Women, Children, Population – UN News Centre

A world of news from the world organization

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.

UN expert calls for end to gender-based violence against women journalists

Women journalists face particular dangers while going about their work, an independent UN expert told the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday, saying that Governments should do more to protect them. 

Restoring dignity to victims of sexual abuse and exploitation by UN personnel

Projects supported by a UN trust fund for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel, are helping victims to regain their dignity, learn new skills, and improve their livelihoods.

Hard times forecast for global job recovery in 2020, warns UN labour agency chief

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on jobs has been much worse than expected initially, the head of the UN labour agency said on Tuesday, in an appeal to Governments, workers and employers, to agree on a sustainable economic recovery plan to reduce inequalities laid bare by the pandemic.

Harmful practices rob women and girls of ‘right to reach their full potential’

Urgent, and accelerated action is needed to end female genital mutilation, child marriage, and other “harmful practices” and abuses carried out against women and girls, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA), said on Tuesday, in its latest major report on the state of the world’s population. 

FROM THE FIELD: Sudanese women ready to ‘break taboos’ and run for office

Since the 2019 Sudan protests, which ushered in a transitional government, and the promise of more rights, over a thousand women have felt emboldened to enter politics in a bid to enact lasting democratic change.

Widows must not be left out of efforts to build back better after COVID-19

When countries begin building back from the COVID-19 pandemic they must also work towards dismantling laws that discriminate against women, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for International Widow’s Day on Tuesday.

First Person: Ending violence against women - ‘men and boys — I am talking to you’, says UN Deputy Chief

Men and boys who “turn a blind eye” to violence against women, must accept that they are “accomplices to violence” according to the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed. 

UN refugee chief laments nearly 80 million people forcibly displaced

Global displacement reached a staggering 79.5 million people last year - almost double the number of people in crisis registered a decade ago – owing to war, violence, persecution and other emergencies, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Thursday.

Women integral to battling coronavirus and pushing for lasting peace and security

The coronavirus pandemic has brought into sharp focus the differentiated impacts that COVID-19 is having on women, including new obstacles to their meaningful participation in peace processes.

Countries need to do more to stop harmful marketing of breast-milk substitutes, says UN

Despite efforts to stop the harmful promotion of breast-milk substitutes, countries are still falling short in protecting parents from misleading information, according to a new UN report released Wednesday. 

On Peacekeepers Day, UN to spotlight vital role of women peace operations

In observance of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, on Friday, Secretary-General António Guterres will lay a wreath to pay tribute to all the UN blue helmets who have lost their lives since 1948.

Coronavirus: Health system overload threatens pregnant women and newborns

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that 116 million babies have been born since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and on Thursday called for governments to maintain lifesaving services for pregnant women and newborns that are under increasing threat from strained health services and supply chains.

UN celebrates midwives during COVID-19 crisis because ‘childbirth doesn’t stop for pandemics’

With many national health systems totally overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, midwives are demonstrating courage and resilience as they support women and newborns in the toughest of circumstances, the head of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said on Tuesday.

FROM THE FIELD: Women act as ‘agents of change’ in climate emergency

Women around the world can act as “agents of change” and find solutions to the challenges provoked by the global climate crisis, according to the UN’s specialized gender agency, UN Women.  

COVID-19 could lead to millions of unintended pregnancies, new UN-backed data reveals

Ongoing lockdowns and major disruptions to health services during the COVID-19 pandemic could result in seven million unintended pregnancies in the coming months, according to data released on Tuesday by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and partners.

Displaced and stateless women and girls face heightened risk of violence amid coronavirus pandemic

As COVID-19 continues to take lives and change communities around the world, the virus is also creating massive protection risks for women and girls forced to flee their homes, a top official at the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Monday, stressing that global protection staff are on high alert and adapting life-saving support programmes for those subjected to violence. 

Coronavirus pandemic threatens crises-ravaged communities, UN appeals for global support 

A psychosocial counsellor in Jordan's Azraq refugee camp  informed the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) on Thursday that during the first four days of the COVID-19 lockdown she called beneficiaries to let them know that “virtual support" was available.

Put women and girls at centre of COVID-19 recovery: UN Secretary-General

Limited gains in gender equality and women’s rights made over the decades are in danger of being rolled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Secretary-General said on Thursday.

UN backs global action to end violence against women and girls amid COVID-19 crisis

The United Nations is advocating immediate global action to end all forms of violence against women and girls in the midst of a global upsurge related to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across the world. 

UN chief calls for domestic violence ‘ceasefire’ amid ‘horrifying global surge’

UN chief António Guterres is calling for measures to address a “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” directed towards women and girls, linked to lockdowns imposed by governments responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNFPA advocates for women, girls suffering unseen impacts of COVID-19 pandemic

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is pledging support for those suffering from invisible impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including women and girls whose access to life-saving sexual and reproductive health care may be disrupted. 

Protect ‘healthcare heroes’ from COVID-19, urges UN rights expert

States and business leaders must step up efforts to ensure that the selfless doctors, nurses, first-responders and other medical professionals working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic receive adequate protective equipment, a UN rights expert said on Friday.