• #IcelandToo? How Patriarchy Is Perpetuated

    Prof. Cynthia Enloe gives a lecture at the University of Iceland, Tuesday, 27 February 2018 at 12:00 more

  • IPMA Project Management

    IPMA Project Management Certification becomes part of the UNU-GEST programme more

  • Program of spring lecture series

    The spring term lecture series, organized by RIKK and UNU-GEST, is up and running. Visit our overview 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

  • Welcome class of 2018

    The United Nations University Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme (UNU-GEST) welcomed the 11th cohort to its annual post-graduate programme in international gender studies in Iceland more

  • UNU-GEST Newsletter December 2017

    The December edition includes news on events, research, 2018 cohort of fellows, conferences, alumni news and much more more

  • Mozambique alumni meet in Maputo

    Former fellows and UNU-GEST staff meet to network and discuss the strategic direction of the alumni country chapter for Mozambique 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

  • Remote course offered to alumni

    Dr. Giti Chandra teaches the course which offers an intersectional approach to gender in all its ramifications through examples of ‘high’ and ‘popular’ culture from around the world more

Gender news from around the world

  • May says UK will not cut aid in wake of Oxfam scandal
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 21.02.2018
    Prime minister defies calls to scrap UK commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on aidThe UK's aid budget will not be cut as a result of the sexual exploitation scandal affecting the sector, the prime minister has confirmed in a push back against the right wing of her party.There have been calls for the government to scrap the commitment to spend at least 0.7% of gross national income on foreign aid, including from the MP some Tories have touted as Theresa May's potential successor, Jacob Rees-Mogg. Continue reading...
  • Trump cuts jeopardise lives of millions of Palestinian refugees, UN warns
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 21.02.2018
    Head of UN agency for Palestinian refugees fears new generation could be radicalised as food aid to Gaza and Syria approaches critical lowThe head of the main United Nations agency supporting Palestinian refugees has warned that the organisation is facing the most severe funding crisis in its history, threatening its support to an estimated 5.3 million people, including more than 400,000 inside Syria.Pierre Krähenbühl, commissioner general of the UN Relief and Works Agency, added that cuts in support to the already impoverished and demoralised population his organisation supports ? many of them victims of recent conflict ? risked radicalising a new generation of young Palestinians. Continue reading...
  • 'I want to empower Afghan women': female prosecutor on a lonely mission
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 21.02.2018
    Zainab Fayez, the sole woman in Kandahar's attorney-general's office, wants greater equality in the Afghan justice systemZainab Fayez, the only woman serving as a prosecutor in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar, has resolved 50 cases of abuse against women, and helped detain 21 men accused of violence against women, including police officials, over the past year. But she still longs to see other women join her in the legal profession."My aim is to see the next generation of Afghan women empowered," said the 28-year-old, who has worked in Kandahar's attorney-general's office for the past two years. "In Kandahar, it is very hard for a woman to work alone in an office, which is predominantly occupied by male staff members and where women as workers are taboo. Continue reading...
  • 'Disappointing': UK revives aid scheme halted over alleged payments to Syrian jihadists
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 20.02.2018
    Shadow development secretary Kate Osamor questions depth of Foreign Office inquiry as project funding Free Syrian Police is reinstatedThe government has resurrected a controversial multimillion-pound aid scheme to train a civilian police force that was alleged to have given cash to extremists in Syria, the Guardian can reveal.The UK-backed project was suspended in November last year, after an investigation found that the Free Syrian Police were paying off militants, listing dead and fictitious people on their payroll, and working with courts engaged in human rights abuses. Continue reading...
  • Newborn survival rates in US only slightly better than in Sri Lanka
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 20.02.2018
    Unicef expresses alarm over figures that show five newborn babies a minute die from preventable causes worlwideThe risk of dying as a newborn in the US is only slightly lower than the risk for babies in Sri Lanka and Ukraine, according to Unicef.A report by the UN children's agency found that five newborn babies die around the world every minute ? a total of about 2.6 million a year. The figure was described as "alarmingly high", not least because 80% of the deaths were from preventable causes. Continue reading...
  • Myanmar government 'bulldozing Rohingya mass grave to hide evidence'
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 19.02.2018
    Rights group says site of massacre in Rakhine state is being flattened on government orders after exposés of two other mass gravesWARNING: this report includes a graphic image that readers may find disturbingThe government of Myanmar is bulldozing over the site of a Rohingya mass grave in an effort to destroy evidence of a massacre committed last year by the military, according to a rights monitoring group.The claim follows investigations conducted by the Associated Press and Reuters news agencies, which revealed evidence of other mass graves. Continue reading...
  • Mexico's Zapatista rebels, 24 years on and defiant in mountain strongholds
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 17.02.2018
