Stories

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Mursal Samadi* had worked as a prosecutor, independent investigator, and a civil society leader for more than 16 years in Afghanistan when the Taliban took over Kabul on 15 August. She remains in Afghanistan, advocating for the rights of Afghan women and girls.
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Celia Umenza Velasco is a leader of the largest Indigenous group in Colombia, the Nasa People, from the northern Cauca region of Colombia, one of the zones most affected by the armed conflict. Umenza Velasco briefed the United Nations Security Council at the recent Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security.
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Naheed Farid was among many women leaders who left Afghanistan, fearing for their lives, as the Taliban took over in August 2021. Farid spoke at the UN recently, calling for international support to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and to safeguard women’s rights.
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Mariamu Rasidi Tungu is one of the many women farmers in rural Tanzania. Together, UN Women and UNFPA are jointly supporting them to increase their production, and train them in new skills to boost their incomes, economic resilience and agency.
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Jesmin Aktar lives in a village of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. She regularly attends UN Women's "Shanti Khana" [Multi-Purpose Women's Centre – MPWC] learning sessions and is dedicated to improving her life by pursuing a challenging job and contributing to society.
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Roa’a Al-Fased, 14, works to empower adolescent girls in her community in Jordan through promoting access to sexual and reproductive health services and raising awareness on gender-based violence.
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Jyotsna Siddharth, actor, writer and activist from India, spoke at a side event during the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, co-organized by UN Women and the National Alliance of Women’s Organisation in India. In this interview, Ms. Siddharth talks about India’s anti-caste and young feminist movement.
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Born and raised in Morocco, Yasmina Benslimane witnessed first-hand how oppressive laws affect women and force them to remain silent out of fear of breaking the status quo. She runs Politics4Her, a feminist blog and youth-led movement that advocates for the inclusion of girls and women in politics.
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Miatta Darwolor is the Founder and Executive Director of Sister Aid Liberia, a women-led non-governmental organization that promotes young women and girls’ rights in political participation and leadership; works to prevent violence against women and girls; and advocates for women-friendly policies and laws.
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Christina Bilous is a Roma civic activist. She is also leader of a self-help group in the community of Toretsk, near the front line in the conflict-affected Donetsk region of Eastern Ukraine. As an active community member, Bilous heads up the Roma non-governmental organization, Sumnakuno Petalo, advocating for the rights of Roma women and girls.
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Former Lebanese prison inmate Oula Abdo, 24, reflects on the challenges of life after prison and how she is getting back on her feet to embrace life again.
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Eldar Alić is a young farmer from Kalesija in north-eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. He founded Nutri Pelet, a company that produces ecological manure pellets from unprocessed manure. Alić advocates for healthy living and practical, eco-friendly solutions to better manage earth’s limited, natural resources.
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Korka Diaw is a Senegalese farmer. She leads REFAN, the Network of Women Farmers in the North of Senegal, which empowers women and fights poverty through agriculture. In this story, she talks about adapting to COVID-19 and climate change.
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Nadia Tutarieva is a women’s rights activist and peacebuilder from Luhansk, a region in eastern Ukraine near the border with Russia that has been affected by the ongoing conflict in the region. At 19, she became a teacher to help girls learn and take charge of their own futures. But as she grew, she saw the challenges stacking up against girls and women.
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Fatima Askira is a young Nigerian leader, activist and peacebuilder born and raised in the epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgency. As the founder of Borno Women Development Initiative (Nigeria), she empowers women and girls to promote peace in communities affected by violent extremism.
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Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez, a Guatemalan human rights activist, has never given up looking for truth and justice, since her father and husband were disappeared during the Guatemalan civil war. After her father and husband were kidnapped and murdered by government forces during the Guatemalan civil war, she founded the National Association of Guatemalan Widows (CONAVIGUA). It is now a leading national human rights organisation. In 1995, she was elected as a Congressional deputy, and in 2004 she chaired the National Reparations Commission to investigate crimes committed during the civil war, which raged for over three decades.
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Rima Sultana Rimu knows education is power. As a young Bangladeshi activist living in Cox’s Bazar, that hosts one of the world’s largest refugee settlements, she’s made literacy of Rohingya women and girls her mission
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As part of a partnership to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, Ananya Banerjee, 17, was featured by Humans of Bombay in collaboration with UN Women India, for their #GenerationEquality campaign. As a champion of girls rights and gender equality, Ananya has been working against female foeticide and climate change and to promote education. Currently, she is pursuing her final year of school and is studying Humanities. She is a passionate social activist and poet.
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Nelly is a South Sudanese refugee leader in the Bidibidi settlement in Uganda. In this story, adapted from the Who Holds the Microphone Series, she discusses her engagement with the humanitarian community and emphasizes the need for resources, income-generating activities and spaces dedicated to women, where they can freely discuss their experiences and challenges.
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Johana, a trans woman, is the founder of the Johana Maturana Foundation, an organization that promotes LGBTI people’s rights in the Chocó Department of Colombia. She stresses the need for financial resources to reach local communities and that communities must shape humanitarian action.