Other UN
New UN Gender Entity Created for the Empowerment of Women PDF Print E-mail

The UN 64th General Assembly has voted to consolidate the 4 existing UN bodies focusing on gender into one entity - the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). The new entity is designed to boost the UN's efforts to promote gender equality and address discrimination globally.

Click here for the Press Release and here for the Resolution.

International Women's Day PDF Print E-mail

UN International Women’s Day (IWD) began in 1908 when 15,000 women workers in New York marched through the city demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.  In 1909, in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first Woman's Day was observed across the United States on 28 February. Then, in 1910, a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands.  

Since then, International Women's Day has become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries. The United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women's rights and participation in social, political and economic processes for many years, with 1975 being designated as 'International Women's Year' by the United Nations.  Many women's organisations and governments around the world observe IWD on 8 March, often by holding large-scale events honouring women's advancement while continuing to push for greater equality with men in every aspect of life. The UN Commission on the Status of Women now takes place every year at the UN Headquarters in New York, around IWD. It examines progress made on equality around the world and co-ordinates efforts towards equality for the future.  Many UK NGOs attend CSW in New York, and WNC is also represented. 

More information on International Women’s Day can also be accessed on the Government Equalities Office website.

Human Rights Day - 10 December PDF Print E-mail


Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  


The formal inception of Human Rights Day dates from 1950, after the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V) inviting all States and interested organizations to adopt 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.


When the General Assembly adopted the Declaration, with 48 states in favour and eight abstentions, it was proclaimed as a "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations", towards which individuals and societies should "strive by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance". Although the Declaration with its broad range of political, civil, social, cultural and economic rights is not a binding document, it inspired more than 60 human rights instruments which together constitute an international standard of human rights. Today the general consent of all United Nations Member States on the basic Human Rights laid down in the Declaration makes it even stronger and emphasizes the relevance of Human Rights in our daily lives.


The High Commissioner for Human Rights, as the main United Nations rights official, and her Office play a major role in coordinating efforts for the yearly observation of Human Rights Day.

For more information on the UN and its human rights website, please click here.


International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights PDF Print E-mail

UK Examination

On the 12/13 May, the UN Committee monitoring the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights examined the UK’s 4th and 5th periodic reports. 


The UK signed the Covenant in 1968 and ratified it in 1976. All countries that are signed up to the Covenant are obliged to submit reports to the Committee every five years, on how the rights are being implemented in their own country. The UK’s preparations and delegation were led by the Joint International Unit in the Department for Work and Pensions. 

A number of key WNC partners have submitted Shadow Reports towards the examination, including the Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform (NIWEP) and Engender, and the EHRC has also produced a Shadow Report. We look forward to reading the recommendations produced by the Committee.

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights


Useful Links PDF Print E-mail

International Links


Below you will find some useful links to relevant organisations and websites.


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