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From where I stand: “After living with despair, I decided to make a difference to the lives of women”

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Hannah Meltzer, 35, is a teacher, drama director, activist, creator of Wonder Women Bangkok community, and a leader of Bangkok Rising, a local advocacy group that is focused on raising awareness about eliminating gender-based violence in Thailand and beyond. She was also the director for the performance of The Vagina Monologues as part of UNiTE campaign, led by UN Women. Her work supports Sustainable Development Goal 5, which aims to promote gender equality and end violence against all women and girls.

From where I stand: “I created ‘Under the Ropes’ as a platform to discuss gender discrimination in the world of Muay Thai and beyond”

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Muay Thai has been so empowering for me, but at the same time, it’s also shown me over and over again that as a woman, I am not viewed as equal to the men I share the gym space with. While male fighters enter the ring by going over the top rope, female fighters have to crouch down and crawl underneath the bottom one. Then there are rings which we are not allowed to enter at all. At the most prestigious stadium in Thailand you will see signs that say ‘ladies, do not touch the ring’.

From Where I Stand: “Being part of the LGBTI community in Timor-Leste..”

Thursday, July 11, 2019

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.

From where I stand: “I identified challenges in both activisms, in terms of acknowledging intersectionality”

Thursday, June 20, 2019

“I was born in a traditional Newar household in Patan, Kathmandu Valley, and my childhood was highly influenced by my family’s cultural background. I lived in a big family with my grandparents and they did not speak Nepali. So, I grew up speaking Nepal Bhasa, my mother tongue. However, at school I would get shut out of my native language as I was only exposed to Nepali and English, the only two languages used in most educational institutions in Nepal.

From where I stand: “It’s about lifelong skills on and off the rugby field”

Friday, June 7, 2019

I come from a family where I hardly had a say. When they spoke, I listened. I myself had the mindset that rugby was a male sport, and when I used to see women playing rugby, I commented [negatively] about them. I am so lucky to be part of Get Into Rugby PLUS! When I started this role, I coached the under 10th grade [rugby team] in my school, and the male parents looked at me and laughed— ‘a woman being a rugby coach!’ I said to myself, ‘I’m not going to be undermined by their looks and their comments; I am going to be stronger for the children’.

From where I stand: “Women are a part of society, and they can accomplish anything”

Thursday, June 6, 2019

“In Bangladesh, I see issues like violent extremism, repression of women, and radicalism taking place more and more. This is why I work on the topic of women, peace and security with my NGO, SEED. Our activities in the community include a courtyard meeting with women’s groups. We discuss different issues. For example, today I will discuss sexual harassment and rising intolerance of different religions. If the community members come to me with a problem, I link them with law enforcement.

From where I stand: “Showing respect for the diversity of religion and caste in our community is the secret to being in harmony”

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Kohinoor Begum, 47, is a member of Polli Shomaj, a community-based women’s group that discusses how to prevent violent extremism and resolve local disputes together with other members of the community. “My husband left me when I was pregnant with our only daughter, so I had to come back to my parents’ house. Since that day, I went through endless struggles to support my parents and daughter. I worked for long hours in multiple jobs such as tailoring, which my father had taught me to do.

From where I stand: “We won the First International Women’s Blind Cricket Series”

Thursday, April 25, 2019

“I have been playing cricket since 2007, after receiving a one-week training at my school. I was in eighth grade then and the training was open to everyone in my class. We started playing amongst friends, sometimes even skipping classes to play cricket. Back then, our families weren’t supportive. No one believed that we would make it very far. Our society did not have confidence in blind players like us. We faced many challenges to continue our passion for cricket.

From where I stand: “Good regulations alone are not enough if law enforcers cannot do their work without bias.”

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

“As a judge, I see every day the need for mindsets to change within the judicial community. A few years ago, some fellow judges told me they believed that women should not wear miniskirts, and women should not go outside of their homes at night because it is not safe. Some judges are still questioning whether sex workers can ever be victims. We are making significant progress in implementing a Supreme Court regulation on court procedures for cases involving women.

From where I stand: “I can share, I can speak, and I can teach.”

Thursday, April 4, 2019

“I used to have a rice field, but then I borrowed money and put my land as collateral to build a house. My husband did not help, so I had to find a way to pay the debt on my own. In the past, he was very violent, and I could not say anything. Even though I did not want to, I was considering leaving my daughter behind with my parents to migrate to Thailand to find work and pay my debts. Instead, I heard about a programme through CWCC.

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