• Open seminars: presentations of final assignments

    The class of 2017 fellows present their final assignments on Monday 22 May 2017 from 11:00 -16:00 in room 101 in Oddi, University of Iceland campus more

  • Nordic Women Mediators annual meeting in Iceland

    UNU-GEST and the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs hosted the NWM annual meeting 7 and 8 May more

  • Call for nominations

    UNU-GEST invites new nominations of candidates for Post-graduate Diploma in International Gender Studies spring semester 2018 Read more

  • Human Development Report 2016

    Launch event with Dr. Selim Jahan, UNDP Human Development Report Office Director 14 March more
  • Visit to the President of Iceland

    The 2017 cohort of UNU-GEST fellows visited the President of Iceland, Mr. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and the First Lady, Mrs. Eliza Reid at Bessastaðir, the presidential residence 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

  • Kids working on Kabul's streets get a second chance at childhood ' Sune Engel Rasmussen
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 22.05.2017
    Afghan parents in desperate poverty often rely on sending children to work, but a school run on donations offers young people an alternative to a life of toilOmid used to spend his days in traffic jams around Kabul, washing cars with a ragged cloth. At the end of the day, the seven-year-old took home the money he had earned so his father wouldn't sell another piece of furniture from the house to buy drugs.Haroon began working in traffic at the age of six, as an espandi, warding off evil spirits by waving a tin of coals over car bonnets so smoke wafted through drivers' windows. On his best day of business, a woman stopped in an armoured vehicle and handed him 1,000 afghanis (£11). On most days, he earned less than 100 afghanis. Continue reading...
  • Outnumbering refugees two to one: how the world ignores war's greatest scandal
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 22.05.2017
    Norwegian Refugee Council report reveals extent of the hidden crisis that forced 31 million people ? one every second ? to flee within their countries last yearConflict, violence and natural disasters forced more than 31 million people to leave home and settle elsewhere within their countries last year, the equivalent of one person every second.But while the number of people uprooted by conflict outnumbers refugees by two to one, they have been largely ignored by the international community, according to a report by the Norwegian Refugee Council's Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. Continue reading...
  • Tensions rise as Uganda refugee policy is pushed to breaking point
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 20.05.2017
    Country has seen nearly a million incomers from South Sudan aloneDazed and exhausted, Joyce Mori sits on the floor cradling her sleeping daughter as they wait to have their fingerprints taken. One of 1,600 refugees who have arrived at the Imvepi reception centre in the West Nile region of northern Uganda, she has finally made it out of South Sudan's war but, like many others, is thinking about loved ones left behind.Leaving her village of Mukaya, she travelled to the town of Yei with her four children. From there it took eight days to walk to the border, pushing her three-year-old on a bicycle while the others followed on foot. Continue reading...
  • Jennifer Kempton death: 'A strong, brilliant woman who loved all the way'
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 19.05.2017
    Colleagues praise strength and compassion of 35-year-old whose own sex trafficking ordeal persuaded her to found a charity for fellow survivors Jennifer Kempton, a former sex slave who founded a tattoo-removal organisation to help other trafficking victims, has died of a suspected drug overdose in Ohio.Tributes have been paid to the 35-year-old mother of four, who was described by her former boss Deborah Quinci as "a strong, brilliant woman who loved all the way and gave herself to others all the way". Continue reading...
  • What the UK election will mean for aid and development: key manifesto vows
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 19.05.2017
    From refugees and arms sales to human rights and aid budgets, the main Tory, Labour and Lib Dem commitments on ending poverty and inequality explainedBritain will go to the polls on 8 June with aid and development spending under unprecedented scrutiny. Two years after the UK became the first major economy to meet the UN target of devoting 0.7% of gross national income to aid, the Whitehall vultures are circling. Government departments including the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office are casting covetous glances at the £12bn aid budget, while allegations of wasteful spending on contractors and ill-conceived projects have fuelled wider criticism. How are the main parties planning to negotiate this political minefield? Outlined below are the key commitments on aid and development contained in the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos. The Scottish National Party's manifesto will be launched on Tuesday. Related: UK government under fire for failure to regulate aid contractors Continue reading...
  • 'React first': Canadian army issues guide to dealing with child soldiers
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 19.05.2017
    Military doctrine is first in world that attempts to help troops deal with issue that can inflict deep psychological woundsIt is a distressing dilemma that has played out on battlefields around the world: how is a soldier to respond when a child points a gun at them? The Canadian military has become the first in the world to offer guidance to troops who confront child soldiers, in an attempt to help service personnel navigate an issue that can inflict deep psychological wounds. Continue reading...
