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Feature stories

MDG 1 - Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger:

Sowing seeds, reaping income and independence, in Timor-Leste

Rosalina Moniz in her self-help group’s garden, now one of the only places in the region for certain varieties of vegetables. Photo: UN Women/Aisling Walsh

Through self-help groups, grants and gardens, widows, single moms, and survivors of violence are gaining economic independence in rural Timor-Leste. Read more »

Women’s cooperatives changing lives and lands in Upper Egypt

Women get empowered in the village of Al Tod, in Luxor, Upper Egypt
A cattle-raising cooperative in Luxor has secured decent jobs and working conditions for 26 women. They earn an income and are the primary decision-makers on land and the division of labour. Read more »

Changing the landscape with all-women worksites in India

Women mark the area to be dug by workers and oversee the work’s completion in Village Satavasa, Lalitpur, Uttar Pradesh. Photo: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh Chandok
Rural women are now able to demand work, manage worksites and ensure wages are paid, largely due to a project that has reached over 30,000 women in 69 villages in northern India. Read more »

MDG 2 - Achieve universal primary education:

In Afghanistan, women and girls strive to get an education

Girls study in Afghanistan

In a country where education for all remains a challenge, UN Women is supporting efforts to reach women and girls through English classes and trainings in computer skills. Read more »

Escaping the scourge of female genital mutilation in Tanzania: a Maasai girls’ school provides scholarships for those at risk


At a school near the town of Arusha, 86 girls –many of whom would otherwise have been married or subjected to FGM– have received scholarships with full board to ensure they complete a minimum level of education. Read more »

Giving young children access to school and moms a chance to find jobs in rural Moldova


The Hincauti community in northern Moldova, where poor infrastructure has left many children without access to education, is one of several examples of where UNDP and UN Women have teamed up to expand a school and improve its heating system, creating jobs and enabling dozens of preschoolers to go to kindergarten. Read more »

MDG3 - Promote gender equality and empower women:

Tunisia’s new Constitution: a breakthrough for women’s rights

A plaque for Place de 14 janvier, 2011, a plaza in Tunis named after a meeting place during the revolution. Photo: Arne Hoel / World Bank

Following the revolution and months of protests starting in 2011, Tunisia’s Constituent Assembly adopted a new Constitution on 26 January 2014, considered a harbinger of change for gender equality in the Arab States. Read more »

Domestic workers’ rights move closer to becoming reality worldwide

Domestic workers rejoice after C189 adopted

A look at how Governments, unions and the private sector supported by UN Women are working towards ensuring that this female-dominated profession is regulated and worker’s rights are protected. Read more »

Cameroon elections catapult women, more than doubling their representation in the National Assembly

Panel discussion with traditional and religious leaders, UN system partners and representatives of the Cameroon's political parties in September 2013. Photo: UN Women

This unprecedented increase, bringing the proportion of women in the National Assembly to 31 per cent, a result of synergy between actors, adoption of an Electoral Code and involvement of a gender expert. Read more »

MDG 4 - Reduce child mortality:

Dying to live: the gender dimension of child mortality in India

Bhuri Bibi and her son. Photo: UN Women//Swapna Bist-Joshi

Sharing the voices of Indian women, a new UN Women report details work towards meeting MDG targets and sheds light on the issue of female infanticide, son preference and violence against women. Read more »

Breaking the silence on violence against indigenous girls: UN report calls for urgent action

Indigenous girls in Guatemala. Photo: United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women/Kara Marnell

A new study launched during the XII Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, reveals that indigenous girls have a greater risk of experiencing violence due to the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination they face. Read more »

Rural Women Take on a New Role in Delivering Services in Tajikistan


A programme to improve access to social protection in rural areas is creating Women’s Watch Groups, which monitor the situation of the most vulnerable households. We bring you the story of Savrukhon Kholmatova, who had to care for her own four children and three orphaned disabled nieces and nephews. Read more »

MDG 5 – Improve maternal health:

Syrian women refugees face forced early marriages and restricted mobility: UN Women report

Syrian Refugees

UN Women launched a study on violence and a programme for Syrian women refugees who have fled to neighbouring Jordan. The programme aims to increase their access to comprehensive, life-saving protection including health, psychosocial and legal services. Read more »

Ensuring mothers do not die when giving life

UNWomen Mali

A programme in seven countries advances efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality highlighting the links between violence against women and maternal health, and training midwives and community health workers to bring long-term change. Read more»

Through film and life, rural women address poverty and early marriage in Egypt


An innovative workshop explores ways for rural women how to tell their own stories about their participation in agriculture and barriers to their development in Upper Egypt, which include child marriage. Read more »

MDG 6 – Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases:

Congolese refugees living with HIV forge ahead, gaining independence

A resident of Gihembe camp  Photo: UN Women/Stephanie Oula

Women are cultivating mushrooms and tomatoes, learning about business and agriculture and pooling their funds along with combating social stigma and confronting gender-based violence. Read more »

World AIDS Day: Cambodian women get fresh start

Mom feeding her pigs. Photo courtesy of Cambodia Health Education Media Service (CHEMS) and Cambodian HIV/AIDS Education and Care (CHEC)

More than 1,300 poor women have received home-based care, skills-training and grants to start their own businesses through a Fund for Gender Equality programme. Read more »

Activists fight for the rights of HIV-positive women living in Peru

World Aids Day - Peru

After contracting HIV and losing her son to the disease, Guiselly Flores became an activist. As the Director of the Peruvian Network of Women Living with HIV (RPM+), over the last 15 years she has been a staunch rights advocate. Read more »

MDG 7 – Ensure environmental sustainability:

Tanzanian women bring safe drinking water to their communities

Water kiosks

In the Kingolwira village in Tanzania, where water is scarce, women’s leadership and the community-wide construction of a small dam is now ensuring an equitable distribution of clean water. Read more »

Latin American and Caribbean women chart their priorities for the new global development agenda

Guatemala post-2015 consultations

To give women more voice in the post-2015 development agenda, UN Women has organized various consultations globally. A look at one which took place in the Americas and the Caribbean, to bring forth the priorities of the region. Read more »

Women need safe, private toilets

Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment supported the construction of "ecosan" toilets in schools in rural areas of Armenia Photo: Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment

UN Women partners with Women for Water Partnership to promote good practices of women’s leadership in achieving the internationally agreed goals for water and sanitation. This involves supporting women’s networks to sensitize communities and training women to build toilets in their homes. Read more »

MDG 8 – Establish a global partnership for development:

In Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, a new online tool tackles violence against women and girls

Girls train girls in cell phone apps for safety in Rio de Janeiro favelas

Using cell phones and Internet cafés in 10 favelas of Rio de Janeiro, women and girls are accessing information about the services of a network for tackling violence – whether psychological, economic, physical or sexual – and training their peers. Read more »

Closing the science and technology gender gap in the Dominican Republic

Gender and ICT project in DR

Overcoming stereotypes, promoting interest in mathematics among girls, and eventually reducing the gender digital divide in the Dominican Republic is the objective of the project Gender and ICTs: Equality and Equity in E-Dominican, supported by the UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality. Read more »

A call for women: companies join efforts to end violence and empower women


Assisting acid attack survivors in Bangladesh and incorporating mass communications to combat violence against women in Turkey, we profile some of the more than 500 private sector companies around the world that have signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles. Read more »