Gender News, May 17, 2010

UNGEI global conference on girls’ education focuses on preventing “56 million wasted opportunities”

Today, the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative’s (UNGEI) “Engendering Empowerment: Education and Equality” (E4) conference on gender equality and education opens in Dakar, Senegal, marking the tenth anniversary of the UNGEI global partnership. UNICEF, 2010

INDONESIA: Gender inequality endangers women’s health

JAKARTA Monday, May 17, 2010 (IRIN) – Muhammad Juhri decided his wife would undergo a normal delivery, even though the doctor advised a Caesarean section because of her high blood pressure. Though the baby was safe, the mother died of complications.

African musicians join the UN in a song to end poverty by 2015

“8 Goals for Africa”, a campaign song by eight of Africa’s best known musicians, calls for commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals – a set of eight internationally-agreed goals designed to reduce poverty, hunger, disease, and maternal and child deaths by 2015.

UN official enlists advertising industry in combating violence against women

A top United Nations official has exhorted advertisers to join efforts to stamp out violence against women, calling on the industry to help defy destructive gender stereotypes, a root cause of the scourge.

Top African Stars Team Up to Score 8 Goals for Africa

Eight of Africa’s best known musical talents are lending their voices in support of a United Nations campaign in South Africa to encourage commitment to the achievement of the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). UNSA, 2010

Free education becomes legally compulsory in Lesotho

Free primary education (FPE) was introduced in the year 2000 as a major strategy towards achieving the Education for All (EFA) goals. This initially led to rapid increase in the net enrollment rate, which currently stands at 82% of primary school aged children (80% boys; 84% girls).

ANGOLA: Putting a dent in the maternal death rate

MATALA Friday, May 14, 2010 (IRIN) – After more than a decade of volunteer work in Angola’s rural Matala district in the southern province of Huila, a Finnish doctor is seeing maternal mortality rates gradually come down in a country where about one in every 70 women dies in childbirth.

Judith’s Story: The Promise of Education

Judith, 15, lost her mother to the earthquake that devastated Haiti four months ago today. She is trying to live her life as normally as she can but the scars are still evident. In this story, she tells us about her experiences, hopes, and challenges she faces in her own words. UNICEF, 2010

UN Development Chief in South Africa to highlight the MDGs

The UNDP Administrator arrives in South Africa where she will meet with the President Jacob Zuma, hold a discussion with women leaders and launch a song as part of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) campaign.

TIMOR-LESTE: New law aims to fight domestic violence

DILI Wednesday, May 12, 2010 (IRIN) – On 3 May, Timor-Leste’s Law Against Domestic Violence was passed by parliament eight years after it was first drafted.


Kabul, 12 May 2010 – I am concerned by recent reports from Kunduz, Daikundi and Kabul of girls falling ill in school, allegedly due to the presence of some kind of chemical contaminant.

UN envoy concerned over mysterious illnesses of girls in Afghan schools

The top United Nations envoy to Afghanistan today sounded the alarm over the illnesses of girls attending schools in parts of the country, allegedly due to chemical contaminants.

DR Congo will eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission, President tells UN

President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has assured top United Nations officials of his resolve to promote the emergence an AIDS-free generation, ensure safer motherhood and eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV in his own country and beyond.

Rwanda: First Lady celebrates acheivements of girls in school

Among grazing cows in the heart of western Rwanda, three hours away from the nation’s capital, Kigali, First Lady Jeannette Kagame recently helped celebrate some of Rwanda’s most talented young students.

The World Bank’s Reproductive Health Action Plan 2010-2015

Namibia: World Press Freedom Day Celebrations

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek in cooperation with UNESCO, MISA Namibia, the Polytechnic of Namibia and Gender Links celebrated World Press Freedom Day with series on events that took place at Hotel Thule on 7 May 2010. The ceremony started with the opening address by M…

A Different Kind of Graduation in South Lebanon

BEIRUT—The southern Lebanese village of Yarine had a special reason to celebrate recently. Its men and women, young and old, joined those of the surrounding villages at the local schoolyard in early spring for a different kind of graduation day – this one for grownups, for women. The graduates, 45 literacy women students and coordinators, were also being honoured for their courage and perseverance. They were the beneficiaries of the Women Empowerment: ‘Peaceful Action for Security and Stability’ (WEPASS), an initiative that helps Lebanese women by building their skills and understanding of decision making, participation, human rights, gender-based violence, reproductive health, economic empowerment and fostering peace.

Uganda Panel Gives Setback to Antigay Bill


The chairman of a special committee said that virtually all clauses in the legislation were either unconstitutional or redundant.

