Sister to Sister: Why a Group of Nuns are Going Undercover as Sex Workers

For the last five years, more 1,000 nuns have been going undercover as sex workers to help women trafficked into prostitution and sex slavery. And while you’ve probably never heard of them, the sisters of Talitha Kum—a reference to the Gospel of Mark meaning, “Maiden, I say to you, arise” in Aramaic—are worthy of your attention. The sisters run prevention […]

Why the Next U.N. Secretary-General Must Be a Woman and a Feminist

The United Nations—an institution dedicated to global peace, security and justice—has often felt like an all-boys club. Since 1946, eight men have occupied the hallowed position of secretary-general of the U.N. From Norway’s Trygve Lie to Korea’s Ban Ki-moon—the current secretary-general who will step down at the end of 2016—these men have played a central […]

Want World Peace? Bring Women to the Table

Today marks the end of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence, a global campaign by feminist activists to not only raise awareness and action to end gender violence, but also, importantly, to create an understanding that gender-based violence is a human rights abuse. This is an important rhetorical strategy, given historical reluctance […]

16 Global Heroes Battling Violence Against Women and Girls

Reprinted with permission from Safe magazine. To read the full stories of each hero, click here. What makes a hero? Someone who walks toward a problem, not away from it. Someone who puts others before themselves even if doing so puts themselves at risk. Someone who translates their own pain or hardship into solutions and salve for others. […]

The Global Trade in Child Rape is Happening at Workplaces Everywhere

Last Thursday The Guardian reported on a United Nations publication, released in September, that described four U.N. staff fired for trading in images and/or videos of child sex abuse on their work computers. Journalists from Agence France-Presse to Al Arabiya followed this story and referenced that U.N. work computers were involved. The trade in child rape, aka child pornography, in the workplace is an […]

The Syrian Refugee Struggle No One’s Talking About

Yesterday’s New York Times ran a story about how migrants rushing to cross Europe, though resourceful and adaptable, are facing a new threat they can’t evade: winter. But there is another thing that the girls and women among the migrants cannot avoid, and that is their monthly menstruation. Few among us would grab extra underwear and sanitary pads […]

Half-Full/Half-Empty: What the U.N. Has Done for Women and Girls

Ellen Chesler and Terry McGovern have co-edited a timely and important collection of analytical essays and personal reflections in their new volume, Women and Girls Rising. The volume tries—and largely succeeds—to offer a thoughtful reckoning of the influence of the U.N. Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995. It is part of a series […]

Can the UN’s New Goals Really Change the World?

There’s good news and bad news about the ambitious Sustainable Development Agenda that world leaders adopted Sept. 25 at the United Nations. The 17 goals and 169 targets of the new agenda create social, environmental and economic priorities to achieve well-being for the planet and everybody on it. First, the good news. The Sustainable Development […]

Global Goals Promise Transformative Change for Women and Girls

History will be made next week when world leaders adopt the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. After three years of intense negotiations, governments, civil society groups and international agencies have crafted a universal vision for the future of the world’s people and planet. The 17 goals in the 2030 Agenda aim to address […]

Mai Bhago: The Woman Warrior Who Fought for Freedom

This March, for Women’s History Month, the Ms. Blog is profiling Wonder Women who have made history—and those who are making history right now. Join us each day as we bring you the stories of iconic and soon-to-be-famous feminist change-makers. Women are warriors. We have always been warriors, and we will always be warriors. Today, many of […]