• Call for nominations

    UNU-GEST invites new nominations of candidates for Post-graduate Diploma in International Gender Studies spring semester 2018 Read more

  • Call for Expressions of Interests

    UNU-GEST seeks to support strong researchers currently based outside Iceland in applying for Individual European Fellowships with gender as the main cross-cutting theme more

  • Human Development Report 2016

    Launch event with Dr. Selim Jahan, UNDP Human Development Report Office Director 14 March more
  • Visit to the President of Iceland

    The 2017 cohort of UNU-GEST fellows visited the President of Iceland, Mr. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and the First Lady, Mrs. Eliza Reid at Bessastaðir, the presidential residence 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

  • MPs call on Priti Patel to increase UK aid spending on 'global learning crisis'
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 27.04.2017
    Parliamentary committee takes aim at 'shameful neglect' of schoolchildren in poor countries as development secretary is urged to devote more fundingMPs have urged Priti Patel to spend more of the overseas aid budget on education, in order to tackle a "global learning crisis".There has been a "clear decline" in foreign aid spending on education since 2011, lagging behind the outlay on health disaster, government and civil society, the international development committee said. At the culmination of a nine-month inquiry, the committee called on the UK to raise the amount of foreign aid spent on education by 2%. Continue reading...
  • 'I am a criminal. What is my crime?': the human toll of abortion in Afghanistan
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 26.04.2017
    When Maryam had an abortion, her husband beat and humiliated her. Her story is not unusual in Afghanistan, yet illegal, unsafe terminations are on the riseAs a newlywed, Maryam's husband promised to let her finish her university degree. Then she got pregnant, and everything changed. "For a week, I was in shock. If my husband's family knew I was pregnant, they would never let me finish university," Maryam said. Continue reading...
  • Yemen aid not reaching intended recipients, say activists on ground
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 26.04.2017
    UN secretary general António Guterres tells humanitarian donors conference war-torn country is facing 'a tragedy of immense proportions'The UN has been promised half the amount requested for its humanitarian appeal for Yemen, secretary general António Guterres has said, as activists on the ground said relief was being prevented from reaching its recipients.Donors at a fundraising conference in Geneva pledged sums to take the total promised to $1.1bn (£860m), in a $2.1bn appeal that was only 15% funded previously. Continue reading...
  • Anti-terrorism laws have 'chilling effect' on vital aid deliveries to Somalia
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 26.04.2017
    Fear of prosecution under UK and US counter-terror laws hinders those trying to provide humanitarian assistance in areas held by Islamic militants Strict British and US counter-terrorism laws are discouraging humanitarian organisations from delivering vital emergency assistance to millions of people facing starvation and fatal diseases in drought-hit Somalia. Senior humanitarian officials say the laws, which target any individual or organisation found to have materially assisted a terrorist group, exert a "chilling effect" on vital assistance in areas of Somalia controlled by Islamic militants from al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida affiliate. Continue reading...
  • A government of death is plundering our ancient Munduruku lands. Help us stop it
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 25.04.2017
    As the UN forum on indigenous issues meets in New York, we, the Munduruku people of Brazil, demand an end to the destruction of our territoryWe, the Munduruku people, send our thoughts and words to you who live far away. We echo the cry for help from our mother, the forest, and from all the indigenous peoples in Brazil.Our home of Mundurukânia and all 13,000 of our people are threatened by the Brazilian government's plans to build more than 40 hydroelectric dams in the Tapajós basin, as well as an industrial waterway and other major projects. Continue reading...
  • UK overseas aid budget fraud levels do not seem credible, watchdog says
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 25.04.2017
    Commons committee questions official figures for how much the Department for International Development has lost The government's claims of low levels of fraud in Britain's overseas aid budget do not seem credible given mounting evidence of missing money, the House of Commons financial watchdog has said. The public accounts committee questioned official findings on how much the Department for International Development (DfID) has lost to overseas corruption after its budget increased by more than a quarter to nearly £10bn since 2011. Continue reading...
  • Satellite images trigger payouts for Kenyan farmers in grip of drought
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 25.04.2017
