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Girls' rights are a priority, say UN chief and UNFPA head

“I am proud to be a girl.” These were the bold closing words of a drama performed for United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and UNFPA’s Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. It is a sadly uncommon…

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Stemming the tide of violence: From abuser to reformer

Ry Chan, a gentle father in his mid-30s, was once an abuser. He believed that “a woman deserves to be beaten when she commits a mistake,” he regretfully told UNFPA in his home in Cambodia’s Kampong Leng District.

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“We were judgmental”: Making health care safe, accessible to young people

LILONGWE, Malawi – “I thought family planning was for married people, not for girls,” said Blessings Sonkhanani, a nurse at Namwera Health Center in Malawi’s Mangochi District. “We were not friendly to young people. We…

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Young pioneer in Ethiopia defies FGM, finds love

Hawa Buha is a trailblazer in her conservative pastoralist community in norther Ethiopia. First, she refused to undergo female genital mutilation, a choice that left her unmarriageable, according to local traditions.…

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“I have value”: Brave polio survivor overcomes every obstacle

Barira Harouna, 16, is unlike any of other girl in her village, Bargaja, in Niger’s Maradi Region. At only 2 years old, she was paralyzed by polio. Two years later, her father died, and she soon was forced to beg in the…

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Syrian refugee parents take a stand against child marriage

Child marriages appear to be rising among Syrian refugees as families grow increasingly desperate under the grinding four-year-old conflict. But many brave parents are refusing to marry their daughters off, no matter…

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Youth spring into action in wake of Myanmar’s floods

Over a million people have been critically affected by floods and landslides sweeping Myanmar. Humanitarian responders – including youth volunteers – are working around the clock to assist affected populations.

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Health camps bring life-saving care to disaster survivors

Months after the devastating earthquake in Nepal, access to essential health services remains a serious concern for survivors. To reach those most affected, UNFPA is supporting reproductive health camps, which bring…

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Madagascar sees a new generation of women leaders

“I used to tell young people to stand up for their ideas,” said Tiana Razafinimanana, in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. Today, she is not only helping the country’s young people express their ideas – she is…

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