Iraqi women face gender inequality economically and socially, the United Nations says. There have been gains in women's health, but Iraqi women still contend with low employment, poverty and domestic violence. "Across the board, women are suffering more [than they used to]," says the UN Development Programme's Sudipto Mukerjee.
Nigeria got started on the Millennium Development Goals late but is making progress on gender equality, maternal health, child mortality, and the battle against malaria and HIV/AIDS, said Mohammed Ali Ndume of the country's Senate Committee on MDGs. Nigeria won't be able to meet all the MDGs by 2015, Ndume said.
The international donor conference underway in London seeks to support Somalia's political stabilization and its progress toward rebuilding the war-torn country. However, donors and the government need to engage with the Somali people "if they want to make real, sustainable progress towards reconstruction," write Abdullahi Mohamed Shirwa and El Khidir Daloum.
U.S. intervention in the Syrian conflict is becoming a more likely possibility, writes Karen DeYoung. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., says: "The U.S. must play a role in tipping the scales toward opposition groups and working to build a free Syria."