    Innovative insurance scheme gives a lifeline to vulnerable pastoralists, as three years of poor rains kill thousands of livestock across northern KenyaThe Kenyan government is scaling up an innovative livestock insurance programme that uses satellite imagery of drought-hit areas to offer a safety net to vulnerable farmers. The Kenya Livestock Insurance Programme (Klip) monitors forage conditions throughout the two annual rainy seasons, triggering payouts to pastoralists when vegetation dies back to critical levels.The payments are designed to enable families that depend on livestock to purchase animal feed to keep their herd alive. Continue reading...
  • Development aid is a matter of justice, not generosity ' Letters
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 24.04.2017
    We import poor countries' health workers, we extract their raw materials on unfair terms, and we exploit their cut-price labour, writes Richard MiddletonMost defences of development aid are, well, too defensive (Editorial, 21 April). What is classed as "aid" is more properly described as a small repayment towards the much greater sums we extract from poor countries. We free-ride on their education systems, especially by importing health workers. We extract raw materials under trade terms that systematically disadvantage them. We boost our corporate profits (some of which find their way into tax revenues) by exploiting their cut-price labour, exporting carbon emissions as a bonus. Our banks launder the proceeds of corruption among their elites (and again our treasuries benefit ? at least some of the time). Our industrial fishing fleets decimate their waters. The list is endless. And all this before even considering historical factors such as colonial looting, slavery and past greenhouse gas emissions (now contributing to the very environmental and food crises which some of our "aid" then attempts to ameliorate). It's not a question of "generosity"; it's a question of justice.Richard MiddletonCrossmichael, Dumfries and Galloway ? Join the debate ? email guardian.letters@theguardian.com Continue reading...
  • Matt Damon: 'Children are drinking water so dirty it looks like chocolate milk' ' David Smith
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 24.04.2017
    The Hollywood star reveals how a conversation with an ambitious 14-year-old in Zambia inspired a project to help people in dire need of clean waterJetlagged after a flight from Australia, Matt Damon is wearing a smart dark suit with a crisp white shirt as he sits at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington. He is barely distinguishable from countless technocrats converging on this cathedral of global capitalism.The Hollywood actor and co-founder of water.org is here to be interviewed by the Guardian but first he has some questions of his own. What's going to happen in the British election? And will there be another Scottish referendum? Continue reading...
  • 'Horrific' levels of child abuse in unsafe refugee camps, warns EU
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 24.04.2017
    Study says squalid Greek and Italian camps lack adequate security, food and medical facilities, with 23,000 unaccompanied minors at risk of exploitation Urgent action is needed to help at least 23,000 unaccompanied child refugees stranded in squalid and unsafe Greek and Italian refugee camps, an official EU audit has warned.Camp life in Greek and Italian "hotspots" ? holding centres set up at migrant arrival points ? is plagued by a lack of security safeguards, water, decent food, blankets and medical facilities, the new study says. Continue reading...
  • Campaigners refuse to throw in the towel over India's 'tax on blood'
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 21.04.2017
    Petition urging MPs to scrap levy on sanitary towels spirals into viral Twitter campaign as Bollywood stars throw their weight behind calls for change In India, it is a subject usually spoken about in whispers or behind closed doors. But after a social media campaign by a local politician, Bollywood stars, comedians and writers have joined thousands of people in tweeting videos of themselves urging finance minister Arun Jaitley to scrap sales taxes on sanitary towels. Related: Banished for menstruating: the Indian women isolated while they bleed ' Gagandeep Kaur Continue reading...
  • Haitian mothers claim UN unresponsive over support for peacekeeper children
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 21.04.2017
    Lawyers trying to obtain financial assistance for 10 women who gave birth to children of departed peacekeepers say UN has ignored requests for informationThe UN has been accused of refusing to cooperate with a human rights group that is pursuing child support payments for women left pregnant by its peacekeeping forces.Lawyers representing 10 women in Haiti plan to pursue child support cases through civil action, but say they need the UN's assistance to proceed because most of the men involved are no longer in the country. Continue reading...
  • UN condemns 'grotesque rape chants' of Burundi youth militia
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 19.04.2017
    UN human rights chief says video of the youth wing of Burundi's ruling party urging rape and murder of opposition members represents 'tip of the iceberg'The UN human rights chief has condemned a "campaign of terror" by government-backed militia in Burundi who are calling for the rape and murder of members of the opposition.A video circulated on social media shows more than 100 members of the Imbonerakure, the government's youth wing, voicing rape chants and threats to kill, the UN rights office has confirmed. Continue reading...
