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.

Q&A: “The Battle Continues”

The Programme of Action adopted at the landmark 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) included chapters that defined concrete actions covering some 44 dimensions of population and development, including the need to provide for women and girls during times of conflict, the urgency of investments in young people’s capabilities, and the importance of women’s political participation and representation.

How Niger’s Traditional Leaders are Promoting Maternal Health

It is a long, 14-hour drive from Niger’s capital city Niamey to the village of Bande. And the ride is a dreary one as the roadside is bare. The occasional, lone goat herder is spotted every few kilometres and the sightings become a cause of both confusion and excitement since there aren’t any trees, or watering holes in sight.

How Midwives on Sierra Leone’s Almost Untouched Turtle Islands are Improving Women’s Health

Emmanuel is a male midwife.At the age of 26, he lives and works on one of eight islands off the southwest peninsular of Sierra Leone, an hour by speedboat from Mattru Jong, the capital of Bonthe District.

U.N. Commemorates World Humanitarian Day Paying Tribute to Aid Workers

The United Nations Tuesday commemorated World Humanitarian Day paying tribute to aid workers who risk their lives to bring relief to those in need.

REN21 Report Promotes Renewable Energy Usage

A new report launched Wednesday alluded to the role renewable energy could play in improving energy security while also acting as a way to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

New UNFPA Report Emphasizes Need for Investments in Midwifery

As UN member states contemplate the important additives for the Post 2015 Development Agenda, health organisations are lobbying for investments in midwifery, a service experts believe could provide up to 90 percent of the care needed for newborns and pregnant mothers at the time of birth.

UNICEF Recovery Efforts Still Strong in Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan

In the aftermath of the deadly Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines in November of 2013, recovery efforts are slowly making themselves visible—a feat that the Children’s Rights & Relief Organisation (UNICEF) has been pushing for.

Journalists Seek Protection in Proposed Post-2015 Agenda

As civil disputes, societal destruction and political unrest swept through the world last year, about 92 journalists were killed in the line of duty. Reporting from war zones—often without proper protection, journalists have continued to risk their lives to inform the general public.

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.

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