Women, Children, Population – UN News Centre

A world of news from the world organization

Invest in rural women, help them build resilience to future crises, urges UN chief

Rural women play a critical role in agriculture, food security and managing land and natural resources - yet many suffer from "discrimination, systemic racism, and structural poverty", the UN chief said on Thursday. 

International Day of the Girl: ‘Be bold in your demands’, urges UN deputy chief 

As the COVID-19 pandemic increases gender, economic and racial inequalities, the UN on Friday marked the upcoming International Day of the Girl, with a youth-driven virtual townhall to demand a more just and equitable world for girls.

Guterres: UN working ‘relentlessly’ to advance women, peace and security agenda

Armed conflict has a disproportionate impact on women and girls – a key reason why women’s “full, equal and meaningful participation” in UN peacekeeping is such a priority, the Secretary-General said on Thursday. 

Report reveals linkages between human trafficking and forced marriage

Across the world, girls as young as 12 are being forced or tricked into marrying men who exploit them for sex and domestic work, in what the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has called an “under-reported, global form of human trafficking”. 

Iraq urged to investigate attacks on women human rights defenders

UN-appointed independent rights experts have urged the Iraqi authorities to investigate the murder of a female human rights defender, and the attempted killing of another, targeted “simply because they are women”.

COVID-19 underscores need to deliver on promise of landmark women’s rights conference

Unless countries act now, the COVID-19 pandemic could erase recent “fragile progress” towards gender equality, the UN Secretary-General warned on Thursday, urging governments to put women at the centre of recovery and response. 

Thailand: More than 100 companies pledge to strengthen women’s economic empowerment

Chief executives of 110 companies in Thailand on Wednesday, have signed up to a new set of UN principles on women’s economic empowerment, pledging to improve gender equality in the boardroom, equal pay for equal work, and safer and more inclusive workplaces.

Redouble efforts against ‘global scourge’ of gender-based violence, intensified by pandemic: Guterres 

From domestic violence to sexual abuse, online harassment and increased child marriage, gender-based violence (GBV) is “a global scourge” that is being exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN chief said on Tuesday. 

Nobel laureate Nadia Murad denounces lack of will to end sexual violence as a war tactic

With one in three women around the world affected by gender-based violence – a crime that skyrockets more than 200 per cent in conflict settings – Nobel laureate Nadia Murad brought governments and UN leaders to task on Monday, for failing to provide the resources needed to create meaningful change for traumatized communities.

Most countries failing to protect women from COVID-19 economic and social fallout

The COVID-19 pandemic is “hitting women hard”, but most nations are failing to provide sufficient social and economic protection for them, the head of the UN gender empowerment agency said on Monday.

Conflict, climate crisis, threaten fragile gains to advance women and children’s health

Fragile gains made over the past decade to advance women and children’s health are threatened by conflict, the climate crisis and COVID-19, according to a new report from Every Woman Every Child, released on Friday.

Sustainable Development goals are ‘the future’ Malala tells major UN event, urging countries to get on track

The Global Goals represent the future for millions of girls who want education, women who fight for equality, and youth fighting for clean air, UN Messenger of Peace Malala Yousafzai said on Friday, at a side event of the General Assembly, challenging Member States, “when are you planning to do the work”? 

Equal pay essential to build a world of dignity and justice for all, UN says, commemorating first International Equal Pay Day

The United Nations is marking the first ever International Equal Pay Day, on Friday, drawing attention to the gender pay gap – the difference between what a woman earns compared to a man, for work of equal value – and the systemic inequalities it is rooted in.  

Lebanon: Working on the ground to meet basic needs of Beirut’s women and girls

A month after the Beirut Port explosion, life remains uncertain for thousands of women and girls. Among the displaced are an estimated 84,000 women and girls of reproductive age.

25 years after Beijing’s Women Conference, significance ‘undimmed’

Exactly 25 years after the historic world conference in Beijing on the advancement and equality of women, the head of the UN gender empowerment agency declared on Friday that “its significance is undimmed”.  

Women are key to response and recovery out of the COVID era: Deputy UN chief

Young women are fighting interconnected battles for “environmental, economic and racial justice”, the deputy UN chief said in a discussion on Thursday.

Women bear the brunt, as COVID erodes progress on eradicating extreme poverty

The coronavirus pandemic and its fallout will likely push 47 million more women into poverty, reversing decades of progress to eradicate extreme poverty, new data released on Wednesday by the UN has revealed. 

Generations of progress for women and girls could be lost to COVID pandemic, UN chief warns

Highlighting the disproportionate and devastating socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on women and girls globally, The UN chief António Guterres called on Monday for a major push to prevent “years, even generations” worth of progress on women’s empowerment, from being lost to the pandemic. 

One step at a time: UN women’s health agency helping shift dangerous social norms 

One of the largest chiefdoms in Zambia’s Eastern Province is challenging harmful social norms, including child marriage, risky initiation and impunity for perpetrators of sexual abuse, according to the UN women’s health agency, UNFPA.

Bosnia and Herzegovina should recognise sex crime survivors’ rights, say experts

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, tens of thousands of victims of sexual violence committed during conflict in the 1990s still await justice, UN-appointed rights experts said on Wednesday.

Real Life Heroes: Building a safe space for Rohingya women refugees

Bangladeshi architect Rizvi Hassan is the driving force behind the construction of a safe space for Rohingya women and girls, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, site of the world’s largest camp for displaced people, and home to around a million Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar. The community centre caters to a marginalized, vulnerable group, at risk of gender-based violence. 

Violence in Sudan’s Western Darfur forces 2,500 into Chad: UN refugee agency

Recent clashes in Sudan’s Western Darfur region has driven more than 2,500 people across the border into neighbouring Chad, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has reported.

Breastfeeding link to COVID-19 is negligible, says World Health Organization

The risk of COVID-19 infection from breastfeeding is negligible and has never been documented, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday, in a call for greater support for the practice. 

‘No silver bullet’ to combat COVID-19, says UN health agency head

There is “no silver bullet” to combat COVID-19, the head of the UN health agency told journalists on Monday, adding, “and there might never be”.  

Harness multilateralism’s power to urgently advance women’s rights amid COVID recovery

With essential resources for women’s health being diverted to emergency COVID-19 response around the world, Governments, civil society leaders, CEOs and academic experts gathered virtually on Tuesday, to explore ways to accelerate the achievement of landmark targets set 25 years ago for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Rise in women prisoners and COVID measures, ‘making sentences worse’

More than 700,000 women are in prison around the world, and that number is growing much faster than men, the Human Rights Council has heard.

‘Turn the tide’ across a turbulent world, UN chief urges key development forum 

“Concrete, bold and implementable solutions” are needed to turn the tide on the many challenges the world is facing, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday, on the biggest day so far for the UN’s key international forum on sustainable development.  

‘Women Rise for All’ to shape leadership in pandemic response and recovery

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has generated an unprecedented global health, humanitarian and development crisis, it has also revealed the power of women’s leadership, according to the UN Deputy Secretary-General.

Women and girls deserve more protection in emergencies, UN rights council hears

The collective impact of climate change, COVID-19 and conflict mean that well over 200 million people will likely need humanitarian assistance by 2022, the UN’s deputy rights chief said on Monday.

World Population Day: 'No time to waste' in empowering women

The COVID-19 pandemic affects everyone, everywhere, “but it does not affect everyone equally”, the UN chief said in his message for World Population Day, on Sunday.