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Joint UN programme aims to empower over 1 million girls in Mozambique

“Before I entered the safe space, I was shy, and it was difficult for me to express myself. I spent my free time after school with vulnerable girlfriends my age who had left school to marry, and some were even pregnant…

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Campaign brings condoms, HIV testing and hugs to the Olympics

The #EuAbraço, or “#iEmbrace,” campaign is a massive public health initiative targeting Olympics spectators, fans and athletes with condoms, sexual and reproductive health information, HIV testing, information about…

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Escape from Fallujah: Pregnant residents describe life on the run from ISIL

Residents of the long-embattled city of Fallujah are accustomed to hardship. But even for this battle-tested population, life under the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) was a nightmare,…

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Dispatches from the road: Goodwill Ambassador Ashley Judd on conflict, abuse and healing in Ukraine

"It’s amazing to me, on this, my first trip to Ukraine, how beautiful it is, and how much ugly gender violence there is. Every fifth Ukrainian woman has suffered from physical and/or sexual violence. Between 2007…

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As crisis escalates in Yemen, pregnant women need essential care

Civilian fatalities are mounting in Yemen, with some of the deadliest episodes of violence taking place in the last two months. UNFPA estimates over 400,000 pregnant women are caught in the conflict, requiring essential…

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Periods not a problem thanks to pad-making club in Malawi

After finishing class for the day, Fatima Muhammed and Deborah Chavula head to their school’s sewing room to make sanitary napkins. It is an unusual after-school activity, but a vital one: They distribute the pads to…

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Girls in Uganda become SDG "ambassadors," fight teen pregnancy with poetry

Talking about sexual and reproductive health is not easy, especially in the conservative corners of Uganda. But the girls of Buddo Secondary School found a powerful way to address the issue: poetry.

“Plan…

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Emerging from slavery, Yazidi women struggle to recover

“Do not blame me for repeating my story, as what happened to me is the unforgettable story of my life,” Golleh*, a Yazidi woman, said. She had been abducted by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known…

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Women face "unspeakable" sexual violence in South Sudan

“I never felt so empty and helpless,” Tabitha* told UNFPA. She is one of at least a hundred civilians to be sexually assaulted in the wake of South Sudan’s most recent hostilities.

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