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Gender and the UN

How will President Trump’s administration affect women and girls across the world?

Alongside this year’s UN CSW, we asked women doing gender work across the globe how US President Donald Trump’s administration might affect their region.

'Faith and family': shrinking common ground at the UN CSW

The Worldwide Organization for Women took a hard line against all forms of comprehensive sexual education, often provided by UN bodies, highlighting ideological differences within the CSW.

The new UN secretary general is poised to show the world what a feminist looks like

There has been real progress at this year's UN Commission on the Status of Women, and the new Secretary General has asked women around the world to "keep our feet to the fire". 

Without global solidarity the women’s movement will collapse

Borders are closing across the world, blocking women from the Global South both from seeking refuge, having a voice and working on global gender justice.

Who runs the world? Girls! Not at the UN CSW

At this year's UN Commission on the Status of Women, the empowerment of girls is getting more attention than ever before. But the outcome document must demand that girls get to speak for themselves.

Indigenous women brave the storm to begin talks at UN CSW

Despite the winter storm that shut down other events at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the event on eradicating violence against indigenous women and girls was packed.

No borders on gender justice

As the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) takes place in New York, gender justice advocates from around the world are uniting around the following principles.

Standing our ground at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

When civic space is under attack, we make no dangerous accommodations. We stand up, and we fight back.

Trump's slap in the face of Lady Liberty

Will women be turned away from the UN Commission on the Status of Women, to be held in March, in New York? The world's global institutions must fight the 'Muslim Ban', starting with the United Nations.

Towards a feminist United Nations: a six-point agenda for the new SG

Leading feminist thinkers and UN staff, past and present, have articulated six key recommendations for António Guterres, the new Secretary-General.

António Guterres: The Ninth Man

How will UN Secretary-General António Guterres demonstrate the UN's intention to resist the rising tide of misogyny in the US and the global wave of misogynistic nationalism?

How will António Guterres tackle the UN’s gender problem ?

Can António Guterres make good on his promises to advance gender equality as UN Secretary-General, or will “politics trump gender” once again in an organization that stands for us all?

Still no woman at the helm of the UN

António Guterres's election as the new UN Secretary-General is a stark illustration of how male-dominated decision-making means that female leadership is not just rare, but virtually inconceivable.

Redressing the UN's gender gap: how do the SG contenders compare?

Following an informal vote held at the UN in New York today, the UN Security Council will vote by acclamation tomorrow to choose Portugal’s António Guterres as the next UN Secretary-General. 

Building a bridge to the future: towards a feminist UN

What will it take for the world’s women to shift the UN away from its paradigm of patriarchy and gender inequality and implement the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Is a feminist United Nations possible in our lifetime?

Hopes for a female, feminist UN Secretary-General look increasingly unlikely, but there are creative ideas circulating for feminist system reforms that would spur progress from the bottom-up.

Still no country for women? Double standards in choosing the next UN Secretary-General

Six of the twelve candidates for the job of UN Secretary-General are women, but in the first informal vote at the Security Council only one woman made it to the top five. Why ?

Choose a woman to lead the UN!

UN leaders and experts have sent an Open Letter to each member of the UN Security Council asking for the selection of a woman and gender equality champion as the next UN Secretary-General.

A lone raised hand: who will become the next UN Secretary-General ?

Six women and six men are competing to become the next UN Secretary-General. As the drama unfolds, it’s still not clear who will make the Security Council’s shortlist when it votes this week.

The next UN Secretary-General: administrator, figurehead, or leader?

Public interviews for the job of the next UN Secretary-General are continuing in New York. Female candidates are speaking of leadership, while male candidates speak more of administration and management.

Choosing the next UN Secretary-General: real change ahead?

For the first time in the UN’s history, the global public is having the chance to hear about the individual agendas and the visions of all the nominees for next UN Secretary-General.

UN CSW: the way to empower women is to use CEDAW Article 5, not the CSW

The most effective international mechanism to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment is not the cumbersome UN CSW, it’s CEDAW, and it’s time to use it to make governments accountable.

Madam Secretary-General?

With pressure mounting for the next UN Secretary General to be a woman, is it too much to ask that she also be a feminist?

Is the UN really moving toward gender equality?

New research raises the question of whether the UN is burying statistics on gender representation in order to cover up lack of progress.

UN peacekeeping: blue banner for hope, or red flag for abuse?

For decades the ‘Blue Helmets’ have been sexually exploiting and abusing those they were sent to protect. The UN is complicit in creating an environment in which these abuses can flourish unfettered. 

UN resolution 2242: gender, generation, and counter terrorism

Key issues that remain unresolved within the Women, Peace, and Security agenda include: the nature of gender, the advisability of including counter terrorism efforts, and generational gaps within the movement.

Women, peace and security: the UN's rhetoric-reality gap

UN Security Council resolution 2242 passed with overwhelming support. but effective implementation was immediately called into question when the Russian Ambassador then spoke out against the resolution’s key provisions.

UN calls for women’s engagement in countering violent extremism: but at what cost?

Women are already on the frontlines of violent extremism. Engaging with them is not about instrumentalizing them but about building and recognizing their agency.

Girls speaking truth to power at the UN: the global 2030 Agenda

"Invest in adolescents. We’re not only the future, we’re the present, and we deserve to be happy."  Twelve year old Stephanie  Mendez Asturias, from Guatemala, speaking at the UN ahead of International Day of the Girl Child.

The missing link in women's human rights

Gender incompetent policies and hierarchical understandings of rights dominate global economic governance programmes. Integrating a feminist political economy into the analysis reveals the interconnections of structural inequalities that underlie women’s subordination.

Women's rights have no country

There is no blueprint for holding fast against the arguments used to dismiss women's humanity, or defending our hard won human rights. It's time to meet, to brainstorm and try new formats.

Who wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ?

Many of the assumptions about who wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are wrong. The less known story of the men and women who wrote this foundational, emancipatory and anti-colonial document must be told in today's world.

'Traditional values' vs human rights at the UN

A dangerous process is taking place in the UN system that threatens the universality of human rights by seeking to make them contingent on subjective ‘traditional values’ such as ‘responsible behaviour’.

Of rights and risks: are women’s human rights in jeopardy?

Human rights instruments have enabled women’s movements to access a normative and analytic framework for fighting discrimination, and rights discourses have been deployed to legitimise women’s demands for social and economic rights, political representation and well-being. Maxine Molyneux spoke to Deniz Kandiyoti about the new trends and threats to women’s rights and UN frameworks.

Culture versus rights dualism: a myth or a reality?

Women’s human rights discourse and movements have become entangled within a culture-versus-rights dualism. Yakin Ertürk argues that this is a false dualism which serves both private patriarchy and public patriarchy of neo-liberal globalisation

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