• Global Day of Action

    Calling for progress on the Sustainable Development Goals as we celebrate the second anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals more

  • Women Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Energy in Africa

    UNU-GEST teams up with Ministry for Foreign Affairs Iceland, UN Environment and UN Women to hold a workshop 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

Gender news from around the world

  • Aid given in cash improves health and spurs school attendance, say researchers
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 17.11.2017
    Cash handouts bring major benefits to world's poorest people, allowing them to live with greater dignity, claims international studyForeign aid in the form of cash transfers with no strings attached can improve health and increase school attendance, a study has found.Earlier this year, Downing Street was forced to defend the use of controversial cash transfers when press reports claimed £300m had been spent on a poverty reduction scheme in Pakistan dogged by claims of corruption. Continue reading...
  • 'We lost a great leader': Berta Cáceres still inspires as murder case takes fresh twist ' Liz Ford
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 17.11.2017
    As friends and followers of the late Honduran activist continue her battle for indigenous land rights, their cause has been boosted by a damning legal report María Santos Domínguez heard about the death of her good friend Berta Cáceres on the radio. She had just given birth to her youngest daughter, so she wasn't with Cáceres the week she was murdered."It was a double blow because we were very close, we worked together in the communities," said Santos Domínguez, a coordinator for the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras (Copinh), the organisation Cáceres co-founded 24 years ago to stop the state selling off the country's ancestral lands to multinational companies. Continue reading...
  • The demise of the opposition sounds the death knell for democracy in Cambodia ' Mu Sochua
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 17.11.2017
    In crushing the party of which I was vice-president, Cambodia's prime minister has revealed himself as a brutal dictator intent on prolonging his oppressive ruleDemocracy was on trial this week in Cambodia, and it lost. Demonstrating its complete subservience to Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Cambodian supreme court ruled to dissolve my political party, the Cambodia National Rescue party (CNRP). It also banned me and more than 100 of my colleagues from politics for the next five years.As the only opposition party capable of mounting a serious challenge to the ruling party in national elections ? scheduled for July ? the CNRP posed a threat to the continuance of more than three decades of Hun Sen's brutal, strongman rule. Continue reading...
  • UK under fire as new figures show aid spending by broad range of ministries
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 16.11.2017
    Aid experts speak out after official statistics reveal that about a quarter of UK aid budget was spent outside Department for International Development in 2016The proportion of Britain's £13.4bn aid budget spent by government ministries other than the Department for International Development rose by almost 50% last year, sparking concerns about transparency and poverty reduction.Roughly a quarter of the aid budget, which met the 0.7% target set by the government, was spent by non-DfID departments, official figures show. Continue reading...
  • Uganda brought to its knees as doctors' strike paralyses health service
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 16.11.2017
    Government failure to address low pay and lack of medical supplies drives staff to walk out, as patients' groups warn that lives of most vulnerable are at risk Public health services across Uganda have been brought to a standstill as doctors strike over pay and poor working conditions. Members of the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) began nationwide action on 6 November over the government's failure to meet their demands for salary and allowance increases, as well as for a review of the supply of medicines and other equipment in health centres. Continue reading...
  • Congo crisis on a par with Iraq, Syria and Yemen ? and getting worse by the day
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 16.11.2017
    UN warns that conflict, cholera and internal tumult have forced 4 million people and counting from their homes, with aid increasingly hard to deliverViolence and ethnic and political unrest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have propelled the country to the same level of crisis as Iraq, Syria and Yemen.Cholera is raging at a rate never before seen in DRC and nearly 4 million people have been displaced from their homes by fighting, a quarter of them from the conflict-hit Kasai region alone. The UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, which revealed last month that the situation had been declared a "level-three emergency", the highest grade of crisis, has warned that those numbers are likely to rise in the coming weeks. Continue reading...
  • Nigeria's Nasty Boy: 'People in my law class thought I worked for a porn site' ' Emmanuel Akinwotu
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 16.11.2017
    Rigid gender norms in Nigeria's religiously conservative society are being challenged by a website dedicated to documenting unconventional livesRichard Akuson, a lawyer whose online magazine is questioning rigid gender norms in Nigeria's religiously conservative society, understands the nature of the challenge all too well. He has lived it."In Nigeria, as in many other places, people treat a very narrow version of masculinity as if it is sacred, as if to challenge it is immoral," says the 23-year-old. Continue reading...
