Equality

New hope through youth

Human development is about everyone’s future. But no one should have a greater interest in that future than the world’s young people because the future will shape so much more of their lives than older age groups. And yet, in most countries, young people have little say in the decisions that will determine their future. Lasting, sustainable change can only be achieved in a coalition between the young and the old. Recent years have seen several initiatives to give youth greater influence in development planning. National human development reports, focusing on the needs and wants of young people, have been written in countries including Mongolia, Somalia and Turkey. These reports continue to have an impact. In Turkey for example some 3,000 youth took part in a survey, and twenty-eight focus ...

Orange the World

Imagine a world without violence against women and girls. Imagine a world without violence. This is the world we want for all. But we have a ways to go to get there. Today our newspapers are full of troubling headlines – from domestic violence, to sexual harassment in the workplace and the use of rape as a weapon in war. Sexual and gender-based violence is the most pervasive human rights violation in the world. Yet it often goes unrecognized. UNDP is joining with other UN agencies in the #OrangeTheWorld campaign to end violence against women and girls. Together with activists around the world, we’re using the colour orange to call attention to the various forms of violence that prevent women and girls from reaching their full potential. Gender-based violence damages mental and physical hea...

The world has much to learn from indigenous peoples

From my lifelong experiences, being an advocate for the rights of some of the most marginalized peoples, allow me to share what I have learned and come to see as essential elements to ensure peaceful societies and sustainable development in a plural world. Celebrating diversity Indigenous peoples contribute to diversity, and their history emphasizes the importance of revitalizing and celebrating ancient cultures, music, languages, knowledge, traditions and identities. Living in an era where xenophobia, fundamentalism, populism and racism are on the rise in many parts of the world, celebrations and positive messages about the value of diversity can contribute to counter negative stereotypes, racism and discrimination and instead foster tolerance, innovation and peaceful coexistence between ...

Living Free and Equal

In the quarter-century since the publication in 1990 of the first Human Development Report, the world has made astounding strides in reducing poverty and improving the health, education, and living conditions of hundreds of millions of people. And yet, as impressive as these gains may be, they have not been distributed equally. Both between countries and within them, deep disparities in human development remain. Consider infant mortality. In Iceland, for every 1,000 live births, two children die before their first birthday. In Mozambique, the figure is 120 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. Similarly, in Bolivia, babies born to women with no education are twice as likely to die within a year than babies born to mothers with at least a secondary education. And these disparities cont...

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