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Gender equality


In Malawi, local chief leads effort to end child marriage in community
MACHINGA, Malawi, 18 April 2018 – It’s a hot and sunny afternoon when Chief Kapoloma visits the home of teenage Fatima and her mother in Aisa village, Malawi. He strides across the baked earth of a dried-out river bed, wearing a traditional robe and circular hat over a shirt and trousers. The area is predominantly Muslim and there is a small brick mosque among the houses, adorned with a white star and crescent on the minaret. A cockerel calls out from a straw enclosure behind one of the mud brick houses.

How girls built a library in the Gaza Strip
DEIR AL BALAH CITY, State of Palestine, 18 December 2017 – There are one million children in Gaza, yet hardly any sports fields or playgrounds. And this lack of safe outside play areas especially affects girls. The beach is basically off limits, with terrible sewage pollution. Youth unemployment is over 60 per cent.

Ending child marriage and teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leone
KOIDU, Sierra Leone, 19 September 2017 – Last year, the course of 16-year-old Alice Ngaujah’s* life changed forever when she discovered she was pregnant. Disowned by her parents, she was quickly thrown into adulthood.

In Kyrgyzstan, girls lift shroud of shame on menstruation
VASILEVKA, Kyrgyzstan, 26 May 2017 – Menstruation is a taboo subject in Kyrgyzstan. Girls enter puberty without understanding what is happening to their bodies, and suffer in shame and despair as a result. Many do not attend school during their periods, affecting their educational performance.

In Kenya, a mother leads the movement to stop FGM in her community
KAJIADO/GARISSA, Kenya, 9 February 2017 – Mary Oloiparuni’s childhood came to an abrupt end when she was 13 years old. Now, at 30, she recalls that painful day as she sits in her homestead in Leboo Village, Kajiado County, surrounded by her five children.

What you need to know about female genital mutilation
Each year, 6 February marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. The day is observed as a way to raise awareness about female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), and to galvanize support to end the practice. Learn more about the issue below, and find out how UNICEF is working with communities and governments to help eliminate FGM/C worldwide.

In South Africa, Techno Girl opens doors in science and technology

Early intervention and quality education to end violence against girls
NEW YORK, United States of America, 8 March 2013 – On the eve of International Women’s Day, a panel of five experts representing academia, government, civil society and the United Nations called for an end to violence against girls through better and earlier monitoring and interventions, improved education systems, and a coordinated multi-sectoral response.

Communal banks extend credit, empower women and build equity in rural Bolivia
POCOATA, Bolivia, 23 May 2011 – It takes money to make money. Just ask Pilar Rueda, 38, a Quechua mother of two from this remote rural town in the Bolivian department of Potosí. She and much of her community have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty through ‘Bancos Comunales’ – Communal Banks – an innovative project developed by UNICEF.

Pakistan’s first female football club breaks down cultural barriers
KARACHI, Pakistan, 14 April 2011- On a scorching, early morning in Karachi, a dozen girls - some wearing shawls and burqas in the blistering heat - arrive in a large walled field, ready to practice football. Their eagerness is evident as they enthusiastically remove their burqas to reveal their practice uniforms. Hurriedly, they put on their cleats and run out to the field to meet their head coach, Sadia Sheikh.

In Benin, new monitoring tool engages illiterate parents in their children's education
SINENDE, Benin, 14 April 2011 - Bana Lafia, 12, can do something her parents cannot - read. Illiteracy is a serious problem in Benin, with nearly two-thirds of the adult population unable to read or write. Up until now, Bana’s parents have not been able to play a significant role in her education. However, a new monitoring sheet created by UNICEF in cooperation with Benin’s Ministry of Education is empowering parents like Bana’s to be active participants in her schooling.

Pakistan launches girls’ education initiative
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, 31 December 2010 - In a concerted effort to address gender disparities in education, Pakistan’s Ministry of Education, with the support of the National Commission for Human Development, the UNGEI Secretariat, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and UNICEF, launched the Pakistan Girls’ Education Initiative (PGEI) on 9 December at the Pakistan National Council for Arts.