UNESCO holds session on Gender and ICT at WSIS Forum 2010

The UNESCO interactive session on Gender and ICT is taking place today at the WSIS Forum 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland. Organized in the framework of UNESCO’s commitment to promote women’s empowerment, the session will measure the progress made in gender equality since 2005.

Protecting girls and boys from child labour: global conference

World: Women’s Deaths from Communicable, Maternal, Perinatal and Nutritional Conditions as a Percentage of Total Women’s Deaths, 2004

President Kabila commits to ensuring an AIDS-free generation in Democratic Republic of Congo

President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has pledged to promote the emergence an AIDS-Free Generation, to ensure safer motherhood and to eliminate mother-child-transmission of HIV in his country.

New findings on rape patterns in the DRC

Listen to the Interview Dubbed the “rape capital” of the world by Margot Walhstrom, UN Special Representative on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, Eastern DRC is seen as the epicenter of sexual violence.

AFGHANISTAN: Ranna Tareen, “I see my death… but no one cares”

KANDAHAR Tuesday, May 11, 2010 (IRIN) – Work outside the home in southern Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province has become almost impossible for women due to constant threats and intimidation by insurgents.

World Hunger Journey – Day 7: Empower Women, Change the World

The final day of my world hunger journey is here at last. For the past week I have been going hungry to raise awareness about global food insecurity while I research the causes and potential solutions to this crisis.(..)“People often ask: what can be done to defeat hunger? My answer is simple: empow…

Improving the health of women in the African Region

” These soul-stirring words came from Liberian President, H.E. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, at the launch of the Commission on Women’s Health in the African Region which took place on 14 April 2010 at the city hall in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital.

Enhancing Gender Visibility in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change in the Caribbean Country Assessment Report for Guyana

Research was carried out between February and October 2008, and involved interviews with seven governmental, non-governmental and civil society agencies involved in disaster risk management, as well as a review of relevant documents.

Biodiversity, MDGs top Helen Clark’s Tanzania agenda

Helen Clark continues her four country visit to Africa, meeting today with Tanzania’s Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Mustafa Mkulo to discuss the country’s progress towards the MDGs, particularly on combating HIV/AIDS, empowering women, and enrolling children in primary school.

No woman should have to pay with her life to be a mother, Ban says

Hundreds of thousands of women, nearly all of them in developing countries, die in childbirth every year, but this does not have to be the case, says Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, calling for global support for United Nations efforts to make motherhood safe for all.

UNICEF ‘Mother-Baby Pack’ helps prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV

NEW YORK, 7 May 2010 – Mother’s Day, which is celebrated in many countries on the second Sunday in May, presents a dual opportunity for UNICEF. The holiday recognizes the care and devotion of mothers around the globe. It’s also a chance to raise the funds urgently needed to help women and children who face overwhelming challenges of poverty, disease and malnutrition.

MALAWI: PMTCT battles missing drugs, missing moms

LILONGWE, 6 May 2010 (PLUSNEWS) – Services to prevent the mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV are gaining ground in Malawi but the country continues to battle drug shortages and mothers and infants that disappear to follow-up and treatment.

Beyond access: Quality education for life – Special podcast for the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative

Here is one of those stories. By Pi James NEW YORK, USA, 6 May 2010 – The Millennium Development Goals call for universal access to primary education by 2015. However, simply getting children into school may not be enough to improve life opportunities for boys and girls and reduce the gender gap.

On visit to East Asia, UN rights chief to address largest gathering of women judges

The United Nations human rights chief is scheduled to address the world’s largest gathering of women judges during an upcoming visit to East Asia that includes stops in the Republic of Korea and Japan.

Group Backs Ritual ‘Nick’ as Female Circumcision Option


The American Academy of Pediatrics suggested that doctors be given permission to perform a ceremonial pinprick on girls if it would keep their families from sending them overseas for circumcision.

New telephone hotline strengthens legal protection for Palestine refugee women

The hotline is part of a project between UNRWA and a British-based NGO, the Damask Rose Trust, which aims to build legal protection for Palestine refugee women across the country. The project is partially funded from the British Embassy in Damascus.

Fifty Years after the Pill, More than 200 Million Women Still Lack Access to Contraception

NEW YORK—May 9th, which also falls on Mother’s Day in the United States this year, marks the 50th anniversary of the approval of oral contraceptive pills in the US. The Pill, as the contraceptive became widely known it expanded women’s ability to control their fertility and their personal choices. While new technologies have been added to the mix of contracepive options, the Pill is still the most popular form of contraception worldwide.

Beyond access: Quality education for life

The Millennium Development Goals call for universal access to primary education by 2015. However, simply getting children into school may not be enough to improve life opportunities for boys and girls and reduce the gender gap.

Midwives needed now more than ever, UN agency says as it marks Day

Three million newborns and hundreds of thousands of women die each year because they lack access to maternity health services and skilled midwifery care, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said on the occasion of International Day of the Midwife.

