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The rise of a girl hero

In her home district in far-western Nepal, 19-year-old Sangita BK needs no introduction. She is well-known as an activist against child marriage. In the last three years, she has – on her own – stopped at least a dozen…

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In Indonesia, family support groups tackle roots of gender violence

JAYAPURA, Indonesia – “My daughter used to hide all sorts of things from me,” said Martina, 41, at a support group session in Jayapura, in the far-eastern Indonesian province of West Papua. “But here, we learn to talk…

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Courageous girls change attitudes about FGM in Ethiopia

Genet Girma, 31, was a trailblazer in her community. Fifteen years ago, she ran away from home when she learned that her mother planned to have her undergo female genital mutilation (FGM). As in many other communities…

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Sheltering teen moms: Emergency home offers crisis care in Thailand

Mon* began dating her boyfriend when she was 14 years old. They met online. A few months in, "he wanted to have sex," she recalled. "He did not use any protection. I was scared at first, but he said he…

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Dispatches from the road: UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Ashley Judd on the horrors facing Rohingya refugees

In mid-February, humanitarian advocate, writer and actor Ashley Judd travelled to Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh to meet Rohingya refugees who have escaped violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. There, she visited UNFPA-…

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Mayon volcano eruption displaces pregnant women and new mothers in Philippines

“I was washing clothes near my house when I heard the eruption from Mayon Volcano,” Jiassal Balatinsayo told UNFPA. Eight months pregnant and residing just over 6 km from the volcano erupting in the village of Santa…

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Escaping violence, refugee mothers in Angola find relief in safe childbirth

Towards the end of Yvonne Mboi’s pregnancy, she recalled, “I realized I was too big. I was afraid.” These concerns loomed large after her harrowing flight from conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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Teen moms in Peru pinpoint need for sexuality education, health services

"I became pregnant at 14 years old,” Angie told UNFPA. Now 19, she lives with her son in a low-income area on the margins of Peru’s capital, Lima, in the densely populated Villa El Salvador District. Angie recalls…

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Mozambique programme empowers girls to fight gender inequality, child marriage

“We are equal to boys and can also contribute to society,” said 17-year-old Lidia Suale Saide. Lidia knows what it means to stand up for these beliefs. One year ago, she refused her mother’s attempt to marry her off.

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