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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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UNFPA responds to gender violence in conflict-scarred Kachin

“Some women are very upset and are not able to immediately explain what has happened,” caseworker Daw Lu Bu explained in Myanmar’s conflict-ridden Kachin State, where she treats survivors of gender-based violence. “I…

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Over 1 million affected by brutal flooding, landslides in Peru

More than 1 million people have been affected by an unprecedented level of flooding, landslides and heavy rains in Peru. Twenty-four out of the country’s 25 departments are grappling with the crisis, including Lima,…

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Traditional leaders stand up to protect youth from HIV, unintended pregnancy

“We have high youth unemployment and high teenage pregnancy,” Mr. Obed, a traditional leader in Shiselweni, Swaziland, told UNFPA. Yet many conservative, rural communities have resisted publicly discussing topics that…

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Cambodian midwives hone skills to save lives

In Cambodia, giving birth is often called “crossing the river.” Both can be dangerous – even deadly – if something goes wrong. This is particularly true for women living in the remote areas, who may lack information…

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