• Thursday, October 2, 2014
  • A program of IPS Inter Press Service supported by the Dutch MDG3 Fund



    UNIFEM Welcomes the Creation of UN Women

    05 Jul 2010

    currents_masthead_red_spirals_600x80UNIFEM Welcomes the Creation of UN Women — the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

    Below the message from UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi, distributed through the July edition of Currents, UNIFEM e-newsletter.

    Dear Friends and Partners,

    Today is a historic day. This afternoon, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously decided to establish UN Women, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of a strong UN organization that will be a champion to promote and advance the rights of women and girls worldwide has been a goal we have been advocating for many years, and I know that you will join me in celebrating and embracing this momentous achievement. More »

    Gender Meet Ends on High Note with New “U.N. Women”

    03 Jul 2010

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the ECOSOC High-Level Segment, flanked by Sha Zukang (left) and Hamidon Ali.  Credit:UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the ECOSOC High-Level Segment, flanked by Sha Zukang (left) and Hamidon Ali. Credit:UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

    Hannah Rubenstein

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 2, 2010 (IPS) – Nearly 50 government delegations spent the past week at U.N. headquarters in New York hashing over the progress that has been made and challenges that remain in pursuing gender parity worldwide, one of the crucial elements of the Millennium Development Goals.

    Officially called the ‘High-Level Segment of the Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) 2010 Annual Ministerial Review’, the meet ended Friday with the adoption of a declaration re-asserting ECOSOC’s commitment to achieving gender equality around the globe. More »

    U.N. Clears Final Hurdle to Create New Gender Entity

    02 Jul 2010

    csw_opening2-300x1981Thalif Deen

    UNITED NATIONS, Jul 1, 2010 (IPS) – After several rounds of intense eleventh-hour negotiations last week over the structure and composition of a proposed new “gender entity” and its executive board, the United Nations has cleared the last of the remaining political hurdles towards the creation of a separate and distinct U.N. agency for women.

    The new body will be simply called ‘U.N. Women’ with its extended subtitle reading: the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. More »

    Jobs Pact Spotlights Women’s Role in Economic Recovery

    01 Jul 2010

    A Cambodian woman dries Kampot peppercorns in the sun. Copyright IPS

    A Cambodian woman dries Kampot peppercorns in the sun. Copyright IPS

    Hannah Rubenstein

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 30, 2010 (IPS) – One year after the creation of the Global Jobs Pact, members of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) are considering the measure’s impact – and what comes next.

    On Tuesday, the ILO, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), hosted a panel discussion and roundtable meeting, “The Global Jobs Pact: Crisis Recovery Through Women’s Economic Empowerment,” that coincided with the United Nations’ 2010 Annual Ministerial Review.

    The 2010 Review, part of the Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) High-Level Segment, focuses on “implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to gender equality and the empowerment of women”, as stated by ECOSOC. More »

    Wrangling Continues over New U.N. Women’s Entity

    28 Jun 2010

    gearBeatrice Paez

    UNITED NATIONS, Jun 27, 2010 (IPS) – Ahead of a week-long meeting on gender equality starting Monday at the United Nations, women’s rights activists have been pushing for concrete progress on a pledge made last September by the world body to create a new, better-funded U.N. agency for women.

    After the Gender Equality Reform (GEAR) Campaign, a leading advocate of the new entity, sent a petition to the General Assembly, the president of the GA, Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, said he hoped it would be established by the end of July. However, as of Friday, negotiations had stalled over staffing issues and review of countries’ domestic gender policies, among other things. More »

    Up In More Than Arms

    28 Jun 2010

    Credit: Mohammed Omer

    Credit: Mohammed Omer

    Mel Frykberg

    RAMALLAH: The image of the woman suicide bomber endures in much of the media as the face of Palestinian women’s resistance. But away from those instances, Palestinian women are taking a long struggle forward against Israeli occupation.

    What Israel calls terrorism the women see as a legitimate fight that is theirs, and not just for men. “Palestinian women have borne arms, undergone military training, and also reached out regularly to Israeli women in peace talks as part of the liberation struggle,” Rabiha Diab, Palestinian Authority (PA) minister for women’s affairs tells TerraViva in an interview.

    The fighting made the women firm. “The political side of the struggle was a sphere in which Palestinian women excelled,” says Diab. “Women became heavily politicised in Israeli jails, and leadership qualities were forged which subsequently produced some of the current female leaders in the PA.” More »

    Women Deliver Best

    28 Jun 2010

    Anne-Marie Goetz. UN Photo Sophie Paris

    Anne-Marie Goetz. UN Photo Sophie Paris

    Anne-Marie Goetz*

    The employment of a large number of women at the very front-line of public service delivery – teachers, nurses, agricultural extensionists, micro-finance providers – would make a significant contribution to speeding achievement of the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

    It is widely felt that good governance and improved basic service delivery are key for achieving the MDGs. Gender equality is also considered a key to achieving the MDGs, since the factor holding back achievement in so many of the MDGs is the serious discrimination against women and girls that keeps their enrolment and employment rates low, their maternal mortality rates high, and generally undermines their capacities to contribute to the economy and society in ways that would reduce poverty and speed growth. More »

    Kurd Women Fight the ‘Culture of Rape’

    28 Jun 2010

    Women in Diyarbaki protest against the Turkish government. Credit Jake R. Hess

    Women in Diyarbaki protest against the Turkish government. Credit Jake R. Hess

    Jake R. Hess

    SIRNAK (Turkey): In one of the more prominent of a series of recent rape scandals in Kurdish dominated southeastern Turkey, at least four girls aged between 12 and 14 were found to have been sexually exploited by state officials, including an assistant headmaster at a school and an employee of a local police department, over a period of two years in Siirt, a town located in a province plagued by fighting between the Kurdish insurgency and Turkish army. Schoolboys and shopkeepers were also involved.

    Lawyer Meral Danis-Bestas, who is involved in prosecuting the case, argues that the rape scandal is fundamentally rooted in political conflict. “This incident is connected to the Kurdish issue, domestic violence, and the social and political situation in the region,” Danis-Bestas, a senior figure in the leftist and pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) tells IPS in an interview at her office in Diyarbakir, the unofficial capital of Turkish Kurdistan and main hub of Kurdish political activism in Turkey. “They all must be dealt with together.” More »

    Finding Life After Rape

    28 Jun 2010

     Civil war has led many women such as these in Kapolowe, central Katanga Province, to flee their homes for the relative security of larger towns. Credit: John Robinson

    Civil war has led many women such as these in Kapolowe, central Katanga Province, to flee their homes for the relative security of larger towns. Credit: John Robinson

    Baudry Aluma

    BUKAVU, Congo: Twenty-two thousand, three hundred and eighty-one: the number of cases of sexual violence treated in a decade at the Panzi Hospital in the Congolese town Bukavu. And that is just a fraction of the number of survivors in this one eastern province.

    The number of women and girls who have survived rape and sexual assault here in this province of South Kivu in the war-wracked east of the Democratic Republic of Congo runs into tens of thousands.

    Members of an armed group raped Maramuke in front of her children in Walungu, south of Bukavu, in 2006, and burnt her house down. Her husband disowned her. She came to Bukavu with her seven children. More »