What the Pandemic Means for UN Peacekeeping Work

UN and Mali Ministry of Health and Social Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Covid-19 poses major challenges for people and governments around the world and for the United Nations. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a global cease-fire on March 23 in recognition of the pandemic’s potentially devastating effects on people in conflict-affected nations. Less noticed in the press coverage was the important point that … Read more What the Pandemic Means for UN Peacekeeping Work

Across the Globe, Domestic Violence Rises as the Coronavirus Rages

Apartment house in Barcelona Spain

For many women worldwide, the fear and suffering caused by the catastrophic viral pandemic is made even more unbearable and frightening by gender violence, as orders to “stay at home” heighten domestic tensions. Reports are accumulating from virtually every global region, according to independent advocacy groups and United Nations agencies. “Over the past weeks as … Read more Across the Globe, Domestic Violence Rises as the Coronavirus Rages

The Pandemic Forces UN Women to Shelve the Feminist Forums Until 2021

UN Women’s executive director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ncguka

UN Women is postponing two long-planned international meetings designed to give civil society groups a leading role in advancing gender rights 25 years after a landmark 1995 Beijing conference on women. The two sessions of the Global Equality Forum that had been planned for Mexico City in May and Paris in July will be postponed until … Read more The Pandemic Forces UN Women to Shelve the Feminist Forums Until 2021

Gender Imbalances: Missing Girls and Vanishing Men

Normally, the numbers of males and females in a human population are about the same across all such populations. However, pregnancy interventions by couples and unhealthy lifestyles among young men have produced gender imbalances, giving rise to “missing girls” in some populations and “disappearing men” in others. The coronavirus pandemic will have lasting impacts on … Read more Gender Imbalances: Missing Girls and Vanishing Men

UN Women’s Forum in Mexico City Is Under Review

Another highlight of the year marking the 25th anniversary of a breakthrough international conference in Beijing on women’s rights has fallen victim to the global march of the new coronavirus, Covid-19. The event is the first of two global meetings of the Generation Equality Forum, which is meant to give civil society organizations a chance … Read more UN Women’s Forum in Mexico City Is Under Review

Afghan Women on the US-Taliban Peace Deal: We Refuse to Shut Up

Authors Samea Shanori and Fiona Shukri in Kabul

Afghan women’s inclusion in the current peace negotiations with the Taliban and the United States has become an international cause célèbre. But calls for participation of Afghan women without methodical, sustained and substantive engagement in a peace settlement has the potential to harm them, not help them. The international community should ensure that Afghan women are … Read more Afghan Women on the US-Taliban Peace Deal: We Refuse to Shut Up

Beijing+25 Moves to the Next Stage: Vast Uncertainty

This year was intended to be a celebratory time for women: the 25th anniversary of the momentous Beijing conference on women’s rights and how to advance them. It isn’t working out that way, however, as a global health crisis and disagreements among advocates for women rewrite the script. The 2020 session of the Commission on … Read more Beijing+25 Moves to the Next Stage: Vast Uncertainty

Peace Begins at Home: Gloria Steinem’s Recipe for a Nonviolent World

Nearly 700 people, many of them young adults and students, flocked to the United Nations recently to attend an all-day gathering on “War No More.” Who were they eager to see and hear? The global feminist icon Gloria Steinem and Leymah Gbowee, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who led her fellow countrywomen to help end … Read more Peace Begins at Home: Gloria Steinem’s Recipe for a Nonviolent World

China Is in the Hot Seat as Covid-19 Shadows Its Diplomacy

Over the past year China’s presence at the United Nations got suddenly noticed. It may be its more outgoing ambassador, Zhang Jun, its lobbying against human rights, its accession to high-level roles or the disengagement of the United States — perhaps all of the above that has drawn attention. But just as the country assumes … Read more China Is in the Hot Seat as Covid-19 Shadows Its Diplomacy

UN Chief Condemns Male Privilege as Many Nations Defy Such Bashing

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

With International Women’s Day, March 8, on the horizon, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres blasted the intractable power of patriarchy, the cause of overwhelming gender injustice and an abuse of historical proportions, in his view. “Just as slavery and colonialism were a stain on previous centuries, women’s inequality should shame us all in the twenty-first,” … Read more UN Chief Condemns Male Privilege as Many Nations Defy Such Bashing

