Stories written by Joan Erakit
Joan Erakit is an American writer and journalist currently based in New York. As a United Nations correspondent with IPS, she covers women's issues specifically related to gender equality and health. Joan attended Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she studied cultural anthropology and worked as a freelance writer.

Safety in Cities Require Solutions that include Men

When you walk through downtown Medellin on a hot Saturday night, it is a common sight to see throngs of people sitting on sidewalks, milling outside make-shift tech stores that sell calling cards, chargers and other cell phone accessories.

Medellin, a Laboratory for World Urban Forum

Amidst the backdrop of plush green forestry and winding roads that curved around each hilltop, participants from all over the world gathered in the city of Medellin, Colombia Monday for the seventh session of the World Urban Forum (WUF7).

Women Seek Mentors to Help Achieve Economic Goals

In an effort to leverage the power of partnerships and assist in the creation of an equitable world for women and girls in developing countries, non-profit organizations and UN agencies are turning to mentoring in business. UN Women’s Knowledge Gateway for Women’s Economic Empowerment and the Cherie Blair Foundation’s Mentoring Women in Business Programme have agreed on a 12-month initiative that will provide opportunities for women through a range of projects.

Liberian Women see Land as Tool for Development

The topic of natural resource management posed a critical question during the current 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW): how can women utilize their knowledge for managing natural resources to promote peace and develop themselves?

Buildings Collapse Following Explosion in Harlem

An East Harlem neighbourhood was shaken Wednesday morning when an explosion erupted and two buildings collapsed on 116th street and Park Avenue in New York City (NYC).

UNFPA Joins World Bank Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Great Lakes Region

The United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) and the World Bank are partnering to oversee strategies to address gender based violence through the lens of education, capacity building and economic growth.

UN High Representative Calls for Women’s Issues to be Treated as Human Issues

In its continued effort to highlight the achievements of women, United Nations Women for Peace (UNWFP), in partnership with United Nations Alliance of Civilization (UNAOC), convened Friday the ‘March in March’, an annual awards luncheon and rally to celebrate International Women’s Day.

“The Power of Collaboration” – Women Aim for Leadership Roles through Dialogue

Last September, , IMPACT Leadership 21, an organisation geared towards promoting the visibility of women in leadership roles called for the appointment of a woman as the next UN Secretary-General, a first in the history of the world body.

Security Council Demands Unhindered Access to Humanitarian Aid for Syria

The 15-member Security Council Saturday unanimously adopted a resolution demanding unhindered access to humanitarian aid for Syria.

U.N. Alliance of Civilizations Stands by its Support for Youth-Led Projects

In 2008 the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) established the Youth Solidarity Fund (YSF) in a way to support young people through an international grants-making programme. Seven years later, YSF continues its work by providing seed funding to youth led organizations that focus on fostering dialogue on cross cultural issues and bridging gaps between communities both locally and globally.

A Tale of Two Worlds

As violence rips through South Sudan and ongoing conflict plagues the Central African Republic and Syria, developing countries stand at a difficult crossroads – struggling to grow economically and politically, yet fielding deep inequalities within their own borders.

World Urban Forum to Tackle Urbanization as Part of Sustainable Development

On 5 April 2014, the 7th World Urban Forum (WUF7) will descend on Medellin, Colombia on the theme ‘Urban equity in development’ — Cities for life.’ The focus of the weeklong conference , in the Latin American hub,  will be on practical and sustainable ways of creating more inclusive and compact cities that address complex issues like inequality, population and infrastructure.

Prolific Monologues to Address Violence Against Women & Girls in “Wounded To Death”

The fight to end violence against women and girls remains a critical issue for the  global community as the world gathered to observe Orange Day—the International Day to End Violence Against on the 25 November, 2013.  Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights and has a long lasting consequence on the victims, the families, the communities and the countries that suffer its wrath.

Citizen Insecurity Growing Problem in Latin America

The new Regional Human Development Report produced by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) brings to light an issue that is considered a “thwart” to the development of Latin America.  Citizen insecurity is a growing problem in the region and according to the new report, “a challenge that must be overcome by means of democratic and inclusive policies that respect human rights.”

Sahel New Target for Joint World Bank -U.N. Mission

Announcing a joint mission to the Sahel region, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim addressed the press Friday on their new mission which would place peace and development at the forefront.

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