Prostitution: A Word That UN Women Does Not Want to Hear

On the eve of a speech Ruchira Gupta was to give on International Women’s Day in New York as the recipient of a Woman of Distinction award, she got a strange email. Gupta, who has collected numerous awards for her work against sex slavery in India — including an Emmy for her 1996 documentary, “The … Read more

2015: A Year of Potential Landmarks for the UN

By almost every measure, this year will be monumental for the United Nations. The organization will be 70 years old and that will inspire, as anniversaries always do, a lot of stocktaking, analysis and, of course, criticism. Past stumbles will get attention and an army of  “reformers” will offer prescriptions for the future. In 2015, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Climate Change and World Population: Still Avoiding Each Other

Despite their intimate relationship, climate change and world population are still not talking to each other. The lack of meaningful dialogue has persisted for decades, with both seeming to deliberately ignore the significance, relevance and impact of the other. With the simultaneous convening on Sept. 22 of a special session of the United Nations General … Read more

Women, Girls and Their Sexuality in the Next MDGs

Midwifery students in Uganda

The future global development agenda must include a standalone goal for gender equality, and United Nations member states, who will have the final say on the successor to the Millennium Development Goals, should not use culture or ideology as an excuse for failing to include sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls among the … Read more

The US Backs the UN on Women’s Rights and Family Planning

Ethiopian sheep farmers

  Speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the third international conference on family planning, Anne C. Richard, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, urged strong support for United Nations efforts to promote  the rights of women and girls, including universal access to family planning, as the organization frames new development … Read more

A UN Expert on Women Who Refused to Be Silenced

Nafis Sadik

In the global annals of women’s rights defenders over the last half century, Nafis Sadik’s name will always rank high, though little may be known about her among the broad American public, focused as it usually is on Western feminists with Western issues. As head of the United Nations Population Fund in 1994, Sadik marshaled … Read more

Women’s Right to Contraception: The Movement Grows

UNFPA Peru

After years in the shadows, and under attack from left and right, a campaign to put action into the demand that every woman should have the right to contraception is finally gaining momentum — or regaining the central role it once played in family planning decades ago. Next week, in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of … Read more

UN Leaders Call for a Global Review of Women’s Rights

women's conference

In an unusual joint call for action, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the president of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar, are asking United Nations members to convene a world conference on women in 2015, the 20th anniversary of the path-breaking meeting in Beijing that broadly defined women’s rights and proposed actions to further … Read more

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