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March 8, 2013 | News covering the UN and the worldSign up  |  E-Mail this  |  Donate

World leaders speak out on International Women's Day

International Women's Day is being celebrated around the world today, honoring accomplishments and taking stock of challenges. This year's focus on ending gender-based violence resonates in Rwanda as it does in the U.S. "Today on International Women's Day and every day, let us go forward with courage, conviction and commitment, with the message that women's issues are global issues that deserve urgent priority," says UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says, "There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: Violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable." (3/8), The New Times (Rwanda) (3/8), The Huffington Post (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

9 girls in 9 countries. All on a quest for an education. Watch them triumph in the film #GirlRising. See it now."


"This week, Iran arrested three reformist journalists ahead of June's presidential election. The trio join more than a dozen other already jailed for their work."

UN Dispatch

United Nation
  • Clark: Reproductive rights are central to women's empowerment
    Women's reproductive rights must remain in the document produced at the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women, says Helen Clark, head of the UN Development Programme. These rights help women to be empowered socially and economically, she says. Women "[n]eed what is specifically in millennium goal 5b: access to reproductive health [services]. ... Without that we won't see women enjoying equal status," Clark argues. The Guardian (London) (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Spotlight: U.S.-UN relations
  • U.S. must continue investment in global health
    U.S. funding of health investments is reaping results in battling disease and improving global health, writes former Sen. Bill Frist. The U.S. government must continue to fund these programs despite economic challenges. "We've come too far to risk letting these diseases spread, mutate or reclaim the lives of people whom medicines have made healthy. We must finish this fight," Frist argues. Roll Call (free content) (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Health and Development
  • Sequester threatens medical, health advancements
    Recent breakthroughs in drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS were made possible with federal funding, and cuts to that funding threaten future such breakthroughs, writes Kaitlin Christenson, coalition director of the Global Health Technologies Coalition. Upcoming budget negotiations present a prime opportunity to reduce cuts to scientific and public health research and to renew U.S. leadership, she writes. The Scientist online (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Women and Girls
  • 25 leading African women
    The top 25 African women nominated by readers of The Guardian in London offer a range of expertise. The women being recognized include Fatou Bensouda, the first African woman to be a chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, and Juliana Rotich of Kenya, who co-founded Ushahidi, which maps violence around the world. The Guardian (London) (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Climate and Energy
  • Lack of electricity threatens health care, education
    The nongovernmental group Practical Action says the lack of electricity in developing countries hurts health care and education, with 1 billion suffering from "energy poverty." The United Nations' Sustainable Energy for All initiative is helping to raise awareness of the problem. The Guardian (London) (3/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Peacekeeping and Security
  • Other News
UN Foundation and Better World Campaign
  • Congressional action to end child marriage answers urgent call from girls across the country
    President Barack Obama signed into law the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. This legislation includes provisions to make ending child marriage in developing countries an official foreign policy priority of the U.S. government. Nearly one third of girls in developing countries are married before their 18th birthday, and the enactment of this legislation is a bold statement by the U.S. government to address the needs of those girls. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • UN Foundation President and CEO Kathy Calvin: Ending violence against women is key to global progress
    On the 102nd International Women's Day, United Nations Foundation President and CEO Kathy Calvin issued a statement about the need for ending violence against women. "The global community must take strong and quick action to protect the rights and well-being of all women," Calvin said. "When women and girls are safe, healthy, educated and empowered, they can break the cycle of poverty and create a new cycle -- serving as catalysts for change in their communities, nations, and our world." Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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