Women, Children, Population – UN News Centre

A world of news from the world organization

‘Sexism and misogyny’ heightened; women’s freedoms supressed

Gender-based violence, hate speech and disinformation are being used extensively online and offline, to chill or kill women’s freedom of expression, an independent UN human rights expert told the General Assembly on Monday.

'It will help me to achieve my dream': Helping Iraqi girls stay in school

When COVID-19 closed schools in Basra, southern Iraq, the academic prospects for many schoolgirls were put at risk. On International Day of The Girl Child, we look at a UN program which is helping girls in the region to keep learning.

First Person: Levelling the gender playing field in Jordan

Discussing gender equality in Jordan can lead to difficult conversations, as Balqees Shahin, a volunteer for the UN Women gender equality campaign HeforShe, has discovered. Marking International Day of The Girl Child on Monday, Ms. Shahin told UN News that online games can help young people to address gender issues.

Somalia: ‘Sustained focus, investments’ needed to boost women’s political participation

Unresolved issues surrounding parliamentary quotas, and women’s participation in elections in Somalia were highlighted by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed in the Security Council on Tuesday, with the aim of increasing their involvement in the political process.     

DR Congo: Abuse allegations amid Ebola outbreak ‘a sickening betrayal of the people we serve’

Sexual abuse and exploitation allegedly carried out by World Health Organization (WHO) staff during the UN health agency’s response to an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is “a sickening betrayal of the people we serve,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said on Tuesday. 

UNICEF’s women Goodwill Ambassadors, give voice to the voiceless

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in mid-August, the world has continued to watch anxiously, as the fate of women and girls throughout the country hangs in the balance.

Call to action: Prevent gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies

Top UN officials met in the margins of the 76th General Assembly on Thursday,  with a strong call to action to stamp out gender-based violence (GBV), amid a rise in forced displacement and other humanitarian emergencies around the globe.

First Person: The ‘bravery’ of Afghanistan's girls and women

Afghanistan’s girls and women are showing “bravery” in the face of real “fears and pressures” following the formation of the new, de facto authorities in Afghanistan,  according to a UNICEF member of staff, one of the few westerners to remain in Kabul.

Afghanistan: ‘Palpable’ fear of ‘brutal and systemic repression’ of women grows

Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan last month, they have made some commitments to uphold human rights. However, their subsequent actions have “sadly contradicted” those promises, the UN rights chief told a side event of the General Assembly on Tuesday.

UN Women’s feminist roadmap tackles triple crises of jobs, care and climate 

The UN’s gender equality and empowerment organization on Thursday published a flagship feminist plan for economic recovery and transformation, which aims to learn the lessons of the past, and seize the opportunity to handle COVID-related crises better.

Gender equality ‘champion’ Sima Sami Bahous to lead UN Women 

Secretary-General António Guterres described Sima Sami Bahous of Jordan, as “a champion for women and girls”, announcing on Monday her appointment to lead the UN’s gender equality and empowerment entity, UN Women. 

Afghanistan: UN chief following escalation in fighting ‘with deep concern’

With Taliban fighters continuing to gain ground in Afghanistan, the UN Secretary-General is following events “with deep concern” said the UN Spokesperson on Thursday, including the battle for Herat and Kandahar, the country’s second and third largest cities.  

For women in e-commerce, ‘entrepreneurship means freedom’

Entrepreneurship can mean more freedom for women according to the first Latin-American advocate of eTrade for All, an initiative developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to expand and promote the digital economy, especially in low and middle-income countries.

Cyprus communities weaving closer ties through UN-backed project

A weaving project is helping to close the decades-long divide between the two communities in Cyprus, with assistance from the UN mission in the country, UNFICYP. 

First Person: ‘I’m not old enough to be a woman’ says trafficked teen

A teenage girl who was sold for sex for the price of a few beers as a twelve-year-old, has told the United Nations how she was trafficked between Burundi and Tanzania in East Africa.

