Stories

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UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka travelled to Bosnia and Herzegovina from 3-6 November to reaffirm UN Women’s commitment to support the country in its efforts to advance gender equality and the women and girls’ empowerment.
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In Ngorongoro, a remote district in Arusha, rural communities are bearing the brunt of a changing climate that is ravaging many parts of East Africa. The Energize project is working to build new skills for out-of-school pastoralist adolescent girls and young women on biogas and solar energy products, as well as on how to run sustainable businesses.
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A recently organized learning visit brought two rural women’s collectives together to share strategies, insights and experiences. In the world of international development, such exchanges are termed “South–South cooperation”—exchange of ideas, experiences, and opportunities between entrepreneurs, communities, and experts from the Global South. “It enabled both organizations to monitor and analyse the impact of their projects on the quality of lives of women in Tanzania and Algeria, consulting each other on alternatives and progress in their livelihoods systems and value chains.”
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Elizabeth Maro Minde is the Managing Director of Kilimanjaro Women Information Exchange Community Organization in Tanzania, a grantee of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality. Minde and her organization provides legal counselling and representation to marginalized women in rural communities. She spoke to UN Women during the 63rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women about the issue of land rights.
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A grantee of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality is pushing for better income, health insurance, safer working conditions; and helping exploited domestic workers take their cases to the courts.
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Every year, about 172,000 Filipino women leave the country as migrant workers, seeking higher income to provide for their families. Research has shown that women migrant workers are more likely than men to send money home to families.
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After some resistance from her husband, Ibtissam Jaber joined Yanouh cooperative in rural South Lebanon. Jaber, a mother of seven, loves producing traditional agro-foods and believes in the importance of contributing to her household’s income. By selling her products at food exhibitions across the country, she has now transitioned from being a small-scale producer to a profitable entrepreneur.
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Bajana Ceveli is the Executive Director of the Association for Women’s Security and Peace (AWSP) in Albania. Over the past three years, the Association, with the support of UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, helped draft a National Action Plan (NAP) on UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, which was adopted in September 2018. Ms. Ceveli spoke to UN Women about her personal motivation and why the National Action Plan is important for women.
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In Samoa, the term ‘nofotane’ refers to indigenous women who, after marriage, live in their husband’s village with the husband’s family. Nofotane is an identity that defines their low social stature in the village. Traditionally, they were not allowed to dress as other women in the village and often denied any voice in decision-making within their homes and communities. The Fund for Gender Equality project implemented by Samoa Victims Support Group, improved nofotane women’s access to sustainable employment and increased their participation and leadership within village decision-making bodies.
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Women’s rights organizations from eight countries gather to identify and prototype new solutions to gender equality challenges
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Moni Rani Das, born and raised in a “cleaners’ colony”—poor and segregated settlements where street cleaners and domestic workers live—in Dhaka, Bangladesh, never imagined that she would be advocating for her rights and those of nearly 3 million Dalit [1] women of her country. Today, she is the first Dalit person to be part of the National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh.
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Beena Pallical is the Executive Director at the Asia Dalit Rights Forum and the current Manager of a programme seeking to strengthen Dalit Women’s Economic Rights across South Asia. The Dalit community in this region is still considered the lowest of the historical castes and suffers widespread discrimination, despite recent legislation and initiatives. Within the community, the specific problem of women’s economic empowerment has received little attention, but is now the focus of a two-year programme funded by UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality.
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Ruth Kihiu is a Programme Manager at The Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC), which works to socio-economically empower marginalized pastoralist Maasai women in Ngorongoro, Monduli, and Longido districts in Tanzania, through livelihood and income-generating activities. PWC, supported by UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, also aims to educate women and girls about their rights and equip them with leadership skills.
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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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In remote and rural Algerian communities, poverty among women is high. For vulnerable groups, such as widows, it’s even higher. A project funded by UN Women Fund for Gender Equality has revealed the unique challenges faced by women in these areas and given them the means to earn incomes, take charge of their own lives and inspire other women in their communities.
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Ayk Sbaihat is a Palestinian human rights lawyer who used to provide legal aid to survivors of violence. In 2016, she took on a new journey, through the Fund for Gender Equality (FGE) of UN Women, helping female workers in Jenin, a northern city in the West Bank, to protect their labour rights.
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Worries that many female migrants like Ellen Elecanal have about the future have been eased by a programme called "Coming Home, Reintegration of Migrant Domestic Workers in the Philippines", supported by UN Women Fund for Gender Equality.
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Catherine Wolf is a Programme Analyst with UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, overseeing the projects in Africa and Europe and Central Asia. She is based in Turkey, and recently visited a project in Armenia, implemented by Green Lane, a non-governmental organization that works in partnership with UN Women to empower rural women.
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Syar S. Alia is a young woman advocate for gender equality from Malaysia. Her journey as an advocate began with the first Young Women Making Change workshop for cis and trans women in Malaysia, supported by UN Women Fund for Gender Equality.
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In five rural districts of Battambang and Siem Reap provinces in Cambodia, Banteay Srei, a local women-led NGO works with the poorest, most marginalized women—including those who are illiterate or single mothers—to help them improve their livelihoods.