• 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

  • Women at the frontlines, building peace in Colombia
    UN Women – News 22.07.2016
    As the Colombian peace talks signal hope for a final agreement, UN Women Executive Director and Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence visit Havana, Cuba, to meet with the parties and women peacebuilders.
  • In Havana, Cuba, UN Women Executive Director to meet with Colombian parties of the Peace Talks Table
    UN Women – News 22.07.2016
    UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence Zainab Hawa Bangura, will visit Havana, Cuba, from 23-24 July.
  • India should follow China to find a way out of the woods on saving forest people ' Gaurav Madan
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 22.07.2016
    While China has given more than 400 million people legal rights over forest land, vast swaths of forestry in India are being degraded, leaving locals without landThere was a time when the area leading up to the village of Usku Dadjo in the state of Jharkhand, east India, was dense forest. But because residents did not have the right to manage their land, the forest was steadily degraded by outsiders. Now, only sand and scrub remain.Last year, the community started to reclaim traditional lands using India's groundbreaking 2006 Forest Rights Act. While the community has not yet received any response from the government, residents have put up signs asserting their right to the land. Continue reading...
  • Africa risks fresh debt crisis as levels of borrowing rise sharply, warns UN
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 22.07.2016
    Heavy lending triggered by bold efforts to combat inequality and poverty could spell return to difficult era of late 80s and early 90s, says UN trade bodyAlthough African countries need to tap new streams of funding if they hope to implement an ambitious blueprint to end inequality and poverty, they must beware borrowing too much and potentially triggering debt crises such as those experienced in the 1980s and 1990s, says the UN's trade body.In a report assessing debt levels against the backdrop of fragile global financial markets, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) recognised that traditional aid is not going to cover the estimated $600bn-$1.2tn (£455-£910bn) cost of implementing the sustainable development goals in Africa, but warned that plugging the gap with debt was risky. Continue reading...
  • After Brexit, the UK still has a role to play in preventing conflict ' Phil Vernon
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 22.07.2016
    Britain is well placed to support and shepherd the UN's efforts to reassert peace-building as a central tenet of its workAs the UK heads towards Brexit, and reviews its place in, and relationships with, the wider world, it must not lose sight of its role in building peace.Despite understandable anxiety, suspicion and mistrust today, British people are still likely to be living, some years from now, in a democratically governed, prosperous and peaceful UK. That is more than many citizens in other parts of the world, from Syria to parts of Mexico, can say. We need to keep things in perspective. Continue reading...
  • Photo Essay: Stela Savin, challenging gender stereotypes in Moldova
    UN Women – News 21.07.2016
    Stela Savin comes from a Roma family and attends the eighth grade in HînceÅti, central Moldova. Her dream is to become a world boxing champion.
  • Will the UK be left behind on sustainable development? ' Andrew Norton
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 21.07.2016
    The global goals, which UN members signed up to last year, are for all countries, not just poor ones. How is the UK going to implement them?The first top-flight UN meeting on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) since they were adopted last year marks a key moment for the implementation of the ambitious 15-year blueprint.The theme of this year's high-level political forum in New York is "leave no one behind" ? a fundamental principle behind the global goals. Continue reading...
  • Peace, security and more peace: the priorities for the African Union ' Mulugeta Gebrehiwot and Alex de Waal
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 21.07.2016
    As levels of conflict rise in some parts of Africa, the AU needs to harness the organisation's traditional flair for prevention and mediationThe African Union thrives or fails according to how successful it is in preventing and resolving conflict. Over the past 14 years, since its foundational meeting in Durban, South Africa, the AU has constructed an impressive peace and security architecture. It has presided over an impressive decline in armed conflicts and military coups.Last year, the commissioner for peace and security asked us to review peace efforts in Africa with a view to informing AU policies. Our report is published on Thursday. The next six months, as the AU chooses a new chair for its commission, are a chance to examine the state of peace and security in Africa ? and, more important, the direction in which the AU can steer the continent. Continue reading...
  • Philippines' HIV dilemma: too young for a test but old enough for sex
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 21.07.2016
    A ban on minors being tested for HIV is preventing the Philippines from tackling a surge in infections, particularly among young menWhen Rey* first got an HIV test, his mother went with him. He was 17 and her consent was required by law."My mum and I are pretty close. She has no issues about me being gay and is really supportive. But I know a lot of my friends wouldn't dare bring their mums with them to get an HIV test," says Rey, from Palawan. Continue reading...
  • Elton John pledges millions to support LGBT people in Africa
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 20.07.2016
    Singer links up with US Aids relief agency to create $10m fund that will issue grants and provide expertise to people living under homophobic regimesElton John has pledged to spend his Aids Foundation's money on supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Africa who are stigmatised and penalised in their own countries.The singer has joined Pepfar, the US president's emergency plan for Aids relief, in a $10m LGBT fund that will issue grants and provide expertise to help those living under homophobic regimes. Continue reading...
  • The gender agenda: what has Obama done for women and girls?
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 20.07.2016
    The White House development summit gives a chance to reflect on Obama's successes ? and renew efforts to put women at the heart of eradicating povertyNearly eight years ago, Barack Obama stepped into the White House, promising to elevate US development efforts to unprecedented heights. This week, with just months of his term left, President Obama will host the first White House summit on global development. It will give him a chance to analyse progress, including his signature initiatives such as Feed the Future and Power Africa. Continue reading...
