BOOKS

Mexico City, 1975: When the Year of the Woman Was Born

From 1975 to 1995, the United Nations sponsored four international conferences on women that produced wildly optimistic blueprints for concrete gains. Some people dismiss these forums and the programs for action that they generated as lacking strategies to carry them out. Others insist that the conferences raised awareness, shaped aspirations, fostered activism and, in countless … Read more

The UN’s First Feminist, Peg Snyder, Describes Her Brilliant Career

As the Commission on the Status of Women convenes to tackle 21st-century feminist issues, Margaret Snyder — “Peg” to almost everyone who has met her — can take a long view of the history of women in the United Nations system, the hurdles they overcame and the changes they have made. Best known as the founding … Read more

Women’s Rights and the UN: A Long History of Ups and Downs

The 2010 creation of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (or UN Women) represented an unusual organizational consolidation instead of the typical proliferation. It had a promising start under strong leadership but faces serious challenges with growing resistance to gender equality. Support for women’s rights has a long and checkered history … Read more

It’s Down to Latin America v. Africa to Lead UN Women

Alcinda Abreu, environment minister of Mozambique

After several months of public speculation at the United Nations, two candidates are now in tight contention for the executive director post of UN Women, the main agency tasked with promoting the treatment and rights of women worldwide since it began operating in January 2011. Rebeca Grynspan, 57, is one contender. Since 2010, she has … Read more

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