• Visit to the President

     The 2019 cohort of UNU-GEST fellows had the honour of visiting the President of Iceland, Mr. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson at Bessastaðir, the presidential residence.

  • NORA 2019 Conference

    Gender and feminist researchers are invited to participate in the NORA 2019 Conference on critical feminist cross-disciplinary research and activities held at the University of Iceland, 22-24 May 2019. NORA 2019 Conference

  • RIKK & UNU-GEST Lecture Series

    The RIKK & UNU-GEST Noon Lecture Series for spring 2019 is focused on Gender, Health and Trauma. 

Gender news from around the world

  • 'Normalised but not normal': Nigerian women call out gropers and catcallers
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 04.02.2019
    Sexual harassment has long been rife in Nigeria's bustling markets. Now women are mobilising in protestChiezugo Obii-Okpala knows that when she visits Yaba market in Lagos she's going to be harassed. Whether she's shopping for clothes or hurrying past the stalls that line the road to get on a bus, she will not be left alone."You're dragged, called all sorts of names, harassed ? and when you don't give into that, you're followed around," says the 24-year-old pharmacist.But what stands out most in memory, was how normal it was, as a young child, to be dragged, catcalled & solicited by men in the market. Walking through narrow pathways with stalls was particularly uncomfortable because these men would reach out, grab and touch you.."my wife!" Related: African women making progress in battle for equal rights Continue reading...
  • Police arrest 19 people over FGM gang attacks on women in Uganda
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 24.01.2019
    Critics say police should have acted earlier on reports of forceful mutilation of more than 400 women in a month by armed groupsSixteen men and three women have been arrested for allegedly aiding and abetting female genital mutilation (FGM) in eastern Uganda after reports of gangs attacking women in the region.The suspects were taken into custody earlier this week after joint police and military operations in Kween district. The arrests followed local media reports of more than 400 women, some as young as 12, being mutilated by force by local gangs in the past month. Related: 'I believed no man would marry me if I didn't cut': battling FGM in Uganda Continue reading...
  • 'People will end up dying': Trump's cuts devastate clinics in Zambia ' Rebecca Ratcliffe
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 21.01.2019
    Teen pregnancies are soaring and HIV care has stalled in rural communities hit by 'global gag' funding cutsIt is under-fives week at Zambia's Nyangwena health centre and, outside in the morning sunshine, women are taking turns to weigh their babies. A noisy toddler wriggles as his mum places him into the harness of a set of scales. Measurements are taken and, afterwards, ice lollies handed out to children.Reaching families in the surrounding rural communities is a major challenge for staff at the centre, and, after outreach services were stripped back, things are getting worse. Continue reading...
  • One in three UN workers say they have been sexually harassed in past two years
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 16.01.2019
    UN secretary general Antonio Guterres says 'we still have a long way to go before we are able to openly discuss sexual harassment'One third of UN staff and contractors experienced sexual harassment in the past two years, according to a report released by the United Nations.The online survey, carried out by Deloitte in November, was completed by 30,364 people from the UN and its agencies ? just 17% of those eligible. In a letter to staff, secretary general Antonio Guterres described the response rate as "moderately low". Related: UN sexual misconduct chief was promoted while facing harassment claims Continue reading...
  • Destroy 'period huts' or forget state support: Nepal moves to end practice
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 14.01.2019
    After the custom of consigning menstruating women to outdoor sheds claimed three more lives, a new system of penalties offers hope of changeChhaupadi, the practice of banishing girls and women to a hut or shed when they have their periods, is common in Dilu Bhandari's village in Nepal.But two months ago Bhandari, a 26-year-old mother of four, watched as her husband destroyed the tiny hut in which she had previously been sent to live once a month. The family had been told by local authorities that if she continued to observe the custom, they would no longer receive state food support. Forced to choose between a food allowance for her twin boys and abandoning the traditional practice, the choice was effectively made for them. Related: Mother and two boys suffocate in Nepal's latest 'period hut' tragedy Continue reading...
  • Mother and two boys suffocate in Nepal's latest 'period hut' tragedy
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 10.01.2019
    Practice of banishing women to small outbuildings during periods claims further victims despite country declaring practice illegal A woman and her two sons have suffocated to death in a windowless shed to which they were banished in the latest tragedy linked to the illegal practice of chhaupadi, whereby women in Nepal are forced to sleep in "period huts".Police said Amba Bohara, 35, had spent four days in the cowshed with her sons Ramit, nine, and Suresh, 12, when her father-in-law discovered their bodies on Wednesday morning. Related: Nepal's bleeding shame: menstruating women banished to cattle sheds ' Kate Hodal Continue reading...
  • Schoolgirls in Kenya to face compulsory tests for pregnancy and FGM
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 04.01.2019
