TOPIC: WOMEN

US Congress Strikes Back at Trump’s Goals to Curtail Family Planning

In a rare act of legislative sabotage, the Trump administration’s plan to starve international family planning of funds has been killed for now as committees in both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate slipped hundreds of millions of dollars to support reproductive health programs into a 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion US budget package … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

With US Funds Gone, UN Population Fund Faces Brutal Choices in Helping Women

It will soon be two years since the United Nations adopted a new 15-year development policy encapsulated in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This sprawling, ambitious agenda was designed partly to address the shortcomings of the Millennium Goals, the most disheartening of which for women was the failure to meet promises of improved maternal health … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

‘I Don’t Go Rogue on the President’: Nikki Haley’s Contradictory Testimony to Congress About the UN

Photo: Nikki Haley and the Egyptian ambassador to the UN, Amr Aboulatta

Five months into her stint as United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley faced two days of often-sharp questioning on June 27 and 28 by influential panels of the United States Congress. They demanded justification for the Trump administration’s decision to slash funding to the United Nations, particularly cuts to the UN Population … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Head Since 2011, Dies Suddenly at 68

The death on June 4 of Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, and a Nigerian, was not only a personal tragedy and a shock to the staff of the fund but also another blow for an agency that had recently lost all its United States financial support. Osotimehin, a physician, … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The Debate on Trump’s Budget Ignores Serious Global Cuts

When the White House sent its proposed 2018 budget to the United States Congress on May 23, it was apparent that not only would a hawkish, nationalistic focus on military expenditures come at the cost of international aid and support for the United Nations. Worse, the Trump plan would also sideline discussions on global issues, … Read more

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TOPIC: WOMEN

The US Tightens Rules on NGOs in Global Health, Hurting Poor Women

While trying to make the case that the United States remains committed to global health programs, the Trump administration has issued orders to nongovernmental organizations and others working in women’s health that could cripple some of their international operations by demanding contractual compliance with US anti-abortion policies. The new rules have been written under the … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Trump’s Defunding of the UN Population Fund Will Punish Poor Women

I met Dr. Solomon Orero in 2008 at a ceremony where he was honored for his heroic work in reproductive health in Kenya by the Feminist Majority Foundation. I was heavily involved, since 2002, in 34 Million Friends of the United Nations Population Fund, which asked for one dollar from 34 million Americans to make … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

America’s Financial Support to the UN: What’s at Stake?

With White House proposals to slash United States assessments and donations to international organizations now in play in the writing of a federal budget for 2018 — as an April 28 deadline approaches — the extent of potential losses to the United Nations is coming into sharp focus. The US, for example, has immediately begun … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Advice to António Guterres: A Leaner UN Could Be a Better UN

GENEVA — Whether or not he is a fan of Chinese characters, António Guterres will have to discover the double meaning of a crisis as opportunity. United Nations corridors on First Avenue in New York are buzzing with anxiety about the possibility of impending cuts in funding from the United States, with hints from a … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

US Republicans Extend Global Gag Rules, and Asia’s E-Trash Piles Up

In this third installment of an occasional series on research and data useful to readers, PassBlue takes a look at financial threats to a United Nations agency focused on family planning and how e-waste in Asia is hurting the regional environment and public health. With the fate of funding for the United Nations Population Fund, … Read more

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How’s He Doing? António Guterres’s First Month as UN Secretary-General

António Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general

Thirty-two days in office as United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres spoke extensively to the media for the first time at UN headquarters, on Feb. 1. Indicative of the chaos gripping many parts of the world as a result of new White House actions, Guterres might be forgiven for waiting a month to address the media … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

It’s Time to Rally Grass Roots to Fund the UN Population Fund Again

Imagine yourself a pregnant woman in Syria making her way on foot to a refugee camp when suddenly you go into labor. The United Nations Population Fund is there to save you and your baby’s life. That is what UNFPA does. I have seen their work on site in Mali and in Senegal. President Trump … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Trump’s ‘Gag Rule’ Contradicts UN Policy Helping Women in Distress

Just days after a global outpouring of support for a movement demanding protection for the rights of women and other advances promoted by civil society, Donald Trump has fully turned back the clock. On Jan. 23, with a stroke of his presidential pen, he banned all official American aid to any global organization that provides … Read more

In a Single Day, US Congress Castigates Both the UN and Obama Over Israeli Vote

While Washington is caught up in the unfolding drama about the extent and motives of Russian hacking and possible attempted manipulation of the 2016 American presidential election, another story is playing out around threats to “punish” the United Nations. On Jan.5, the United States House of Representatives voted to repudiate the Security Council resolution on … Read more

The UN’s Support of Midwifery and the Serious Gaps That Remain

Midwifery is one of the world’s most ancient vocations, its practitioners playing a prominent role dating back to the Bible. In much of the world, midwives continue to play an important role in maintaining the health of women and newborns. It should come as no surprise, then, that investments in this occupation, according to the … Read more

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Finding True Power for Women and Girls: The UN Goals’ Toughest Task

Challenged by the staggering agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to abolish most of the world’s ills within 15 years, research organizations, advocacy groups and objective demographers had begun to do the math well before the goals were adopted globally in September 2015. Success or failure rests on complex equations with interlinked or competing … Read more

TOPIC: INDIA

Loathed for Being Born a Girl

I am a terrible cook, a life skill I am not proud of missing out on. I routinely shame myself for not posting curated selfies of home-cooked cuisine, but my mother couldn’t be happier about my impediment. When I was a young girl growing up in India, my mother, Shashi Dutt, forbade me from entering … Read more

US Policy Denies Emergency Abortion Globally for War Rape Victims

In 1973, Jesse Helms, a newly elected United States senator and an ideologue contemptuous of the United Nations, dismissive of international treaties and completely devoid of compassion for the world’s poor, put his name on an amendment to the landmark 1961 United States Foreign Assistance Act banning any use of US funds to support abortion … Read more

As the World’s Older Population Increases, Can Cities Handle the Influx?

A trio of megatrends that could radically change the makeup of cities around the world is about to converge. “You have two very powerful trends,” says John Wilmoth, director of the United Nations Population Division. “There’s aging of population and there’s an urbanization that’s taking place. It’s not only movement to cities, but it’s the … 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

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