  • Populism and immigration pose major threat to global democracy, study says
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 15.11.2017
    Inequality and vulnerability of technology-based voting systems to corruption also identified by researchers as factors in slowing spread of democracyThe spread of democracy around the world has slowed over the past decade, according to a report warning that governments are at a "critical juncture".Since 1975, the number of countries with fair democratic systems has more than doubled, from 46 (30% of countries) to 132 (68% of counties). More nations now hold elections than ever before. Continue reading...
  • Brazil must legalise drugs ? its existing policy just destroys lives ' Luís Roberto Barroso
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 15.11.2017
    For decades, guns and imprisonment have been the hallmarks of Brazil's war against the drug trafficking. But the only way to beat the gangs is to stop creating criminals, says a top Brazilian judgeThe war raging in Rocinha, Latin America's largest favela, has already been lost. Rooted in a dispute between gangs for control of drug trafficking, it has disrupted the daily life of the community in Rio de Janeiro since mid-September. With the sound of shots coming from all sides, schools and shops are constantly forced to close. Recently, a stray bullet killed a Spanish tourist. The war is not the only thing being lost. For decades, Brazil has had the same drug policy approach. Police, weapons and numerous arrests. It does not take an expert to conclude the obvious: the strategy has failed. Drug trafficking and consumption have only increased. Einstein is credited with a saying ? though apparently it is not his ? that applies well to the case: insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Continue reading...
  • Aung San Suu Kyi complicit in Rohingya 'ethnic cleansing' in Myanmar, MPs told
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 15.11.2017
    Rights groups urge UK government and international community to consider Nobel laureate 'part of the problem' over atrocities in Rakhine state Aung San Suu Kyi is implicated in the "ethnic cleansing" of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, UK MPs heard on Tuesday.Giving evidence before a parliamentary committee, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Burma Campaign UK and other rights groups urged the government and the international community to see the Nobel laureate as "part of the problem". They said the bloody military crackdown in Rakhine state had left "thousands" of Rohingya Muslims dead, with others subjected to "appalling rape", and 600,000 people driven from their homes. Continue reading...
  • 'Catastrophic' Iraq law could legalise marriage for children as young as nine
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 14.11.2017
    Activists warn that proposal to amend legislation would set women's rights back 50 years, allowing Muslim clerics to decide on marriage contractsA new law that could legalise marriage for children as young as nine in Iraq would be "catastrophic", setting back women's rights by half a century, activists said.The proposal, an amendment to Iraq's personal status law, would allow clerics of Muslim sects to govern marriage contracts. Continue reading...
  • 'When they began slaughtering us we ran for our lives': Rohingya trapped inside Myanmar ' Alex Crawford
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 14.11.2017
    Alex Crawford of Sky News reports from Rakhine state on the fleeing Rohingya Muslims unable to get to Bangladesh and stranded on Dang Khali Saur beach, desperate for food and waterIt's the sound of the wailing that is most haunting. It's a deep, soulful, pit-of-your-being, howling hurt. And it follows us as we're swept along by this moving, wretched mass of humanity. These are the Rohingya Muslims who are unable to flee the violence being unleashed against them by travelling overland to Bangladesh because of the distances involved; the certainty of running into Myanmar soldiers and having to navigate landmines. They've run in the only other direction they could ? towards the beaches of Maungdaw district in Rakhine state, until they reached water and could go no further.We've travelled in a traditional Bangladeshi fishing boat to Dang Khali Saur beach, now home to what's believed to be the largest number of stranded Rohingya in Rakhine. Here, the bulk of the atrocities by the Myanmar military have been taking place. Continue reading...
  • Akshay Kumar: Toilet isn't a dirty word ? my latest film made me love the loo ' Akshay Kumar
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 13.11.2017
    The Bollywood star hopes that the story of Anita Narre, who shocked India by leaving her new husband because his home had no toilet, can inspire the country to tackle a sanitation crisis that blights the lives of millionsWe need to change our minds about toilets. A woman from a small village in rural India, Anita Narre, shocked the nation when she left her husband two days after her wedding. But it wasn't the speed of her decision that caused the astonishment; it was the reason. Outraged that her new home lacked a toilet, Narre refused to return until her husband built her one. Her story, which inspired my latest film, cuts to the very heart of one of the biggest crises facing my country today.It wasn't until I met Narre and other women like her that I understood the true scale of the issue. During my research for the film, I found out that half of India's population ? 564 million people ? defecate in the open because they lack access to a toilet. But I didn't know what this means for millions of women across the country. I had no idea about the fear these women experience every single time nature calls, or that so many women face assault and rape while going to the toilet outdoors. Continue reading...