UNICEF supports a pitch for peace at cricket camp in war-torn Afghanistan
JALALABAD, Afghanistan, 15 November 2010 – In a city where girls are rarely seen on the streets without burquas, this past 11 October marked a special day for 140 girls here, as they donned cricket whites and took to the pitch to learn the basics of batting and bowling.

Unique education in emergencies fund reaches out to the most vulnerable
NEW YORK, USA, 17 September 2010 – Representatives of the Government of the Netherlands, the European Commission and UNICEF met in New York this week to review progress achieved under an innovative programme to improve Education in Emergencies and Post-Crisis Transition.

UNICEF supports efforts to end sexual harassment of girls and women in Bangladesh
NARSINGDI, Bangladesh, 21 July 2010 – Hundreds of people, many of them adolescents, rallied in the streets of Narsingdi district recently to call for an end to ‘Eve teasing’ – a term used to describe the public bullying of girls and women by boys and men.

Life skills-based education builds young Somalis' self-confidence
NAIROBI, Kenya, 12 July 2010 – Muna Ali Hirsi, 24, is a vibrant and motivated life-skills mentor who works with young people aged 12 to 21 in north-west Somalia (Somaliland).

As FIFA World Cup 2010 kicks off, Zambian youth journalists speak out
MONGU, Zambia, 11 June 2010 – For Inonge Sitali, 14, a radio dialogue with peers about the FIFA World Cup 2010 – which kicked off today in South Africa – is more than a casual conversation. It is an opportunity to discuss important gender issues in her local community of Mongu, in western Zambia.

In Senegal, UNICEF Executive Director cites the urgency of education for all
DAKAR, Senegal, 18 May 2010 – Surrounded by the concrete bricks and flood-stained walls of her school, Anta, 11, attends classes and dreams of becoming a paediatrician. She knows she is lucky.

In Angola, child-friendly schools bring new life to primary education
LUANDA, Angola, 17 May 2010 – Angola’s Minister of Education, Pinda Simão, kicked off the country’s second national workshop on child-friendly schools on 12 May. The concept – which centres around the needs and rights of each individual child – is fast becoming a national standard for primary schools in Angola.

Forced and early marriages still common for girls in Afghanistan
KABUL, Afghanistan, 17 March 2010 - Narwin is just 14 years old, but she is already engaged to a man that she has never set eyes on.

International Women's Day podcast discussion focuses on girls' education
NEW YORK, USA, 8 March 2010 − This year, International Women's Day is focusing on the theme: ‘Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all.’ Though significant progress has been made towards gender parity and equality in education, many challenges remain.

UNICEF event focuses on involving boys and men in the promotion of gender equality
NEW YORK, USA, 5 March 2010 – Research indicates that the societal definitions of masculinity and of men’s gender identities can be contributing factors to the persistence of gender inequalities worldwide.

Event in New York addresses persistent and growing gender inequalities
NEW YORK, USA, 4 March 2010 – A UNICEF-organized event in New York marked the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action. Adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, the Beijing Platform is the world's most comprehensive framework for achieving gender equality.

At Inter-Parliamentary Union conference, a call to action on adolescent girls’ rights
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 9 April 2009 – Adolescent girls in developing countries are the world’s greatest untapped resource for stability and growth. As economic actors and future mothers, safe, healthy, educated, economically empowered girls have the means to escape poverty and ignite progress.

Bernice’s Digital Diary: A Ghanaian girl’s take on London – Part 2
NEW YORK, USA, 11 December 2007 – Bernice Akuamoah, 21, lives in Accra, Ghana, where she has just started her third year at university. She was the first person to create a Digital Diary with UNICEF Radio and the Voices of Youth online community – using recording equipment supplied by UNICEF to tell her story of teenage life in Accra in a six-part series.

Literacy empowers women and girls in Northern Nigeria
BABBAN KUFAI, Nigeria, 20 March 2007 – It’s a quiet Sunday in the Muslim community of Katsina, a northern state in Nigeria. While students at the local primary school enjoy their day off, more than 80 women are crammed inside one classroom, busy learning how to read and write, many for the first time in their lives.