    Girls in Narok County will be made to reveal identities of babies' fathers and tell police about female genital mutilation Plans to subject schoolgirls in Kenya to mandatory tests for female genital mutilation and pregnancy are a violation of victims' privacy, campaigners have warned.All girls returning to school this week in Narok, Kenya, will be examined at local health facilities as part of a countywide crackdown. Related: 'Every girl is forced by our culture into FGM': battling for change in Kenya ? podcast Continue reading...
  • 'My parents sold me': poverty drives trade in child brides in Zimbabwe ' Nyasha Chingono
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 04.01.2019
    Married off at 13, Maureen lost her education and her health. Her plight is common in a country racked by economic turmoilThe end of Maureen's days at a primary school in north-eastern Zimbabwe marked the beginning of her life as a wife.At 13, the brightest student in her class in Mudzi, Mashonaland, she was married to a man three times her age. Related: More than 20,000 underage girls marry illegally each day, claims study Continue reading...
  • Mother of student held over Ortega protest in global plea for help
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 03.01.2019
    Family of activist Amaya Eva Coppens, 24, appeal for help to 'stop the repression' of Nicaraguan governmentThe mother of a medical student facing more than 20 years in prison for protesting against the Nicaraguan government is appealing to the international community to put pressure on president Daniel Ortega's regime.Amaya Eva Coppens, a Belgian-Nicaraguan dual national, is due to stand trial in the capital Managua after being "abducted" in a raid by more than 30 riot police and paramilitaries on 10 September. Continue reading...
  • 'It's a very big torture': the children growing up in hiding in Dubai ' Katie McQue
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 02.01.2019
    With sex outside marriage punishable by jail, migrant workers who become pregnant are often forced to keep their babies locked awayA sweltering, windowless room in an old district of Dubai, no more than 5 metres by 3 metres in size, is home to nine people from the Philippines. Eight are adults, working long hours in low-paid jobs so they can send money home to their families. The ninth is a six-year-old boy.His name is Jerry and he shares a tiny bed with his mother, Neng. Jerry loves dancing, Peppa Pig and doughnuts. This small dark room is the only home he has known, as he's spent his life in hiding as a stateless child. Growing up without a birth certificate or any other identification means he has no access to education and has never visited a doctor. Officially, this little boy does not exist. Continue reading...
  • Inside Mother Camp: the woman tackling Afghanistan's drug problem
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 02.01.2019
    Laila Haidari risks her life to run the country's only private rehabilitation centre, helping hundreds of addicts a yearLaila Haidari is considered a criminal, despite never committing a crime. The 40-year-old works with drug addicts in Kabul. "The addicts I work with are considered criminal and dangerous and by extension I am considered criminal," she says.Despite opposition and death threats, eight years ago, Haidari opened the city's only private drug rehabilitation centre, which so far has helped nearly 4,800 Afghans who would otherwise have ended up on the streets, or worse, dead. Continue reading...
  • The world in 2018: how much do you know? ? quiz
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 31.12.2018
    The year began with the Oxfam scandal and ended with a withering verdict on the food we eat. What do you remember? Allegations of harassment at aid agencies and charities were frequent in 2018. Which organisation was branded 'a boys' club' by one employee?UN WomenUNAidsOxfam GBActionAidStudents in Cape Town scored a world first by creating a bio-brick from which substance?Human salivaCow's milkHorse manureHuman urineWhich singer came out in support of a Brexit-beleaguered Theresa May, suggesting the PM's gender made her a target for unfair criticism?Lady GagaPaloma FaithKate BushRae MorrisIn a report condemning the 'diabolical state' of our diets, nutritionists found that more than four in 10 children worldwide consume what daily?ChocolateCakeCrispsSugary drinksResearchers at Harvard University believe it may be possible to protect countries in the global south from climate change using what?A gigantic sunshade in the skyBlanket distribution of sunscreenA gigantic heat-absorbing spongeTibetan prayer beadsWhich of the following food staples is threatened by a virulent fungus that could wipe it out of existence?WheatPotatoesBananasChocolate chip cookiesScientists working in Tanzania have developed an innovative method of diagnosing tuberculosis ? involving the use of what?Giant pandasGiant armadillosGiant frogsGiant ratsIn a speech on equality at the UN, which actor said she was tired of 'being undervalued, undermined and disrespected, because of my gender'?Sienna MillerNicole KidmanGal GadotEmma WatsonEthiopian girl band Yegna made headlines after losing UK aid funding. To which British girl band have they been compared?Girls AloudThe Spice GirlsThe Saturdays SugababesTo which of the following did the Trump administration NOT make aid funding cuts in 2018?Abortion servicesPalestiniansPolioPakistan10 and above.Take a bow, you're a bona fide newshound!7 and above.My, my, now that was impressive ? you really didn't miss much in 2018, did you?4 and above.A solid effort. Let no one say you ignored the headlines in 20180 and above.Oops. It would seem the world passed you by somewhat in 2018. Was it all that talk of Brexit and Trump? Continue reading...
  • The woman breaking Bolivia's culture of silence on rape ' Dan Collyns
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 28.12.2018