    The peasant rebels took up arms in 1994, and now number 300,000 in centres with their own doctors, teachers and currency, but rarely answer questions ? until nowDiners in the Tierradentro cafe in the southern Mexican town of San Cristóbal de las Casas can choose between a variety of omelettes. The "Liberty" has the most ingredients, the "Democracy" looks the best, but the "Justice" costs the most ? possibly because it comes with cheese.The restaurant is one of many celebrating, or cashing in on, the Zapatistas, the indigenous peasant rights movement from dirt-poor Chiapas state, which took up arms and occupied San Cristóbal on 1 January 1994, the day Mexico signed up to Nafta, the North American free trade agreement. Continue reading...
  • The Oxfam scandal does not justify demonising the entire aid sector ' Megan Nobert
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 17.02.2018
    Aid agencies are learning how to deal with sexual misconduct more sensitively ? let's give them space to do soThe #MeToo movement has been sparking change across the world. Now the humanitarian community has become the latest sector forced to recognise it has a serious problem that has been neglected for too long.The scandal has highlighted sexual abuse committed by Oxfam staff in Haiti in 2011. Employees who paid for sex were allowed to resign and, while the incident could have been handled better, it sparked a change in the organisation. They introduced stronger policies and processes, strengthened their investigative department. Oxfam began taking a zero-tolerance policy in actions, not just words. Were an accusation made now, it would be handled differently. Continue reading...
  • Oxfam chief accuses critics of 'gunning' for charity over Haiti sex scandal claims
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 16.02.2018
    Mark Goldring admits organisation's failings but says 'scale and intensity' of criticism is disproportionate?Oxfam CEO: 'Anything we say is manipulated. We've been savaged'The chief executive of Oxfam has hit back at the storm of criticism surrounding the charity's sex exploitation scandal in Haiti, claiming attacks on the organisation are "out of proportion to the level of culpability".In an interview with the Guardian, Mark Goldring repeated his apology for Oxfam's failings and acknowledged that major reforms were needed. But warning that the controversy has already affected vital donations, he accused critics of "gunning" for the charity and said some were motivated in part by an anti-aid agenda. Continue reading...
  • One in 10 senior politicians in Brazil funded by companies 'linked to slavery'
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 16.02.2018
    Investigation finds President Michel Temer among 51 politicians who received donations from firms accused of labour abusesMore than one in 10 of Brazil's high-ranking politicians, among them President Michel Temer, received campaign donations from companies linked to modern-day slavery, an investigation has found.Party leaders, state secretaries and five of ex-president Dilma Rousseff's governors are among the elected parliamentarians who received R$3.5m (£760,000) during the last general election, according to the NGO Repórter Brasil. Continue reading...
  • Salvadoran woman jailed over stillbirth freed after 11 years
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 15.02.2018
    Teodora del Carmen Vásquez's 30-year sentence under country's total ban on abortions is commutedA woman sentenced to 30 years in prison for aggravated murder after having a stillbirth has been freed in El Salvador in a case highlighting the dire consequences of the Central American country's total ban on abortion.Teodora del Carmen Vásquez, 34, was released on Thursday after serving almost 11 years for a crime she has always vehemently denied. Her sentence was commuted by the supreme court on the grounds that there was insufficient scientific evidence to determine that she had intentionally caused the stillbirth, but her conviction was not overturned. Continue reading...
  • UN staff say they were urged to support official accused of sexual misconduct
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 14.02.2018
    Employees claim they were implored to sign letter vouching for senior UNAids figure, amid calls for the UK government to establish an independent inquiry into harassment allegationsStaff within a UN agency say they are being approached at their desks and asked to sign a letter in support of a senior official at the centre of a recent sexual harassment and assault investigation.The letter asks employees to testify that Luiz Loures, deputy executive director of UNAids, behaves respectfully and is committed to advancing women's rights. Continue reading...
  • Sexualised atmosphere among aid workers in Haiti disturbed me ' Phoebe Greenwood
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 13.02.2018
    I was among thousands flown in after the 2010 quake, and was unsettled by the atmosphereI arrived in Port-au-Prince a few days after the earthquake in 2010. I was a spokesperson for Save the Children and my job was to help set up an emergency communications team.It was my first experience of a humanitarian catastrophe and I was overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster. I'd never seen anything like it. Neither had many of the aid veterans. The scale of the devastation and death ? and need ? was staggering. But what surprised me most was the huge appetite for debauchery among the foreigners who had flown in to help. I'd been expecting death. Perhaps I was naive, but I hadn't been expecting sex. Continue reading...
  • NGO crimes go far beyond Oxfam ' Letters
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 13.02.2018