  • Welsh schoolgirl taken to Saudi against her will had warned school, charity says
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 19.04.2017
    MP says lessons should be learned from case of woman taken from Wales to Saudi Arabia and allegedly held prisoner by her fatherA Welsh schoolgirl who was taken to Saudi Arabia against her will and allegedly held as a prisoner by her father was failed by the authorities, it has been claimed, after she raised the alarm with her school months before she was taken away. Amina al-Jeffery spoke to school staff about her fears early in 2012, and had made a similar appeal at her previous school in 2011, according to the Henna Foundation, a charity that says it was consulted on the case. But there was no intervention by the authorities before she was taken to Saudi Arabia in April 2012. Continue reading...
  • What has Esther Afua Ocloo done for women? Google knows
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 18.04.2017
    Google's 'doodle' today celebrates the achievements of an entrepreneur from Ghana who helped to empower millions of women through business Esther Afua Ocloo founded her first company with less than a dollar to her name, selling marmalade as a teenager in the 1930s. It was the start of a career that would lead the Ghanaian entrepreneur to empower millions of other women to succeed in business, and for her to become an inspiration around the world.Now her achievements are being celebrated in a Google "doodle" on what would have been her 98th birthday. Continue reading...
  • Eritreans in the Netherlands complain of pressure to support youth congress
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 13.04.2017
    Claims of 'systemic intimidation' as top Eritrean official Yemane Gebreab arrives on Dutch soil to address youth wing of African country's ruling partyEritreans living in the Netherlands say they are under pressure to support a rally organised by the youth wing of the African country's ruling party.The gathering will be addressed by Yemane Gebreab, adviser to Isaias Afwerki, the Eritrean president, the visit of whom has caused concern within the Dutch government. No assistance will be given to Gebreab, whose arrival has been described by the cabinet as "awkward", and he will not be officially received. Continue reading...
  • Fury over arrest of academic who called Uganda's president a pair of buttocks
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 13.04.2017
    Human rights groups denounce charge of cyber harassment against Stella Nyanzi for posting Facebook criticism of Yoweri Museveni and first lady Janet The detention of a prominent feminist academic for criticising the Ugandan president on Facebook has been widely condemned by human rights groups. Stella Nyanzi, one of Uganda's most controversial academics and activists, called president Yoweri Museveni "a pair of buttocks" and his wife, Janet, who is education minister, "empty-brained" in posts on her Facebook page. Continue reading...
  • Trump administration halts money to UN population fund over abortion rules
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 04.04.2017
    International family planning agency, which will lose all future US funding, rejects state department claims it supports 'coercive abortion' in ChinaThe US state department said on Monday it was ending funding for the UN population fund (UNFPA) ? the first concrete move in what activists describe as President Donald Trump's "crusade against the health and rights of women and girls globally". Related: Trump funding cuts would imperil tens of thousands of women, activists warn Continue reading...
  • New rules for Indian mothers ? so long as the government accepts they exist
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 31.03.2017
    Campaigners brand maternity bill elitist over failure to include women working in India's informal sector, who represent 95% of female workforceThe Indian government's new maternity bill, which comes into force this week, has been branded an elitist policy that will do little or nothing to help the vast majority of the country's mothers.According to women's groups, the new rules ? which raise maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks, putting India ahead of France and the US ? will apply only to a small fraction of the female workforce. Continue reading...
  • Nations pledge to cut women's unpaid work and close the gender pay gap
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 27.03.2017
    Agreement made at UN's Commission on the Status of Women overcomes efforts by US and Russia to weaken text on violence, and sexual and reproductive rightsUN member states have pledged to close the gender pay gap and reduce and redistribute unpaid care and domestic work that falls disproportionately on women.After two weeks of intense discussions in New York, the Commission on the Status of Women ended with commitments by states to advance women's economic empowerment by implementing equal pay policies, gender audits and job evaluations. The gender pay gap stands at 23% globally, according to UN figures. 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.