Women, Children, Population – UN News Centre

A world of news from the world organization

Overturning of Roe v Wade abortion law a ‘huge blow to women’s human rights’ warns Bachelet

Friday’s decision by the US Supreme Court which overturns the 50-year-old Roe v Wade judgement guaranteeing access to abortion across the United States, was described by the UN human rights chief as “a huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality.”

Actions to stem violence against women and girls ‘needed now more than ever’

Over the past two years, there has been “an unprecedented increase in all forms of gender-based violence,” the UN Deputy Secretary-General told a high-level meeting in Kigali, on Thursday, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a major contributor.

Violence against indigenous women, ‘legacy of colonialism’ rooted in racism

Indigenous women and girls face grave, systematic, and continuous acts of violence that permeate every aspect of their lives, a UN-appointed independent rights expert said on Wednesday in a hard hitting report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva

Sexual violence in conflict ‘terrorizes populations, destroys lives and fractures communities’

Sexual violence has become a brutal tactic of warfare and repression that “terrorizes populations, destroys lives and fractures communities,” the UN chief said on Friday.

Afghanistan facing ‘the darkest moments’ in a generation

The Afghanistan people are experiencing some of “the darkest moments” in a generation the UN human rights chief told Human Rights Council on Wednesday.

Promoting women’s rights, a ‘proven’ strategy for peace and stability

The Women, Peace and Security agenda is “one of our best hopes” for a more peaceful future and a liveable planet, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council on Wednesday.

First Person: The South Sudanese refugee helping others through trauma

Rose Mary Tiep, fled domestic abuse and the conflict in South Sudan five years ago. Today she is helping others through their trauma in an Ugandan refugee camp, as part of a UN-backed support programme.

A catering programme with baked-in prospects for vulnerable Liberian girls

Agnes-Josephine Kenderman, a Liberian teenage mother, is benefiting from a UN-backed initiative to empower young vulnerable girls, which includes training to help her make and sell pastries and other products.

Chile: Apology for sterilizing HIV-positive women in moment of ‘reproductive justice’

The head of the UN agency leading the fight against HIV/AIDS, welcomed on Friday a public apology from Chile on a landmark case of involuntary sterilization of women living with HIV.

Zimbabwean peacekeeper wins UN gender advocate award

For the first time, a Zimbabwean peacekeeper has been chosen to receive the prestigious 2021 Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award, UN Peacekeeping announced on Tuesday.

UN marks first ever international day spotlighting women working in the maritime industry

The first ever International Day for Women in Maritime kicked off its inaugural celebration on Wednesday with a seminar to “take stock and identify areas where improvement is needed”, the top UN official representing seafarers said.

High-level UN conference debates precious commodity: Land

The 15th session of the Conference of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), kicked-off on Monday, in the Ivorian "economic" capital.

Afghanistan: Taliban orders women to stay home; cover up in public

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) issued a statement of deep concern on Saturday in response to an announcement made by the Taliban de facto authorities saying that women should only leave their homes in cases of necessity and then, with their faces covered in public.

On a mission to cut Papua New Guinea’s high levels of sexual violence

Nearly 60 per cent of women and girls aged 15-49 in Papua New Guinea have experienced some form of physical sexual violence, almost twice the global average. A health support group, backed by the UN, is educating young people and supporting survivors.

Ukraine war: Reports reveal women are stepping up, impact on education

The war in Ukraine is having a disproportionate impact on women and minorities, who are facing immense hardship when it comes to health, safety, and access to food, according to a UN-backed report focused on the changing gender dynamics of the conflict. 

Ukraine war: UN signs framework to assist survivors of sexual violence

Women’s rights do not end when wars begin, a senior UN official said in Ukraine on Tuesday, outlining measures towards ensuring justice and accountability for sexual violence committed during the conflict in the country. 

Tech needs girls, and girls need tech

More and more young women and girls are highlighting the importance of access and safety in the digital world. Marking International Girls in ICT Day, on Thursday, UN agencies have issued a call to action to ensure equal access to digital learning opportunities.

Rights chief Bachelet backs call for greater women’s role in disarmament talks

Disarmament research agency UNIDIR called on Thursday for more women to take their rightful place in international security discussions – a move that’s been warmly welcomed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. 

Justice critical to fighting sexual violence in conflict

Women’s rights are human rights, and universal in times of war and peace, a senior UN official told the Security Council on Wednesday, urging ambassadors to ensure accountability for conflict-related sexual violence. 

UNHCR calls for better oversight of UK ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has highlighted the need for “adequate safeguards” and vetting measures to be put in place against the possible exploitation of Ukrainian women, under the United Kingdom’s “Homes for Ukraine” scheme.

The key to climate action and sustainable peace? Women’s full and equal participation

Women and children increasingly bear the brunt of climate change, which deepens the inequalities and vulnerabilities they already face, such as poverty, violence, lack of opportunities and basic human rights. Yet women are not victims; they are survivors, innovators and solution-multipliers who deserve a real seat at the table. Two Colombian activists tell us why this is true.

‘Staggering number’ of unintended pregnancies reveals failure to uphold women’s rights 

Nearly half of all pregnancies, totalling 121 million each year worldwide, are unintended, according to a new report published on Wednesday by the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA. 

Fighting child marriage in India, thanks to school and a mobile phone

With the help of an innovative mobile phone service, UN agencies are working with the Government of Rajasthan, India, to combat child marriage.

Mistreatment in childbirth, a human rights and healthcare problem, new study warns

Women across the world face unacceptable mistreatment during childbirth, according to a new study from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Human Reproduction Programme (HRP) launched on Wednesday.

Taliban’s backtracking on girls’ education, ‘deeply damaging’

Following a U-turn over re-opening girls’ secondary schools in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the UN human rights chief shared her “profound frustration and disappointment” that six months after the Taliban seized power, high school girls have yet to return to the classroom.

Women and girls deserve to live without violence in ‘safety, dignity and freedom’

Violence against women and girls may be the world’s “longest, deadliest pandemic,” the UN chief said on Tuesday, during an event focused on the role boys and men need to play, to help eliminate gender-based violence.

South Sudan: ‘hellish existence’ for women and girls, new UN report reveals

Widespread sexual violence against women and girls in conflict is being fueled by systemic impunity, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan said on Monday.

World must deliver support to Afghans: UN refugee chief

UN Refugee Agency chief Filippo Grandi called on Thursday for sustained international support for Afghanistan’s people, where the country’s humanitarian crisis is worsening.

Gender equality ‘fundamental prerequisite’ for peaceful, sustainable world

Gender equality is essentially “a question of power” that for millennia, has, “to the detriment of all”, been mostly in the hands of men, the UN chief told a town hall meeting on Wednesday, devoted to the issue.

Guterres vows to improve UN’s handling of sexual exploitation and abuse

Secretary-General António Guterres released his annual update on the Organization’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) on Tuesday, dovetailing with his system-wide strategy, launched in 2017, to stamp out incidents by placing victims at the heart of efforts, throughout the system.