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Fulfilling the promise

On a straw mat on a hot day in the courtyard of a Buddhist pagoda in 1992 was the first time I understood the mighty reach of the Universal…


FGM ban begins a pivotal era for women and girls in The Gambia

In November 2015, the practice of Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C) was banned and subsequently criminalized in The Gambia. This marks an important milestone in the country’s journey to end…  


Afro-Brazilian women take to the streets. How about also taking up seats in parliament?

“The power structure [in our region] is macho, white and old,” said Creuza Oliveira, President of the National Federation of Domestic Workers of Brazil. Creuza’s speech during the ECLAC-UNDP Regional…  


World Toilet Day is no laughing matter

World Toilet Day is on 19 November. And while the topic might at first sound funny, its implications are deadly serious for billions of people around the world. Today, 2.5 billion people don’t have…  


Portraits of peace: Community heroes share their stories

“Don’t stay aside, help each other to get to peace, and help men…Women are the core of the society and so they have very important roles in bringing peace. That is why I always ask them: join…  



Transforming local communities amidst conflict

I’ve visited Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo several times over the last seven years. During this time, two violent conflicts took place between rebels and the Congolese state, with the citizens…  


How abnormal is normal?

Women zip through the streets, carrying kids and groceries on their motorbikes. It’s a common rush-hour scene on the streets of Viet Nam, where after-work routines for many women involve picking up…  


Paris. Women. Now what?

Coming off the heels of the climate change negotiations in Paris in December, which led to a momentous agreement for acting collectively on climate change, we have reason to feel proud and…  


Are women and girls more vulnerable to tuberculosis and malaria?

Are tuberculosis (TB) and malaria still a widespread threat? Popular belief says no. But, in fact, they are still grave health challenges that need more attention, especially in how they are affected…  


It’s our shared responsibility to protect girls’ and women’s rights

Today, there are 250 million girls living in poverty. Gender inequality remains the most pervasive form of inequality around the world. In many parts of the world, girls suffer from inequality,…  


Climate change is not gender-neutral

It is well established that the poor are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and that women—who account for the majority of the world’s poor—are disproportionately impacted. Why is this…  


Ending violence against women: 3 ways to innovate

The status quo is unacceptable. Globally, one out of three women experiences violence in her lifetime. Both the Sustainable Development Goals and the World Humanitarian Summit Report call for…  


Surviving bad love

One in three women worldwide will experience physical or sexual violence at the hands of someone they know in their lifetime. Growing up, I never thought I’d become that one in three. For five years,…  


Closing the Gap: Delivering impact for gender equality in Europe and Central Asia

In Namangan in Uzbekistan, a long-standing dream for a crafts centre came true. In Misi village in Turkey, a silk unit for niche products, another dream child of a group of women, is having a fourth…  


Africa, midway through its "Glorious Thirty"

Sub-Saharan Africa is the only place in the world where living standards stagnated and even declined throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

But things are now very different. Africa’s prospects…  

UNDP Around the world