Promoting Women Starts Early, in First Grade

Women marching and chanting for an antislavery protest in Nouakchott, Mauritania's capital, on May 26, 2012. JOE PENNEY

With only three years left to reach an ambitious global deadline, tracking the eight Millennium Development Goals often seems like going around in circles. Perhaps no goal is better evidence of this than Goal 3: promote gender equality and empower women. So often does the empowerment of women, in one way or another, figure in … Read more

Schools Fail the Youngest Where Population Grows the Fastest

Congolese children in an unfinished classroom at a primary school near the Kahe refugee camp in Goma, North Kivu Province.

Optimists in many developing countries are convinced that their expanding youth populations will be engines of economic growth in coming decades. They call this the “demographic dividend.” Social scientists and demographers in those same nations, however, are usually more wary of the future, as they focus on how those children, on whom so much hope … Read more

Misogyny Resurfaces, Everywhere

women solar engineers

As the first United Nations agency for women struggles for more sweeping support from governments, and advocates raise alarms that another international conference on women would be more dangerous than helpful to the cause, women in the United States also find themselves defending their rights as politics erode gains that have been made in the … Read more

Five Countries Hold Back Success at Meeting Child Mortality Goal

Nepal Mother

  As the annual stocktaking on the progress of the Millennium Development Goals begins ahead of the next General Assembly session, there has been good news about the reduction in deaths of infants and children under age 5. But bright spots on the global map are not enough to ensure that Goal 4 can be … Read more

Nagging Hunger Undermines Millennium Poverty Goal

eradicating hunger

The first of the eight Millennium Development Goals makes an ambitious demand: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger worldwide. It is now widely accepted that progress has been made in many countries on cutting the percentage of people living with less than the rock-bottom $1.25 a day. But decreasing hunger by half is another sadder story. … Read more

The Spotlight Returns to Family Planning

Women's Senegalese soccer team

Almost two decades have passed since a groundbreaking global conference on population and development in Cairo declared that women had the right, alone or with a partner, to make decisions about the number of children they wanted. Nearly 20 years is long enough for a 14-year-old girl – in a rural Ethiopian village, a vast … Read more

Scrutinizing Millennium Goal Claims as 2015 Looms

MDG water

In early March, a report from Unicef and the World Health Organization proclaimed proudly that the world had not only met but also surpassed the Millennium Development Goals target of reducing by half the number of people without access to safe drinking water. The agencies said that 89 percent of the global population — that’s … Read more

GOINGS-ON

A Slovakian in the Economic and Social Council Presidency

Milos Koterec, permanent representative of Slovakia to the United Nations, was elected president of the Economic and Social Council earlier this month in its first organizational meeting this year. Koterec, 39, succeeds Lazarous Kampambwe of Zambia, after serving as the senior vice president of the council last year. The council is the main forum in … Read more

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