• UNU-GEST Newsletter

    The June edition includes the 2016 graduation, UNU-GEST lecture series, events and alumni activities

  • Congratulations to 2016 fellows!

    UNU-GEST celebrates the graduation of fifteen fellows with a post-graduate diploma. Read more

  • Call for nominations

    UNU-GEST invites new nominations of candidates in Post-graduate Diploma in International Gender Studies spring semester 2017 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

  • Nordic Africa Days 2016

    NAD 2016 will be held in Uppsala 23-24 September 2016. UNU-GEST organizes a panel on gender research and gender-responsive methodologies 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

  • Tackling illegal fishing in western Africa could create 300,000 jobs
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 29.06.2016
    Overseas Development Institute report says crackdown on illegal fishing, and building up national fleets, could generate billions of dollars for the regionIf governments in western Africa could end illegal fishing by foreign commercial vessels and build up national fleets and processing industries, they could generate billions of dollars in extra wealth and create around 300,000 jobs, according to a new report (pdf).The devastating, social, economic and human consequences of overfishing in western Africa's coastal waters have been well documented but the report, Western Africa's Missing Fish, by the Overseas Development Institute and Spanish investigative journalists porCausa, lays bare the extent of lost opportunities across countries including Senegal, Mauritania, Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone. Continue reading...
  • US human trafficking report to upgrade Thailand, sources say
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 29.06.2016
    Trafficking in Persons report, due out Thursday, expected to remove Thailand from worst offenders list, citing improvements in seafood industryThe US has decided to remove Thailand from its list of worst human trafficking offenders, officials said, a move that could help smooth relations with Bangkok's military-run government.The upgrade, confirmed by a US official in Washington and a Bangkok-based official from an international organisation with direct knowledge of the rankings, would mark a rare boost for US-Thai relations. Ties between the countries have flat-lined since the Thai military seized power in a 2014 coup that Washington strongly condemned. Continue reading...
  • India tomato shortage causes curry crisis and puts sellers under pressure
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 29.06.2016
    Drought has hit the harvest, hurting farmers, hiking prices and forcing consumers to use substitutes for tomato-based dishes such as curries At Pimpalgaon Basant, a village in western India, there is not a single cloud in the sky. The last time it rained was days ago, and that was only for an hour. Without rain, the Pimpalgaon tomato market, said to be the biggest in Asia, is almost empty."We have around 75% fewer tomatoes than normal," says Sheik Tanveer, who works at the market. "Normally, you can buy tomatoes wholesale for 10 rupees [10p] a kilo here ? now you'll get about 150g for that." Continue reading...
  • World must tackle intolerance and exclusion, says Social Progress Index
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 29.06.2016
    Finland came top and Central African Republic bottom of the index, which ranks 133 countries for how they meet citizens' social and environmental needs The world has been broadly successful in harnessing economic growth to improve delivery of basic needs, but rising wealth is less effective in tackling more intractable, less tangible problems like intolerance and exclusion, and policies to tackle these are needed, according to the latest Social Progress Index.Finland came top of the index, which ranked 133 countries on the extent to which they meet the social and environmental needs of their citizens. It was followed by Canada, Denmark, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, the UK, Iceland, New Zealand and Ireland. Continue reading...
  • Tunisia moves closer to achieving gender equality in politics
    UN Women – News 28.06.2016
    Tunisiaâs Parliament has approved an amendment ensuring that women have greater representation in local politics. This amendment, which applies to both municipal and regional elections, includes a proposal for âhorizontal and verticalâ gender parity in Article 49 of the electoral law.
  • Rise in refugee numbers, peace in Colombia and drought in India
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 28.06.2016
    As the UN says 65 million people are now refugees, we find out how one Syrian family has adapted to life in the UK. Plus, our latest podcast, on sex educationIf you are reading this on the web and would prefer to get it in your inbox every two weeks, register for the email editionTwo years ago, we met Ayman Hirh, a Syrian refugee who had fled to Scotland with his family. Hirh spoke about the heartache of leaving Damascus, and his hopes for his two young sons. Now, the family are settled in Edinburgh, where Hirh volunteers for the British Red Cross and his wife, Iman, works in a hotel. Read how their lives have changed.One in every 113 people in the world is a refugee, according to the UN. A record 65 million men, women and children were forced from their homes by war and persecution last year, the annual global trends study found. Continue reading...