  • Vietnam braced for second storm after devastating impact of Typhoon Damrey
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 11.11.2017
    As 400,000 people in coastal communities await emergency assistance after first deadly cyclone, aid workers warn Typhoon Kaikui will inflict further misery Almost 400,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance following a typhoon that has devastated some of the poorest communities in Vietnam, pummelling homes and destroying water supplies.Typhoon Damrey made landfall on 4 November in the country's south-central coastal region, with winds of 135km an hour. At least 100 people have died, according to Vietnam's disaster management authority. Continue reading...
  • Winnie Mandela the movie: 'She was volatile and uncontrollable, and that was punished' ' Kate Hodal
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 06.11.2017
    An award-winning documentary demystifies the image of the activist as 'sinner' to Nelson the saint, as part of a wave of films in African cinema breaking with the status quo on gender, race and politicsFor decades, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela lived in the shadow of her husband, Nelson. But now, nearly four years after his death, Winnie's own story ? as the controversial, uncompromising activist who has been largely adored at home yet reviled abroad ? is finally being treated as documentary-worthy in its own right.Winnie, by British filmmaker Pascale Lamche, focuses on the grassroots campaigner in her political heyday. Featuring testimony from Nelson and Winnie's daughter Zindzi as well as Winnie herself, now 81, it is one of a number of films emerging in African cinema that seeks to redress a long-held status quo ? whether that's about gender, race or politics. Continue reading...
  • Miss Peru contestants accuse country of not measuring up on gender violence
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 01.11.2017
    Beauty pageant competitors refuse to list vital statistics during live TV broadcast, instead stating figures on violence against women in PeruIt was that moment in the beauty pageant where the contestants come forward, introduce themselves and then announce their bust, waist and hip measurements. But in the opening segment of Sunday night's televised Miss Peru contest, a whole different set of figures were presented to the audience as each competitor listed a hard-hitting statistic about violence against women in the South American country. Continue reading...
  • The women who put their lives on the line for peace in Central African Republic ' Rebecca Ratcliffe
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 28.10.2017
    When sectarian conflict wrought division in Boda, women in the southern Central African town formed a united front to appeal for calm. Three years on, Muslims and Christians live in greater harmonyDerelict homes, swallowed up by grass and trees, stand empty along the road near to the centre of Boda. There are vacant patches where buildings once stood. When deadly conflict spread to the town in Central African Republic's southern Lobaye prefecture in 2014, homes were burned and residents fled. The road became known as the "red zone", a line that separated Muslims and Christians. Thousands were trapped without access to food or medicine. Those who crossed into a rival area risked their lives: murders, decapitations, rapes and looting were carried out with impunity.But as the fighting spread, Boda's women refused to obey the town's battle lines. Continue reading...
  • US groups pour millions into anti-abortion campaign in Latin America and Caribbean
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 26.10.2017
    Guardian investigation reveals anti-choice groups using sophisticated methods to combat potential easing of draconian abortion laws in the regionUS anti-choice groups are coordinating and financing a campaign to restrict access to abortion across Latin America and the Caribbean. A Guardian investigation has found that organisations have poured millions of dollars into the region, which has some of the most draconian abortion laws, to combat efforts to decriminalise the termination of pregnancies and to obstruct access to clinics providing services. Continue reading...
  • Dead or imprisoned for having an abortion: fighting El Salvador's brutal laws ? video
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 25.10.2017
    The total ban on abortion in this deeply religious Central American country means that women have been jailed over miscarriages, or died as a result of unsafe terminations. But amid growing protests, politicians may finally bow to pressure to overturn El Salvador's draconian anti-abortion laws Continue reading...
  • Indian village run by teenage girls offers hope for a life free from abuse
    Women's rights and gender equality ' The Guardian 21.10.2017
    In Thennamadevi young daughters are forging a new destiny beyond their alcoholic fathers and human traffickers Each afternoon the men of Thennamadevi leave their village and head for the surrounding fields, many carrying bottles of high-strength home-brewed alcohol. Hours later they stagger back home through the paddy fields of the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India.Thennamadevi is racked by alcoholism. Most of its 150 male inhabitants participate in ruinous daily drinking sessions. Around 90 women with families in the village have been widowed. The youngest husband to die was 21. 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.