Rights, a New Coalition Insists
Almost 20 years have passed since the genital mutilation of girls has been outlawed in the United States, but the traditional practice has continued to grow ever faster in recent years with increased immigration from parts of Africa where it is most common. It is estimated that more than 500,000 girls and women in the … Read more The Legal Push to End Genital Cutting of Girls in the US and Abroad Progresses
Has Russia put the kibosh on the chances that the next secretary-general of the United Nations will be a woman? As Vitaly Churkin walked ramrod-straight in his dark suit to a working-group discussion at the UN on the process of selecting the next secretary-general, he acted as if he owned the place. Some might say … Read more Has Russia Dashed All Hopes for a Female Secretary-General?
With only three years left to reach an ambitious global deadline, tracking the eight Millennium Development Goals often seems like going around in circles. Perhaps no goal is better evidence of this than Goal 3: promote gender equality and empower women. So often does the empowerment of women, in one way or another, figure in … Read more Promoting Women Starts Early, in First Grade