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Women’s football defies stereotypes, inspires change in Cameroon

“Football is not only for men,” said Monique, 18, the captain of her girls’ football team, during a recent UNFPA-supported tournament. She and her teammates are trailblazers in their district, Mokolo, in Cameroon’s…

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Yemen conflict takes massive toll on health systems

Mustafa's daughter, Bushra, was born dangerously premature. With no incubator available, she died. The conflict in Yemen has taken a massive toll on the country's health system.

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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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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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