• Calling for action towards SDG#5

    To celebrate International Women's Day 2018, the fellows and staff of UNU-GEST call for a variety of actions for gender equality and achieving the SDGs by 2030 more

  • Call for nominations

    UNU-GEST invites new nominations of candidates for Post-graduate Diploma in International Gender Studies spring semester 2019 Read more

  • Spring lecture series 2018

    This spring term, the joint lecture series by RIKK and UNU-GEST is up and running. Visit the programme of all upcoming events here

  • UNU’s Work on the SDGs

    On 22 January, UNU launched its Sustainable Development Explorer, a new campaign highlighting UNU’s work to support the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more

  • Newly published evaluation report

    Impressive results for UNU-GEST at all levels. Read about micro-, meso- and macro level results, relevance, effectiveness and much more more

Gender news from around the world

  • I saw aid for starving people spent on staff salaries through inept planning ' The Secret Aid Worker
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 22.03.2018
    Bad management has left me disillusioned by the aid sector, and its shocking lack of urgency in helping those driven to despair by hungerI recently resigned from my job with a non-governmental organisation in Africa. After years of working in the sector, I have been left disillusioned with the ethos and impact of these organisations.The sector is filled with the wrong people with the wrong motivations and the wrong agenda. It is, after all, a business enterprise worth $27.3bn, at least in 2016. Missions in country are incentivised by money. The more you can raise, the happier your colleagues in the region and in headquarters because some of that money goes into paying their salaries and office rents ? and your performance in the country is linked to that, rather than the quality of the programmes you are running. Continue reading...
  • More than 800m people need to travel 30 mins for safe water, report finds
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 21.03.2018
    To mark World Water Day, NGO says accessing water is getting more difficult in world's most environmentally stressed nationsWater inequality is increasing in the world's most environmentally stressed nations, warn the authors of a report that shows more than 800 million people need to travel and queue for at least 30 minutes to access safe supplies.Despite an overall increase in provision of tap water, the study - the State of the World's Water 2018 - charts the gaps within and between nations, as poor communities face competition over aquifers and rivers with agriculture and factories producing goods for wealthier consumers. Continue reading...
  • Health is more important than wealth, child development study finds
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 21.03.2018
    Report in the Lancet shows that children across the globe will hit the same milestones, as long as basic needs are metHealthy children develop in remarkably similar ways, no matter where they live, according to a study that confounds prevailing beliefs on childhood development.A report published in the Lancet found that early developmental milestones in a large number of children aged from 0-3 years, in four diverse countries ? Argentina, India, South Africa and Turkey ? were similar. Continue reading...
  • Abortion rates drop dramatically ? but only in rich countries
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 21.03.2018
    Study says terminations have nearly halved in 25 years, but higher rates, particularly of unsafe abortions, occur 'overwhelmingly' in poorer nationsRates of abortion have dropped significantly across the world in the past quarter-century, but the decline has been predominantly in the developed world, according to a report.Evidence gathered by the US-based Guttmacher Institute, a research and advocacy group for reproductive health, suggests the procedure, which kills tens of thousands of women every year, has become safer in many parts of the world. Continue reading...
  • 'I gave birth after my husband's death': the Syrians who wed foreign fighters ' Hussein Akoush and Ellen Ioanes
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 20.03.2018
    Non-Syrian jihadists can seem an attractive prospect to women desperate for security in a country torn by conflict, but such unions can prove devastating"I got married to a foreign fighter from the Maldive Islands in 2016 and he was killed in the clashes against regime forces in the same year. I was pregnant by this man and then I gave birth three months after his death."For this 30-year-old woman from Maaret al-Nu'man, in Idlib province, insecurity had driven her to marry. "My parents had been killed in an airstrike by the regime. As a result, I kept on moving among my five married brothers' places but mostly at the oldest brother's house. I wasn't feeling comfortable on account of instability and I was feeling that I was such a dependent woman. I decided to get married." Continue reading...
  • 'I've never been to school': child waste pickers living on Pakistan's streets ' Haroon Janjua
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 20.03.2018
    Eight-year-old Zarmeena is one of the country's 1.5 million homeless children, many of them Afghan refugees, who miss out on education and often fall prey to violence and abuseOn a cold winter morning, as the sun rises above the squalor and stench of the slums of the Islamabad, frail-looking children are already up, picking rags from the dumps. It is a risky and competitive business.Zarmeena, an eight-year-old Afghan girl, wears ill-fitting wellington boots slashed down to ankle-length, with clothes that are no more than thin pieces of fabric wrapped around her. Continue reading...
