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Sexual violence in conflict: Overlooked, under-reported and in danger of being “normalized”

As militants boasted about how they would divide the girls among themselves, Khetam*, a Syrian refugee in Iraq, feared for her life. “Two commanders had chosen me and my friend as their brides,” she recalled to UNFPA.…

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Women journalists threatened with sexual violence, hate speech

“I have gone to the police after receiving threats of violence,” Nistula Hebbar told UNFPA, describing the relentless onslaught of abuse she experiences online. As a politics reporter for The Hindu, her words and her…

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With emergency obstetric care elusive, pregnant women in Yemen face tragic consequences

An internally displaced woman named Hamsa* in labour arrived at Maifa’a Mother and Child Centre in Hadramout Governorate, known to provide free obstetric services, only to discover medical personnel gone and delivery…

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Ukraine humanitarian response supported by data collaboration

When Viktoria Kravets, 17, woke up early on 24 February in her home in Ukraine, she knew something was terribly wrong. “I immediately saw a dozen notifications and thought that I was still asleep,” she recalled to UNFPA…

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From cyclones to safe births, midwives stay and deliver in Madagascar

“I’m so proud and happy to have helped this young girl to give birth safely today,” said Marie Nancy Christiane, gazing at the new mother and daughter after supporting the delivery on 5 May – International Day of the…

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Women take the lead with new counselling and support centre in Palestine

“Our centre is the first of its kind in this small community,” said Ikhlas, 38, at a newly established women’s centre in Issawiyah, a suburb of East Jerusalem. The centre is unique not only in offering counselling to…

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Fighting the stigma of living with HIV in Sri Lanka

Kamal* was given one week to live. He lay in a hospital bed, weighing just 20 kilograms when the doctor diagnosed him with HIV and announced his dire prediction to family and friends in the waiting room. That was 15…

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5 ways the world is changing how it sees menstruation

“Menstruation is still considered a secret that is hardly discussed,” Ogaufi Moisakamo, in Botswana, told UNFPA. “When I got my first period, I was also ashamed of informing my mother. And when I finally told her, she…

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Population census enters the digital age in Kyrgyzstan

For ten days in the spring, 24,000 enumerators spread out across this Central Asian country of 7 million to finally conduct the national population and housing census that had been postponed for two years because of…

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