TOPIC: WOMEN

UN Women Declares Its Neutrality in the Sex Trade Debate

The surprising controversy over women in the sex trade — tangled in issues of legality, terminology and competing feminist visions — has produced an unequivocal statement from the executive director of UN Women that the agency is not taking sides in this debate. The acrimonious dispute has erupted just as the United Nations is preparing … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Margot Wallstrom’s Feminist Foreign Policy for Sweden Catches On Globally, She Says

Margot Wallstrom, as Sweden’s newly appointed foreign minister, announced in 2014 that her priority would be the creation of the world’s first feminist foreign policy. The concept left some in her diplomatic corps “gasping for air,” she said. Now, having recently completed a hectic five years in office despite numerous global crises, she is confident … Read more

Russia, Iran, the US and Visas: The Cold War Heats Up at the UN, a Podcast Explains

While Turkey has carried out its plan to invade northeast Syria and the United Nations Security Council has failed to react in a unified way, Russia and Iran have been making their own moves in the UN headquarters in New York, to achieve a political goal: disrupting crucial General Assembly committees. Welcome back to UN-Scripted, … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

UN Women Is Criticized for Appearing to Take Sides on Decriminalizing ‘Sex Work’

A group of civil society organizations is warning that a growing global movement to decriminalize and rebrand prostitution as “sex work” could lead to more, not less, violence against the world’s most vulnerable women and girls. The critics are petitioning UN Women, which is leading a review of the results of the 1995 Fourth World … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Calling All Women’s Groups: Help Shape the Beijing+25 Agenda

Women in Uruguay preparing to participate in an International Women's Day march, 2019

Twenty-four years ago, the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, yielded a bold declaration from 189 countries calling for improving the rights of women across the globe. Now, plans to mark the 25th anniversary of Beijing are forging ahead, as organizers decide on themes of conferences taking place in 2020 while managing pushback … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

In the Drive for Gender Equality, the Law Is Not Always on Women’s Side

Bangkok Woman

So how are women doing these days, during the global push for gender equality? Not all that great in work and legal protections, according to a new World Bank report, even in some prosperous countries — including the United States. The US ranked 65th on the report’s scorecard, below Malawi, Kenya and the Bahamas. With … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

The US Goes ‘Bonkers’ at the UN Women’s Conference

“Hold the line” was the frequent refrain heard during the contentious negotiations swirling around the annual meeting at the United Nations ensuring the rights of women. Delegates from the UN’s 193 countries were urged by conference leaders to remain steadfast against a rising tide of conservative national positions, which included the United States, regarding the … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

The Goal of Gender Parity in the UN: Proving That Women Are Equal to Men

Ana Menéndez is a former Spanish diplomat who oversees the gender parity strategy at the United Nations, working directly for Secretary-General António Guterres for a year and a half now on one of his main priorities at the institution. Menéndez is tasked with the role — besides being responsible for overall UN policy — after a … Read more

Big Holes in the UN Development Goals Are Exposed by New Studies

Serious flaws in the system for tracking progress on the Sustainable Development Goals have been uncovered in a newly published collection of stunning, provocative research by eminent developing policy specialists. They are finding that the lofty visions that produced the SDGs, now in their fourth year of implementation, have from the start been undercut and … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

At the UN’s Global Summit on Women’s Rights, the US Looks Chaotic

More than 10,000 people will soon converge on the United Nations for its annual Commission on the Status of Women conference, providing a unique forum to gauge progress and to press for the rights of women and marginalized populations around the world. Founded at a forward-thinking moment in 1946, the commission’s yearly meetings offer a … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Michelle Bachelet of Chile Nominated to Be Next UN Rights Commissioner

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has nominated Michelle Bachelet, a former president of Chile, to become the next UN high commissioner for human rights. The nomination has been sent to the General Assembly for approval. Bachelet, who is 66, was Guterres’s top choice all along in the selection process, which began informally in the spring, … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

‘Don’t Try to Be a Superwoman’: An Interview With Michelle Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet ended her second term as president of Chile on March 11, 2018. Her first term, from 2006 to 2010, was marked by an ambitious social and economic agenda advancing women’s rights and better health care. Her cabinet of ministers, for example, was composed of an equal number of men and women, as she … Read more

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

Thank You, UN, for Protecting the Rights of Women

There is still a long way to go to uphold the rights of women worldwide, and UN Women, a department of the Secretariat, is now carrying the torch in this struggle. It builds on the efforts of the UN human-rights program going back to the earliest days of the organization. For International Women’s Day, on … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

As Sweden and Canada Push a ‘Feminist Foreign Policy,’ Others Resist the Label

After years of civil war, Somalia is beginning to build democratic institutions with support from the West, even as horrific violence repeatedly strikes the capital, Mogadishu. Help from foreign countries and regional groups — such as the European Union, Italy and the United States — was provided in Somalia’s 2016 election, where electoral processes and … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Michelle Bachelet, Outgoing President of Chile, Gets a WHO Post

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has agreed to chair the board of the World Health Organization’s Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health after she finishes her government role on March 11. The announcement came after a Jan. 10 meeting at the presidential palace in Santiago, during which the WHO leadership offered Bachelet the position. “This … Read more

Financing the UN: Payers, Pipers and Tunes

GENEVA — Change is in the air again on First Avenue. Among numerous reform options being bandied about, none will be more consequential than those on financing the United Nations system. There are the sledgehammer arguments: drastic slashes in funding by Washington and other donors could precipitate dramatic change. As we have argued in these … 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

TOPIC: WOMEN

Where Are the Female Leaders at the UN? Gender Bias Persists

The exhibition “HERStory: A Celebration of Leading Women in the United Nations” was held at the Unesco headquarters in Paris this summer, after it made its debut in New York last year. Designed to showcase the contributions of female leaders throughout the UN’s history, it featured such high-profile personalities as Margaret Anstee, the first woman … Read more

 

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