  • George W Bush's man in Africa handed tough challenge by Donald Trump
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 18.05.2017
    Mark Green, a former US ambassador to Tanzania, will need to see through huge funding cuts after receiving the presidential nod to lead USAid Donald Trump has achieved what could be seen as a first under his presidency: choosing someone to lead a government agency who has met with bipartisan approval.Trump has nominated Mark Green, a former congresssman and one-time US ambassador to Tanzania who has worked under both the Obama and George W Bush administrations, to lead the US Agency for International Development (USAid). In what could be one of the toughest jobs in Trump's government, Green will have to oversee the massive funding cuts the White House is proposing to the agency, the effects of which are expected to reverberate globally. Continue reading...
  • 'Not my husband': trafficking kingpin's wife claims wrong man is in Sicilian jail
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 18.05.2017
    Wife of notorious human trafficker Medhanie Yehdego Mered says man facing trial is victim of mistaken identity, echoing fears of prosecution expertsThe wife of a man believed to be the world's most wanted people smuggler has said that her husband remains free and another man has been seized in his place.According to Lidya Tesfu, a 24-year-old Eritrean refugee, the man facing trial in Sicily is not the notorious human trafficker Medhanie Yehdego Mered. Continue reading...
  • They smashed my face and demolished my home ? all for the Rio Olympics ' Maria da Penha Macena
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 18.05.2017
    When Maria da Penha Macena defended her home from developers before the Rio Olympics, she was left battered and bloodied. She believes her community was betrayed and the host city cheated All that remains of our old community is one house, a Catholic church, and a handful of trees that we fought to protect. The rest has been completely demolished. The area where most of our homes once stood is now a large concrete car park that is usually empty and insufferably hot. It is sad. There used to be 650 families here. Today, there are 20.Keeping even those was a hard-fought battle. We made history. We set an example as the first families to resist the Olympics. Though there are not many of us and our old homes were demolished and replaced, it was a big victory. We overcame powerful interests to defend our right to remain in our neighbourhood. Continue reading...
  • Traffickers and smugglers exploit record rise in unaccompanied child refugees
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 17.05.2017
    Slavery and prostitution among horrors faced by child refugees and migrants after fivefold increase in number of lone minors crossing borders since 2010-11A record increase in the number of refugee and migrant children travelling alone has left many exposed to sexual abuse and exploitation at the hands of traffickers and opportunists.At least 300,000 unaccompanied and separated children were recorded in 80 countries in 2015-16, a rise of almost 500% on the 66,000 documented in 2010-2011, according to a Unicef report published on Wednesday. Continue reading...
  • Panic over the red devils threatening to strip Tunisia of its grand palm trees
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 17.05.2017
    A red palm weevil infestation is decimating trees and posing a threat to the country's date crop, a mainstay of the fragile economyIt's an unlikely but very real crisis for a country with a teetering economy: a tiny red devil is invading Tunisia and it could cost hundreds of thousands of people their livelihoods.Morched Garbouj, president of a Tunisian environmental group, smiled as he told the popular legend of how the red palm weevil first arrived in Tunisia. "Some people say that it was the former dictator Ben Ali's son-in-law who brought it here. He was known for bringing in exotic animals, exotic trees, that kind of thing." He points to the fact that the area suffering the greatest devastation is in Carthage, around the presidential palace. "Well, maybe it's true!" Continue reading...
  • Pregnancy problems are leading global killer of ??females aged 15 to 19
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 16.05.2017
    More than 1.2 million adolescent girls and boys die annually ? most from preventable causes ? says World Health OrganizationPregnancy complications are the leading cause of death globally among females aged 15-19, with self-harm in second place, a global study has found.More than 1.2 million female and male adolescents die annually, the World Health Organization (WHO) report said ? the majority from preventable causes including mental health issues, poor nutrition, reproductive health problems and violence. Continue reading...
  • Trump expands policy that bans US aid for overseas abortion providers
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 15.05.2017
    Trump widens 'Mexico City policy', which had been suspended under ObamaRule will prevent foreign aid going to groups that even discuss abortion rightsThe Trump administration on Monday significantly expanded a Reagan-era policy banning foreign aid to international healthcare providers who discuss abortion or advocate for abortion rights, in a move critics fear will jeopardize efforts to fight diseases such as malaria, HIV/Aids, and the Zika virus.The new terms of the ban will apply to $8.8bn in existing foreign aid provided by the state department, USAid, and the Department of Defense ? dwarfing the $600m in programming that fell under the ban during previous administrations. Continue reading...
