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.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana - Author Series Event


Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Fellow and Women and Foreign Policy Program Deputy Director,
Council on Foreign Relations

UN Women: The Way Forward

By Alissa Vladimir*

On Saturday, February 26, women’s human rights leaders, scholars, and advocates gathered at The New School to discuss the current status of women’s rights in the world, and to make recommendations for the newly formed United Nations agency, UN Women. Sponsored by Women’s Learning Partnership, the conference, Celebrating UN Women, The Way Forward, focused on compiling suggestions for UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. 

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Human Face of Economic Policy

By Kyla Bender-Baird

Starting off their mornings with some light economic policy talk, people crowded into the Drew Room at the UN Church Center on February 23rd. It was standing room only for the jointly sponsored CSW panel, “Left Behind by Economic Policy.” Representatives from the National Council for Research on Women, The Opportunity Agenda, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, and the Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center discussed how economic policy has failed to protect the economic human rights of women and in particular, women of color in the United States.

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Left Behind by Economic Policy: Race, Gender and Class in the United States

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Side event at the 55th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

Wednesday, February 23rd, 10:00 -11:30am
The Church Center for the UN, 10th Floor
777 United Nations Plaza
44th Street and First Ave.

While recent Census Bureau data indicates that poverty rates are higher than they have been in the last 15 years, the poverty increase is significantly higher for women and single mothers. The panel will feature experienced advocates and organizers offering information on how economic policy has failed to protect the economic human rights of women and in particular, women of color in the United States, and will offer concrete recommendations for improving their economic security and social protections

Moderated by:
Shyama Venkateswar, NCRW Director of Research and Programs

From the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

On September 23, 2010, UN delegates gathered to call for an end to human rights violations directed againg LGBT people.  According to this article, LGBT people may still face criminal sanctions in nearly 80 countries. 

In honor of Human Rights Day, take a moment to view this video of Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:

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Measuring a Nation’s Wealth Through its People

By Nkiru Uzodi*

On the morning of Thursday, November 4, I got to the UN Headquarters in New York after braving the heavy rain and fierce wind that almost blew me and my umbrella off East 42nd Street (and of course, after some serious security screening). But it was all worth it. My first time at the UN, I was excited to listen to UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, who helped devise the Human Development Index for the first Human Development Report (HDR) in 1990. We were gathered this stormy morning to celebrate the launch of the 20th Anniversary Edition of the United Nations Human Development Report (HDR).

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