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In the words of Chinyere Eyoh: “I could not become one more statistic”

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

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.

In the words of Yana Panfilova: “You can talk about HIV a lot, but a personal example is what can really change people’s attitude”

Friday, November 29, 2019

Yana Panfilova, 22, is a Ukrainian HIV positive activist and co-founder as well as chairwoman of Teenergizer, an organization that supports and advocates for the rights of HIV positive youth in Europe and Central Asia (Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia). She was also nominated as a heroine for UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign in Ukraine.  

In the words of Françoise Gbeko: “Now I can support my family…and send my children to school”

Monday, November 18, 2019

Françoise Gbeko , 36, is one of the many Christian women married to Muslim men who were living in harmony in the Central African Republic (CAR) until the latest crisis erupted in December 2012. Despite the short respite following the Peace Agreement in February 2019, an estimated 2.6 million people (63 per cent of the population) are still in need of humanitarian assistance, half of them are women and girls.

In the words of Madina Mousa: “I could not stay idle in the face of hardship”

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Madina Mousa fled the war in Syria with her family in 2013, and now lives in Kawergosk Refugee Camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. She started volunteering to help other refugees and now works as a Protection Supervisor at the Women’s Empowerment Organization (WEO), local partner organization of UN Women implementing the regional programme, “Strengthening the Resilience of Syrian Women and Girls and Host Communities in Iraq, Jordan and Turkey”, funded by the European Union under the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (the EU MADAD Fund).

In the words of Claudia Macz Chen: “I know the challenges for indigenous girls, I've had to overcome them myself”

Thursday, August 8, 2019

As a mentor, Claudia Macz Chen, 25, works with girls to encourage their empowerment, self-esteem and continued education in rural and indigenous communities in Guatemala. She attended her first training with the Population Council in the Chisec Municipality when she was 17 and has since honed her leadership and advocacy skills. With UN Women’s support, she participated in the National Women’s Forum, having received training on the monitoring of the Guatemalan Peace Accords.

In the words of Milica Gudović: “Economic empowerment is crucial, not only for survivors, but for any woman”

Monday, July 29, 2019

Milica Gudović is an activist of the Citizens Association for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and All Forms of Gender-Based Violence (ATINA). Here she speaks about the work of ATINA which is supported by UN Women with funding from the European Union. With vocational training and business skills, the organization helps survivors of trafficking to reintegrate into society, become independent and and earn an income. ATINA also provides psychosocial support, legal aid and safe-houses for the survivors of trafficking.

In the words of Dorcas Amakobe: “We take girls when they are nine years old and give them a chance to be bold”

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Dorcas Amakobe is the Executive Director of “Moving the Goalposts”, a sport for development organization based Kilifi, a coastal town in Kenya. As part of a UN Women programme funded by the Government of Japan on enhancing women’s active participation in prevention of violent extremism in Kenya, the organization ran a project that provided livelihood skills training and helped build financial independence of young women engaged in its sport programme to build their resilience.

In the words of Oksana Potapova: “We need radical transformation”

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Oksana Potapova, 35, is a Ukrainian peace activist, community theatre practitioner and a feminist. She is the co-founder of ‘Theatre for Dialogue’, an organization that uses community-based theatre to work with conflict-affected communities. UN Women Ukraine works in partnership with Theatre for Dialogue to raise women’s awareness of their rights. Ms. Potapova spoke to UN Women about her work and her reflections on the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

In the words of Rajaa Altalli: “Women are leading efforts to push forward in Syria”

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Rajaa Altalli was 12 years old when her father was arrested by the Syrian government for being part of a political party. She thought she would never be involved in public life, but as the Syrian revolution erupted, she decided otherwise. Altalli is now a member of the Syrian Women’s Advisory Board (WAB), established by the UN Special Envoy for Syria to ensure that women’s perspectives and leadership is taken into account in the peace process.

In the words of Mereng Bessela: “I am a fighter and I do everything I need to”

Monday, January 21, 2019

Mereng Alima Bessela, age 50, is a successful entrepreneur from Ntui, in the Central Region of Cameroon. She is a cocoa farmer, which is traditionally farmed by men, has her own restaurant business and a fish farm. Like thousands of women in the region, Madame Bessala has no lack of acumen, but needs access to skills, markets and finance.

