Cash-strapped U.N. women’s agency exits Japan

Kyodo

The U.N. agency for promoting gender equality has announced it will close its office in Osaka Prefecture by the end of October, citing a lack of funds.

Having failed to achieve its funding goals due to financial instability in 2011 and 2012, the U.N. Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as U.N. Women, said it needs to focus its efforts on countries with low female literacy rates. It closed its Madrid office earlier this year.

The office, in the city of Sakai, opened in October 2009 as the first Asian branch of its predecessor, the U.N. Development Fund for Women. The agency said it will consider re-entering Japan when its financial situation has improved.