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

In Cambodia, Silent Reactions to Sexual Violence May Be the Norm

Cambodian woman pulling a cart.

  PHNOM PENH — Kunthear Laut, a 33-year-old Cambodian woman, is a child of marital rape and a victim of two rapes as well as three attempts and at least five years of incest from her uncle. “A woman has to obey a man; otherwise he uses violence,” she said in an interview with PassBlue about … Read more

So You Want to Be a Furnace Cleaner? Nyet!

Belarus stadium

If you are an aspiring snowmobile driver in Kazakhstan and happen to be a woman, you’re out of luck. The same goes for operating cranes at sea, among other labor-intensive jobs in the country, which bans women from dozens of such positions. It could be worse. In Russia alone, women are barred from 456 types … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

War Crimes Against Women and Girls Must Be Prosecuted

Three children walk to clean dishes in the Niger river in Gao, Mali.

  There is now overwhelming evidence that conflicts exacerbate pre-existing gender discrimination and put women and girls at heightened risk of sexual, physical and psychological violence. One appalling example of this evidence is the report recently to the Human Rights Council by the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, which highlights the threat and use … Read more

Signs of Transformation From the ‘Pink Ghetto of Gender’

Chad mother daughter

One question about women’s rights that may never go away is how to ensure that women are represented fairly in large organizations, like the United Nations. For now, work on “gender mainstreaming” may suffice by concentrating on small steps as opposed to devising wholesale solutions. As one expert has described the process, it is an … Read more

For Many Latin American Women, Abuse Never Lets Up

Bolivian Women in Oruro

Latin American and Caribbean nations have pulled ahead of most other developing regions on numerous measures of economic growth and human progress in recent years. The region has one of the world’s lowest poverty levels; hunger has been reduced to under 5 percent of the regional population; primary school enrollment rivals that of rich nations; … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Congo Court Reparations Elude Sexual Violence Victims

Prayers in Congo

  At the United Nations Security Council’s ministerial meeting on securing peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the rest of the Great Lakes region on July 25, to be presided over by United States Secretary of State John Kerry, we will likely be reminded that Congo, often referred to as the “rape capital … Read more

It’s Down to Latin America v. Africa to Lead UN Women

Alcinda Abreu, environment minister of Mozambique

After several months of public speculation at the United Nations, two candidates are now in tight contention for the executive director post of UN Women, the main agency tasked with promoting the treatment and rights of women worldwide since it began operating in January 2011. Rebeca Grynspan, 57, is one contender. Since 2010, she has … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Congolese Women Grow More Demanding of Local Governments

Collecting firewood at the Kanyaruchinya IDP camp, Congo

A global women’s organization with wide experience in peace-building recently brought together scores of prominent women from six African nations to take well-defined steps for dealing with the root causes of the persistent sexual violence occurring in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Declaring that peace in eastern Congo could bring peace to the entire Great Lakes area of … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Eight Ways to End Poverty Now

Infant in Niger

NEW HAVEN — As the Millennium Development Goals reach their deadline of 2015, the United Nations, international policy partners and governments are already tasked with creating a set of new goals to continue to work toward ending poverty worldwide. They ought to learn four crucial lessons from the MDG experience: 1. The targets and monitoring … Read more

Life for Women and Girls in Afghanistan Grows Deadlier

Afghan woman in a burqa, Kabul.

With the deadline for the departure of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan just a year away, civilian casualties in the country remain alarmingly high, says a new report from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama). Although the report said the number of casualties had decreased for the first time in six years, … Read more

 

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