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Stories


Gender discrimination, racial discrimination and women
Gender discrimination, racial discrimination and women's human rights
The Human Rights Council examines the negative impacts of intersecting discrimination against women and girls in the context of racism and racial discrimination.
29 September 2017
Uncertain prospects for Boko Haram survivors
Uncertain prospects for Boko Haram survivors
As more women and girls are freed from the violence of terror group Boko Haram, those returning to their communities do not always receive a survivor’s welcome. How can local authorities improve their reintegration into their communities and ensure their rehabilitation?
21 June 2017
Women’s health at the heart of sustainable development
Women’s health at the heart of sustainable development
When women’s right to health is upheld, their access to all other human rights are enhanced, triggering a process of transformative change and greater development for all, said Tarja Halonen, co-chair of the High-Level Working Group on Health and Human Rights.
15 June 2017
Stand up for human rights to – and through - health
Stand up for human rights to – and through - health
Human rights cannot be fully enjoyed without health, nor can health be fully realized without the dignity upheld by human rights. A new report launched by a group of UN experts calls on Governments to stand up for the human rights to health through health by taking concrete actions to deliver on existing promises to fund, protect and expand health care provision.
23 May 2017
A girl
A girl's education comes first, marriage will follow later
Thanks to her human rights training, a pupil prevents an early marriage and stands up for girls’ education.
6 March 2017
Child and forced marriage: a violation of human rights
Child and forced marriage: a violation of human rights
Today, about 700 million girls worldwide are married before they reach adulthood, according to UN estimates.
3 November 2016
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.
3 August 2016
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.
10 June 2016
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.
22 April 2016
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.”
10 March 2016
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."
7 March 2016
Peru compensates woman in historic UN Human Rights abortion case
Peru compensates woman in historic UN Human Rights abortion case
The Government of Peru has agreed to pay compensation to a woman who was denied access to legal abortion services, as part of the first UN Human Rights Committee ruling on an abortion case.
18 January 2016
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.
10 December 2015
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.
4 December 2015
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.
3 December 2015
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.
25 November 2015
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.
4 August 2015
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.
6 July 2015
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.
23 June 2015
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.
22 June 2015
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.
8 April 2015
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.
13 March 2015
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.
6 March 2015
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.
9 February 2015
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.
12 December 2014
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.
25 November 2014
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.
24 November 2014
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.
10 November 2014
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.
25 August 2014
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.
5 August 2014
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.
11 July 2014
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.
23 June 2014
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.
20 June 2014
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.
12 June 2014
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.
6 June 2014
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.
11 April 2014
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.
31 March 2014
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.
21 March 2014
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.
19 March 2014
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.
31 January 2014