What's Happening Now...


The United Nations has the responsibility to ensure that all its actions promote and protect gender equality and women’s empowerment. United Nations efforts to help establish the rule of law for all on the basis of equality are essential to this end. Advancing gender equality and empowering women are widely recognized as ends in themselves as well as means to achieve the United Nations goals of sustainable peace and security, human rights protection, and sustainable economic and social development. ​United Nations knows that gender discrimination is a common civil rights violation.


Muller v. Oregon (1908): While this Supreme Court case outcome was not exactly successful for women’s rights, it was a landmark case in the history of gender equality. Unanimously, the Supreme Court upheld an Oregon state law limiting women to working no more than ten hours a day (which was not the case for men). This ruling was negative in that it expressed an opinion of inequality between men and women. Claiming that the ruling was set in place to "protect" women, this result only upheld the patriarchal ideal that women are the lesser sex. However, Muller v. Oregon did ignite some positive consequences, beginning a widespread public discussion of women’s rights and gender equality.

Wal-Mart v. Dukes (2103): When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 5-4 decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes in June 2011, no one needed a Richter scale to know it was a Big One. In throwing out a mammoth lawsuit by women employees who claimed that they’d been systematically underpaid and under promoted by the world’s biggest corporation, the ruling upended decades of employment discrimination law and raised serious barriers to future large-scale discrimination cases of every kind.