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Stories


Putting women’s rights at the forefront of judicial decisions

Putting women’s rights at the forefront of judicial decisions

In Guatemala, a toolkit developed by OHCHR promotes a human rights and gender approach in the administration of justice in cases related to violence against women, femicide, exploitation and trafficking in persons.
UN Sustainable Development Goals to better serve the rights of women and girls

UN Sustainable Development Goals to better serve the rights of women and girls

UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore (pictured on stage with actress Jessica Biel) urged participants at the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen to continue to agitate and push for human rights for women and girls.
Women’s rights body rules on Russian banned jobs list complaint

Women’s rights body rules on Russian banned jobs list complaint

A UN women’s rights committee calls on Russia to amend a list of 456 jobs and 38 industries prohibited to women.
Changing our subconscious maps the way to equality

Changing our subconscious maps the way to equality

Sexism is deeply rooted in our unconscious, said Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore. “We grow up with these internal maps that lead to a bias that can be said to be unconscious. We have to own our responsibility to confront and dismantle those toxic maps.”
International Women

International Women's Day 2016

Improving gender parity is the focus for this year's International Women's Day which has the theme "Planet 50-50 by 2030: step it up for gender equality."
Witchcraft in a modern age: broken communities and recalcitrant stigma

Witchcraft in a modern age: broken communities and recalcitrant stigma

Desperate times can revive olden beliefs that make members of the same community turn against one another.
Ending child marriage: affected girls speak for themselves

Ending child marriage: affected girls speak for themselves

“Child marriage started before me and will end with me,” said one of the participants during a safe space discussion for former child brides held at the First African Girls Summit to End Child Marriage, in Lusaka, Zambia.
Geneva focus of forum on preventing violence against women

Geneva focus of forum on preventing violence against women

It is often forgotten that no place is immune to the issue of violence against women. The UN Human Rights Office took a look at the work being done locally in Geneva to assist victims of such violence.
Legal clinics bring justice and rehabilitation to victims of sexual violence in DR Congo

Legal clinics bring justice and rehabilitation to victims of sexual violence in DR Congo

The UN Joint Human Rights Office in the DR Congo supports victims of sexual violence through grassroots organizations that provide direct legal assistance, free of charge, for survivors and their families.
Workshop provides critical space for activists working on sexual and reproductive health rights

Workshop provides critical space for activists working on sexual and reproductive health rights

Improving the promotion of sexual and reproductive health rights was the focus of a recent workshop organized by the UN Human Rights Regional Office for West Africa. The workshop trained NGOs from across West Africa on how to use human rights mechanisms to increase respect for sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Zeid to Human Rights Council: “Boko Haram retains capacity to cause significant harm”

Zeid to Human Rights Council: “Boko Haram retains capacity to cause significant harm”

UN Human Rights Chief Zeid warns that failure to uphold international humanitarian and human rights principles in the fight against Boko Haram may jeopardize the population’s trust in national authorities.
UN Women’s Committee makes inquiry into sexual and reproductive health rights in the Philippines

UN Women’s Committee makes inquiry into sexual and reproductive health rights in the Philippines

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women issues its findings on a sexual and reproductive health rights violations inquiry in the Philippines.
Girls’ education key to eliminating discrimination

Girls’ education key to eliminating discrimination

To achieve the fundamental principle of equality between men and women, we need to dismantle outmoded and harmful stereotypes that prevent women and girls from reaching their full potential, said Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Zeid made his comment during a panel discussion on girls’ education, which took place during the 29th session of the Human Rights Council.
Human Rights Council calls for the investigation of the atrocities committed by Boko Haram

Human Rights Council calls for the investigation of the atrocities committed by Boko Haram

The UN Human Rights Council calls for the investigation on the atrocities committed by the Boko Haram insurgent group and its effects on human rights in Nigeria and countries of the Lake Chad Basin.
For a better inclusion of women’s rights in detention in Senegal

For a better inclusion of women’s rights in detention in Senegal

A new report by the Regional Office for West Africa of the UN Human Rights Office highlights how women in Senegal are particularly affected by detention.
Honouring Women Human Rights Defenders

Honouring Women Human Rights Defenders

Being a human rights defender can mean extraordinary acts and risks, which can multiply if that defender is a woman. A campaign by the UN Human Rights Office has highlighted the work done by these defenders and encouraged solidarity with them.
Attacks against girls’ education on the increase

Attacks against girls’ education on the increase

A new report by the UN Human Rights Office looks at the increase in attacks against girls accessing education. The study, by the Women’s Human Rights and Gender section, found an increase in the number of attacks specifically aimed at girls trying to go to school. It makes recommendations for prevention and reparations.
Campaign Honours Women Human Rights Defenders

Campaign Honours Women Human Rights Defenders

Nearly twenty years after the landmark Beijing World Conference on Women, the UN Human Rights Office is honouring women’s human rights defenders through the #reflect2protect campaign.
Small arms: A disproportionate impact on women

Small arms: A disproportionate impact on women

Arms control is a human rights issue as small arms proliferation inhibits development and humanitarian efforts, says Dr. Anna Alvazzi del Frate, Research director of the NGO Small Arms Survey. Alvazzi says information is key to helping to prevent this violence.
Forced and early marriage: the story of Maysoun, a child bride