  • Life without toilets: the photographer tackling a global taboo
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 19.03.2018
    Andrea Bruce's prize-winning images from India, Haiti and Vietnam document the deeply sensitive issue of open defecation, which affects 1.1 billion of the world's poorest peoplePhotographs: Andrea Bruce/NOOR/EyevineOne of the biggest issues at the intersection of sanitation, poverty and global health, open defecation has also long been one of the hardest to represent visually.For photographer Andrea Bruce, however, the challenge meant she did not have to think too long before agreeing to the year-long project documenting an issue both deeply sensitive and hugely important. The resulting photo essay, commissioned by National Geographic, has been selected for a first prize in the prestigious Pictures of the Year awards. Continue reading...
  • Experts reach for the stars to fight slavery as satellite pictures tell all
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 19.03.2018
    Researchers target further breakthroughs after using space imaging to estimate number of bonded labourers in south Asia's 'brick belt'It has been used to identify suspected weapons sites, monitor troop movements, and chronicle war damage and allegations of genocide. Now, however, satellite imagery is being used to tackle one of the developing world's most persistent problems ? the scourge of modern slavery.An innovative programme involving space imaging and anti-slavery experts at the University of Nottingham has established the prevalence of sites in industries associated with slavery, including Asian brick kilns and fishing camps, in an approach they suggest may be applicable to other forms of compelled labour. Continue reading...
  • 'A wave of change': Sienna Miller hails #MeToo movement at New York summit
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 16.03.2018
    Actor gives impassioned speech at UN event exploring sexual exploitation and harassment in media and entertainment worldsThe actor Sienna Miller hailed the "wave of change" enveloping the media and entertainment industries in an impassioned speech at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Friday.Speaking at an event on sexual exploitation and harassment hosted by the Guardian, UN Women and the Norwegian government, Miller praised the courage of the women who have spoken out about their experiences of harassment since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke last year. Continue reading...
  • 'The future will be equal': Sienna Miller speaks out at #MeToo summit ? video
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 16.03.2018
    In a powerful speech in New York, actor Sienna Miller hailed the Time's Up movement for teaching a lesson to 'our rampant patriarchal societies'. Miller was speaking at an event on sexual exploitation and harassment hosted by the Guardian, UN Women and the Norwegian government. She praised the courage of the women in the entertainment industry who have spoken up on sexual harassment and abuse, and talked about the discrimination she has felt in her own career. 'I have really just had enough. Enough of being undervalued, enough of being undermined, enough of being disrespected, because of my gender''A wave of change': Sienna Miller hails #MeToo movement at New York summit Continue reading...
  • Sold to the circus as children: trafficking survivors showcase their skills in Nepal
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 15.03.2018
    Kidnapped and forced to become child circus performers, a Nepalese troupe now scale the heights on their own terms In a dusty gymnasium south of Kathmandu, a group of twentysomething Nepalis are rehearsing a new routine. One girl sways back and forth on a trapeze suspended from the metal rafters, twisting and turning as two boys play-fight below her. Miming a struggle, one boy ducks as the other tries to grab; one jumps as the other lunges. As the boy shirks off his would-be assailant, he comes close to being hauled offstage, or "kidnapped", in performance-speak. But the kidnapper manages to grab just the boy's T-shirt, and tears it from him before running away.Kidnappings, trafficking and fending off villains are key themes for Circus Kathmandu, a troupe founded by and comprised of trafficking survivors. Smuggled as children into neighbouring India and sold into the travelling circus industry, they have since turned their unique skillset into an educational art form as Nepal's first ? and only ? circus. Continue reading...
  • UN official questions ethics of sexual misconduct victims in bizarre speech
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 14.03.2018
    UNAids chief takes aim at harassment whistleblowers and praises outgoing deputy accused of assault for taking the 'high road'The head of a UN agency has attacked whistleblowers who raised concerns about the handling of a recent sexual harassment and assault case, apparently suggesting they lacked ethics and morals.Michel Sidibé, the director of UNAids, made disparaging remarks about employees who have spoken out, while praising as "courageous" the decision of his deputy to step down following an unsubstantiated allegation of sexual harassment and assault. Many of those who have raised concerns about misconduct within the agency allege that they also experienced abuse. Continue reading...
