WORLDVIEWS

In Kurdistan and Beyond, Honor Killings Remind Women They Are Worthless

A Kurdish woman in Erbil, Iraq.

KURDISTAN, Iraq — For many women in Kurdistan, life is anything but honorable. We have come to this autonomous region in northern Iraq as social anthropologists to research violence against women — particularly, honor killings — by interviewing local experts, including United Nations personnel. We were told by a Kurdish man here that women have … 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

WORLDVIEWS

Israeli-Palestinian Population Growth and Its Impact on Peace

Israeli soldiers and Palestinian children, West Bank

  A large amount of news, analysis and political rhetoric is disseminated daily about the current American-initiated Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. However, comparatively little attention — and, hence, insufficient understanding — is given to a  critical aspect of the decades-old conflict: population growth. Differential rates of population growth are redefining the relative demographic standing of Arab-Israelis, … 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

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

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

Vibrant Networking Keeps the Door Open for Arab Women

Women in Cairo protesting sexual harrassment

Throughout the media coverage in recent months of the tumultuous events in Egypt, little attention has been paid to Egyptian women, who may have the most to gain or to lose in any new political order that emerges in the country. Social media and dedicated Web sites are filling the gap for many women eager … 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

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

A Brave New Role for Thoraya Obaid, Former UNFPA Chief

Thoraya Obaid

The New Year began with a big step for Saudi women when King Abdullah appointed 30 of them to the kingdom’s traditionally all-male Shura Council, an advisory body that serves as a pale imitation of a legislature in the kingdom, which has no parliament. One of the new advisers is Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, the former … Read more

In the Mideast, Women’s Hopes Give Way to Harsh Realities

International_women_day_in_Egypt

Overshadowed by daily reports from a horrific war in Syria, lingering violence in Libya and sporadic protests in Egypt and other regional nations, a struggle to salvage and advance the rights of women caught up in the revolutions of the Arab Spring is reaching a crucial stage. Women who joined men in the streets, enduring … Read more

 

For Muslim Women, a Careful Script to Combat Violence

Egyptian women protesting sexual harrasment and violence.

The saddest stories told by vulnerable women in villages or slum shacks across the developing world most often involve violence or subjugation that they must bear because they don’t know how, or don’t have the means, to escape a bad situation. In the poorest countries, women talk of being assaulted or intimidated at home, in … Read more

Easing Afghan Women’s Burdens With a Hotline

UNDP women's hotline

Sanjar Qiam can readily recite examples of domestic abuse in his country, Afghanistan. “Just last week we received a call from neighbors,” Qiam, the director of a Kabul-based communications business, Gandeeray, recalled in a phone interview from his home in London, where he moved a few months ago. “‘There is a family,’ they said. “The … 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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