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In Lao PDR, midwives provide life-saving and culturally competent care to the country’s ethnic communities

“In the past, Akha women gave birth without assistance and did not come to health centres. Most of the pregnancies were unsafe,” says 28-year-old midwife Vida Jepeu. Ms. Jepeu is a member of the Akha ethnic group, which…

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Women and girls in Pakistan need urgent health and protection services amid epic flood disaster

“I walked for about 35 kilometres while in labour because the floods had damaged the road between my village and the hospital,” said Bakhtnama Khairullah, 32, from Harnai in Balochistan province.

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Survivors of gender-based violence in Sri Lanka at risk as crucial protection services shutter

“When there is domestic violence, women need to stay in a safe house.  But when one woman called me and asked for transport, I had to tell her we didn’t have enough funds to bring her to the shelter.” Francine Princey…

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On the border between Brazil and Venezuela, safe spaces offer hope and information

“We’ve been told that our room conveys peace – the room and what is offered in it,” said Harlen Lamar. She is the leader of a UNFPA safe space for women and girls in Pacaraima, a city in northern Brazil that lies just…

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“Giving up is not an option”: Hope for Afghans forced out of school

One year after the Taliban takeover, 17-year-old Mursal Fasihi is still in disbelief that she cannot  go back to school. Once a dedicated student, Mursal – like all girls in secondary school – has been unable to return…

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Coming together to change social norms and stand against female genital mutilation in Ethiopia

“We asked around and found the woman who cuts girls in the village,” said 19-year-old Bereket Merihun. “She strongly warned us to keep it a secret.” Childhood and adolescence can be a time fraught with peer pressure and…

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Floods in Yemen upend lives for tens of thousands already fleeing brutal conflict

“The sky was full of clouds, then suddenly heavy rain washed away our shelters. Everything we owned – personal documents, blankets, food – it was all destroyed.” Qubool, 42, is the sole breadwinner for her six children…

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‘Dream and fight’: Afrodescendant nurse lifts up marginalized women in Costa Rica

“I want to be remembered as a woman of African descent who always dreamed and fought for what she wanted, despite her circumstances,” Siannie Palmer Miller told UNFPA. 

The brutal history of slavery and…

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After six months of war, physical and mental scars ravage generations across Ukraine

“He winces at sharp sounds, maybe as a consequence of the first days after his birth. Why should he have to go through this?” At just 26 years old, Mariia had expected to be overwhelmed with the excitement of new…

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