WORLDVIEWS

Can Germany Mediate the Big-Power Divide in the UN Security Council?

BERLIN — At the start of Germany’s sixth two-year term in the United Nations Security Council, the media attention in Germany is unusually high: numerous journalists on TV and radio are asking diplomats, politicians and foreign policy experts about their views on Germany’s role in the Council, as well as its goals and prospects for … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Young, Female and Diverse: Legislatures Begin to Change to Save Democracy

As many political analysts see democracy weakened by introverted, xenophobic parties and autocratic leaders, a glimmer of hope is offered by a new generation of candidates and voters. This year will test that optimism in a series of important elections around the world. Changes in the composition of national legislatures were already being recorded before … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

How Will Women Fare as Cities Grow Dramatically? The Data Are Missing

Improving the lives of women is woven into each of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, markers that all 193 member states aim to reach by 2030. Goal 5 is quite specific: nothing short of gender equality. Attaining this lofty goal means being able to put one’s hands on data that have been broken … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The Role of the Private Sector in Building Peace: It’s Essential

Another year of Secretary-General António Guterres’s reform of the peace and security pillar of the United Nations is ending without fully addressing a main obstacle to peacebuilding in conflict-torn countries under UN intervention: sustainable economic recovery. The key question facing the UN is how to support economic reconstruction amid the political, security and social reforms that … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Lessons in Making a Difference for Girls in Burkina Faso

Fred Eckhard charity Burkina Faso

So many nonprofits seem to be after your money these days. Even if you are eager to give it away, you want to be convinced that a given group is the most deserving. But how can you tell when a charitable group is effective, making the best use of your donation without wasting it on … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Women’s Rights Predicted to Advance in New US Congress

The results of the recent United States elections raise hopes for women’s rights. At least 100 women, among them young liberals who defeated incumbent men, will hold nearly a quarter of the seats in the House of Representatives when a new Congress opens in early January. Two women are Muslim-American and two are Native Americans, … Read more

BOOKS

Mexico City, 1975: When the Year of the Woman Was Born

From 1975 to 1995, the United Nations sponsored four international conferences on women that produced wildly optimistic blueprints for concrete gains. Some people dismiss these forums and the programs for action that they generated as lacking strategies to carry them out. Others insist that the conferences raised awareness, shaped aspirations, fostered activism and, in countless … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Backing Up Women With Facts and Figures

In 2001, a pair of academics at Brigham Young University in Utah aimed to identify data linking the status of women to the security and behavior of countries. Seventeen years later, what began as a single article has evolved into a vital, comprehensive global database, offering insights into women’s lives in 176 countries. Meet the WomanStats … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Six Women, Including This Ghanaian, Join the UN’s Disability Committee

When I was growing up in Ghana, if someone had told me that one day I would hear my name announced as a member of a United Nations treaty body, I would hardly have believed it. But this is where I find myself, after many years of personal and professional experience fighting for disability rights. … 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

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: INDIA

Girl, Disrupted: How a Boarding School Shifted the Life of One Young Woman

Shilpa Raj is not a Bollywood name, though she has starred in a documentary. She is not a best-selling author — yet. But she has written a frank, soulful book that can contribute to important discussions about the human costs of a disrupted childhood, however well-intentioned, based on her own extraordinary story. At the age … 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

GEOPOLITICS

Why Do Jihadists Exit Violent Extremism? The Field of Study Grows

The study of violent extremism and what attracts people to become jihadists has been expanding rapidly in social sciences, but what is little known is why people avoid or leave a violent movement. It is a field that is slowly growing among academics, think tanks and United Nations officials, enabling them to form policies that … 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

GEOPOLITICS

Janet Benshoof, Legal Activist, Seeks Help for Burma Through the Global Court

Photo of Janet Benshoof, a lawyer-activist, leads the Global Justice Center in New York.

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

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

These Female Students in Bangladesh Want the Power Seat at the UN

If you want to understand how Donald Trump’s America is being perceived by women in the global South, my students are a good place to start. I teach international relations at an all-female liberal arts college in Chittagong, Bangladesh, which follows a Western curriculum and is attended by 700 enthusiastic young women from 16 countries … Read more

UNGA72

Stopping Sex Abuse in UN Peacekeeping: Guterres’s Direct Call for Political Support

The United Nations’ top coordinator of a drive to end sexual exploitation and abuse in and around peacekeeping missions says the organization cannot succeed without more political support from member nations and cooperation from independent, civilian humanitarian and development agencies working with the UN. Jane Holl Lute, the special coordinator with the rank of under … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

With US Funds Gone, UN Population Fund Faces Brutal Choices in Helping Women

It will soon be two years since the United Nations adopted a new 15-year development policy encapsulated in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This sprawling, ambitious agenda was designed partly to address the shortcomings of the Millennium Goals, the most disheartening of which for women was the failure to meet promises of improved maternal health … Read more

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