In the words of Nur Omar: “I’ve healed the wounds of war and feel more confident about my future”

Monday, January 21, 2019

The SADA Women Empowerment and Solidarity Centre provides livelihood skills and psycho-social support and referral services to refugees like Nur Omar and local women in Gaziantep, Turkey. Set-up by UN Women, the Centre helps women like Nur Omar learn new skills and start a brighter future.

In the words of Captain Anaseini Navua Vuniwaqa: “There is a need for female peacekeepers”

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Captain Anaseini Navua Vuniwaqa of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, participated in the ninth edition of the Female Military Officers’ Course in April 2018. The course aims to bridge the gender gap in UN peacekeeping. Women currently represent only 4 per cent of the more than 80,000 UN Peacekeepers, despite their key role in preventing sexual violence during and after conflict, and their unique abilities to engage with the communities they serve, especially women and girls. Captain Vuniwaqa spoke to UN Women about women’s role in preventing sexual violence during and after conflict, and their unique abilities to engage with the communities they serve.

In the words of Joanna Oala: “It’s better to speak up and let your voice be heard”

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Meet Joanna Oala, 25, from Port Moresby, who has become a champion to end violence against women and girls. She is one of the volunteers of a UN Women-led campaign, SANAP WANTAIM, which has brought together men, women and youth from all walks of life to make Port Moresby safer for women and girls.

In the words of Bettie Johnson Mbayo: “Men need to be involved in reporting on this issue because they dominate the newsrooms”

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Award-winning journalist Bettie Johnson Mbayo from Frontpage Africa took a 16-hour motorbike ride last year through Southeastern Liberia to find a 13-year-old girl who was raped by a law-maker. Despite receiving threats, Mbayo pursued the story relentlessly, following leads on social media and interviewing family members, neighbours, school officials and the police. Her reporting resulted in the arrest of the alleged perpetrator.

In the words of Aiman Umarova: “If violence is condemned to silence, that does not mean that it’s not in our lives”

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Aiman Umarova is an acclaimed Kazakhstani lawyer and human rights activist who specializes in sexual offences against women and children, and crimes related to violent extremism and torture. She has dedicated her life to fight violence against women, despite facing threats of violence herself.

In the words of Aissa Doumara Ngatansou: “My own experience of discrimination inspired me to become the activist that I am today”

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Aissa Doumara Ngatansou is a 46-year-old mother of three children from the Far North Region of Cameroon. She co-founded a branch of the Association for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (ALVF) in the city of Maroua in 1996. ALVF works with survivors, and advocates with decision-makers to end early and forced marriages, and other forms of gender-based violence.

In the words of Elisa Zepeda Lagunas: “It is essential for me to occupy these spaces and to open them up for others”

Monday, November 12, 2018

Elisa Zepeda Lagunas, 34, is an aquaculture engineer, Mazatec indigenous leader and women’s rights defender who has suffered intense violence due to her political activism.

In the words of Emmanuella Zandi Mudherwa: “I want every survivor to be called victorious”

Monday, November 12, 2018

Emmanuella Zandi Mudherwa, 21, founded her own non-profit organization, “Ma Voisine” (My neighbour) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, which promotes girls’ empowerment by girls. Today it has 12,000 members around the country. She collaborates with UN Women on initiatives to raise awareness about gender-based violence.

In the words of Hajer Sharief: “Peacebuilding is not only about stopping violence, it is also about the prevention of violence”

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Hajer Sharief is the co-founder of the organization “Together We Build it”, which aims to promote a peaceful democratic transition in Libya, inclusive of women and youth.

In the words of Justice Anisa Rasooli: “Not all women in Afghanistan are women in blue burqas begging…we can be the best engineers, doctors, judges, teachers”

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Justice Anisa Rasooli was recently appointed as the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court of Afghanistan. She has been a powerful advocate for bringing more women into judicial positions, including as a leader of the Afghan Women Judges Association.

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