• UNU-GEST Newsletter December 2016

    The December edition includes news on events, research, 2017 cohort of fellows and alumni more

  • GGEO 2016

    UNEP publishes the first comprehensive overview about the interplay between gender and the environment, the Global Gender and Environment Outlook (GGEO) more

  • Mr. Ban Ki-moon visits Iceland

    UNU-GEST meets United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon to discuss sustainable development, climate change and gender more

  • Nordic Africa Days 2016

    NAD 2016 was held in Uppsala 23-24 September 2016. UNU-GEST organized a panel on gender research and gender-responsive methodologies read more

  • Gender and climate change in the spotlight

    UNU-GEST fellows present on gender and climate change in Uganda at the University of Iceland read more

  • Human Development Report 2015

    Dr. Selim Jahan, editor-in-chief of the 2015 Human Development Report (HDR), introduces the 2015 HDR and its main findings read more

  • SDG#5: Parity and Empowerment

    UN Member States have designed a set of 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development  »

Gender news from around the world

  • UN chiefs call for urgent access to get aid to people still under siege in Syria
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 16.01.2017
    In a statement in Davos, UN humanitarian agencies issue joint appeal to reach hundreds of thousands of Syrian families and children in needThe heads of major UN organisations on Monday called for access to civilians cut off from humanitarian aid in Syria, saying the world "must not stand silent" even though the high-profile siege of the Syrian city of Aleppo is over.The joint appeal came from Davos in Switzerland, as business, political and cultural elites gather there for the World Economic Forum. The UN's refugee agency (UNHCR), the humanitarian aid coordinator Ocha, the children's agency Unicef, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) all called for "immediate, unconditional and safe access" to all Syrian families and children in need. Continue reading...
  • Makeshift justice the only recourse for ill-protected women at South Sudan camp ' Ben Quinn
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 16.01.2017
    For women who routinely run the gauntlet of harassment and sexual violence, Malakal protection of civilians camp has roundly failed to live up to its name It is late afternoon when the white Jeep pulls up outside a compound attached to one of the largest camps for families fleeing South Sudan's civil war. Accompanied by two UN police officers, a woman steps out and walks briskly past a rusty shipping container holding the man who allegedly raped her less than 24 hours earlier.In a country where UN investigators say sexual violence remains ignored despite having reached "epic proportions" ? one survey found 70% of women in such camps said they had been raped since conflict erupted in December 2013 ? this is a rare example of action being taken. Continue reading...
  • World's eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 16.01.2017
    A new report by Oxfam warns of the growing and dangerous concentration of wealthThe world's eight richest billionaires control the same wealth between them as the poorest half of the globe's population, according to a charity warning of an ever-increasing and dangerous concentration of wealth.In a report published to coincide with the start of the week-long World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Oxfam said it was "beyond grotesque" that a handful of rich men headed by the Microsoft founder Bill Gates are worth $426bn (£350bn), equivalent to the wealth of 3.6 billion people. Continue reading...
  • Household goods sent to disaster zones 'hinder relief efforts'
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 15.01.2017
    Red Cross report highlights how unsolicited items often end up in landfill, urging Australians to give cash insteadFiji received the equivalent of 33 Olympic swimming pools' worth of donated junk after Cyclone Winston hit last year.Sports gear, chainsaws, carpets and woolly jumpers were among the items clogging up space at airports and docks. Continue reading...
  • Emergence of populist leaders threatens democracy, says Human Rights Watch
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 13.01.2017
    Trump, Putin and Erdo?an among world leaders accused in HRW's 2017 world report of usurping rule of law and fostering global culture of intolerance The rise of populist leaders such as Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin poses a "dangerous threat" to human rights that could encourage global abuses around the world, Human Rights Watch has warned in its annual report.Accusing the US president-elect of a campaign for office that fomented hatred and intolerance, the group also singled out "strongman" leaders in Russia, Turkey the Philippines and China, accusing them of substituting their own authority in place of rule of law and accountable government. Continue reading...
  • Politics and protocol leave Indian teen's life in the balance pending TB drug ruling ' Amrit Dhillon
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 13.01.2017
    After five years of battling tuberculosis, Shreya Tripathi faces a new struggle: to overcome India's strict controls on bedaquiline, a drug that could save her life Shreya Tripathi sleeps most of the day. At night, she lies awake. Only 18, she has been fighting tuberculosis for five years. Her voice on the telephone from her home in Patna, eastern India, is a whisper. If she speaks for more than a few minutes, she becomes breathless.Though exhausted, Shreya is also fighting another battle ? in the Delhi high court ? to demand a new TB drug. Every other medication she has tried has failed to beat the disease. Continue reading...
  • Human rights abuses in Bahrain cast shadow over £2m UK aid support
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 13.01.2017