First-ever woman chief appointed in Burkina Faso
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso, 8 March 2007 – The Naaba Saaga, traditional chief of Issouka, Burkina Faso, sat under a canopy, holding his cane of office and wearing the red ‘bonnet’ that symbolizes his chiefdom. He was dressed in elaborate ceremonial robes, the same as the ones worn before him by his father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Marginalized girls take centre stage at UN panel on unleashing their potential
NEW YORK, USA, 6 March 2007 – A panel of young women dedicated to improving the lives of marginalized girls shared their experiences during a panel discussion at United Nations headquarters this afternoon.

‘Stop Rape Now’: UN agencies against sexual violence as a tactic of war
NEW YORK, USA, 5 March 2007 – Impassioned pleas to end the use of sexual violence against women during armed conflict were heard at United Nations headquarters in New York this afternoon. They came as part of a panel discussion kicking off a new multi-agency initiative to investigate and intensify the UN’s response to sexual violence in war.

A former child soldier speaks out at UN session on challenges facing girls
NEW YORK, USA, 2 March 2007 – The striking testimony of a girl who was formerly a child soldier brought an audience of hundreds to its feet for a standing ovation – and moved many to tears – at United Nations headquarters in New York this afternoon.

At UN panel, girls describe challenges keeping their peers out of school
NEW YORK, USA, 1 March 2007 – Youth panellists shared the experiences and challenges of girls growing up in their four different countries today at a discussion hosted by the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) in New York.

A former victim of domestic violence advocates for gender equality in Peru
AYACUCHO, Peru, 27 February 2007 – Luzmila cannot finish smiling, for her tears immediately appear. She is sitting in her office in Jesús Nazareno municipality, recalling the times in her childhood when she saw her mother hiding under a table to flee her father’s heavy hands.

Youth voices heard at opening of UN Commission on the Status of Women
NEW YORK, USA, 26 February 2007 – The 51st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women opened at United Nations headquarters in New York this morning, launching two weeks of discussions and events in the run-up to International Women’s Day.

UNICEF Executive Director’s Women’s Day message
NEW YORK, USA, 8 March 2006 – In a wide-ranging and impassioned keynote speech at the Annual International Women’s Day Luncheon in Washington, D.C., UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman delivered a powerful message about the abuse and exploitation experienced by millions of women and children around the globe.

UNICEF develops ‘Marta’, an animated role model for girls
DILI, Timor-Leste, 17 November 2005 – A very special girl was born recently in Timor-Leste. She is the brainchild of 30 writers, illustrators and civil society representatives working for children and women’s rights, who conceived her at a five-day workshop organized by UNICEF Timor-Leste.

Indigenous women make their voices heard
NEW YORK, 11 March 2005 - Indigenous and Afro-descendent women from several Latin American countries came together at the United Nations on Thursday to exchange ideas, discuss the problems affecting their respective communities, and explore solutions in a special forum sponsored by UNICEF.

World falling short on promises to women and girls
NEW YORK, 8 March 2005 - UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah spoke today at the Beijing +10 conference being held 28 February - 11 March in New York. Ms. Salah gave an overview of key achievements worldwide for women’s rights and equality, and underlined some of the critical challenges which must be met.

International Women’s Day 2005
NEW YORK, 8 March 2005 - International Women's Day 2005 is a celebration of the progress made in gender equality and a recognition of the work still to be done before women have equal rights and an equal voice.

Celebrating the rights of women and girls around the world
NEW YORK, 28 February - 11 March 2005 - This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, originally held in Beijing in 1995. At its inception, 189 countries pledged to make improvements for women's equality. Ten years later, world leaders are gathering again, this time in New York, to review the progress which has been made.

Internet chats support equal rights
NEW YORK, 4 March 2005 - To celebrate children’s and women’s rights worldwide, and to raise awareness of gender equality issues, UNICEF has invited six girls from four continents to share their ideas and opinions on these topics with journalists and UNICEF staff. One of the participating staff is UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah, who chatted online for the first time in her life with 14-year-old Nelly from Cameroon.




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