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Aissa Doumara Ngatansou was 15 years old when she was forced into marriage. Today, at 49, Ngatansou is working to change the narrative for women and girls in the Lake Chad Basin – an area encompassing Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.
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In Liberia and Nigeria, traditional leaders are the key to shifting social norms and driving the critical change needed to end violence against women and girls.
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Activists and advocates who participated in the global convening on “Gender-Inclusive Peace Processes: Strengthening Women’s Meaningful Participation through Constituency Building." explore good practices and strategies for gender-inclusive constituency building and the links between constituency building and women’s meaningful participation in formal peace processes.
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Discover the winners of the global comic and cartoon competition, organized by UN Women—together with the European Commission, Belgium, France, Mexico, as well as in partnership with Cartooning for Peace. Thirteen young artists between 18 and 28 years old were selected among 1200 submissions from more than 120 countries for their brilliant vision of Generation Equality.
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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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Ryancia Henry is originally from Antigua and Barbuda, she moved four months ago to Montecito, California, to take up the position of Director of Housekeeping, managing a team of 60 people, at a hotel that has now closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak. With international travel disrupted, and movement restrictions within the United States of America, Ryancia is among millions of workers in the hospitality industry considering what the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be on her, her staff, her family and her friends.
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Chinyere Eyoh is the Executive Director of Sexual Offences Awareness and Victims Rehabilitation Initiative (SOAR), Nigeria, which received a grant from the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. She spoke to UN Women about what motivated her to start the organization.
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Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and UN Women Deputy Executive Director, Åsa Regnér, completed her first official mission to Nigeria from 21 to 25 October.
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During a four-country visit in the Caribbean region from 18 to 23 May, the UN Women Executive Board discussed measures to improve court processes to assist survivors of gender-based violence; observed initiatives at work to identify and mitigate the gendered risks of natural disasters; and emphasized their support towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
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Ruth Spencer, GEF/SGP National Coordinator from Antigua connects with people everywhere she goes—in the market, in church, at the parking lot or in the halls of the United Nations. She builds networks and capacity of local community groups through education, training, resource mobilization and partnership-building, especially for climate action. Recently, she has set up a network of local groups and individuals in the island of Antigua and Barbados to promote sustainable waste management. As a participant in a workshop on gender-responsive global biodiversity framework, she spoke to UN Women about women’s conservation efforts.
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The status of women’s political participation in Nigeria is low, with less than 6 per cent of political positions being held by women. 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.
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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.
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Fifteen-year-old Eno Ekanem was among 80 girls from 34 African countries who attended the first Coding Camp in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 24 August 2018. The camp marked the launch the African Girls Can CODE Initiative, a joint programme of the African Union Commission, UN Women and the International Telecommunication Union
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Nearly a year ago, catastrophic hurricanes devastated the Caribbean. After Hurricane Irma, almost the entire population of Barbuda, a small island in the eastern Caribbean, was driven to its twin island of Antigua. In Dominica, Hurricane Maria wiped out crops, equipment and infrastructure. In efforts to ensure that women both benefit from, and lend their expertise to the humanitarian response in the Caribbean, UN Women has been working with partners in the immediate aftermath of the storms and beyond.
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Sylvia Nansat Nwantu-Julde, 59, had been a teacher for 35 years when she heard about the Girls Empowerment and Mentoring Scheme (GEMS). She started a club to empower her students, which now has 50 members.
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Lyop Chong is one of few women to become a member of her local traditional council in conflict-affected Nigeria. Since being trained as a woman mentor for peacebuilding, she has become a passionate advocate for peaceful conflict resolution, starting from home and extending to the larger community.
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Blessing Ihuaku Duru is a Programme Manager with Alliances for Africa (AfA), a non-governmental organization working in the south-east region of Nigeria, to promote gender justice, participation of women in leadership and in peace, security and conflict resolution. With support from UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, AfA is implementing a project to bridge the gender gap in elected public positions. They are working with the Government, political parties and women leaders to pass a bill that will provide for an affirmative action to ensure a minimum of 35 per cent of women’s representation in governance. Ms. Duru spoke to UN Women when she attended the 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
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As the hurricane season ends in the Caribbean, and three months since Hurricane Irma caused the entire island of Barbuda to evacuate, Farmala Jacobs, Acting Executive Director of the Directorate of Gender Affairs of Antigua and Barbuda says the devastating hurricanes across the Caribbean this year show that we can no longer afford to leave anyone behind, and most certainly not women and girls.
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UN Women and UNFPA fast track funds to Antigua and Barbuda to help women and girls
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UN Women-supported women peace networks are active in four local governance areas of Jos North, Mangu, Riyom and Wase. The networks are increasing the participation of women in conflict prevention, peace-making and peacebuilding, thus furthering the Nigerian government’s commitment to implement the provisions of UNSCR 1325 through the National Action Plan. Plans are underway to expand the peace networks in Adamawa, Gombe and Plateau states.