    Raped at the age of 15, Brisa De Angulo has devoted her life to the pursuit of justice for herself and fellow survivors of sexual abuse. In the process, she has survived several attempts on her life and influenced crucial changes to the lawBrisa De Angulo was 15 when the carefree, happy childhood she lived in her Bolivian village was shattered.She was raped by a member of her extended family who was lodging at the family home, on the outskirts of the city of Cochabamba. Over eight months she was raped repeatedly. Related: Bolivia women's rights groups hope revised law is step toward legal abortion Continue reading...
  • 'I knew my life could be in danger': the girl on a mission to change Iraq ? video
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 27.12.2018
    Rowan was born just before the start of the Iraq war. The turmoil of her country sparked a deep sense of social injustice, and she began speaking out for human rights at just eight years old. Now 15, her impassioned criticism of the restrictive Iraqi regime has won her many supporters ? but left her in fear of reprisals Continue reading...
  • 'I'm here to work, not for sex': battling violence against women in Rwanda ' Sophie Cousins
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 27.12.2018
    A culture of victim-blaming and high levels of sexual and physical abuse are being tackled with tough laws as well as dedicated centres to help survivorsDressed in a red and green dress, Elise* sits clutching her friend's hand as she recounts her story to a social worker at the Isange One-Stop Centre.Signs such as "Break the silence when you see gender-based violence" and "I'm here to work, not for sex" adorn the small centre, which is situated next to the bustling maternity ward inside Kacyiru district hospital, not far from Kigali city centre. Related: 'I was sexually abused, humiliated and beaten. Legal victory was a great balm' Continue reading...
  • 'A gift to feminists': how Trump's 'gag rule' inspired a worldwide movement
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 26.12.2018
    Born as a response to Trump's aid cuts, SheDecides has blossomed into a vast movement, with women across the globe joining its rallying cryOn Monday 23 January 2017, three days after he was inaugurated into the White House, Donald Trump signed an executive order that put the lives of millions of women around the world at risk.The reintroduction of the Mexico City policy ? or "global gag rule" as it's commonly known ? banned overseas NGOs from receiving US federal funding if they provided any abortion services. While aid organisations were braced for the move (the gag rule, introduced by Ronald Reagan in 1984, has been reintroduced and rescinded by Republican and Democrat governments respectively), they were not prepared for it to be extended to cover all global healthcare programmes, instead of just family planning services. Continue reading...
  • 'A gift from God': the Rohingya refugees adopting orphaned babies ' Sunaina Kumar and Fiona Weber-Steinhaus
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 25.12.2018
    The sexual violence perpetrated by Myanmar's military could have led to a surge in abandoned newborns ? but it never cameOn the night Rahima was born, the rain lashed down on Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Inside one makeshift hut, Dildar Begum tried to help a woman in labour. But she couldn't stop the bleeding and the mother died."Maybe it's God's will that I take care of the baby," she thought to herself when she cut the umbilical cord.This reporting was supported by a grant from the European Journalism Centre, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationThis article was amended on 4 January 2019 to clarify which organisations use wet nurses and relactation centres Continue reading...
  • Child sex trafficking rife in Colombia's picturesque Cartagena ' Mathew Charles
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 23.12.2018
    The historic city is cracking down on an industry that targets children and young women from poor neighbourhoodsCartagena's colonial architecture and easy access to white sand beaches have made it one of Colombia's most popular tourist destinations. But behind its baroque facade, the historic city ? which calls itself the "pride of Colombia" ? has been hiding a shameful problem.Sexual exploitation and abuse is out of control in the city, authorities have admitted, after coming under fire for not doing enough to tackle the issue. To counter the criticism, they launched a police crackdown and several court cases will begin next month. Related: Colombia's City of Women: a haven from violence ' Sibylla Brodzinsky Continue reading...
  • Kenya lifts ban on Marie Stopes abortion services after warning lives are at risk
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 21.12.2018
    Clinics reopen in country where backstreet abortions kill seven women a day and hospitalise 320The Kenyan government has lifted a ban preventing the international charity Marie Stopes from providing any abortion services, following warnings the ruling endangered the lives of thousands of women.The Kenyan ministry of health said on Thursday that an audit of Marie Stopes' clinics had been completed and that the charity could resume post-abortion care services under "regular supervision". Related: 'Every girl is forced by our culture into FGM': battling for change in Kenya ? podcast Continue reading...
  • Girl, 10, dies after female genital mutilation in Sierra Leone
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 20.12.2018
    Renewed calls for country to end practice after girl bleeds to death following mass initiation into secret societyA 10-year-old girl has died after undergoing female genital mutilation during a mass initiation into a secret society in Sierra Leone.The girl, one of 68 involved in the rite, bled to death on Tuesday following complications from the FGM procedure. Related: FGM rates in east Africa drop from 71% to 8% in 20 years, study shows 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.