Farmers the ‘lifeblood of our food systems’, deputy UN chief highlights, ahead of key summit

Farmers, especially women and indigenous people, work tirelessly to put food on our tables. UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed met on Saturday women producers at a farmers’ market in Circo Massimo, Rome, ahead of the Food Systems Pre-Summit taking place next week.

Domestic violence, forced marriage, have risen in Sudan: UN-backed study

Deteriorating economic conditions since 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have fuelled an increase in domestic violence and forced marriage in Sudan, a UN-backed study has revealed. 

Fewer women than men will regain work during COVID-19 recovery: ILO 

Fewer women will regain jobs lost to the COVID-19 pandemic during the recovery period, than men, according to a new study released on Monday by the UN’s labour agency.  

‘We are with you’: The South African care centres providing hope for survivors of sexual violence

In South Africa, a sexual offence is committed every ten minutes, and the number is rising, according to official police statistics. The UN is working closely with the Government to ensure that care centres have the resources to help survivors of sexual violence across the country, including the most deprived regions.   

Landmark gender equality forum concludes with concrete commitments, plan to advance parity by 2026 

With the chief of the UN’s gender empowerment agency declaring that women are still “sitting in the corridors when men are inside at the table negotiating peace”, the historic Generation Equality Forum in Paris concluded on Friday with new commitments designed to address that, and other injustices.

Women must no longer be ‘squeezed into a small corner’, landmark Forum declares 

In a bid to put gender equality at the heart of COVID recovery, UN Women kicked off a three-day “landmark effort” in Paris on Wednesday, aiming to lay out ambitious investments and policies to bridge the chasm between where women stand in the world today, and where they should be, by 2030.  

Generation Equality: Alongside COVID lies an ‘equally horrific pandemic’ threatening women

As the world grapples unevenly with the effects of COVID-19, “a parallel and equally horrific pandemic” has threatened half the world’s population, the UN chief said on Tuesday, in the lead up to the Generation Equality Forum in France.

Time running out to prevent ‘worst case scenario’ arising in Afghanistan

With all the major indicators for Afghanistan’s security and development looking “negative or stagnant” as international troops withdraw, the threats that lie ahead cannot be overstated, the top UN official in the country told the Security Council on Tuesday. 

First Person: Raising a glass to ‘Mama Cheers’

A Ugandan woman entrepreneur who was left with just a wheelbarrow and a red dress, when a business partner ran off with all her money has been recognized with an award by the UN trade agency (UNCTAD) after she grew her company into a nationwide enterprise with five million customers.

First Person: Learning a recipe for freedom in Nigeria

When Nigerian Blessing Ojukwu became pregnant after she was raped, her family disowned her. She was forced to live with her abuser, who continued to attack her. Now, a UN-backed initiative is giving her, and others in similar situations, a chance to become financially independent, and start new lives. 

Drones deliver blood to prevent maternal death in Botswana

Drones are providing life-saving care to women in remote parts of the southern African country, Botswana, who otherwise may die in childbirth, thanks to support from the United Nations.   

No ‘manels’, more gender equality in Indonesia: a UN Resident Coordinator blog

Panel discussions exclusively made up of men, or ‘manels’ need to stop, says Valerie Julliand, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Indonesia. Ms. Julliand has taken steps to promote gender parity by pledging that the UN will only participate in panels which include women’s voices.

Military Gender Advocate of the Year highlights ‘crucial gender dimensions’ in Darfur 

The UN chief on Monday, commended an award-winning Kenyan peacekeeper for her gender-mainstreaming work while serving in the restive Darfur region of Sudan. 

First Person: Refugee ‘Russian Woman’ in bid for Eurovision glory

Manizha Sangin arrived in Russia as young refugee, when her family fled the violence of the civil war in Tajikistan. Today, she is a high-profile singer, representing Russia in the final of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, with the song “Russian Woman”. Ms. Sangin is also a UN Goodwill Ambassador for the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), and a domestic abuse activist.

‘Spirt of unity, partnership and collaboration’ needed to realize Sudan’s aspirations

Moving from Sudan’s current fragile transition period towards stable civilian rule, requires a continued “spirt of unity, partnership and collaboration”, a senior UN official told the Security Council on Thursday.