Stories

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More than 600 women living in rural areas throughout Serbia are now better equipped to participate in the labour market thanks to a collaboration between UN Women, the European Union and civil society organizations to deliver skills and entrepreneurship training. Closing the employment gap between women and men in Serbia is crucial for achieving equality and training efforts like these are moving this important agenda forward.
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Two years ago, to overcome unemployment, a difficult economic situation, and few income opportunities, five women's associations from rural parts of northern Serbia founded the Women's Divan network. They recently launched a common brand called Pletenia to market their products. Their work is supported by a UN Women programme aimed at promoting gender equality in Serbia, with funding from the European Union.
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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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As the conflict in Ukraine intensifies and as evidence of the impact on women mounts, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director, Sima Bahous, visited the Republic of Moldova from 8–10 April. She visited the Palanca border crossing and met with refugee women at placement centres, spoke with women’s civil society organizations (CSOs) working on the front lines, and met with high-level government officials, parliamentarians and UN representatives to discuss emerging risks, efforts and responses.
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Splashes of red, pink and yellow flowers dot the vibrant hues of green in a greenhouse and gift shop nestled in the village of Colibași, in the southwestern part of the Republic of Moldova. The owner is a girl with Down syndrome who had always dreamed of opening her own business.
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More than 80 police officers and representatives of public prosecutors’ offices, centers for social welfare and civil society organizations that work with women who experience violence in 22 cities across Serbia improved their skills on working with women survivors of violence and implementing international standards on victim support and protection.
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When they interviewed her, the 17-year-old girl was sitting in an armchair, not making eye contact with anyone, recalls Detective Gvantsa Gogava, who investigates domestic violence against juveniles in Georgia.
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When Kamilla Rakhimova first found out she was HIV-positive back in 2013, she felt as though her world was coming crashing down around her.
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To achieve greater involvement of women with disabilities in all spheres of social life, the first “Leadership Academy for Women with Disabilities” was established by UN Women Serbia and a network of civil society organizations working on the gender dimensions of disability “...Out of the Circle-Serbia”. The Academy sought to increase the knowledge and skills of young women with disabilities and activists from different cities to influence public policies related to women’s rights in Serbia.
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The COVID-19 pandemic showed that home is not always a safe place for women and their children, especially during the lockdown. UN Women Serbia and non-governmental organization Fenomena teamed up to organize a national campaign, named “#SOSagainstViolence,” aimed at decreasing violence against women during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, within the regional programme on ending violence against women “Implementing Norms, Changing Minds,” funded by the European Union.
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Only 1 in 10 women survivors of violence seek help from police, globally. But even those who do often withdraw from the justice process due to poor responses from police or other judicial actors. Women’s access to justice starts with believing survivors and taking action, every day. Through this special editorial series for the 16 Days of Activism, UN Women showcases the voices of survivors and programmes that transform lives and communities.
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Under a new measure achieved through gender-responsive budgeting, 250 women farmers received financial support to expand their businesses.
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Helena Dalli is the first European Commissioner for Equality. She was appointed to the post after a longstanding career in politics in Malta, both as a parliamentarian and a minister of portfolios including industrial relations, equality and social dialogue.
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Supporting fathers and encouraging men to become more involved in daily childcare is one of the goals of the EU 4 Gender Equality: Together Against Gender Stereotypes and Gender-Based Violence, an EU-funded project jointly implemented by UN Women and UNFPA in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
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Klodiana Mere* has more than 30 stitches on her head, the same number as the number of years she lived in terror of her life and the lives of her two children. She survived a deadly attack by her ex-husband four years ago but the agony did not end there.
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Woman Forum Elbasan, a local women’s organization, has been trying new ways of collaborating with the police and the courts to provide necessary services to women survivors of violence and their children.
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Prior to serving as the Ombudsperson in Kosovo, Naim Qelaj was the National Coordinator against Domestic Violence. A lawyer by profession, Qelaj has been committed to making gender equality a reality throughout his career.
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Women’s leadership is at the forefront of unfolding discussions at the UN’s largest annual gathering on gender equality and women’s empowerment, the 65th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, from 15 to 26 March. UN Women brings inspiring voices of women leaders from around the world
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Building back better from COVID-19 needs investment in feminist, grass-roots leadership. Yet, direct funding to women’s organizations accounts for less than one per cent of the global official development assistance provided for gender equality. In six stories, learn about the critical support that grass-roots women leaders and their organizations bring to their communities.
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Elena Crasmari decided to run for office so that the local administration could meet the needs of all members of her community. She won a local councillor seat, making her the only woman on a nine-person team, and one of six local councillors with a disability in Moldova, out of 10,472 local councillors.