TOPIC: WOMEN

Deconstructing Power: The Global Prevalence of Gender Violence

In scriptures, poetry, constitutions and leaders’ pledges to protect all members of the state, women are often listed with children or others rendered “vulnerable” by circumstance. The woman citizen is imagined as less adult. Is it possible that vocabularies that consider women as objects make a quiet argument that the assault on our person is … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Women Descend on the UN, Riding on the Heels of #TimesUp

As women across the world battle systemic harassment and worse abuses for merely being female, the United Nations has opened its annual gathering of women in one of its biggest conferences of the year. This time, the 12-day meeting focuses on the status of rural women, but since it follows closely on the heels of … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Sexual Harassment at the UN Is Alive and Persistent

As its people of the year, Time magazine recently named the Silence Breakers — people who have spoken against sexual harassment and launched the hashtag #MeToo into an international phenomenon with more than seven million hits on social media. Just before the announcement, more than 230 women who work in national security for the United … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

#MeToo Must Include All Women: A Chat With UN Women’s Director

November 25 marks the annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which encompasses 16 days of activism through Dec. 10, with this year’s theme being “leave no one behind.” The annual commemoration couldn’t be better timed this year, coinciding with the #MeToo movement reverberating across the United States — and far beyond … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

US Congress Starts Slicing Away at 2018 National Budget, Sure to Hurt UN

The first round in the battle to write a federal budget, working off the Trump administration’s ruthless proposals announced in May, has ended in the House of Representatives appropriations committee. As feared by advocates for women, the poor, refugees, global health programs and even foreign language study, the Republican-led appropriations committee, which sets budget goals … Read more

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TOPIC: WOMEN

US Immigration Ban Stirs Controversy at the Annual UN Women’s Forum

Despite fears that efforts by President Trump to bar visitors to the United States from a number of Muslim majority would limit attendance at this year’s annual United Nations conference on women in New York, UN officials have kept saying there will be record participation. On the first day, however, people were more worried about … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Yikes Again! UN Staffers Protest Wonder Woman’s Role at the UN

Wonder Woman is not so wonderful in the eyes of hundreds of United Nations staff members around the world. Earlier this week, a petition began circulating among personnel to ask their boss, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to rescind the choice of the cartoon character, whose main uniform is a bustier and high heels, as an honorary … Read more

Justin Trudeau, Self-Described Feminist, Wows the UN Crowd

“Because it’s 2015,” Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada and self-proclaimed feminist, said simply, using the vernacular of his generation to reinforce his position on gender equality as he spoke at the United Nations recently during an “armchair conversation.” Trudeau, who is 44, was addressing a large audience at an event presented as part … Read more

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

Minding Your Pronunciations and Protocols at That ‘Women’s Conference’ [Video]

Are you wondering what happened at that “women’s conference at the United Nations,” as one (male) writer at The New York Times called it? Here is a recap of things to think about from the annual Commission on the Status of Women, held March 9-20, assessing how women’s rights and related gender issues are faring … Read more

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At the UN’s Yearly Meeting on Women, Scrutinizing the Slow, Patchy Gains on Equality

Two decades after the world’s largest gathering of women adopted an ambitious plan to improve if not legalize gender equality, women are marginally better off in many walks of life, depending on the country and urban versus rural regions. Progress has been documented across a range of categories, but setbacks have spoiled overall advances. That … Read more

Women’s Voices Must Stay ‘Alive’ in ISIS-Controlled Regions

The extremist Sunni militant group called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which recently declared a caliphate in parts of the Middle East, now controls an area of 13,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria. Testimonies coming out about daily life in the ISIS-controlled region depict an agenda of fear and intimidation being imposed, one … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Major New Staff Appointments at the UN and Departures

Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, has appointed at least a dozen new people to high-level positions — including five women — primarily in Africa in the last few months, while the organization also loses some executives. Three new force commanders have been named for various peacekeeping missions as well. At Unicef, Anthony Lake, an … Read more

Putting Women and Girls at the Center of the Future Development Goals

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, chief of UN Women

What happened at the annual United Nations women’s conference this year? Over 10 days of both mercifully brief and far-too-long speeches by policy people, government ministers, UN staff members and a wide array of other experts, the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women ended on a hush. It was as if everyone … 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

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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

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