There are 92 countries which lack national policies ensuring that new fathers get adequate paid time off, to spend with their newborn babies. "Positive and meaningful interaction with mothers and fathers from the very beginning, helps to shape children's brain growth and development for life, making them healthier and happier, and increasing their ability to learn," said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
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Addressing a leading forum on development in Brussels, known as European Development Days, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said that the joint Spotlight Initiative was a key element for making Goal 5 on women's empowerment, of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, a reality.
The case of Noura Hussein Hammad Daoud, a Sudanese teenager convicted of fatally stabbing the man she was forced to marry, after he had allegedly raped her, highlights the country's failure to tackle the tragedy of early and forced marriage, marital rape and other discrimination and violence against women and girls, the United Nations human rights office said.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has denounced the abduction of more than one hundred school girls by suspected Boko Haram insurgents during an attack on an educational institution in north-eastern Nigeria and called for their safe return to their families.
The United Nations is launching a 24-hour helpline to enable staff to call out sexual harassment in the workplace, Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday. "The helpline is a 24-hour resource for UN Secretariat personnel to speak confidentially with an impartial and trained individual who can provide information on protection, support and reporting mechanisms," said Mr. Guterres in his email sent to staff members.
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.
In a year when the #metoo hashtag has inspired women across the globe to tell their personal tales of harassment and unwanted sexual advances in the workplace, a team of female television reporters in northern Afghanistan is promising to "leave no sister behind" by telling the often harrowing stories of Afghan women and girls trapped by abuse and gender-based violence.
The relationship between United Nations peacekeepers and civilian staff and the vulnerable people in South Sudan they are working for must be one of mutual trust and confidence, said a senior UN official, noting that instances of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel not only breaks down that relationship, it also destroys the trust communities have in the Organization.
With the conflict in South Sudan entering its fifth year, senior United Nations officials on Thursday expressed concern about the precarious security situation and bleak humanitarian conditions in the world's youngest country.
Voicing concern over proposed amendments to laws governing marriage in Iraq - in particular the ambiguity over the legal age of marriage - senior United Nations officials called on the country to ensure adequate protection for children across Iraq.