Stories

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Cesario da Silva is the executive director for the Association of People with Disability in Timor-Leste (ADTL). UN Women and the UN Human Rights Advisor’s Unit in Timor-Leste have been working closely with ADTL to support the rights of persons with disabilities and build an inclusive society, through the UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) program. Amid immense and persistent challenges, Cesario has seen some progress for the community.
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Olinda Alves da Silva, 44 is part of a community of women who are pioneering a better way to provide care and support healing for women survivors of the past conflict in Timor-Leste (1975-1999), while working to prevent further violence against women.
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Martinho Carvalho Sarmento, recently promoted to the position of Inspector General, knows the benefits of having women involved in conflict mediation and prevention.
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Ana Paula Soares stands in front of her family’s house in Ermera, Timor-Leste. Photo: Courtesy of Natercia Saldanha  “Starting from this month, I won’t go to work. My family and I are sad that I can’t earn money anymore to help the family and pay for my nephews and nieces’ education.  After high school graduation in 2011, I wanted to pursue a university degree, but then I realized that I could never afford it. So I decided to work and sustain...
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Joker da Silva is an openly trans man. He is one of many LGBTI activists in Timor-Leste who have helped raise the visibility of the community, including through activities supported by UN Women that build connections and support among members. “I hated to look at myself in the mirror because I was a pretty girl but had a male attitude. Then I decided to devote myself to the church to change.
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When I was kid, I didn’t think I would be in the military. It was difficult to imagine that since we were under Indonesian occupation. Initially I wanted to be a teacher or a lawyer. When we gained our independence, I decided to pursue a degree in civilian engineering. However, after my father passed away, I stopped my studies to help take care of the family...
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Our [company] culture gives equal opportunity to everyone, both men and women. 40 per cent of the managers are women in our company and they have made an outstanding contribution to the company. For instance, we have a colleague, Joana. She is a manager of our Enterprise and Whole Sales Department, and more than 50 per cent of revenue is coming from that Department. This shows us that women fit and have great achievements in high-level positions. I believe that women in Timor-Leste can...
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“I was the only woman candidate for the role of village chief in my village Laidohar [in Liquica Municipality near Dili, Timor-Leste]. I was competing against six men. In the next village over, in Suku Asumanu, my friend was competing against 10 men and in neighboring Suku Laurema, it was the same. People hold tightly to traditional culture. They don’t want to see women as leaders outside the home. Meanwhile, many men want to be in a position where they can influence people....