As the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of poverty-alleviation targets set by the United Nations, come to a close this year, countries around the world are taking stock of their successes and failures in tackling key developmental issues.
Thirty-six-year-old Chameli Devi, a sex worker operating out of New Delhi's G.B. Road - Asia's largest red-light district, housing an estimated 12,000 of India’s three million sex workers – is an unhappy woman these days.
Watching Bittal Devi deftly weave threads of different colours into a vibrant patchwork quilt, it’s hard to imagine that this 46-year-old’s hands have spent the better part of their life cleaning toilets.
Almost two decades ago, in Beijing, 189 countries made a commitment to achieve equality for women, in practice and in law, so that all women could at last fully enjoy their rights and freedoms as equal human beings.
When Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named an international panel to review peacekeeping operations last October, the announcement was greeted with bitter criticism because it lacked even a semblance of gender balance: only three out of 14 members were women.
Finding ways to better integrate the two arms of U.N. Peace Operations - Special Political Missions and Peacekeeping Operations - will be one of the priorities for a new review panel headed by Nobel Peace Laureate and former president of Timor-Leste José Ramos-Horta.
For most Syrian women, the war has been a disaster. For some, it has also been liberating.
Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser currently heads the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. Between 2011-2012 he was president of the General Assembly, setting the agenda for debate in the assembly during the Arab Spring.
Ongoing military conflicts in the strife-torn Middle East - specifically in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Palestine - have resulted in widespread civilian casualties, impacting heavily on the most vulnerable in besieged communities: women and children.
Can violence against women be prevented or eliminated with a new international treaty signed and ratified by the 193 member states of the United Nations?
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.
Saleema Bibi graduated from medical school 15 years ago – but to this day, the 40-year-old resident of Peshawar, capital of Pakistan’s northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, has never been able to practice as a professional.
At last, after the obligatory summer break, the European Union (EU) has some new faces to fill the top vacancies on the team that began to emerge from the May 25 parliamentary elections.
The appointment of Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini as the new European Union foreign policy chief offers the opportunity for an overhaul of EU foreign and security policy.
Until five years ago, Shima Aktar, a student in Gajaghanta village in the Rangpur district of Bangladesh, about 370 km northwest of the capital Dhaka, was leading a normal life. But when her father decided that it was time for her to conform to purdah, a religious practice of female seclusion, things changed.