Women, Children, Population – UN News Centre

A world of news from the world organization

Prevention is ‘only cure’ to end sexual violence in conflict, Security Council hears

“Prevention is the best and only cure” to stem the multiple, devastating and enduring consequences faced by survivors of sexual violence in conflict, especially as a brutal tactic of war, a senior UN official told the Security Council on Wednesday.  

Hundreds of millions of women living lives ‘governed by others’, UN report shows

Almost half of women in some 57 countries do not have the power to make choices over their healthcare, contraception, or sex lives, a new United Nations report launched on Wednesday, has revealed.

Libya violated rights of ‘targeted’ woman activist, says anti-discrimination committee

The failure of Libya to investigate the unlawful arrest and torture of a women’s rights activist is a clear rights violation, the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), said on Wednesday.

Gender equality, the ‘unfinished human rights struggle of this century’: UN chief

Achieving equal rights for women is “the unfinished human rights struggle of this century”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in remarks to the Generation Equality Forum which began online from Mexico City on Monday. 

 UN commission pushes equality for women in decision-making

At the closing of the UN women’s commission, world leaders issued a strong pledge for the elimination of violence against women along with their full and effective participation in public life, including in decision-making. 

Motherhood on the brink in Yemen

War, a humanitarian crisis, a looming famine, a health system close to collapse and the deepening impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a “catastrophic situation” in which a woman dies in childbirth every two hours in Yemen, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

First Person: ‘No daughter of mine will be cut’

Like 95 per cent of women in her Ugandan community, Margaret Chepoteltel underwent female genital mutilation (FGM) as a child, subjecting her to lifelong health problems. Today, she is raising awareness of the dangers of FGM, as part of a UN-backed programme.

Empowering women in peace operations remains top priority, says UN peacekeeping chief

Praising women’s fundamental contributions to peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts, the UN peacekeeping chief reiterated on Thursday that empowering women in the military remains a top priority, but to achieve this goal needs “all hands on deck”.

Experts debate links between political leadership and preventing violence against women

Ending violence against women in politics is critical to encouraging more women to participate in public life, the President of the UN General Assembly said on Tuesday. 

Turkey’s withdrawal from women’s protection treaty, ‘worrying step backwards’

Turkey’s decision to withdraw from an important treaty on protecting women is “a very worrying step backwards”, a group of independent UN human rights experts said on Tuesday. 

Women ‘systematically excluded’ from COVID response, despite being worst affected 

Notwithstanding that women make up 70 per cent of healthcare workers globally, and have been most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also being “systematically excluded” from decision-making processes aimed at ending the pandemic, including government-run task forces around the world, according to the head of UN Women.  

Face of Sudan’s democratic transition ‘is female and it is young’, says UN agency chief

The head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has called for increased international support for peace and stability in Sudan, highlighting that investing in the country’s youth and women, is investing in the nation’s future. 

UN agencies urge Turkey not to abandon international accord protecting women

United Nations agencies on Saturday called on Turkey to reconsider its withdrawal from a key regional treaty on preventing violence against women, including domestic violence, and bringing the perpetrators to justice. 

Despite pandemic, UN continues to fight ‘scourge’ of sexual exploitation abuse 

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday, released his annual update on how the Organization is working to stamp out the “scourge” of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) through its zero-tolerance policy, which required special measures this year in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fast-track women’s participation in public life ‘for everyone's benefit’

The UN rights chief said on Tuesday that empowering women and girls to participate fully in public life is both the right and “smart thing to do”, speaking on a day that saw history being made with the first ever address to the UN by a woman Vice President of the United States. 

Gender equality means business, Secretary-General tells corporate leaders

The UN Secretary-General has urged corporate leaders to achieve gender equality, highlighting the benefits for the private sector and society at large. 

Women must be ‘front and centre’ of pandemic recovery, UN chief says

Women need to be “front and centre” of the pandemic recovery as a matter of economics, efficiency, effectiveness and social resilience, the UN chief told the women’s commission on Tuesday. 

Syria’s decade of conflict takes massive toll on women and girls

This week, Syria marks a grim anniversary: 10 years since the start of the country’s grinding conflict. Today, one decade into the catastrophe, about half the country’s population has been uprooted, with some 12 million people internally displaced or living as refugees.  

COVID-19 has exposed endemic gender inequality, Guterres tells UN Women’s commission

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on women and girls, and the fallout has shown how deeply gender inequality remains embedded in the world’s political, social and economic systems, UN chief António Guterres said in his address to the Commission on the Status of Women, on Monday. This year’s Commission will focus on charting a global roadmap towards achieving full equality in public life but, as Mr. Guterres recalled in his speech, gender equality in all walks of life is a long way off and has been further undermined by the pandemic.

First Person: Women peacekeepers a ‘powerful image for girls in remote villages’

Deputy Inspector Martina de Maria Sandoval Linares, from El Salvador always wanted to help others. Now, working as a UN Police officer, she has found her vocation, far from home in South Sudan. Ms. Linares, whose eight-year-old daughter and family are back in El Salvador, told UN News why the job is so rewarding, despite the sacrifices she makes.

FROM THE FIELD: Avoiding unintended pregnancies in cash-strapped Malawi

In Malawi, as in many countries across the world, funds meant for sexual reproductive health and family planning are being diverted to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and the UN has stepped in to prevent these services from grinding to a halt.

Latest session of UN women’s commission focuses on equality in public life

Setting a global roadmap for achieving full equality at decision-making tables is among the objectives of the 65th session of the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which opens in New York on Monday. 

UN agency raises alarm over ‘targeted’ violence against women in Myanmar protests

The United Nations entity dedicated to protection of women’s rights has voiced deep concerns over “targeted and disproportionate” violence against women being recorded during the crackdown against peaceful protesters in Myanmar. 

COVID disrupts contraception services, leads to 1.4 million unintended pregnancies, says UNFPA 

One year since COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic, the UN’s reproductive health agency said on Thursday that an estimated 12 million women have experienced disruptions to their family planning services. 

Unprecedented number of women leaders, but parity still far off 

While the number of women heads of State or in government around the world has reached unprecedented levels, the challenge in achieving gender equality still remains, according to new UN data released on Wednesday. 

Endemic violence against women ‘cannot be stopped with a vaccine’ – WHO chief

Over the past decade, violence against women has been “endemic in every country and culture”, according to a new study released by the UN health agency on Tuesday.  

‘COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate, but societies do’, say women frontliners

Women doctors and scientists on the frontlines of the global battle against COVID-19 have revealed how the pandemic has exposed gender gaps in both access to healthcare and professional development in their fields. 

Lack of women in key decision-making ‘should not be allowed’ – UN Women chief 

Exclusion of women in decisions that affect their lives is “bad governance [and] should not be allowed”, the UN Women chief said on Monday, International Women’s Day. 

UN highlights transformative power of equal participation, marking International Women’s Day

Underscoring the transformative power of women’s equal participation, top United Nations officials called on all stakeholders to take special measures to advance their equal participation and achieve rapid change. 

Proportion of women parliamentarians worldwide reaches ‘all-time high’

The proportion of women parliamentarians worldwide reached more than 25 per cent last year– a historic first but still far from gender parity, UN partner the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) announced on Friday ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March.