International Organizations

International organizations and multilateral financial institutions play important roles in advancing the status of women and girls worldwide. The United Nations and its agencies, such as the UN Development Program, UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA and others, have made strides in efforts to “mainstream” gender initiatives throughout their policies and programs. The UN General Assembly passed a resolution in September 2009 to unify the four main organizations for gender equality into one unified entity. The new agency will unite UNIFEM, the DESA Division for the Advancement of Women, the Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues, and INSTRAW under one roof. This move aims to strengthen international support for gender equality, reduce bureaucratic redundancies and inefficiencies as well as improve accountability a and oversight . There is also a call for increased participation by civil society in monitoring governments and international organizations to ensure that their respective programs are actually improving the lives of women and girls.

Impact of War and Militarization on Women

May 24, 2009 posted by admin

Last year’s UN Security Council Resolution 1820 recognized sexual violence as a war crime. Its passage is often cited as a milestone.  Given so many conflicts around the globe, however, what was this resolution’s real impact? If your heart drops every time you think about the continuing rape in the Congo, you are not alone! For NCRW’s upcoming Annual Conference we have assembled a special panel featuring experts on women, war and security. 


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Who Cares?

March 2, 2009 posted by admin The 53rd Commission on the Status of Women meetings start today at UN Headquarters in New York and will run until the 13th of March.  This year, the theme of the CSW is “The equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS.” During this year’s events, I will have the privilege of working with the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development’s (UNRISD) Gender and Development Programme. The Gender and Development Programme at UNRISD has been working on the Political and Social Economy of Care as one of its main research themes for several years now. [One of my favorite gender and development researchers, Maxine Molyneux, wrote the first paper in the series, titled Mothers at the Service of the State.]  As part of the project, UNRISD led gender experts from around the world in an exploration of care issues, with research conducted in eight countries drawn from four different regions.  Within its comparative approach, the project focused on the gender composition and dynamics of the multiple institutions of care – households and families, states, markets, and the not-for-profit sector – and their effects on poverty and social rights of citizenship.


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THE GLOBAL TRACK: India--Land of Malls and Ragpickers

February 11, 2009 posted by Shyama Venkateswar

 
 

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="298" caption="Photograph: Deshakalyan Chowdhury"]Photograph: Deshakalyan Chowdhury[/caption]

I was recently in Calcutta, India, my place of birth, home to where my mother, a sibling, old friends, and sweet memories still reside. This is my other “home” where I try to get to every year to renew and regenerate myself, and recharge from the stresses of a running a two working parents’ nuclear household in frenetic New York City. My trip last month came after a two year gap; I felt the familiar overwhelming desire to be there, to be a part of the sights and sounds of an India that were at once familiar and yet distant to me. Having left almost 23 years ago to move to the US, I have a unique insider-outsider vantage point. I was born and brought up there; I know things instinctively – all the cultural puzzles, contradictions, nuances of language, wordplay and verbal cues, body language, subtle things - that only a native-born can ever know. But, having been away long enough, and trained in and working in a field where critical inquiry is required, I can no longer accept without questioning the status and daily conditions of millions of people living in absolute poverty, what Collier refers to as The Bottom Billion. Even as India’s economy grows steadily at about 8% a year, there are entire communities of people, some 300 million of them, who live under a $1 a day without regular access to food, water, housing, livelihoods, reproductive healthcare or education. Malnutrition in children under five is at a staggering 45%.

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SECRETARY OF STATE FORUM--Abigail Disney on HRC’s Projected Ascent

December 2, 2008 posted by admin "Senator Clinton's accession to Secretary of State will be an unprecedented opportunity for women at long last to take their rightful place shoulder-to-shoulder in the  international community as leaders, as peers, and as beings whose human rights are as important, valued and 'inalienable' as those of men.  Too long the human rights community has dismissed women's rights as important, but not  'human rights' and therefore not important enough to be addressed by their gigantic and well-funded organizations.


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Inspired Choices for Tough Jobs

December 2, 2008 posted by Linda Basch There is a widespread outcry for the US to reassert its moral leadership in the world. How do we do this? Well, for starters, we can demonstrate a genuine commitment to partnering with other nations to create greater global security and equality for all peoples – across genders, religions, ethnicities, races, and sexualities.  We have a lot of ground to make up, given the US’s record over the past eight years, when our government has often seemed to impede rather than facilitate global peace and security.  In this regard, President-elect Obama’s choice of Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State is promising.


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