As the full extent of destruction caused by Cyclone Idai across southern Africa continues to be assessed, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said on Wednesday it was in "a race against time" to protect women who bore the brunt of the storm as they tried to save their households and livelihoods.
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A group of United Nations agencies has issued a joint statement calling for a ban on tests meant to assess the virginity of a girl or a woman, which is a common practice in at least 20 countries. The statement, which was issued during the World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) in Rio de Janeiro, stresses that such tests are both unscientific, and a violation of human rights.
The world's population is set to grow by 2.2 billion between now and 2050, the UN said on Wednesday, and more than half of that growth - 1.3 billion - is likely to be in sub-Saharan Africa, where women's rights are hampered by limited access to healthcare and education, along with "entrenched gender discrimination".
States across the world should act now to decriminalise abortion and make every effort to ensure women and girls have the right to make their own decisions about pregnancy, said a group of United Nations human rights experts on Friday, in a statement marking International Safe Abortion Day.
Excessive bleeding after childbirth still kills around 70,000 mothers a year and currently, Oxytocin is the first-choice medication, but it must be kept cold, unlike the new drug, Carbetocin. The study, partly led, among others, by the World Health Organization ( WHO) and published on Wednesday, suggests that the new drug which can be stored at normal temperatures, could save the lives of thousands in low- and lower-middle-income countries.
The United Nations human rights wing has called on the Latin American nation, El Salvador, to immediately halt the application of a law that unduly penalizes women for abortion-related offenses and to review all cases to ensure their compliance with international human rights standards.
On World Diabetes Day, the United Nations health agency has said that women - especially those in low-income countries - are particularly vulnerable to diabetes, a condition that can be prevented or delayed with medication, regular screening and healthier lives.
Unless progress is accelerated, ending child marriage in West and Central Africa will take more than 100 years, with far-reaching, life-altering consequences for millions of child brides and crippling impact on the region's prosperity, the United Nations children's agency has said.
More must be done to stop babies from dying the day they are born, United Nations agencies said in a new report issued Thursday, which argued that life-saving know-how and technologies must be made readily available - particularly in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa - where they are most needed.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today appointed Natalia Kanem of Panama to head the UN's women's health agency.