Burkina Faso: UN-backed project boosts education, health care for women farmers

A United Nations-backed pilot programme that supplies electric generators to rural women farmers in Burkina Faso, freeing them from lengthy chores so that they can devote more time to education, childcare and health care, is to be adopted on a national scale.

Domestic Violence Law Passed in Timor-Leste (News)

The National Parliament in Timor-Leste passed a long-awaited law on domestic violence on 3 May. UNIFEM provided support to the Government in drafting the legislation and worked with the Parliament to inform legislators about the issue. Domestic violence is prevalent in Timor-Leste, and the most common form of gender-based violence reported …

Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls

A one-stop online centre that encourages and supports evidence-based programming to more efficiently and effectively design, implement, monitor and evaluate initiatives to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. The website offers leading tools and evidence on what works, drawing on expert recommendations, policy and programme evaluations and assessments, and practitioners’ experiences from around the world. UNIFEM, 2010

International Day of the Midwife – 03 May 2010

On the International Day of the Midwife, the International Confederation of Midwives and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, are calling on the governments of the world to urgently address the shortage of 350,000 midwives worldwide. UNFPA’s Thoraya Obaid said: “No woman should die trying to give life. Increased investment is needed to provide midwifery skills and life saving services and to make midwives a priority within health programmes, policies and budgets” The ICM’s Agneta Bridges said: “Skilled midwives are urgently needed in many communities that are hard-to-reach, have insufficient midwives or are affected by conflict.”

Empowering Women Leaders in Local Government in India (News)

As part of UNIFEM’s programme on governance and women’s political empowerment in India, 100 women from districts where the programme is implemented received support to participate in events on the occasion of Women’s Political Empowerment Day, organized by the Institute of Social Sciences in Delhi on 24-25 April. The Institute …

Two-Year Action Plan on Ending Gender-Based Violence in Seychelles (News)

In Seychelles, UNIFEM has worked with the Ministry of Health and Social Development, the Gender Secretariat and key national stakeholders to develop a two-year costed national action plan on ending gender-based violence. The plan was presented at an event in Victoria on 19 April. The event concluded the last of three …

New Regional Course in Economy and Gender for Latin America

The International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW) in collaboration with the Grupo de Trabajo en…

Caribbean Musicians Support UNiTE Campaign (News)

A number of leading musical artists from across the Caribbean region have committed to supporting the UN Secretary-General’s campaign, UNiTE to End Violence against Women. The musicians came together in Barbados for a workshop organized by UNIFEM on 13-14 April, to generate ideas about creative approaches towards ending gender-based …

Countering Human Trafficking in Relation to the 2010 World Cup (News)

More than 400 participants in a soccer tournament organized by UNIFEM in Johannesburg on 9 April shared the message: “Say no to trafficking in women, say yes to women’s rights”. The event formed part of UNIFEM’s efforts to counteract the trafficking of women and girls ahead of and during the …

Saying No to Trafficking in Women Ahead of World Cup (At a Glance)

More than 400 participants in a soccer tournament organized by UNIFEM in Johannesburg on 9 April shared the message: “Say no to trafficking in women, say yes to women’s rights”. The event formed part of UNIFEM’s efforts to counteract the trafficking of women and girls ahead of and during the …

Extension of the Virtual Dialogue on “Gender Training in Aid”

The Fourth Virtual Dialogue of the Gender Training Community of Practice on Gender Training for Humanitarian Aid will be…

UNIFEM and Kumtor Operating Company Join Efforts on a Rural Development Project in Kyrgyzstan (News)

UNIFEM and Kumtor Operating Company in Kyrgyzstan have entered a partnership on a pilot project that aims to enhance the efficiency of rural development initiatives in Ton District in Issyk-Kul Province, focusing particularly on improving the livelihoods of rural women. Damira Sartbaeva, the Regional Programme Director of UNIFEM for the Commonwealth …

Advocacy through Martial Arts and Contemporary Art (News)

Contemporary artists and practitioners of martial arts alike have lent their support to UNIFEM’s Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women initiative in Tajikistan. UNIFEM in partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Bactria Cultural Centre held an exhibition in the capital …

Local Women Leaders from Latin America unite on the Learning Pathway

[Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, April 8, 2010] UN-INSTRAW and PROCASUR will host a “Learning Pathway” in Costa Rica and Ecuador,…

Myanmar: Female-headed households struggle in cyclone-affected area

AFRICA: MPs push for continent-wide FGM/C ban

Parliamentarians from all over Africa are pushing for a continent-wide ban on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and are calling on the UN to pass a General Assembly resolution appealing for a global FGM/C ban, as it violates human rights, they say.

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