  • From skyrises to traffic jams: our densely populated planet ? in pictures
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 28.06.2016
    The number of people in the world reached 7.3 billion midway through last year, an increase of 2 billion since 1990. Falling birth rates in many parts of the world are being offset by rising life expectancy, and by 2050, more than two-thirds of humanity will live in cities. We take a look at our increasingly crowded world Continue reading...
  • Over-populated or under-developed? The real story of population growth
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 28.06.2016
    The world population looks set to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, but what's behind the big numbers? We look at the complex demographic shifts in playGlobal population hit 7.3 billion midway through 2015, an increase of 2 billion since 1990. It will continue to climb steadily, according to forecasters, reaching 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100.But there is more to the population story than unprecedented numbers. The rate of growth is continuing to slow ? the overall growth rate has been falling since the 1970s ? and demographics are shifting. Continue reading...
  • More people in less space: rapid urbanisation threatens global health ' Seth Berkley
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 28.06.2016
    As city populations swell worldwide, our ability to prevent and control infectious disease will come under ever greater strainThe global population looks set to rise to 9.7 billion people by 2050, when it is expected that more than two-thirds of humanity will be living in urban areas. The global health community is bracing itself. Compared to a more traditional rural existence, the shift in lifestyle and inevitable increase in exposure to pollution will lead to significant long-term rises in non-communicable diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Worrying as this prospect may be, current population trends are already altering the global health landscape even faster than we realise, and that could pose far bigger and more immediate problems. Continue reading...
  • 69m children will die of preventable causes, says Unicef
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 28.06.2016
    UN children's agency report highlights toll on youngsters by 2030 unless world leaders turn rhetoric into reality on fighting povertyLess than a year after the world promised to leave no one behind by signing up to an ambitious 15-year blueprint to end inequality, the UN children's agency says that 69 million children will die from mostly preventable causes by 2030, and 167 million will be living in extreme poverty, unless world leaders turn rhetoric into reality.In its latest State of the World's Children report, Unicef also says 750 million women will have been married as children by 2030, the date by which the sustainable development goals to tackle poverty and secure the planet's future are supposed to have been achieved. Continue reading...
  • Big investment houses warn of inequality risk after Brexit
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 27.06.2016
    Bank of America and Pimco tell clients that gulf between rich and poor could spark further anti-establishment backlashBritain's historic vote to leave the EU has prompted some of the world's most powerful investment houses to turn their focus to inequality.Bank of America and the international investment firm Pimco have warned their clients that the gulf between rich and poor could spark a further anti-establishment backlash. Continue reading...
  • Egyptian authorities ban feminist Mozn Hassan from travelling to Beirut
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 27.06.2016
    The founder of the Nazra for Feminist Studies was due to attend a human rights meeting but was refused permission to fly out of Cairo airportEgypt has banned a prominent female activist from travelling to a human rights meeting in Beirut, the latest step in a crackdown on free speech and dissent.The group founded by Mozn Hassan, Nazra for Feminist Studies, said in a statement that Cairo airport authorities at passport control had banned her from leaving the country on Monday morning. Continue reading...
  • âWe have to keep the promise of leaving no one behindâ â Executive Director
    UN Women – News 27.06.2016
    Opening speech by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the Annual Session of the Executive Board, on 27 June in New York.
  • What people in humanitarian crises need is cash, not commodities ' Erik Johnson and Paula Gil Baizan
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 27.06.2016