  • 'Women in Argentina live in hell': calls for legal abortion grow ' Uki Goñi
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 14.03.2018
    A groundswell of support for Argentinian women to be allowed terminations in the early weeks of pregnancy could soon culminate in a change to the law"When I tell people abroad that abortions are still illegal in Argentina, they say, 'You must live in hell,'" says comedian Malena Pichot. "And yes, women in Argentina live in hell."The country has very restrictive abortion laws. Even when it is deemed lawful ? in the case of rape, or when a woman's life is in danger ? doctors are often unwilling to proceed for fear of prosecution. Continue reading...
  • No, abusive men in the aid sector won't 'grow out of it' ' Secret Aid Worker
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 14.03.2018
    Deep-rooted sexism in the heart of our workplace is driving a culture of harassment Beyond the horror stories and investigations into allegations of sexual abuse in the humanitarian field is the broader problem of workplace culture and the sexism and toxic masculinity at the heart of many NGOs' operations. In the humanitarian sector there is a subset of aid workers ? usually white male international staff ? who remain blind to the way gender impacts on their work. They consider the issue an annoying detail that NGOs should be allowed to leave at the door when the context is an emergency and bombs are falling. The problem is seen as especially trivial when raised by young women who management and HR assume simply can't handle the "hardship posting". Continue reading...
  • 'Immoral sentence': Salvadoran woman jailed for stillbirth set free after 14 years
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 13.03.2018
    Supreme court commutes Maira Verónica Figueroa Marroquín's 30-year sentence for murder, calling it immoral and excessiveA woman convicted of aggravated murder in El Salvador after suffering a stillbirth has been freed from prison, the second such release in the space of a month.Maira Verónica Figueroa Marroquín, 34, had her sentence commuted by the ministry of justice and was released on Tuesday after serving almost 15 years of a 30-year sentence. Continue reading...
  • 'Freedom!': the mysterious movement that brought Ethiopia to a standstill ' Tom Gardner
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 13.03.2018
    Qeerroo ? young Oromo activists ? drove the mass strike that helped topple the prime minister of one of Africa's most autocratic governments Today, Desalegn is a banker. But once he was a Qeerroo: a young, energetic and unmarried man from Ethiopia's largest ethnic group, the Oromo, bound by what he calls a "responsibility to defend the people".Twelve years ago he helped organise mass protests against an election result he and many others believed the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) had rigged. This landed him in prison, along with thousands of others, on terrorism charges. Continue reading...
  • 'Glib': UK criticised for failing to give to fund for survivors of UN sexual abuse
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 13.03.2018
    Victims' groups chastise government unwillingness to join 19 states in contributing to fund for victims of UN exploitationThe UK government has come under fire from victims' groups for failing to contribute to a UN fund for survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations staff.A lawyer representing the mothers of the 11 "peacekeeper babies" in Haiti said survivors of UN abuse see the UK as "very glib about supporting victims". Continue reading...
  • Bono's anti-poverty One Campaign faces claims of harassment
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 10.03.2018
    Former employees at musician's One Campaign allege they were 'treated worse than dogs'The anti-poverty campaign co-founded by Bono is being threatened with legal action by former employees who say they were bullied by a senior official for almost four years and that their complaints were not dealt with properly.The One Campaign, created in 2004 to fight extreme poverty and preventable diseases, launched an investigation after a group of former employees from its Johannesburg office tweeted allegations of management misconduct, claiming that some staff in Africa were "treated worse than dogs". Continue reading...
  • 'A national disgrace': fury over £100m aid deal between UK and Saudi Arabia
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 09.03.2018
    Unveiling of plan to create infrastructure in poor countries overshadowed by unease over Saudi role in Yemen conflictThe controversial aid deal between the UK and Saudi Arabia announced on Friday has been branded a "national disgrace".Amid further outcry over Britain's relationship with the Gulf state, government ministers have signed a £100m aid agreement with Riyadh to coincide with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit to London this week. Continue reading...
  • 'We are soldiers! We will save you': how Boko Haram tricked Dapchi schoolgirls
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 08.03.2018
    School staff and locals describe events leading to kidnapping of boarding school girls in north-east NigeriaEvening was falling and hundreds of students were preparing to break the fast observed every Monday at the girls' boarding school in the small Nigerian town of Dapchi.Watching them get ready to eat reminded Usman Mohammed, a school security guard, that it was time for his evening prayers. It was a school night like any other. Until suddenly it wasn't. 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.