    Figures for earthquake relief range from $10bn to $13.4bn. Some of us who visited Haiti have seen little or no sign of that money, write activistsIn 2008 some of us had written to Barbara Stocking, then Oxfam chief executive, objecting to a report that it sponsored, Rule of Rapists in Haiti, which labelled Haitians as rapists while hiding rapes by occupying UN forces. The year before, 114 soldiers had been sent home for raping women and girls, some as young as 11. No one was prosecuted. We wrote: "NGOs like Oxfam have known about rapes by UN forces, as well as by aid and charity workers, for decades. It's the pressure of victims, women and [children] in the most impoverished communities, who had the courage to speak out that finally won ? public acknowledgement." There was no reply.The latest revelations of sexual abuse by major charities (Report, 13 February), are but one facet of NGO corruption. The people of Haiti were the first to free themselves from slavery, but the colonial "masters" they defeated ? France, Britain and the US ? have continued to plunder and exploit, including through imported NGOs. Haiti has more NGOs per square mile than any other country and it remains the poorest in the western hemisphere. Corruption begins and ends with neo-colonial powers. Continue reading...
  • The toxic effects of the Oxfam scandal have weakened us all in the aid sector ' Kevin Watkins
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 13.02.2018
    Across our programmes at Save the Children, we deal with some of the world's most vulnerable people. The only antidote to abuse is zero toleranceIn the space of a week, a story that started out as a report on predatory behaviour by some Oxfam staff in Haiti has transmuted into a crisis of trust, an attack on aid, and a threat to humanitarian action. Penny Mordaunt, the secretary of state for international development, has demanded moral leadership ? and rightly so. But how do we now move to constructive solutions?That question matters for some of the world's most disadvantaged people. Agencies like Save the Children are a link in the chain between UK public money and the women and children whose lives have been torn apart by humanitarian emergencies. UK aid and public donations mean that we can provide life-saving maternal and child health services for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. They enable us to deliver education to Syrian refugees, immunisation to children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and protection to unaccompanied children in South Sudan. Continue reading...
  • 'Tunisia is finished': smugglers profit as downturn drives European exodus
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 12.02.2018
    Growing unemployment, dwindling wages and tax hikes trigger rise in illegal migration and concerns over terrorism Ahmed Souissi describes himself as a civil society activist. In a country where almost every job is unionised, Souissi is the leader of the Union of Unemployed Graduates on the island of Kerkennah: the departure point for Tunisians heading ? legally and illegally ? to Europe.Souissi is now employed, but his union work continues. He has seen the illegal migration business take root and flourish on his island. He describes the old fishing boats ? packed with desperate, predominantly young men from across the country ? making their way out of the harbour in full view of the police and national guard, groups ostensibly charged with halting them. Continue reading...
  • Chilean mother who fears daughter was driven to suicide demands law change
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 07.02.2018
    A year after Antonia Garros Hermosilla's death at ex-boyfriend's home, calls continue for action over fatal form of abuseOn the night of 7 February 2017, in the Chilean coastal city of Concepción, Antonia Garros Hermosilla visited her ex-boyfriend, Andrés Larraín Páez, a man who had allegedly been abusive throughout their tumultuous two-year relationship.Hours later, the 23-year-old fell to her death from the balcony of her ex-boyfriend's home. The Chilean police and judiciary ruled that the death was an unassisted suicide. The family believe she was assaulted before she fell, and there is witness testimony suggesting Antonia was attacked by her boyfriend. Continue reading...
  • UN 'grossly mishandled' inquiry into alleged sexual assault, say campaigners
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 07.02.2018
    Group claims UNAids investigation into senior official undermined by conflict of interest and calls for independent review of allegationsHave you encountered harassment in the aid sector? Share your storyA UN agency has "grossly mishandled" an investigation into claims of sexual harassment and assault by a high-ranking official, claims the campaign group Code Blue in an open letter to António Guterres, the UN's secretary general.Last week, UNAids concluded that allegations against Luiz Loures, an assistant secretary general of the UN, and deputy executive director of programme at UNAids, were not substantiated. Continue reading...
  • 'I believed no man would marry me if I didn't cut': battling FGM in Uganda
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 06.02.2018
    On the day marking Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, survivors are educating communities in border areas with Kenya, where the practice is still a rite of passageIn 2009, when Rebecca Chelimo was 12, she was forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM)."I feared abuse and insults from the community. I was told it was a shame to be an uncircumcised girl. I believed no man would marry me if I didn't cut. So I did it," says Chelimo, from her home in Alakas village, in eastern Uganda. Continue reading...
  • American court opens historic hearing into Venezuela rape and torture case
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 06.02.2018
    Linda Loaiza is challenging the Venezuelan state in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights over failure to deliver justice in case that highlights impunity on violence against womenIn March 2001, when she was 18 years old, Linda Loaiza was kidnapped and held inside an apartment in eastern Caracas. She was repeatedly raped and tortured by her abductor.Her relatives reported Loaiza's disappearance, but the Venezuelan authorities refused to investigate. After four months, she managed to escape. 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.