    Leaders at this week's UN economic and social council meeting must pledge to give people affected by disasters the flexibility that cash transfers offerThe evidence is clear: cash works better. In study after study, survivors of conflict and disaster have reaffirmed their wish to choose ? to maintain their dignity and use resources more efficiently ? by receiving cash instead of food or other "in kind" aid. At last month's world humanitarian summit in Istanbul, some major donors and agencies pledged to increase cash programming to at least 25% of all humanitarian aid by 2020.But before we congratulate ourselves, an obvious question needs to be asked: what is inhibiting better coordination of the direct distribution of cash in humanitarian crises? Continue reading...
  • Scientists go against the grain to make Dubai an unlikely quinoa hotspot ' Peter Schwartzstein
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 27.06.2016
    With groundwater stores drying up in the Middle East and staple crops under pressure, quinoa is the focus of a bold experiment to improve food securityRinged by inhospitable desert and assailed by fierce temperatures for much of the year, Dubai isn't the most natural of settings for bold farming experiments. What little grows here is largely cultivated in air-conditioned greenhouses. So depleted is the local aquifer that it's forecast to run completely dry within the next half-century.But if the scientists and agronomists at the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) get it right, the Gulf's glitzy commercial hub may soon be responsible for one of the most significant regional food innovations in recent memory. Continue reading...
  • Statement by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on the agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC
    UN Women – News 24.06.2016
    In a statement on the agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka welcomed the inclusion of a gender perspective among the principles guiding the agreement, and called for the leadership and protection of women throughout its implementation
  • UN Women Executive Board to undertake mid-term review of Strategic Plan
    UN Women – News 24.06.2016
    The UN Women Executive Board will convene for this yearâs Annual Session from 27 to 28 June at United Nations headquarters in New York.
  • Kenyan girls get on their bikes in pursuit of an education ' Robert Kibet
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 24.06.2016
    A scheme that provides bicycles to children who would otherwise face long journeys to school is enabling kids to spend more time learningJacqueline Nasimiyu used to wake in the early hours and, after making breakfast and fetching water, she would trek down valleys, push through bushes and wiggle under barbed wire fences to cover the 6km to Mahanga K secondary school in western Kenya.There were no school buses and no paved roads around her village of Mawa in Kakamega county. The 17-year-old's parents could not afford to pay for the only form of transport, motorbike taxis, known as boda boda. Continue reading...
  • 'Don't be a slutty apple': your experiences of sex education
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 24.06.2016
    Making informed decisions about sex is vital for young people yet, in many countries, sex education is confusing, limited or even overlooked altogether What kind of sex education did you receive in the classroom? Was it an awkward slideshow containing more euphemisms than you could possibly comprehend? Or was it a series of lessons covering not only the relevant biology, but also sexuality, gender and reproductive health? According to the UN, the latter is still quite rare, which means the majority of young people lack the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. Continue reading...
  • Bringing womenâs needs into policy response on drug use
    UN Women – News 23.06.2016
    While men make up most of those using or trafficking drugs, women are often the invisible participants and victimsâone out of three drug users is a woman, and only one out of five drug users in treatment is a woman. Ahead of the International Day against Drug Use and Illicit Trafficking, a spotlight on drug use among women and UN Women's related programmes.
  • Abortion demand soars in countries hit by Zika outbreak, study finds
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 23.06.2016
    Women in Latin America, where abortion is often illegal, are seeking online help in unprecedented numbers in response to the virus linked to birth defectsDemand for abortions has soared among women living in countries hit by the spread of the Zika virus who fear having a baby with severe birth defects, new data shows.In unprecedented numbers, women in Latin America are accessing the website Women on Web, which has a long history of helping those in countries where abortion is illegal to obtain pills which will terminate an early pregnancy. In Brazil, Venezuela and Ecuador the requests for help have doubled, while in other Latin American countries they have risen by a third. Continue reading...
  • 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.