Forced and early marriage: the story of Maysoun, a child bride

Maysoun was forced to marry at the age of 15. She was exploited, abused and when she fell ill, her husband left her. Although deeply traumatized by her experiences, Maysoun eventually recovered with the specialized assistance provided by a local non-governmental organization financially supported by the UN Slavery Fund and was able to restart her life.
Sex trafficking: Maria’s story

Sex trafficking: Maria’s story

The UN Slavery Fund supports a number of NGOs, which rescue and assist victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation and offer specialized support in the reconstruction of their lives.
Ending impunity for femicide across Latin America

Ending impunity for femicide across Latin America

Investigators and prosecutors in Latin America now have a guide to assist in investigation and prosecution of femicide – the killing of women because they are women.
Education unlocks the doors to all other rights

Education unlocks the doors to all other rights

The outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urges a broader approach to the right to education to address the ongoing imbalance of power between men and women in both the public and private spheres.
Child and forced marriage - manifestation of gender discrimination

Child and forced marriage - manifestation of gender discrimination

Human rights experts discuss the causes and challenges of child and forced marriage, and solutions to end and prevent that practice.
Faster change needed to eliminate female genital mutilations

Faster change needed to eliminate female genital mutilations

“Female genital mutilations (FGM) violate the right to the highest attainable standard of health… and when it results in the death of the person that is mutilated, it violates the right to life,” said UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay.
The harms of gender stereotyping

The harms of gender stereotyping

Gender stereotyping is a form of discrimination against women and a contributing factor to many violations of their rights, say experts at the Human Rights Council.
Global summit - exceptional opportunity to end sexual violence in conflict

Global summit - exceptional opportunity to end sexual violence in conflict

A Global Summit aims to identify specific actions by the international community to end sexual violence in conflict.
The right to choose and refuse sterilization

The right to choose and refuse sterilization

States are being urged to legislate to outlaw coercive sterilization and to provide effective redress to those who are unable to have children because of these procedures performed without their knowledge or consent.
What the victims need: redress for sexual violence in the DR Congo

What the victims need: redress for sexual violence in the DR Congo

At the latest session of the Human Rights Council, panellists discussed lessons learnt and continuing challenges in addressing sexual and gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Defenders urgently need a safe and enabling space

Defenders urgently need a safe and enabling space

Defending human rights is a dangerous activity in some countries where defenders may be vilified, attacked, arrested, tortured, and even murdered. The UN Human Rights expert on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders condemns these acts and provides, in her final report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, recommendations on ways to create a safe and enabling space for defenders.
Fighting for equality for Romani women and girls in Moldova

Fighting for equality for Romani women and girls in Moldova

Romani women and girls in Moldova often have lower levels of education, significantly higher rates of unemployment and poorer health than the rest of the population, according to a UN Human Rights Office report.
Equal access to land for women

Equal access to land for women

“Despite the fact that many women are legally entitled to equality in access to land, they still experience considerable discrimination in this area,” said the UN Human Rights Office’s Gender and Women’s Rights Advisor in New York, Gaynel Curry.
Josephine Adaza: fighting for freedom of religion in Nigeria

Josephine Adaza: fighting for freedom of religion in Nigeria

Minority Fellow Josephine Adaza calls for religious freedom for the Christian minority in Northern Nigeria.
A call to “Orange the World” to end violence against women

A call to “Orange the World” to end violence against women

Physical violence inflicted by intimate partners is the most common form of violence experienced by women. The UN Human Rights Office supports the UNiTE Campaign to create a symbolic vision of a world free from violence against women.
Ending Forced Marriage Worldwide

Ending Forced Marriage Worldwide

Forced marriage is a global problem, affecting both boys and girls and cutting across countries, cultures, religions and ethnicities.
Achieving equality for women in Tunisia

Achieving equality for women in Tunisia

Women and men in Tunisia’s far-flung regions react positively to a campaign promoting the equal rights of women.
A woman’s mission to eliminate the tradition of FGM in her Kenyan community

A woman’s mission to eliminate the tradition of FGM in her Kenyan community

Female Genital Mutilation is a traditional ritual afflicting millions of girls worldwide. Nice Nailantei Lengete is working towards eliminating the harmful practice of FGM/C in her Masaai community in Kenya.
Women’s rights in political transitions

Women’s rights in political transitions

A group of leading human rights advocates share their views on political transitions and women’s enjoyment of their rights in their respective countries at an event organized by the UN Human Rights Office.
ICPD Beyond 2014: advancing human rights for all women

ICPD Beyond 2014: advancing human rights for all women

The ICPD Beyond 2014 International Conference on Human Rights provided an interactive forum for highlighting human rights achievements since the landmark 1994 Programme of Action, while addressing the current challenges impacting sexual and reproductive health rights.
Women and the Arab spring: an ongoing struggle for equal rights

Women and the Arab spring: an ongoing struggle for equal rights

Women human rights defenders, at the forefront of the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, now say they face ongoing discrimination in their efforts to achieve lasting reforms.