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Known as Yemen’s “Mother of Detainees,” Laila Lutf AL-Thawr is a prominent human rights activist who has mediated the exchange and release of over 1000 prisoners and detainees. She is also the first woman to hold a top position in a Yemeni political party, the Arab Hope Party. To mark the International Day for Human Rights, Al-Thawr spoke with the Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action, supported by UN Women, about the challenges women detainees in Yemen face, as well as the threats against women human rights defenders
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UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director, Ms. Sima Bahous, concluded her first official field visit to Egypt this week.
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Morocco has restructured the national police force to better support women survivors, like Layla Bennani, and to prevent violence against women.
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Mariam lived with an abusive husband for 17 years before leaving him in 2018 after she sought protection and legal help from KAFA, a Lebanese non-governmental organization and a UN Women partner. With legal services and support, Mariam was able to access justice and regain the strength she thought was lost.
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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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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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Maryam Aleisa is the founder and Executive Director of Refood, a non-profit company dedicated to reducing and repurposing food waste in Kuwait.
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Kehkashan Basu is the Founder-President of Green Hope Foundation, a global social innovation enterprise that works at a grass roots level in 25 countries, empowering young people, especially those from vulnerable communities, in sustainable development. Basu is a member of the World Humanitarian Forum Youth Council and Co-Lead of the Generation Equality Action Coalition on Feminist Action for Climate Justice. She is committed to amplifying the voices of young people, women and girls, in decision-making processes.
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Along with 194 women from Ajdabiya, Hana* participated in Tamkeen, a two-month vocational training aimed at meeting the immediate food needs of vulnerable women, support their skills development and create job opportunities for them so they can become self-sufficient. The programme is jointly implemented by UN Women, the World Food Programme (WFP), and local partner Asarya, with generous support from the Government of Japan.
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UN Women kicks-off the call for applications for the second edition of the Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa Global Award for Women’s Empowerment in partnership with the Supreme Council for Women of the Kingdom of Bahrain, to recognize the work of governments, the private sector, civil society organizations and individual champions towards empowering women and girls worldwide.
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Souhaila Nassar, 33, came to Burj Barajneh refugee camp in Lebanon as a young child. After learning and growing from the services of the Palestinian Women’s Humanitarian Organization, Nassar now works to support other young refugees.
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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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In her remarks at the Brussels V Conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region”, UN Women Deputy Executive Director Åsa Regnér said: "With increased and better coordinated resources earmarked for women and girls, we can collectively do more, and our overall impact will increase".
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On February 10, Ministers and women´s authorities’ representing Member States of the League of Arab States, participated in the Arab Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65).
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Kaouther Kotersi knows a thing or two about determination and resilience. She was only 13 years old when she was involved in an accident that resulted in her losing her ability to walk. This marked the beginning of a long and difficult journey to fulfil her ambitions. Facing these challenges head on, at 30 years of age, Kotersi is now a member of the Municipal Council of Djerba Ajim, and a teacher at the Djerba Ajim Organization for the Intellectually Disabled.
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Lebanese businesswoman Caroline Fattal, 49 years old, has been named one of the “Most Powerful Arab Women in Business” by Forbes Middle East in 2014, 2015, 2017 and again last year, in 2020. Co-founder of Stand for Women, a Lebanon-based NGO, she has dedicated much of her time since 2017 to helping more female entrepreneurs enter the private sector and take on leadership positions. Since the August 2020 Beirut explosion, Fattal and Stand for Women have partnered with UN Women to support small women-owned businesses.
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Hayat Mirshad is a 32-year-old Lebanese feminist, human rights activist and gender, communications and advocacy expert. As co-founder of the feminist collective FE-MALE in Lebanon, she advocates against discriminatory gender norms and policies and works closely with UN Women’s Men and Women for Gender Equality programme funded by the Government of Sweden. The programme works to change behaviours and social norms for gender equality in the Arab States. Mirshad is also a member of UN Women’s Gender Innovation Agora and was recognized as one of the BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women of 2020 for her activism on women’s rights. In this interview, she shares her journey of fighting gender inequity and explains how to rally for wide-reaching and sustainable impact.
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A rise in the number of reported cases of FGM in Egypt is seen as a promising sign that the country’s efforts to raise awareness is starting to work.
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A vital pillar in the justice and security system, the sole forensic science laboratory in the West Bank seeks justice for survivors of violence. UNODC through the HAYA Joint Programme, is training laboratory technicians to help increase the likelihood of identifying perpetrators of violence and holding them accountable.
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As Lebanon sees a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and deteriorating living conditions due to the ongoing political and economic crisis and the Beirut port explosions, Nisrine Kaf Al-Ghazal, a Syrian living in the capital, tries to make ends meet.