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

Mexico Rising: Advances in Women’s Health and Rights

International Women's Day in Mexico City

  When the latest list of 20 top donors to UN Women appeared last year, there was only one country outside the richer nations of the world among them: Mexico. The Mexican commitment to the women’s agency reflects the strides that the country has made in promoting women’s rights in recent years, powered by government … Read more

A Rape Accusation in Northern Mali and the UN’s Awkward Response

A woman in Gao after the French attack in January 2013.

Now that Gao, a remote but critical outpost in northern Mali, has become a hub of military personnel — Mali Army, French troops and UN peacekeepers — to fend off terrorist incursions, it is also a simmering spot for sexual assaults and intimidation of women who live there. These acts are committed in the shadows … Read more

Syrian Women Win Active Role in Geneva Peace Conference

Women Lead to Peace summit, Montreux 2014

The United Nations-led peace talks in Switzerland to begin the laborious discussions to end the war in Syria have officially started, but Syrian women activists who have been demanding to sit at the crucial peace-talks table on Jan. 24 in Geneva did not know until the last minute whether any women would be involved. Rima … Read more

Unraveling Sexual Violence in Costa Rica and Throughout Latin America

Memorial femicide protest in Chile

For the past three decades, Costa Rica has carried out progressive steps to reduce violence against women, a major inhibitor of human and economic development in the country and throughout Latin America. While the issue has garnered more attention among the general public in recent years, it remains intertwined in the fabric of Latin American … Read more

At Geneva II Talks in January, It Is Not Enough to ‘Add Women and Stir’

Lakhdar Brahimi

The campaign to ensure women’s equal participation at the peace talks on Syria in January has become more urgent, as certain parties recognize that women are vital in rebuilding and reconciling Syrian society. Yet only a few weeks before the talks are scheduled to start, no commitment has been made as to whether women will … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Columbia University Adds New Gender Focus to Its International Affairs School

Teenage girls in Cameroon

Gender is at the center of international agendas, not at their periphery. Today, plans in Sochi for the forthcoming Olympics — the emblem of international cooperation — are riven by disputes over Russia’s policies toward lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender persons. Peacemakers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo must address the needs of more than 2.5 million displaced … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Could European Social Democracy Happen in Bangladesh?

Rana Plaza in Dhaka

Over the last year, the terrible working conditions in Bangladesh’s garment factories have made headlines around the world. The Tazreen Factory fire, in which more than a hundred people were killed, was followed quickly by the collapse of another factory at Rana Plaza, a catastrophe that killed more than 1,100 workers. Responses by Western corporations … Read more

Syrian Women’s Groups Push for Equal Role at Geneva II Talks

Recognizing that women in the Middle East and North Africa must play an active role in their countries’ political processes, especially amid the regional backdrop of upheavals and conflicts, the Netherlands government is providing money for a new program, Women on the Frontline, to help women-run initiatives organize themselves better to assert their rights to … Read more

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