Battle Lines Are Drawn on Women’s Rights Before #CSW64 Even Begins

From the start, the diplomats leading the negotiations on the new political declaration for the United Nations’ women’s rights conference in March wanted to keep it short and sweet. That meant five pages maximum, one diplomat told PassBlue before the discussions began, inevitably frustrating diplomats who had hoped to produce a generous endorsement of women’s … Read more Battle Lines Are Drawn on Women’s Rights Before #CSW64 Even Begins

Win or Lose, Trump’s Policies on Women’s Health Inflict Damage

Whether or not Donald Trump will be re-elected president on Nov. 3, a tough debate is likely to begin soon in the United States Congress over the national budget for the unpredictable year ahead. Reproductive health issues rank high on the agenda for women’s rights advocates. Trump’s proposed budget would continue to restrict funds for … Read more Win or Lose, Trump’s Policies on Women’s Health Inflict Damage

Silencing the Media: Attacks Grow More Open, With Women as Particular Targets 

When Reporters Without Borders recently tallied the murders of journalists across the globe in 2019, the organization found that the confirmed death toll, 49, was the lowest since 2003. That was the good news. The rest of the findings from this and other media groups are less reassuring. Journalists are being targeted virtually everywhere, not only … Read more Silencing the Media: Attacks Grow More Open, With Women as Particular Targets 

Stolen Childhoods: The Girls of Ghana’s Lake Volta

Eighteen-year-old Millicent lives at an orphanage in Kete Krachi, Ghana

KETE KRACHI, Ghana — To smoke a fish here, you need to first remove its skull. Then you insert a sharp knife into its stomach, slowly cutting a clean line across its belly to avoid flooding your hand with guts. Remove the intestines, bile and blood. Smother the fish in salt and place it above a … Read more Stolen Childhoods: The Girls of Ghana’s Lake Volta

Trump’s Dictator Buddies Across the World Are Not Friends of Women

In the gallery of authoritarian governments undercutting the rights of women and threatening democracy around the world, five nations stand out for a special reason. Donald Trump has made the leaders of Brazil, Egypt, India, Saudi Arabia and Turkey his friends and accomplices. In all of these countries, according to mounting evidence in numerous studies, … Read more Trump’s Dictator Buddies Across the World Are Not Friends of Women

Feminists Rev Up for Beijing+25 Reviews as the US Resists

This year will be an urgent moment for the United Nations and its 193 member countries to renew their commitment ensuring women’s equality in all walks of life. Twenty-five years have passed since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was ratified at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. That document was designed … Read more Feminists Rev Up for Beijing+25 Reviews as the US Resists

The US Raises Its UN Profile, but Not Its Support

Kelley Currie

The naming of Jonathan Moore, a senior United States Foreign Service officer, to the position of Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, signals that in the United Nations’ 75th year, the Trump administration is getting serious. The move doesn’t mean that the US is increasing support for the organization, of course, or for … Read more The US Raises Its UN Profile, but Not Its Support

Fannie Munlin, the Face of the African-American Community at the UN

Fannie Munlin has led a long life of helping others, making her a natural fit to chair the NGO Executive Committee, the liaison for the 1,600 civil society organizations affiliated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications. She is also “the face of the African-American community at the UN,” as she said, as the … Read more Fannie Munlin, the Face of the African-American Community at the UN

The UN Unveils 6 Themes in a Big Year Pushing for Women’s Rights

As the countdown to this year’s main events celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women has begun, UN Women has announced six themes to anchor the two Generation Equality forums to be held in May and in July. While many women’s groups applaud the broad themes, some have serious qualms about one topic … Read more The UN Unveils 6 Themes in a Big Year Pushing for Women’s Rights

In Haiti, a Result of Peacekeepers Who Abuse Their Power: ‘Petits Minustahs’

In Haiti, a young woman I’ll call Marie became involved with a United Nations peacekeeper from Brazil when she was 14 years old. She became pregnant. He was sent back to Brazil; she was ostracized by her family. In 2017, when our research team met with Marie, she said that she and her son, by … Read more In Haiti, a Result of Peacekeepers Who Abuse Their Power: ‘Petits Minustahs’

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