    Aid drawn partly from obscure tranche devoted to conflict, stability and security sparks concerns about transparency and Bahrain's poor human rights recordThe government is facing fresh questions about Britain's aid strategy after it emerged that a controversial multi-million pound programme of support for Bahrain's security and justice system is being bolstered this year, even as the Gulf state reverses reforms to a key intelligence agency accused of torture.Data provided under the Freedom of Information Act reveals that Bahraini authorities will this year receive a further £2m of British funding, including aid money drawn from the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, a pot of aid money currently the focus of an investigation by UK MPs. Continue reading...
  • Egypt court ruling upholds decision to freeze assets of women's rights activists
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 12.01.2017
    Clampdown on civil rights groups continues as government pursues case against campaigners accused of using overseas funds to destabilise Egypt An Egyptian court has upheld an earlier ruling to freeze the assets of three prominent rights activists, the latest chapter in a widening government crackdown against civil society groups.The verdict targeted Mozn Hassan and her organisation, Nazra for Feminist Studies, as well as Mohammed Zaraa and Atef Hafez, both of the Arab Organisation for Criminal Reform. Continue reading...
  • Number of Nigerian women trafficked to Italy for sex almost doubled in 2016
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 12.01.2017
    Life of forced prostitution awaits majority of the 11,009 Nigerian women who arrived on Italy's shores last year, says International Organisation for MigrationThe number of Nigerian women travelling by boat from Libya to Italy almost doubled last year, with the vast majority of new arrivals victims of sex trafficking and exploitation, according to the International Organisation for Migration.The IOM believes approximately 80% of the 11,009 Nigerian women registered at landing points in Sicily in 2016 were trafficked, and will go on to live a life of forced prostitution in Italy and other countries in Europe. Continue reading...
  • Nigerian state governor accuses aid agencies of profiting from Borno crisis
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 12.01.2017
    Governor Kashim Shettima says Unicef and others should leave Nigeria as agencies criticise government for underplaying crisis in north-eastAid agencies including the UN children's fund, Unicef, are profiting from money meant to help those fleeing Boko Haram's Islamic uprising and should leave the country, according to the governor of Nigeria's north-eastern Borno state. The comments by Kashim Shettima came as agencies warned of severe hunger and accused the government of underplaying the crisis. Continue reading...
  • Charity helping Yazidi survivors of Isis sexual slavery shut down
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 12.01.2017
    Kurdish authorities' closure of Yazda leaves more than 1,200 women and children without any support, warn activistsKurdish authorities have shut down a key charity that was supporting women and children from the Yazidi minority who survived Isis sexual slavery.The decision to abruptly close Yazda leaves more than 1,200 women and children without material, psychological or social support, charity officials and human rights activists warn. Continue reading...
  • UK aid watchdog encourages direct cash support for people in poor countries
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 12.01.2017
    Cash transfer schemes likened by critics to 'exporting the dole' have significant impact and should be broadened, says Independent Commission for Aid ImpactThe British government should consider expanding a £200m aid programme that gives cash directly to some of the world's poorest families and individuals, a watchdog has recommended.The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (Icai), which scrutinises aid money, said the government's cash transfer programmes ? likened by one MP to "exporting the dole" ? have improved the lives of millions of people and provided "strong value for money". Continue reading...
  • UK moves a step closer to dramatic rise in aid funding to private sector
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 11.01.2017
    Transparency concerns fail to thwart passage of bill lifting cap on aid channeled though Department for International Development's investment armPlans for a dramatic increase in the amount of aid that can be channeled through the CDC Group, the government's controversial private equity arm, have moved closer to fruition after crucial legislation passed through the Commons on Tuesday. The commonwealth development corporation bill, which will allow the government to lift the cap on aid funds spent through the CDC from £1.5bn to £6bn, was approved by MPs despite criticism of the organisation. Continue reading...
  • Modern agriculture cultivates climate change ? we must nurture biodiversity
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 09.01.2017
    Crop-breeding innovations are merely a short-term solution for falling yields. Only agricultural diversity can ensure food security and resilience As a new year dawns, it is hard not to be dazzled by the current pace of technological change in food and agriculture. Only last month, news emerged of a crop spray with the potential to increase the starch content in wheat grains, allowing for yield gains of up to 20%. This development comes hot on the heels of major breakthroughs in gene-editing technologies ? using a powerful tool known as Crispr ? over the course of 2016.A future of continually increasing food supplies and ever more sophisticated manipulation of agro-ecosystems seems to be upon us. Continue reading...
  • Kenya's women struggle to end male stranglehold on power ' Murithi Mutiga
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 06.01.2017
    Despite recent reforms, and a reputation as one of Africa's most progressive democracies, Kenya is failing to close the gender gap in political representationGiven that she is deputy speaker in parliament, the holder of a PhD and has served as an assistant dean at one of Kenya's leading universities, Joyce Laboso should be eminently qualified to run for any political office in Kenya.However, the central issue in her campaign to become governor of Bomet, a county in the heart of the Rift Valley in western Kenya, has been her marriage. Continue reading...
