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The sheroes of human rights

Monday, December 10, 2018

As we close out the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence on Human Rights Day (10 December), we stand in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of women human rights defenders who are leading the fight for universal human rights and lives free from violence. More

Statement: Speaking out and speaking up for fundamental rights and freedoms

Friday, December 7, 2018

In a statement for Human Rights Day (10 December) Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director UN Women, says: "Let us re-affirm our commitment to a world in which human rights, and women’s rights, underpin justice, solidarity, harmony and prosperity for all". More

Statement by the Executive Director: Those who defend our rights in turn need our defense

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

In a statement for International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says: "We honour today the women whose courageous efforts—and sometimes whose lives—are given in defense of the universal human rights agenda and women’s empowerment". More

Land rights at last for Sulaliyyate women in Morocco

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

After 10 years of advocacy, ethnic Sulaliyyate women of Morocco finally have equal land rights. On 23 July, a State-run lottery distributed some 860 plots of land equally among men and women, as part of ongoing efforts to privatize land throughout the country. More

Resilient and empowered, South Sudanese refugee women find new beginnings in Uganda

Monday, June 18, 2018

More than one million South Sudanese refugees have crossed over the border into Uganda since 2013. Along with immediate assistance, they need long-term support, including therapy to cope with trauma and opportunities to earn a living. UN Women-supported therapy groups in one refugee settlement have helped women come together, heal and discover new beginnings. More

From where I stand: “Always rely on yourself”

Monday, June 18, 2018

Maha Aasi Emm Ala’a, a Syrian refugee, came to the UN Women-run women’s centre in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp with severe depression after her husband passed away. She received counseling and found tailoring work through the cash-for-work programme. As refugee crises become more protracted, humanitarian assistance must take into account immediate and long-term needs of women and girls. The women’s centres in Za’atari Refugee Camp are building women’s resilience and empowering them as leaders, workers and entrepreneurs. More

Press release: UN Agencies call for stronger action to achieve equal nationality rights for all

Thursday, March 15, 2018

UN Women, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) called today for increased efforts to eradicate gender inequality in nationality laws, which is a key driver of statelessness. More

In the words of Jaha Dukureh: “We are at a tipping point in the movement to end FGM”

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Jaha Dukureh, UN Women Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Africa, is an outspoken activist leading the movement to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. More

Statement by UN Women on the passing of Asma Jahangir of Pakistan

Monday, February 12, 2018

UN Women is deeply saddened by the loss of Asma Jahangir, courageous feminist and inspirational human rights leader. We stand in solidarity with women everywhere and with all those working for a better world, for whom Asma will remain an inspiration. More

From where I stand: Afro-descendent women of Colombia rise for justice

Monday, January 8, 2018

Charo Mina-Rojas has worked for many years to educate grassroots Afro-descendant communities of Colombia on Law 70 of 1993, which recognizes their cultural, territorial and political rights. Following the historic peace agreement which ended the more than 50-year conflict between the Government of Colombia and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Mina-Rojas advocates for justice and equality for Colombia’s afro-descendent women. More

Joint Statement - ‘Freedom from fear’: Ending violence against women

Friday, December 8, 2017

In a joint statement for Human Rights Day, 10 December 2017, the Executive Directors of UNFPA and UN Women, and the Administrator of UNDP stated: On this Human Rights Day, the last day in the global campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, we repeat the deep connections between freedom from fear, freedom from want and ending gender-based violence, and we say: It is time to turn the tide of violence against women and end it.   More

In the words of Nongnee Kondii: “I was told that being a lesbian woman is a sin”

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Discriminatory stereotypes, cultural norms and attitudes that normalize and trivialize violence against women and girls are prevalent in every part of the world. Nongnee Kondii*, 25, from Yala, a southern border province of Thailand, never felt safe expressing her sexual orientation at home or in her community. When she experienced a traumatic sexual assault, she kept silent at first. In May 2016, after participating in a gender retreat for young people organized by Rainbow Sky Association(RSAT), an organization that works to promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual women, transgender and intersex persons (LGBTI) in Thailand, supported by the UN Trust Fund to end Violence against Women (managed by UN Women), Kondii decided to speak out and pursue the path of justice. With funding from the UN Trust Fund, RSAT continues to organize workshops with LGBTI individuals in Thailand to support them to combat stigma based on sexual orientation and gender identity. More

Rural women explore new solutions to counter customs and poverty driving FGM crisis

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Globally, at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM). Sierra Leone has one of the highest rates of FGM in the world, with nine in every 10 women and girls cut, many as young as five years old. During the Ebola crisis of 2014, a moratorium was placed on FGM as part of the emergency health measures. But now three years on, the practice has returned, even though the ban is still in place. While gender inequality, myths... More

In the words of Jana Mustafa: “Disability should not stop anyone from starting over”

Friday, November 10, 2017

Jana Mustafa is a former employee of a local NGO and a survivor of violence. One day she hopes to open a small business to support her six-year-old son Jamal and prove that her disability is not an issue. More

Standing up for survivors in the Shari’a court every day: Ayah al-Wakil is determined to leave no woman behind

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ayah al-Wakil is a lawyer working at the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza Strip. Going to the Shari'a court every day to file cases on behalf of survivors of violence has been her morning routine since 2015. In November 2015, she was selected as one of the four female lawyers for a training with the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, supported by the UN Women/UNDP joint programme, to defend women's rights at the Shari'a court. More

In Cameroon, former hostages of Boko Haram find safety and build resilience

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Women refugees find safe spaces to network, learn new skills and recover from the trauma of war and sexual violence in two Women Cohesion Spaces (WCS) supported by UN Women in Cameroon and funded by the Government of Japan and the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency (MSB). Many have regained their health after spending several months as hostages. More

Dignity kits distribution begins for Barbuda women and girls impacted by Hurricane Irma and Jose

Monday, September 11, 2017

UN Women and UNFPA fast track funds to Antigua and Barbuda to help women and girls More

The Supreme Court of India bans instant divorce in a move to protect Muslim women’s rights

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Supreme Court of India gave a landmark judgment on 22 August, declaring the practice of unilateral and instantaneous triple talaq under the Muslim personal law unconstitutional by a 3:2 majority. The triple talaq is a practice under which a Muslim man can instantly divorce his wife by uttering the word “talaq” three times. More

Statement: Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on the continued detention of women human rights activists in Turkey

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

In a statement on the continued detention of women human rights activists in Turkey, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka calls for immediate release of the arrested women’s rights and human rights activists and support to those, like women’s human rights defenders, who work for the good of their societies. More

Statement for International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

On this International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), UN Women joins with the international community to support the LGBTI community and “Celebrate Family Diversity”. We stand firmly behind the full human rights of all LGBTI people. Violations of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people undermines the shared international goal of gender equality. Addressing and ending such violations is part of the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s promise to leave no one behind. More

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