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Restoring reproductive health access for millions in Boko Haram-affected areas

A brutal attack by Boko Haram forced Zainab Abubakar, 28, and her six children to flee their home in Gamboru Ngala, a northern Nigerian local government area. “I was one month pregnant when I left Gamboru Ngala,” Ms.…

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Women’s needs staggering as winter grips Aleppo, UN convoy finds

Women’s health, hygiene and protection needs are staggering in the bomb-scarred city of Aleppo, UNFPA observers reported following a United Nations interagency needs assessment conducted from 1 to 12 January.

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Refugees spread the word about safe birth services in Uganda

Things looked bad for the family of Flora and Patrick Anduga in war-ravaged South Sudan. The couple increasingly feared for the safety and welfare of their two children – and the baby they were expecting.

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Changing minds to help child brides in Cameroon

“My father forced me into marriage at the age of 14 – to a man I barely even knew,” Aminatou Bello, now 16, told UNFPA in Maroua, in the extreme north of Cameroon. The marriage quickly turned violent. “I was being…

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After marriage at age 9, a former child bride gets a second chance

Shukria was married off at just 9 years old. The wedding was arranged to settle a debt her family owed to a 50-year-old man. “He told my father he would forget the debt and give even more money if he could take me as…

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In Costa Rica, from teen mom to girls’ rights advocate

When Hillary Bustos Gómez found herself pregnant at 16, she was not prepared for the challenges ahead. “The first months were the hardest. I couldn’t get used to the idea. ‘What am I going to do with a baby, all by…

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Not just a women’s issue: Men in Myanmar take on gender-based violence

Five years ago, armed conflict engulfed Nam San Yam Village in northern Myanmar, forcing Aung Htwe to flee for his life. Since then, he has lived in the Maina AG displacement camp, unable to return home. Yet even in…

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10 New Year’s resolutions to help change the world

War and persecution achieved a terrible new milestone this year: More people are displaced from their homes than ever before in human history, the UN Refugee Agency announced in June. And progress seems painfully slow:…

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After long nightmare in Ukraine, displaced family finds peace

Tetiana* and her husband were abducted and savagely abused after conflict broke out in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine. After months of torment, they and their nine children were driven from their home and forced to start…

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