  • App for women to report harassment launched in Pakistan
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 06.01.2017
    App launched in Punjab alerts emergency response police team to their location as authorities seek to improve women's safetyA smartphone application enabling women to report incidents of harassment to police in Pakistan's Punjab province went live this week as authorities step up efforts to promote women's safety in one of the worst provinces for crimes against them. With a click of a button, users who feel threatened can call an emergency response police team who should be able to track their location via a built-in global positioning system (GPS). Continue reading...
  • Brazil's men helped to become better fathers to reduce gender violence
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 02.01.2017
    A project that promotes men's involvement in childcare is changing attitudes with the aim of promoting equality and protecting women and girlsGetting men to be active fathers may not seem the most obvious way to tackle gender-based violence. But, according to Gary Barker, CEO and founder of Promundo, which engages men and boys in ending violence against women and girls, policies that encourage men to do more unpaid care work are a vital part of achieving gender equality."To us, it seemed obvious that we needed to figure out more constructive ways to engage men on this topic," he says. Continue reading...
  • Nepalese women offer up food for thought in the Story Kitchen ' Liz Ford
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 30.12.2016
    A project enabling women to give their side of Nepal's history has a key role to play in the truth and reconciliation commission's inquiries into civil war abusesJaya Luintel has a vision: to see the history of Nepal retold through the eyes of women. The Story Kitchen, a project she helped set up, aims to do just that.The initiative uses community radio and workshops to offer an outlet for women to tell their life stories, particularly their experiences during the country's decade-long civil war. Continue reading...
  • 'Cloud fishing' reels in precious water for villagers in rural Morocco ' Celeste Hicks
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 26.12.2016
    A fog harvesting project in an arid region of Morocco solves water stress and means women no longer have to fetch water, enabling them to train or learn"Everyone was leaving the village where I grew up, and it was all because of water," says Jamila Bargach, whose village in rural Morocco has steadily emptied of people amid severe water stress.As in most of rural Morocco, climate change and population pressures have led to more unpredictable rainfall patterns and the depletion of natural water sources, such as underground aquifers, in the area around the village of Taloust. Situated in the country's south-west Sidi Ifni region, close to the coast, the area is extremely arid as it borders the northern Sahara desert. Average annual precipitation is less than 130mm. Continue reading...
  • India currency note ban sparks 'dramatic fall' in sex trafficking
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 22.12.2016
    Fewer women and girls reportedly entering shelters, but financial hardship is forcing younger girls into sex work and forcing some women to work for freeIndia's rupee recall appears to have had "a massive impact" on the country's human trafficking industry, according to advocacy and rescue groups, with some reporting reductions of up to 90% in the number of women and girls being admitted to their shelters.But other activists said the illegal trade was already rebounding, and that the financial strain of demonetisation on poor communities was pushing new, younger girls into sex work, and forcing women already in the industry to work for credit or for free. Continue reading...
  • Press release: Luminaries, activists and artistes come together to spotlight life-changing interventions on ending the pandemic of violence against women and girls
    UN Women – News 17.11.2016
    Press release: Luminaries, activists and artistes come together to spotlight life-changing interventions on ending the pandemic of violence against women and girls. UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman co-hosts star-studded gala to mark 20 years of grant-making through UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.
  • Faces of climate change ― the gender perspective

    Faces of climate change ― the gender perspective

    In recent years, farmers all over Uganda have experienced changes in climate. Extreme weather such as heavy rains, flooding, drought, landslides and unreliable seasons affect the livelihoods of the many families who live off the land. The changing conditions impact men and women differently and challenge the way they work together. Could revisiting the traditional gender roles be a part of the solution?

  • What is the United Nations University all about?

    What is the United Nations University all about?

    United Nations University – Agile and Adept: Marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations University in Japan, this video animation explains how the UNU is uniquely organized as an agile and adept think tank composed of a network of highly specialized institutes distributed across the globe.

  • Vigdís Finnbogadóttir patron of the UNU-GEST

    Vigdís Finnbogadóttir patron of the UNU-GEST

    Ms. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, the former President of Iceland, was the first woman to be democratically elected President in the world. Women's rights, cultural diversity, the promotion of world peace and transnational dialogues have been running themes in Ms. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir's work. She has also been an important advocate of equality and the empowerment of women.