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Take five with Tchonko Becky Bessong: “With my voice, I can impact the masses”

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tchonko Becky Bessong is a popular radio presenter with CRTV, Cameroon’s public radio and television broadcasting company. Over 20,000 Cameroonians tune in to her weekly programme ‘Calling the women’. In a recent conversation with UN Women, Ms. Tchonko talked about the situation of women’s political participation in Cameroon and the role that media can play in raising awareness. In the 2018 elections the representation of women in the Senate increased from 20 per cent to 26 per cent. More

UN Secretary-General to African girl coders: It needs a movement of girls to bring more women in science and technology

Monday, February 11, 2019

On the sidelines of the African Union Summit, 11 girls from the African Girls can Code Initiative met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres to share their experiences and ambitions. More

It’s election season in Nigeria, but where are the women?

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Ahead of Nigeria’s presidential elections on 16 February, UN Women and partners have been training women candidates, documenting political violence and advocating for measures to boost women’s low representation in Parliament. More

From where I stand: “Disability will not stop me from achieving my dreams.”

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The status of women’s political participation in Nigeria is low, with less than 5 per cent of women holding political positions. Lois Auta, 38-year-old polio survivor from Abuja, is all about changing the status quo. Auta is a candidate in the upcoming elections for the House of Representatives and received capacity-building training from UN Women. More

From where I stand: “I want to get involved in decision making in my community”

Friday, February 1, 2019

Sella Esther Sowa, 42, grows and sells vegetables to support her four children, her nephews and her parents in Kenema in the Eastern Province, Sierra Leone. When a dispute over land rights erupted within Sowa’s family, she decided to take a stand. More

From where I stand: “I’m the first woman in my family to own property”

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Awaho Talla is the first woman in her family to own land. Next, she plans on building a house that she can rent to supplement her income. In her tribe, socio-economic status is often determined by the number of cattle they own and women rarely own property or have decision-making powers in the family. But times are changing. More

In the words of Mereng Bessela: “I am a fighter and I do everything I need to”

Monday, January 21, 2019

Mereng Alima Bessela, age 50, is a successful entrepreneur from Ntui, in the Central Region of Cameroon. She is a cocoa farmer, which is traditionally farmed by men, has her own restaurant business and a fish farm. Like thousands of women in the region, Madame Bessala has no lack of acumen, but needs access to skills, markets and finance. More

Getting Fatouma back to school

Monday, January 7, 2019

UN Women supports girls and young women in Mali to pass high school exams – and to pursue their dreams. More

From where I stand: “We must believe in ourselves that we can be leaders”

Monday, December 24, 2018

Betty Mtehemu, Deputy Chairperson of Fabric Clothes Sector, and Chairperson of the Women’s Union in Dar es Salaam’s Mchikichini Market has seen how raising awareness of women’s rights in the workplace has improved the safety of the market. More

Take five: “We must support women and girls, especially survivors, to lead change”

Friday, December 14, 2018

Jaha Dukureh, Regional UN Women Ambassador for Africa, is a survivor of FGM and was forced into child marriage at age 15. Recently, she participated at the “North Africa Sub-Regional Dialogue on Child Marriage and FGM/C”, organized by UN Women Regional Office for Arab States and North Africa in November 2018. In this interview, Ms. Dukureh speaks to UN Women about how best to address the particular vulnerabilities faced by migrant women and girls. More

Joint UN-AU Statement on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in South Sudan

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smaїl Chergui, and United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director for UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka are appalled by the acts of sexual violence, including rape, committed against an estimated more than 150 women and girls recently near Bentiu in South Sudan. More

From where I stand: “It’s men who can convince other men about women’s rights”

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

On 5 December we mark International Volunteers Day by celebrating the important contributions of UN Volunteers, such as Albert Mirindi, who is working to build resilient communities in Mali by ensuring that women are drivers of peace and decision-makers. More

Coverage: UN Women Executive Director in South Africa for the 16 Days of Activism

Thursday, November 29, 2018

UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is in South Africa this week for a series of high-profile events marking the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, starting with an event hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, The Nelson Mandela Foundation with the Graça Machel Trust, Kuhluka Movement and Zoleka Mandela Foundation. The event featured keynote address by world-renowned media personality Oprah Winfrey and conversations with prominent African activists such as Josina Z Machel and Zoleka Mandela. More

From where I stand: “Being LGBT means fighting against prejudice and violence every day”

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Helen Tavares knew she was different, but it took her a long time to accept her own sexual and gender identity because of societal pressure and expectations. Although homosexuality is legal in Cape Verde, LGBT people suffer discrimination and violence. Same sex marriages are not recognized and there is rampant discrimination against LGBT people in employment and housing. More

Traditional leaders across Africa move the needle against child marriage and FGM

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Working with traditional leaders, UN Women and partners are building impetus for a continent-wide commitment to end child marriage and female genital mutilation in Africa. More

In the words of Bettie Johnson Mbayo: “Men need to be involved in reporting on this issue because they dominate the newsrooms”

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Award-winning journalist Bettie Johnson Mbayo from Frontpage Africa took a 16-hour motorbike ride last year through Southeastern Liberia to find a 13-year-old girl who was raped by a law-maker. Despite receiving threats, Mbayo pursued the story relentlessly, following leads on social media and interviewing family members, neighbours, school officials and the police. Her reporting resulted in the arrest of the alleged perpetrator. More

In the words of Aissa Doumara Ngatansou: “My own experience of discrimination inspired me to become the activist that I am today”

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Aissa Doumara Ngatansou is a 46-year-old mother of three children from the Far North Region of Cameroon. She co-founded a branch of the Association for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (ALVF) in the city of Maroua in 1996. ALVF works with survivors, and advocates with decision-makers to end early and forced marriages, and other forms of gender-based violence. More

From where I stand: “I created the Wangu Kanja Foundation to provide the kind of support to survivors that I didn’t receive”

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Violence Against Children report in Kenya (2010) indicated that one in three Kenyan girls has experienced sexual violence before they turn 18. Wangu Kanja, a survivor of sexual violence, started a Foundation to provide much-needed support to survivors of gender-based violence in Kenya. More

In the words of Emmanuella Zandi Mudherwa: “I want every survivor to be called victorious”

Monday, November 12, 2018

Emmanuella Zandi Mudherwa, 21, founded her own non-profit organization, “Ma Voisine” (My neighbour) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, which promotes girls’ empowerment by girls. Today it has 12,000 members around the country. She collaborates with UN Women on initiatives to raise awareness about gender-based violence. More

In the words of Faidah Suleiman: “Through my job I’m making changes in my family and in the society”

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Faidah Suleiman is the Superintendent of Police, Gender and Children Desk in Tanzania. With 20 years of police experience, she has been part of the Gender Desk since it was established in 2009. In 2014, UN Women partnered with the Gender and Children Desks to improve the quality of services provided. More

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