  • Where there's a wall there's a way: artists take aim at Sumatra's palm oil industry
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 15.05.2017
    When smoke from Indonesia's palm oil industry reached the studio of artist Ernest Zacharevic in Malaysia, a unique project was born. Intent on making the world reconsider the environment, Zacharevic sold one of his prints to raise funds for Splash and Burn, a public art campaign. The title is a play on the 'slash and burn' practices used by palm oil producers to clear land for farmingOn a swampy patch of degraded forest land on the Indonesian island of Sumatra stands a hooded black figure, face obscured by plumes of smoke. Something strange is afoot. Elsewhere, random limbs protrude eerily from unexpected places. A sun bear, piggybacking a startled child, traipses stoically across a foreign landscape. A miniature man settles into a hammock strung between two oil palm saplings. Continue reading...
  • Africa's new slave trade: how migrants flee poverty to get sucked into a world of violent crime
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 13.05.2017
    Thousands who dream of a better life in Europe face horrors of modern slavery on way across the Sahara to LibyaSix months after Muhammed Yusuf had been sold, tortured and forced to watch as a friend died, he found himself back at the parched, dusty bus station where his ordeal began, facing the man who had made him a slave.Unembarrassed and unrepentant, the smuggler was still touting for business among the crowds flooding into Agadez, an oasis town on the fringe of the Sahara desert in central Niger that has for centuries been a trading centre and gateway to shifting paths across the desert. Continue reading...
  • Indian train network makes history by employing transgender workers
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 12.05.2017
    An initiative offering jobs to a handful of members of Kerala's hijra community aims to tackle prejudice and bring transgender people into the mainstreamThey used to beg on India's train network, but this month, for the first time, transgender women will have proper jobs, serving passengers and selling tickets in the south Indian city of Kochi.In an effort to integrate trans people into Indian society, Kochi's metro has hired 23 members of the hijra community, who will start working behind ticket counters and on housekeeping teams before the end of this month. Continue reading...
  • 'If a man can do it, why can't I?': turning the tables on India's instant divorce law ' Amrit Dhillon
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 11.05.2017
    As India debates the validity of a law allowing men to divorce by uttering three words, one woman is blazing a trail by using the practice against her husbandAs dusk was falling, Amreen Begum's husband bundled her into his auto-rickshaw together with their two young children. He dumped them beside some wheat fields outside Meerut, a city 70km north-east of India's capital, New Delhi. "He didn't even bother going the extra 2km up to my parents' home," says Begum. Continue reading...
  • Hissène Habré's rape acquittal must not be quietly airbrushed from history ' Kim Thuy Seelinger
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 10.05.2017
    Though ruled out on procedural grounds, Khadidja Zidane's testimony against the former Chad president highlights some uncomfortable truths about attitudes towards survivors of sexual violenceAlmost a year ago, I sat in the extraordinary African chambers of the courts of Senegal and watched as Hissène Habré, the former president of Chad, was convicted of multiple war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of torture.The judgment was hailed as a victory for international criminal justice. It was the first time a national court had used principles of universal jurisdiction to prosecute a former head of state for crimes of this nature. Continue reading...
  • Femicide the rallying cry for families of girls killed in Guatemalan orphanage fire ' Rossalyn Warren
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 04.05.2017
    Lawyers claim the disaster that killed 41 girls at the San José Pinula children's shelter reflects wider state failings on the protection of women in GuatemalaOutside Palacio Verde, in the centre of Guatemala City, a woman stands on a pile of ash and scattered flower petals. Near her feet is a circle of wooden crosses, each marked with the name of a girl killed last month in a fire at Virgen de la Asunción, an orphanage in San José Pinula.Three people have since been arrested in connection with the fire, which killed 41 girls between the ages of 14 and 17. The girls were among those locked in a room as punishment for a recent escape attempt. The fire started when one of the girls set fire to a mattress in protest at their treatment; survivors said the girls had pleaded to be released from the room, but their cries were ignored. Continue reading...
  • Majority of men in Middle East survey believe a woman's place is in the home
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 02.05.2017
    Study carried out across Middle East and north Africa shows sexist attitudes prevail, with men's views of equality at odds with hopes of young womenMen's views of equality between the sexes are woefully out of sync with the hopes of young women, according to a survey across the Middle East and north Africa.Male attitudes towards the role of women in the workplace and at home, and of their participation in public life, were stereotypically sexist in the study of views in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine. 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.