WORLDVIEWS

Will Women’s Reproductive Rights Be Dropped in the Post-2015 Agenda? 

The United Nations’ post-2015 development agenda is the next phase of the Millennium Development Goals, which provided a 15-year road map to tackle poverty and foster development in the world’s poorest countries. But as putting together the new agenda moves forward, it is becoming clear that the critical needs of women may be pushed aside. … Read more

BOOKS

Islamism and Politics: Going in Circles

It must be a drag to live in a strict Islamist regime: the legal system stems entirely from Islamic — sharia — law, in which adulterers are stoned to death, thieves have their hands chopped off, and the renunciation of Islam, or apostasy, is punishable by death. Liberal democracy? Gender equality and women’s rights? Forget … Read more

Khmer Rouge Practiced Widespread Sexual Attacks on Minorities

Khmer Rouge cadre

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Until now, sexual violence against ethnic minorities during the Khmer Rouge era in this country went largely ignored. Now for the first time, the Cambodian Defenders Project, one of the oldest legal aid organizations here, has published first-person accounts of interviews with 105 men and women from ethnic Vietnamese, Khmer Krom, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

For Afghanistan to Thrive, Rural Women Need Economic Opportunities

A virtuous circle of peace, stability and prosperity will not be possible in Afghanistan if the large majority of women continue to be marginalized. A major concern of the international community in the post-2014 period is to ensure that some of the gains that women living in urban places have experienced since 9/11 are not … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

To Better Prosecute Sexual Violence Crimes, Look to World War II

LONDON — Crimes of sexual violence consistently result from large-scale conflict and war around the world. Rape and enforced prostitution, among other gender-based crimes, are used as a tool to enhance violence and domination and to spread fear among civilians. Whether systematic or isolated in nature, such acts leave devastating physical and psychosocial wounds among … Read more

Is a Better UN System Possible? Global Experts Respond to an Independent Survey

An unusual survey of 3,400 people worldwide who know the United Nations has found strong support for some basic rethinking over the next decade on the organization’s work in development. Among the recommendations, over two-thirds of respondents suggested adding more nongovernmental representatives to governing bodies and better consolidating both organizational representation and programs in countries … Read more

GOINGS-ON

A Norwegian Is Appointed the First Woman to Lead a UN Peacekeeping Force

General Kristin Lund of Norway

A Norwegian, Maj. Gen. Kristin Lund, has been named the force commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus. General Lund is the first woman to serve in the force commander position in a UN peacekeeping operation. She replaces Maj. Gen. Chao Liu of China in August 2014. The operation in Cyprus is considered … Read more

Meet Sapana Malla, a Diligent Pioneer of Women’s Rights in Nepal

Sapana Malla of Nepal

As a lawyer, Sapana Pradhan Malla has pioneered women’s rights in Nepal, consistently advocating for equal inheritance, reproductive rights and women’s participation in politics. She has also been a politician herself, as a member Nepal’s Constituent Assembly, or parliament, from the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist Party, where she fought not only for equal rights for … Read more

To End Deep Inequalities, Say Doyle and Stiglitz, Create a Ninth Development Goal

A girl holds an umbrella near the port in Guinea-Bissau's capital Bissau

Two leading international policy experts at Columbia University are calling for more action from individual governments to address inequalities within their borders, in effect adding a bold new goal to the eight measurements of progress reflected in the Millennium Development Goals. Their proposal comes as debate swirls around what the United Nations needs to do … Read more

More Women Sit on the UN Security Council, but What Does It Mean?

Joy Ogwu, Nigerian ambassador to the UN

As increasing numbers of women embark on careers as diplomats, the United Nations headquarters in New York is slowly but surely undergoing a big change in demographics: the female-to-male ratio of diplomats is becoming — dare it be possible — more balanced. Of the UN’s 193 member countries, about 30 women currently represent their nations … Read more

Calling the UN to Account to Stop the HIV/AIDS Scourge

Stephen Lewis of AIDS-Free World

It has been 33 years since the first reports of HIV/AIDS surfaced, and the pandemic, which has never been found to be racial, ethnic or gender specific among the population, is now affecting women the most. They account for more than half of the people living with HIV/AIDS — approximately 16.1 million women out of … Read more

Russ Feingold on Congo: First, End the Conflict

Feingold boarding US Government plane

Last year marked major progress toward finding a peaceful resolution for the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s achingly long conflict, rooted in decades of civil war, regional incursions, ethnic tensions and resource pilfering. Throughout the many years, women have borne the brunt of the fighting, caught in the crossfire between rival militias and governments and … Read more

Girls’ Education Progresses in Afghanistan, but Will It Last?

New school in Helmand Province in Afghanistan

Since the United States-led coalition toppled the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, education for girls has become more accessible in some parts of the country, but many factors continue to stymie its progress. Panelists discussed girls’ education in Afghanistan during a recent event held for the Commission on the Status of Women’s 2014 session at … Read more

A Kenyan Says US Policy Could Advance Women’s Rights Everywhere

Wangechi Wachira-Moeg

Can a bill languishing in the United States Congress make a difference to half the people of a country more than 7,500 miles away? Yes, said Wangechi Wachira-Moegi, the executive director of an organization in Nairobi, Kenya, that works to bring justice to women in the courts and open opportunities for them in political leadership. … Read more

Putting Women and Girls at the Center of the Future Development Goals

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, chief of UN Women

What happened at the annual United Nations women’s conference this year? Over 10 days of both mercifully brief and far-too-long speeches by policy people, government ministers, UN staff members and a wide array of other experts, the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women ended on a hush. It was as if everyone … 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

China Takes a Peacekeeping Risk in Mali

Chinese peacekeepers arriving in Bamako, Mali

China has dipped a big toe in peacekeeping waters by sending its first-ever infantry troops to work for a United Nations mission — in this case, Mali, where a mission was set up last summer to stabilize the country after a military coup in 2012 and a French military intervention against Islamic extremists in early … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

West African Businesswomen: Stay Fearless in Your Ventures

Woman at food stall in Douala, Cameroon.

For a half year, I published Neue Afrique, a digital newsletter that explored business developments in the Economic Community of West African States, known as Ecowas, reaching more than 1,600 diplomats, development analysts, international civil servants, institutional investors and entrepreneurs. Neue Afrique, which involved low start-up and operating costs, acted as a prelude to my … Read more

Congolese Rebel Leader Faces Broad Charges of Sex Crimes

Bosco Ntaganda

The first step to possibly try Bosco Ntaganda, a Congolese warlord born in Rwanda, for war crimes and crimes against humanity, began recently at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Ntaganda, who turned himself in to the court last year by going to the United States Embassy in Rwanda, allegedly committed the crimes as … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

UN Peace Talks on Syria Collectively Failed Women

Women Lead to Peace campaign 2014

This is a difficult time for peace advocates. How can we talk about women participating at the peace table when talk has not translated into action? How can we discuss the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, first mandated by the United Nations Security Council in 2000, when despite rhetoric, goodwill, ministerial support, … Read more

 

Double Your Donation! →
Left Menu Icon

Don't Miss a Story:

Subscribe to PassBlue

Sign up to get the smartest news on the UN by email, joining readers across the globe.​

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously​