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“Women and girls are deprived of their basic rights,” says Malalay. “The right to work, the right to education, and other women’s rights such as freedom and self-sufficiency have been taken away.” Deprived of political power and barred from most jobs, women are required to cover their faces in public and have been instructed to remain in their homes except in cases of necessity. Girls have been banned from attending school past the sixth grade.
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Adelah*, 27, is a former Afghan school teacher now pursuing her dream career in information technology. She is developing an app that connects Afghan women with gynecologists abroad. Adelah participated in a design thinking workshop for young Afghan leaders organized by UN Women to identify existing capacities, needs and solutions to support women’s empowerment and gender equality, and influence peace discussions in their home country Afghanistan.
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Karima(*), 21, is a young university student who is passionate about helping others through teaching. Despite her young age, she has multiple years of teaching experience in Afghanistan. Now she wants to find ways to continue educating Afghan women given their exclusion from education within the country. Karima participated in a design thinking workshop for young Afghan leaders organized by UN Women to identify existing capacities, needs and solutions to support women’s empowerment and gender equality, and influence peace discussions in their home country Afghanistan.
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Zuleika*, 22, is a young Afghan activist who has initiated several social projects supporting Afghan women refugees. She advocates for women’s freedom of choice and strongly believes in the power of women supporting women. Zuleika participated in a design thinking workshop for young Afghan leaders organized by UN Women to identify existing capacities, needs and solutions to support women’s empowerment and gender equality, and influence peace discussions in their home country Afghanistan.
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Zahra Nader is an Afghan Canadian journalist and editor-in-chief of Zan Times, a newly launched media outlet that covers human rights in Afghanistan with a focus on women, the LGBT community and environmental issues. Born in Afghanistan, she is from the Hazara community, an ethnic group that faces marginalization and violence. She began her journalism career in Kabul in 2011, before moving to Canada in 2017 to purse higher education. She is currently completing a Ph.D in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies.
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The 2021 takeover of Afghanistan by the Afghan Taliban displaced many Afghans to Pakistan, the majority of whom are women and children. Through the “Socio Economic Recovery of Displaced Afghan and Host Communities in Pakistan” project, UN Women, in partnership with CSO Pakistan Village Development Program (PVDP) responds to the emerging needs of the displaced community in Swabi and Peshawar, increases access to protection and livelihood opportunities and develop community platforms, and builds social cohesion for Afghan and host community women. Marjan is one of 300 beneficiaries.
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Leading justice advocates and experts from across the region are driving innovative solutions to close the justice gap. The voices of three women justice experts show how to accelerate justice for women and justice for all – through trailblazing technological solutions, game-changing social entrepreneurship initiatives and gender-responsive mediation.
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Civil society and women human rights defenders are on the front lines of supporting women’s access to justice. Leveraging their expertise, together with the lived experiences of women seeking justice, is key to transforming justice systems to be gender-responsive and people-centred, and to leave no one behind.
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Myanmar’s women-led civil society organizations play a critical leadership role in promoting human rights, highlighting the gendered impacts of the crisis, and advancing Women, Peace Agenda and Gender in humanitarian action.
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Manuela Soares Brites, 42, is a mother, an entrepreneur, and a field officer in Ermera, Timor-Leste, for the Connect with Respect programme, which works with parents and teachers in three municipalities to promote gender equality and end violence against women in the family and community.
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On October 15, International Day of Rural Women celebrates the contributions of rural women towards food security, local communities, and global economies. Daw Pyone Kyi and Daw Zin Ma represent the voices of the often-invisible rural women in Myanmar who are overcoming challenges due to the ongoing crises.
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After enduring years of domestic violence during her marriage, Naw Bway Khu wanted to support women in similar situations. Following her husband’s death in 2002, she spent two years working for an international NGO that cared for people living with HIV/AIDS before starting Meikswe Myanmar. Initially she accommodated women in her own home before establishing the centre in Lashio, and later an orphanage.
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Zamboanga City, Philippines – Women peacebuilders from groups with sometimes-clashing interests have joined together in identifying the successes and gaps of a programme to strengthen women’s security and public participation in the Bangsamoro region of the southern Philippines.
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Before the devastating flood, Kavita earned a living by making products from dry date palms, sewing, and embroidery. “The water washed away everything I had made with my own hands. All raw materials and unfinished products were swept away.
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"UN Women is Strengthening its Stance Towards Better Gender Equity & Inclusiveness, Women Safety, Digital Literacy And Financial Education"
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As peacebuilders, all three women have been motivated by their personal suffering from the conflict. And in the communities, the damage lingers, they said. Damayanthi said her father disappeared during the conflict in 1989. “It doesn’t matter if we are Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim -- we have all suffered losses due to the conflict,” she said.
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When the recent floods hit Fatimah Gul’s house, everything happened so quickly that she was unable to bring any belongings or food supplies. The elderly widow lost most of her belongings when her village was one of the very first to be hit by floods in Swabi District of the northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
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Hanoi, Viet Nam – The Viet Nam Women’s Union discussed with Government, social organizations and international agencies today how it can help develop a national plan to achieve the United Nations goal of strengthening the role of women and women’s organizations and concerned stakeholders in promoting Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda.
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Ishan Priyaranga, 27, is Minister of Public Transport (Kalutara District) in the Youth Parliament of Sri Lanka. In October 2021, Priyaranga attended a series of “multi-party dialogues” that UN Women hosted as part of its project, funded by the Government of Japan, on implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Sri Lanka.
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Vilashini Weerasinghe is Assistant Director of the Sri Lanka Planning Service, a Government institution in Badulla, capital of Uva Province. She has been working to address issues faced by plantation workers for the last 17 years. In October 2021, Weerasinghe attended a series of “multi-party dialogues” that UN Women hosted as part of its project, funded by the Government of Japan, on implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Sri Lanka.