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From where I stand: “Women have to be at the heart of the Africa of tomorrow”

20 July 2017

Mehrezia Maïza Labidi chaired many of the plenary sessions that led to the birth of Tunisia’s new constitution, which includes a clause guaranteeing women’s rights. A vocal advocate for young women's participation and leadership in politics, she took part in the High-Level Women Leaders’ Forum for Africa’s Transformation and the launch of the African Women Leaders’ Network. More

From where I stand: “We thought gender was only for educated people”

26 June 2017

Modesta Mujawariya is a co-founder of a small farmer’s cooperative in Rwanda. Although she had twelve plots of land, she didn’t know the exact size of her land and how to estimate yields. The Buy from Women platform connected her to markets and information through mobile technology. One of her biggest surprises was learning about how gender equality matters in agriculture. More

From where I stand: “Being a person with disability is challenging. Being a woman with disability adds extra challenges”

09 June 2017

Malvika Iyer, a Disability Rights Activist and motivational speaker, received a standing ovation for her speech at the CSW61 Youth Forum. After losing her hands from a bomb blast, she became a strong advocate for inclusion of disability rights and gender. More

From where I stand: “It was my dream to wear the uniform”

25 April 2017

Lieutenant Colonel Wafa Sharqawi was among the first women to join the Palestinian Civil Police in 1997, going against all norms. The only family member who supported her decision at the time was her brother, who followed in her footsteps and became a police officer later. Today, Colonel Sharqawi liaises with UN Women and other international agencies on security sector reform and gender-responsive police services. Gender equality is becoming a priority within the Palestinian police force, and public perceptions about women in police are shifting. More

From where I stand: “We must be at the table making decisions”

19 April 2017

For Pratima Gurung from Nepal, empowering indigenous women with disabilities starts with making them count as active participants and decision-makers, not just observers of decisions. She points to the need to strengthen their voices in disability fora, as well as indigenous peoples’ fora. More

From where I stand: “Expanding indigenous women’s rights strengthens the collective rights”

18 April 2017

The concept of collective rights is central to indigenous cultures. But the status of indigenous women within and outside their communities remain precarious when they are unable to claim any rights of their own. Janneth Lozano Bustos works with indigenous communities in Colombia to economically empower women so that they can enjoy autonomy over their lives and resources. More

From where I stand: “I slept in the dog house because I wanted to go to school”

10 April 2017

Shirley Pryce, formerly a domestic worker herself, advocates for domestic workers’ rights in Jamaica and across the Caribbean. Globally The memory of her employers locking her out at night because she wanted to go to evening classes stays haunts her to date. Following Jamaica’s ratification of the ILO Convention on Domestic Workers, Pryce is advocating for a national law to protect the rights of domestic workers. More

From where I stand: “Technology sees skills before gender and disability”

06 April 2017

Casar Jacobson, a disability rights activist and a UN Women Youth Champion, shares her personal story of living with hearing disability and persevering to carve out a place in the world of work. She stresses on the power of technology in ensuring that no one is left behind. More

From where I stand: “Bureaucracy and traditions are holding back youth”

05 April 2017

Waad Hayef Alhlaili wants to create the first women’s shelter in Kuwait so that she and others can be safe from violence More

From where I stand: “I started my business with 15 dollars”

04 April 2017

Sandra Letio started a soap-making business with only USD 15. Today, she is 29 and her business is valued at USD 700,000. With sheer determination, talent, supportive parents and a team of young staff who believed in her, Letio overcame the barriers she encountered. At the CSW 61 Youth Forum, she inspired young entrepreneurs, but also reminded decision-makers to give equal opportunities to youth. More

From where I stand: “We barely had a meal in three days”

29 March 2017

Florence Luanda Maheshe found herself in a refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo with six children to feed and barely enough food. Once the camp closed, she was left with no support. Access to a small piece of land and assistance from a NGO supported by UN Women helped Maheshe stand on her own feet. More

From where I stand: “With every thread I wove…I was weaving away my sorrows”

28 March 2017

At 47, Emm Ali has experienced immense loss. A Syrian refugee living in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan since 2013, she found a sense of purpose as she joined UN Women’s cash-for-work programme and started weaving carpets. The cash-for-work programme is the largest employer of women refugees in the camp. More

From where I stand: “I feel like my life is headed somewhere”

21 March 2017

Bondu Salia, a single mother with a high school diploma in Business Studies, struggled against all odds to provide a better life for her two children. She is among 400 women who have been trained to set up their own small-scale businesses as part of the UN Women-Coca Cola initiative, “5by20”, which aims to empower 5 million women in Africa by 2020. Salia’s story relates to Sustainable Development Goal 8, which promotes decent work for all and encourages entrepreneurship and growth of small and medium sized enterprises. More

From where I stand: “I had minimized my interactions with men since I was eighteen to avoid rape”

03 March 2017

Gulzada Serzhan shares the damaging impact of sexual harassment at work place and the heightened risk faced by women of alternative sexualities. More

From where I stand: “Their expressions when they created their first website were priceless”

28 February 2017

In the small town of Tafila, in the southern part of Jordan, a social enterprise started by young Jordanian women is teaching teenagers, including girls, computer programming. As the world of work changes, education and training in ICT is critical in preparing women to seize the opportunities in the growing digital economy. More

From where I stand: “I became the first fisherwoman in my community”

24 February 2017

Yayi Bayam Diouf became the first woman to fish in her small rural fishing village in Senegal. Paving the way for other women, she now runs a training centre for women where they can learn entrepreneurship skills and access support. More

From where I stand: “When I’m stung, I am reminded of how strong I already am”

24 February 2017

Oralia Ruano Lima was among the first women in her indigenous community to join an all-female entrepreneurship project as a beekeeper. Today the women beekeepers of Urlanta, a village in the south-eastern region of Guatemala, are bringing in sustainable jobs and income to their rural communities, and changing mindsets and attitudes towards women. More

From where I stand: “I set up a tourist guest house to support my family”

24 February 2017

Saudita Marku, a city girl, looked for new income opportunities to support her family when after marriage she moved to rural village in Albania. She now runs a guest house for tourists, and also a bee-keeping business. More

From where I stand: “One day, I want to wake up to find gender equality is real”

24 February 2017

Hayfa Sdiri has created a platform for Tunisian youth, connecting entrepreneurs with ideas, skills and funders. More

From where I stand: “Some demand sex before awarding a contract”

24 February 2017

Sarah Quaye Reeves is a proud restaurant owner whose business has grown and become more competitive since the expansion of business registration and other services came to her city. But her number one challenge remains the daily sexual harassment from some of her male customers. More

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