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Former Ugandan circumciser says she will never go back to performing FGM

For decades, Turutea Chelangat was one of the most famous circumcisers in the village of Kaworyo, in eastern Uganda. She cannot remember the how many girls she performed female genital mutilation (FGM) on. “There were…

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New programme counters violence in northern Cameroon

"My village was attacked by Boko Haram,” Sylvie Tokofi, 18, told UNFPA in Maroua, capital of the Far North Region of Cameroon. “They killed my uncle and all the men.” After that, her village was no longer safe. “My…

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Reaching women and girls across the line of fire in Myanmar’s Kachin conflict

Since the armed conflict in northern Myanmar’s Kachin State intensified in December, nearly 7,000 people have fled the area, often amid shelling and airstrikes. Among the people on the run are 260 pregnant women. Many…

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On Valentine's Day, say #IDONT

This Valentine’s Day, for its annual #IDONT campaign, UNFPA is partnering with artists to raise awareness about child marriage, which ensnares tens of thousands of girls around the world every single day. If nothing is…

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Family planning a development imperative, leaders at AU Summit emphasize

Marie Josee Mukankuranga stood before international health and development experts in her home in the Rwamagana District of Rwanda, talking about her community’s need for family planning.

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The world must make faster progress to end female genital mutilation by 2030

It irreparably damages girls’ bodies, inflicting excruciating pain. It causes extreme emotional trauma that can last a lifetime.

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Dropping the knife: One woman joins the fight for women’s rights in the Gambia

For years, Aja Babung Sidibeh would gathered girls together in the Central River Region of the Gambia and prepared them to take part in an initiation rite. The girls would come stay with her until a circumciser arrived…

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In Botswana, future depends on investments in young people

Two years ago, 12-year-old Xhute could not afford shoes to wear to class. She was forced to drop out of school – like her mother before her. Xhute’s mother also started having children when she was very young. She gave…

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In Colombia, efforts to end FGM are empowering women to be leaders

Solany Zapata first heard about female genital mutilation (FGM) when she gave birth to her daughter. Her mother-in-law insisted she had to cut her newborn’s clitoris. Shocked, Ms. Zapata refused.

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