Stories

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I am Generation Equality because... I am concerned about women’s rights and gender equality not only because I am a woman, but also because I train peacekeeping personnel before they leave for UN missions. I believe that the role of women, and the protection of their rights and freedoms is a key priority for peace and security. I specialize in gender issues and teach classes.
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Yaroslav, 19, is a young man from Odessa who fled to the Republic of Moldova at the beginning of March 2022, together with his family. He is passionate about music, computers and accounting. The young musician has had an atypical development and multiple forms of disability, and the bombing and stress caused by the war has dramatically undermined his health. Before the war, thanks to therapy, Yaroslav was able to walk on his own, with a little help. Now, he uses a wheelchair again.
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Adapted from a blog post by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women Olesia Bondar, Director of the Ukrainian Women’s Fund (UWF) spoke to the UN Trust Fund on how the current crisis is affecting Ukrainian women and girls, and the key role of civil society and women’s rights organizations play in the context of humanitarian and intersecting crises.
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Kyrgyzstan is one of the most remittance-dependent countries in the world, with a recent UN report revealing that 800,000 to 1 million of the country’s 6.6 million citizens work abroad on a regular basis. Around half are women (with estimates ranging from 40–53 per cent). To address outflow migration challenges at the community level, from 2019–2021, UN Women, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) jointly implemented a project funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund. It sought to change harmful gender stereotypes, especially among women migrants and their families, and support the participation of women and girls in inclusive community development. By helping women explore their strengths and realize their business ideas, the project created livelihood options in areas with high migration outflows. Three beneficiaries shared their stories with UN Women on how the project changed their lives for the better.
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Rashima Kwatra is a young, lesbian, migrant, feminist who took active part at the 2022 Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE region. She works as an International Advocacy Advisor for RFSL - the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Persons’ Rights. Kwatra advocates for the inclusion of persons with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics, as well as other historically marginalized groups, across both human rights and sustainable development spaces.
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Under the headline "Show that you are in the first league!", media campaign in Serbia against toxic masculinity and harmful gender stereotypes reached over seven million women and men, girls and boys.
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UN Women stands in solidarity with all people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and sex characteristics (SOGIESC). We recognize that LGBTIQ+ rights depend on autonomous decision-making over matters of one’s body and health. In many contexts these rights remain out of reach.
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Milana Lazić works at the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), managing the “Assistance to European Union (EU) Pre-Accession” project. This project works with EU potential and candidate countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey to make gender equality more visible in the region with a focus on improving how gender equality is monitored across public policies, legislation, and in practice. EIGE provides technical expertise to relevant countries, especially in developing national Gender Equality Indices. Lazić spoke with UN Women about the Gender Equality Index and EIGE’s support to the countries in the region.
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Özlem Altıparmak is a lawyer based in Izmir, a western province of Turkey. She is an activist working in the fields of human rights, gender equality, climate change, and environmental protection for almost 20 years in Turkey. She is the legal advisor of Doga (Nature) Association, a grassroots organization defending the rights of nature and taking action to sustain biodiversity. She attended the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development in April 2022 held in Geneva with the support of UN Women Turkey, which she describes as a critical milestone in her activism.
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Nilgun Binışık has been the principal of the Fenerbahce College’s Primary School and Kindergarten for four years. After participating in gender equality seminars organized by UN Women under the HeForShe movement – Fenerbahce Sports Club collaboration, she was inspired to become a change leader for gender equality and raise awareness about the issue among young people. Under the leadership of change leaders including Nilgün Binışık , a Gender Equality Education Programme was launched at Fenerbahce College, to spread a culture of equality in the school and beyond.
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Women entrepreneurs, investors, businesspeople and stakeholders from business and investment ecosystem across Europe and Central Asia joined the unique Investors Pitch Finale organized by UN Women and the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGİDER) to address one of the biggest challenges women entrepreneurs face in growing their businesses: access to capital.
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After more than two months of war in Ukraine, which has forced millions of refugees and displaced people to flee their homes, a new Rapid Gender Analysis by UN Women and CARE reveals that women and minorities are facing immense hardship when it comes to health, safety, and access to food as a result of the crisis. In Ukraine, women are increasingly becoming heads of households and leaders in their communities as men are conscripted, yet they remain largely excluded from formal decision-making processes related to humanitarian efforts, peace-making, and other areas that directly impact their lives.
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25 women entrepreneurs from 9 countries across Europe and Central Asia joined a bootcamp through an intensive training programme to increase their capacities in attracting investors to their businesses. Organized jointly by UN Women and KAGİDER as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator Initiative supported by Mary Kay, the bootcamp culminated in the “Investors Pitch Finale” on 29 April and brought women entrepreneurs together with investors to pitch their early-stage startups, minimum viable products and business blueprints to investors and businesspeople.
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70 women from disadvantaged groups in Albania, including women with disabilities, Roma women and women from LGBTQI+ community, were provided with smartphones and internet packages to report about violence if needed and access services.
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Experts and practitioners from Western Balkans and Turkey increased their capacities and exchanged good practices on Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) while attending a two phased Training of Trainers (ToT) . Both ToTs aimed to strengthen the pool of GRB experts in the region by equipping them with advanced knowledge and resources on GRB, as well as innovative adult learning skills.
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Ayşegül Küçükafacan is the founder of the Sil Baştan (Start from Scratch) Association for Combatting Violence Against Women and Child Abuse in Balikesir, a city in northwestern Turkey. Due to financial difficulties, she was about to close the association, however a small grant provided by UN Women under the Strong Civic Space for Gender Equality project funded by the European Union, changed the course of things for Küçükafacan. Now, her association continues to combat violence and abuse against women and girls and support those who are subjected to violence.
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More than 10 million people are already thought to have fled their homes in Ukraine because of the war, according to the UN. Today, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have fled over the border into Moldova. Through its EU-funded EVA project to promote gender equality in Cahul and Ungheni districts, in partnership with UNICEF, UN Women is working to ensure that humanitarian efforts consider the differentiated impact of the war on women and men, including those from the most vulnerable groups.
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UN Women will provide needs-based and demand-driven technical and logistical support to existing and aspiring networks and platforms, and individual members or affiliates of women’s civil society organizations (CSOs) and women’s rights advocates in order to advance gender equality, women’s empowerment and the overall women’s rights agenda. UN Women invites eligible organizations and individuals to submit their requests for technical and logistical support, to finance a limited range of eligible activities as elaborated in this announcement.
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Svetlana Babaș, 19, is a Ukrainian Roma woman who had to flee her home as a result of Russia’s military invasion in Ukraine. She shares her story as a young mother who was worried about her fast approaching due date while escaping war and her journey to safety in a temporary placement center for refugees in central Moldova.
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Media Development Foundation is a non-profit organisation that supports media organisations in Ukraine. Since the first days of the Russian military invasion, they set up a media assistance coordination center in Chernivtsi, a city in southwestern Ukraine, and assisted with transportation, housing and safe working conditions for journalists and newsrooms across the country.