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.

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.

Teen Pregnancy Rooted in Powerlessness

Before we begin, perhaps we can set aside the stereotypes: no, she didn’t "mess herself up by following boys around", and no, it is not in fact her fault that she became pregnant.

U.N. Chief Hopes to make Headway with Special Coordinator for Syria

U.N.  Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Sigrid Kaag of the Netherlands as a Special Coordinator of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-United Nations Joint Mission to eliminate the stockpile of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic.

BOOKS: Americana, a Filipino Story

One of the fastest-growing Asian immigrant groups in the United States, Filipinos are perceived as the most likely to assimilate with ease.  That is, of course, if you’re looking from the outside in.

ODA Struggles as Post-2015 Draws Near

Millennium Development Goal Eight has become a big focus for the Secretary General and other United Nations officials as the deadline draws nearer.  In a press conference last week,  Secretary General Ban Ki-moon launched the Millennium Development Goals Gap Task Force Report 2013.

In Search Of A Post-2015 Framework Beyond Internet

During a press conference Tuesday, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for the voices of the “disabled, the poor and the jobless, the hungry, those living without adequate sanitation or health care” to be heard as the work of defining the post-2015 development goals continues.

In Search of a New Pan-Africanism

Bridging the gap between Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance has been a top priority for the African Union (AU).

Q&A: “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights”

On Thursday, the international community recognises World Population Day, a time of assessment, discussion and projections for the future that necessarily gives great weight to the rights of women and girls and particularly their sexual and reproductive health.

The Challenge of Being a Maasai Woman

The Maasai tribe of Kenya and Tanzania has long been a beacon of traditional culture to many Africans - and for Westerners on safari through Maasai Mara, Samburu or Amboseli, a familiar face.

Skilled Midwives May be the Key to Healthy Babies

The story goes like this: a young mother lies quietly in a dimly lit room having just given birth to her baby. For the next seven days she watches over the child with caution, nursing and swaddling it patiently. Fearful that the infant will not survive past a few days, she refuses to give it a name.

Q&A: ‘Empowering Girls Alone Will Not Bring Social Change’

The Global Education First Initiative stands at the forefront of this week's Learning Ministerial Meetings in Washington, D.C., underscoring the importance of education in the development of the global economy.

Give a Teenager a Camera, Watch the World Change

Today's youth are hardly passive consumers of content – they create it, endlessly updating via social media and spreading information faster than one can say “go".

Q&A: Obesity and Hunger Are Two Sides of the Same Problem

Over 40 million children under the age of five were overweight in 2010. In fact, since 1980, the worldwide prevalence of obesity has doubled, according to the British medical journal the Lancet.

BOOKS: The Legacy of Nafis Sadik, Champion of Choice

Once dubbed "the most powerful woman in the world" by the London Times, Nafis Sadik learned at an early age that persistence leads to opportunities for change - and backlash from the Pope.

Equal Chances for Women Critical in ‘Healthy, Productive Society’

In an effort to promote gender equality in workplaces and communities, business leaders, politicians and supporters came together during last week's fifth annual Women's Empowerment Principles Event to explore ways to ensure women are supported in their careers and life choices.

Q&A: Without More Women, Media Cannot Tell the Full Story

The fact that women are underrepresented in the media industry should surprise few. The severity of this imbalance and its consequences, however, are less obvious. In a new report, the Women's Media Centre exposes these disparities and their effects on society.

Mimi portrait

Q&A: Radio Gives Voices to South African Youth

Lesedi Mogoatlhe has dedicated her life to empowering African youth by helping them to find their voices through radio journalism.

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