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New survey shows violence against women widespread in Indonesia

Dita* never imagined that she would be a single mother at the age of 33. But after enduring 10 years of an abusive marriage, she found herself alone and struggling to raise two children.

Her husband had…

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Midwives offer care, dignity and a lifeline for Haiti's mothers

Elizabeth was exhausted after hours of contractions at the Petite Place Cazeau clinic, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Finally, with gentle guidance from the midwife, she gave one last push. Stifled cries filled the delivery…

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To reduce maternal deaths, look to midwives

“Mothers and babies lose their lives due to complications that could have been prevented,” Burcard Umuhoza, 28, told UNFPA in a frank conversation about the trials he faces as a midwife in Rwanda’s Gisenyi District…

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Heroic midwives save lives amid Syria’s chaos

Midwife Shatha Al Mostafa started her career at the most difficult time possible – amid the escalating violence, insecurity and human rights abuses in her home country, Syria. Since graduating from midwifery school two…

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South Sudan clashes force pregnant women into the bush, over the border

Nine mothers stood in a single-file line, cuddling their newborn babies, in a refugee reception centre in northern Uganda. Visibly exhausted and anxious, each had a story to tell about being heavily pregnant, nearing…

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With bicycles, impoverished indigenous girls in Guatemala get a taste of freedom

Like many girls in Pecajbá, in Guatemala, Gladys Azucena Cho Cuc was forced to drop out when she reached secondary school. The high school was simply too far from home. In rural communities around here, girls travel an…

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Study shows meeting adolescents’ health needs would yield tenfold return

A study published today in The Lancet shows that improving the physical, mental and sexual health of adolescents, at a cost of about $4.60 per person per year, would yield more than 10 times as much in benefits to…

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Taekwondo champion fights gender inequality in Azerbaijan

“As you know, in this society, we have problems with equality between men and women,” said Farida Azizova, a 21-year-old taekwondo champion from Azerbaijan. She knows all too well the barriers women face. “I would say…

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Sexuality education offers life-saving lessons to Zambia’s young people

“I have seen girls become pregnant, become victims of violence and become HIV-positive, and I don't want to become one of those girls,” said 13-year-old Lydia Mwelwa, a student at Kabulonga Basic School in Lusaka,…

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