Proposal for a New UN Entity for Women
Wednesday, July 5, 2006 9:10 AM

When a special high-level UN panel meets next week to discuss ways in which to improve the coherency of the UN’s development, humanitarian assistance, and environment entities, a new plan will be presented to them about the creation of a new UN entity that will focus entirely on women’s issues. The plan was created by Stephen Lewis who currently works for the UN special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. He has already lobbied for support from political leaders worldwide and has found strong supporters among human rights activists.

The new agency would consolidate existing programs from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and World Health Organization (WHO). It would have a staff of thousands and cost approximately $1 billion a year.

Lewis’s experience in Africa with HIV/AIDS has shown him first hand the disturbing violence that women and girls experience. He visited a Kenyan town last month in which the number of rapes increased every month, and the majority of the girls raped were under the age of 12. The number of rapes among older women in the town is also unexpectedly high, resulting from the belief men hold that they cannot contract HIV/AIDS when having unprotected sex with them. If the panel approves Lewis’s plan, the new agency will be placed on the September agenda of the UN General Assembly.

Compiled from:World’s Women Have an Advocate,” the Toronto Star,, 1 June 2006, Accessed 5 June 2006.