Stories

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On 24 February, people across Ukraine awoke to the sounds of sirens and explosions as Russia began a military offensive. As war and conflict impact women differently than men, it is essential to recognize and the specific needs of women and girls in humanitarian response.
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This year, the 66th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66), the UN’s largest annual gathering on gender equality and women’s empowerment, will take place from 14 to 25 March, under the theme, “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes”. 
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This International Women’s Day, 8 March, join UN Women and the world in coming together under the theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, and call for climate action for women, by women.
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Join us on International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 11 February, as we call for women’s full and equal access to and participation in science, and celebrate those that are leading action and innovation around the world.
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The United Nations is marking the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence from 25 November to 10 December 2021, under the global theme set by the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE campaign: “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”
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Caryn Dasah, 29, is a peacebuilder and social justice and gender equality advocate from Cameroon. Dasah, a member of the Beijing+25 Youth Task Force, was recently elected General Coordinator of the Cameroon women’s peace movement, which is a constellation of women-led civil society organizations.
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Nidhi Mayurika is a 17-year-old student from Bangalore, India, who is a three-time winner of the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest. Nidhi is a space enthusiast and wants to create awareness about climate action using a scientific approach.
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Madhura Dasgupta Sinha has more than 25 years of banking and leadership experience, and is now the CEO and Founder of Aspire For Her, which motivates young women to enter and stay in the workforce. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, with only 22.3 per cent of Indian women in the labour force and less women in leadership roles, India’s gender pay gap has increased this year. Aspire For Her is a Generation Equality Ally, a new communications and advocacy initiative under UN Women’s flagship campaign in India. UN Women spoke with Dasgupta Sinha on the occasion of Equal Pay Day, 18 September 2021.
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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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Captain Zoya Sapra Aggarwal is a commercial pilot and the commander with Air India, TED speaker and an inspiration to young women and girls in India and everywhere. In 2013, she became the youngest female pilot to fly a Boeing-777. In January 2021, she made another milestone by commanding an all-women team of pilots to fly Air India’s longest non-stop commercial flight from San Francisco, USA to Bengaluru, India. She been pointed to the Aerotime Global Advisory Board in recognition of her significant role in the aviation industry. UN Women spoke to Captain Zoya for Youth Day 2021.
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Immaculate Akello, 25, is a climate change activist and lawyer whose work is transforming the lives of rural women in northern Uganda living along the shea belt community. Akello is the founder of Generation Engage Network, an organization that champions environmental rights and environmental democracy in Northern and Central Uganda.
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Nevena Pandža, 31, is a nutritionist from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she works as a clinical nutritionist at the University Clinical Hospital Mostar.
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Mete Belovacıklı, 59, is Editor in Chief of one of the oldest newspapers in Turkey, Milliyet. As a strong defender of gender equality, he has led Milliyet in becoming a partner of UN Women’s Global Media Compact. Milliyet is the only media organisation that became a commitment maker at the Generation Equality Forum with five-year commitments on economic justice and rights.
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Shreen Saroor runs the Women’s Action Network (WAN) in Sri Lanka, a collective of women’s groups that empowers and advocates for women and women survivors of war, violence and other injustices. As the Generation Equality Forum – a landmark event to catalyze rapid advancement on gender equality – approaches, she calls on leaders to close the gaps between policies and implementation. The Forum is convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France, in partnership with youth and civil society.
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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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Wanjuhi Njoroge, 31, was raised in Nyeri County, Kenya, in a rural town that sits at the foot of Mount Kenya. Passionate about her community, she established a library in her village in 2017 and supporting local farmers to move to more sustainable farming practices. In 2019 she joined the Kenyan national chapter of the African Women Leader’s Network (AWLN), an action-oriented movement of African women leaders to transform sustainable peace, security and development issues on the continent.
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Diane Ndarbawa is the President of Manki Maroua, an association of girl-child mothers in Cameroon. She also represents the Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights, working to ensure that systems and structures are gender-responsive, equitable, free of violence and harassment, and resilient to economic shocks such as the recent ones brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ndarbawa’s action priority is improving technical and financial support for women’s and girls’ projects.
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Join us by reading the perspectives of youth from around the world who are leaders and changemakers, and sharing their stories.
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Most women in rural communities still lack ownership over their bodies and the power to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health needs, partly due to their limited access to essential reproductive health services.
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Men play a crucial role in raising the next generation of boys, who will form their values and beliefs around women based on the behaviours reflected by men today. Men in power, teachers, leaders, coaches and fathers — I urge you to set the right example. A more gender-equal society benefits everyone! Patriarchy damages not just women but also men. At this rate, achieving global gender equality will take a hundred years.