TOPIC: WOMEN

My Year in Africa: Why This Brazilian Woman Peacekeeper Wants to Return

In one of the world’s most fragile and violent settings, Lieut. Comdr. Marcia Braga, a 45-year-old Brazilian naval officer, arrived in April 2018 as the third military gender adviser for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic. She ended her yearlong stint there bestowed with the UN’s annual Military Gender Advocate award … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

The UN Headquarters Says Adiós to Single-Use Plastic

People who regularly work or visit the United Nations headquarters in New York have surely noticed something new in the cafeteria this summer: no more single-use plastic, not even for takeout. The change also means that only metal cutlery is available at the condiment stations and the straws are now paper (plastic ones are available … Read more

Will Democrats Stall Trump’s Nominee for the UN Indefinitely?

After the Senate Foreign Relations Committee just voted to place 13 Trump administration nominees across diverse positions in the State Department, Senate ranking member Robert Menendez is using another nomination as a negotiating chip to demand details on two controversial White House migration pacts with Guatemala and Mexico. Senator Menendez (D-N.J.) is blocking the candidacy … Read more

Pompeo’s Religion Is Carrying More Sway in US Foreign Policy

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mary Ann Glendon

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo convenes the second of his ministerial-level, multifaith conferences on religious freedom around the world on July 16 to 18, global threats to Christianity are likely to figure prominently, if recent comments by American officials are any guide. Pompeo is a guiding light. An Evangelical Christian, he says he sees a role … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

Women’s Rights Defenders Are Tired of Being Told to ‘Push Back’ Against the Opposition

As a human-rights defender and women’s rights campaigner, I continue to be struck not by the many challenges now facing women’s rights organizations but by the constant calls for women to “push back against the pushback.” This call for women to push back against the many forces oppressing women’s rights organizations was repeated in a … Read more

Human-Rights Lawyers React to a UN Official’s Definition of Rape

A group of several hundred international human-rights lawyers reacted to a first-person opinion piece published by the United Nations expert on torture that “had a problematic definition of rape,” according to the lawyers’ open letter, published on July 1, expressing their legal views. The exchange between the human-rights experts and proponents and the UN specialist, … Read more

Trump’s Pick for UN Diplomat in Geneva Vows to Oppose Reproductive Rights and Put America First

Andrew Bremberg

“I am pro-life, I believe that all human life is sacred, and that human life begins at conception,” Andrew Bremberg told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently. Asked if rape victims should have access to abortion, he replied, “I don’t believe that abortion is a moral solution to any problem.” Nominated by President … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

In the Central African Republic, War’s Most Forgotten Victims

I can’t stop thinking about Marie. She was 30 years old when I met her in 2015. Two years earlier, six fighters armed with rifles and machetes burst into her home in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui. Two of the fighters held her husband at gunpoint while the others pushed her to the … Read more

 

Trump’s UN Pick Softens on Climate Change, but Not on Paris Accord

Kelly Knight Craft

Kelly Knight Craft, Donald Trump’s pick to be the next United States ambassador to the United Nations, raised eyebrows in her June 19 Senate confirmation hearing by putting some space between her views on global climate change and those of the president. But Trump needn’t worry that she might end up threatening her boss’s ostrichlike … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Widows Lose Much More Than a Spouse: They Lose Their Dignity

For many women around the world, the death of a spouse is magnified by many losses — of their social status, marital home, land, property, social security, dignity and, sometimes, their children. But men, on the other hand, lose none of their human rights while usually gaining support in starting a new chapter in his … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Call Me Dame Karen: UK’s Ambassador Dashes Style With Diplomacy

Karen Pierce, Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations

Reporting on activists who work with the United Nations and other global institutions on issues related to the women, peace and security agenda is crucial, but it can be, admittedly, dry. So we decided to look at the diplomats and others working at the UN who are advancing women’s rights in what is still a … 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

 

WORLDVIEWS

Justice for Darfur Is Critical for a Peaceful Future in Sudan 

Women from North Darfur performing a traditional dance

The people of Sudan finally ousted President Omar al-Bashir from power, on April 11, 2019. The people of Sudan must now transfer al-Bashir to The Hague to stand trial in the International Criminal Court, which, more than 10 years ago, indicted him for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur — including the … Read more

Pompeo Retreats on Universal Human Rights as US Looks More Inward

Secretary of State Pompeo

In an audacious move that could be the capstone of the Trump administration’s campaign to reverse decades of American support for human rights globally, the State Department is creating a separate new commission to advise Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on redefining United States policies, aligned with “natural law and natural rights.” For many human-rights … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

An Assault on Trump’s Global Women’s Health Policy Begins

Syrian refugees stuck in Rukban camp, near the Jordan border

With a fierce national budget battle looming in the United States Congress, Democrats on a key committee have formally proposed legislation overturning Trump policies that deny millions of women and girls in developing countries access to vital reproductive health care, including family planning. The legislative bill that emerged on May 16 from the House of … Read more

Pulling Back the Curtain on the US Mission to the UN

Vice President Pence at the United Nations Security Council on April 10, 2019

The next United States ambassador to the United Nations, which could be Kelly Knight Craft, will arrive at a US mission to the UN that is far diminished in size and stature than the one her immediate predecessor, Nikki Haley, inherited. In the last month, numerous former staff members and high-level personnel from the US … Read more

 

TOPIC: WOMEN

The Case of Harassing a UN Diplomat Via 1,000s of Text Messages

UN women's conference in March 2019

While Koki Muli Grignon was working as the facilitator during the most intense week of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, a prominent annual women’s rights conference at the United Nations, she received an odd email. It was the middle of nearly round-the-clock negotiations on the conference final summary document. The … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Wazhma Frogh Wants Women in the Afghan Peace Talks Now

Wazhma Frogh is a lifetime campaigner for Afghan women and girls. She co-founded the Women and Peace Studies Organization in Afghanistan in 2011 and is a member of the Afghan Women’s Network. In 2009, the United States State Department granted her the International Women of Courage Award. Frogh recently spoke with PassBlue through a Facebook … Read more

With Scandals Rife Across the UN, Are Managers at Fault?

A sea of new or lingering allegations of harassment and corruption in numerous agencies and programs in the United Nations system appears to be washing over a sprawling organization battered by scandal. Poor or careless management and oversight, from top to bottom, is partly to blame, but so is persistent, overt politicization of high-level appointments … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

At the UN, the US Darkens Women’s Right to Abortion

After four weeks of tumultuous negotiations over a resolution that reinforced decades of international efforts to combat sexual violence in conflict and to introduce more legal reassurances and services for victims, the 15-member United Nations Security Council approved a text whose wording had been rigorously fought over between the United States and many of its … Read more

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