  • Swaziland turns to anti-retrovirals as safe sex message falls flat
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 20.07.2016
    Aids is rampant in the kingdom but programmes to treat pregnant women and encourage men to get tested are slowly having an impactLess than a decade ago, people were warning that Swaziland ? a country of about 1.3 million ? could be wiped off the map, as HIV cut life expectancy to only 45.9 in 2005."Every weekend was a funeral," says health activist Bekhie Sithole. Continue reading...
  • Tax on junk food in Kerala leaves Indians with a bitter taste
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 20.07.2016
    India has high rates of both obesity and malnutrition, yet critics say Kerala's fast food tax will do little for the health of the poorest citizensMeera Pandey* remembers the day she tasted her first hamburger. It was about 10 years ago, in her hometown of Kochi, in the south Indian state of Kerala, at a new fast food restaurant. It tasted like nothing she'd ever eaten before. "I loved it," she says. "It was so different."Pandey loved burgers so much that she decided to open a gourmet burger restaurant, one of only a handful in her city. Kochi is full of traditional restaurants, and a few fast food chains. Only a small but growing number of people had a palate for western cuisine. "I wanted to show people what a real burger tastes like ? not just what you get in other restaurants, which is two buns filled with frozen patties. It is something special, something new." Continue reading...
  • Secretary-Generalâs High-Level Panel on Womenâs Economic Empowerment meets in Costa Rica
    UN Women – News 19.07.2016
    Costa Rica hosted a regional consultation of the UN Secretary Generalâs High-Level Panel on Womenâs Economic Empowerment on 14 July. The consultation was jointly supported by UN Women and the National Institute of Women (INAMU) of Costa Rica.
  • Promoting innovation, skills and young womenâs entrepreneurship
    UN Women – News 19.07.2016
    On World Youth Skills Day, 15 July, at a side event held at the UN Headquarters in New York UN Women launched the âGlobal Coalition of Young Women Entrepreneursâ to promote young womenâs innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Hacking to combat sexual harassment in Philippines
    UN Women – News 19.07.2016
    In Quezon City, three out of five women experience sexual harassment in public spaces. For girls aged 18 â 24, the prevalence is even higher. As part of UN Womenâs Safe Cities Global Flagship Programme Initiative, the Metro Manila Programme held the first-ever hackathon in May 2016, to seek mobile technology solutions to sexual harassment and violence against women and girls in public spaces.
  • Beating gender stereotypes in Pakistan with football
    UN Women – News 19.07.2016
    Hajra Khan made history when she became the first Pakistani female footballer to sign a contract to play abroad in the Maldives National Womenâs League in 2014. In a society where gender stereotypes and cultural barriers prevent girls from participating in football, this is not a small win.
  • Zika emergency pushes women to challenge Brazil's abortion law
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 19.07.2016
    Women's groups are set to challenge the law in the hope of making termination possible for women at risk of delivering a baby born with Zika-related defectsWomen's groups in Brazil are set to challenge the abortion laws this summer in the hope of making a safe and legal termination possible for women at risk of delivering a baby born with defects after exposure to the Zika virus."Women should be able to decide and have the means to terminate pregnancies because they are facing serious risks of having babies with microcephaly and also suffering huge mental distress during their pregnancies. They should not be forced to carry on their pregnancies under the circumstances," said Beatriz Galli, a lawyer on bioethics and human rights who works for Ipas, a group dedicated to ending unsafe abortion. Continue reading...
  • Racism an underlying cause of HIV epidemic, says Charlize Theron
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 19.07.2016
    Actor, who grew up amid the Aids crisis in South Africa, says the virus has a racial stigma that people have been afraid to talk about Racism is one of the underlying causes of the HIV epidemic and one of the reasons why it has not yet been brought to an end, according to actor and Aids campaigner Charlize Theron, who says that people are afraid to talk about it.Theron, one of the speakers at the official opening of the International Aids Conference in Durban on Monday night, is South African by birth and started a foundation in 2007 to help prevent adolescents and young people becoming infected with HIV in ever greater numbers. Continue reading...
  • Violence, fear and looting grip South Sudan's capital Juba
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 19.07.2016
    Clashes between government and opposition forces have killed hundreds, casting doubt over whether the transitional government can survive Burned tanks lined the side of the main road leading past the UN base in the Jebel area of Juba. Homes and market stalls had been ransacked. Military boots, caps and ripped pieces of uniforms were scattered on the ground. Dark spots in the dirt suggested where bodies had once lain, and although most had been removed, the smell of death lingered.Much of the fighting during the most recent violence in South Sudan's capital took place in Jebel. Clashes erupted between government and opposition forces on 8 July, killing hundreds and shattering hopes that a recently installed transitional government could bring peace after more than two years of conflict. Continue reading...
  • The dishonourable killing of Qandeel Baloch
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 18.07.2016
    Likened to Kim Kardashian for her unapologetic sexuality, Pakistan's first social media star was a high wire act. Her murder has divided the nation, and made her an unlikely political iconQandeel Baloch, who was murdered last week by her brother, was Pakistan's first genuine social media star. Despite her fame ? she had over 1 million followers on Facebook ? 26-year-old Baloch was an unlikely star. Still less did she have the makings of the political and social icon that she has rapidly become in the four days since her death. Related: Qandeel Baloch's brother admits killing her, say Pakistani police 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.