Women, Children, Population – UN News Centre

A world of news from the world organization

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.  

Sexual violence survivors in DR Congo caught in crisis of ‘catastrophic magnitude’

On a recent visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Dr. Natalie Kanem, the head of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, bore witness to the horrific legacy of sexual violence in the country, which is undergoing one of the world’s longest-running humanitarian crises.

South Africa has ‘obligation’ to better address domestic violence: UN women’s rights experts

Failure to address domestic violence in South Africa is a violation of women’s rights, independent UN experts said in a report published on Monday, citing low levels of prosecution and conviction as factors. 

Tanzania helpline calls time on child marriage and abuse

Child marriage continues to affect many young girls across Tanzania, in East Africa, but now a series of interventions supported by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) are allowing children to get the support they need to avoid unwanted and potentially damaging relationships.

Afghanistan: Top UN officials strongly condemn ‘heinous’ attack on girls school 

Two senior UN officials on Wednesday, condemned in the strongest terms, a terrorist attack targeting girls and their families outside a high school in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. 

UK’s 85% family planning aid cut will be devastating for women and girls says UNFPA, while UNAIDS also 'deeply regrets' cuts

The United Kingdom’s intention to cut 85 per cent of its contribution to a flagship UN family planning programme this year, will have devastating consequences for women and girls and their families across the world, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA) said on Thursday.

More uniformed women in peace operations, ‘key priority’

Increasing the participation of uniformed women in peace operations is a “key priority” for the United Nations, the head of peacekeeping told a High-Level Launch Event on Wednesday.

‘Careers have no gender’, connect girls to tech, for a brighter future UN urges 

Despite information and communication technology playing such a key role throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN chief said that half the world remains offline, in his message marking International Girls in ICT Day, on Thursday – most of whom are women and girls in developing countries. 

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.