News and Views by Region
A Female Approach to Peacekeeping
MONROVIA, LIBERIA — When darkness comes to Congo Town, women in crisp uniforms take the streets, patrolling with Kalashnikov rifles and long, black hair tucked into baby-blue caps.
UN Women Born: Civil Society Celebrates Creation of Gender Equality Entity After Four Years of Advocacy
UN Women Born: Civil Society Celebrates Creation of Gender Equality Entity After Four Years of Campaigning
The Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) Campaign celebrates the United Nations General Assembly resolution, agreed to on 30 June and to be formally adopted by the General Assembly on Friday, 2 July, to establish “UN Women”—the new gender equality entity at the UN. This move has been sought by women’s organizations and other civil society organizations around the world since the UN established a System-Wide Coherence Panel for UN Reform in 2006. Charlotte Bunch of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University, a founding member of the GEAR Campaign, stated, “We have high expectations for this new agency to be a solid foundation for advancing the human rights of women as central to global policy efforts to reduce poverty and move toward greater realization of peace and democracy in the world. The coalition of women’s groups and other social justice, human rights and development organizations that played a pivotal role in this effort will now turn its efforts toward ensuring that the new body has the human and financial resources necessary to succeed.”
USA: Rights Activist Dis-invited as Keynote Speaker on Violence Against Women Due to Right Wing Pressure
Statement by Charlotte Bunch, Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University
Freedom Leads to Empowerment: Promoting Women's Leadership and Financial Independence
Women's empowerment is a process. It involves raising consciousness, building skills and reforming unjust laws that limit women's education, participation in decision making and economic independence. I.M.O.W. Global Council member Mahnaz Afkhami is president of , which strives to empower women by practicing and promoting their leadership and self-sufficiency.
Human Rights and Cultural Diversity - UN Experts Statement
The following statement has been issued by a group of UN human rights experts to mark World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, 21 May 2010
Islam and Feminism: Interpretations for Gender Justice
Islam and feminism have had a troubled relationship. Over the last two decades, scholars and activists have questioned the western credentials of feminism and claimed justice as a purpose and possibility that can be captured via religious routes. Religion provides women with an ethical framework and a moral foundation that recognizes their rights as individuals and as a collective, albeit redefining equality in the process. The mosque movement in Egypt has empowered women to find dignity, companionship and comfort through piety and conformity to a religious ideal and challenge the less-than-perfect world around them. Moreover by engaging with religion, Muslim women are able to redefine the tenets that have endowed Islam with an unnecessary bias for men; one which feminist scholars of Islam are certain is antithetical to the spirit and philosophy of our religion.
Women's Right to Have Rights - Resisting Fundamentalist Orders
While fundamentalist movements may vary according to the global context in which they operate, for women this diversity is outweighed by the core characteristics, strategies and impacts that they share.
In a on April 16, 2010, a senior Iranian cleric, Hojjat ol-eslam Kazem Sediqi, declared a need for a “general repentance,” warning of the “prevalence of degeneracy” in the country. He pointed to the real consequences of immodesty and promiscuity among women, noting that “many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes.”
Sediqi’s comments follow President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s forecast that Tehran will be the site of an imminent and devastating quake. In the last ten years, earthquakes in Iran have claimed tens of thousands of lives, and the country rests upon some of the most earthquake-prone land in the world. “What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?” Sediqi asked. “There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam's moral codes.”
The Politics of UN Human Rights Council and Iran's Candidacy
The Islamic Republic of Iran, in a provocative act, has announced its candidacy for the United Nation Human Rights Council, a UN organization based in Geneva. The candidacy of Iran comes at a time that during the last 10 months, Iranians are experiencing one of the darkest periods of human rights violations since 1979 revolution. The candidacy of Iran for the UN Human Rights Council is comparable to electing apartheid South Africa to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination or to awarding the US for humane treatment of detainee's right after the world was shocked with pictures revealing sexual torture and humiliation of naked prisoners.
UN Secretary-General calls for religious leaders to foster dialogue between cultures
Religious leaders have a vital part to play in promoting dialogue between different cultures and societies at a time when globalization has left many people feeling discontented, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has told an international gathering of leaders.
Iran Elected to the UN Commission on the Status of Women
NEW YORK — Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged "immodest."