Stories

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200 women living with disabilities attended a workshop, which aimed to create dialogue among women living with disabilities, educate them about violence against women and their rights, and improve their digital literacy, taking place within the EU-funded regional programme on ending violence against women “Implementing Norms, Changing Minds.”
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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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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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UN Women Serbia teamed up with the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia, to enable access to justice for deaf and hard of hearing women victims of violence. This was part of the ‘Improved safety of women in Serbia’ project, funded by the Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade. Support included procurement of tablets for all 63 basic courts in Serbia, which will improve the use of a specialized video communication service. Mihailo Gordić, vice president of The City Organization of the Deaf Persons of Belgrade, spoke to UN Women about why this project was critical, and why more recognition of deaf and hard of hearing persons’ needs, including women victims of violence, was important.
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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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Spotlight Initiative regional programme for Central Asia and Afghanistan will identify potential Responsible Parties that will build capacity of a CSO on requirements for grant-making procedures and provide technical support to develop strategies for resource mobilization and use of alternative funding mechanisms.
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The objective is to increase the capacity and resources of medical forensic services and 6 relevant CSOs to deliver higher quality and more coordinated essential services and access to justice to WGWD - survivors of violence, especially those facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination. This will be supported by increased access to information to women and girls’ survivors of violence and their families regarding access to quality essential services.
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Aleksandra Tomašević is an activist with the VelikiMali, organization, which works with children and youth with disabilities. She is also a member of the Women's Peace Group from Pančevo, a city close to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, and is currently working for a network called From the Circle – Serbia, which is providing support and assistance to women with disabilities. This network is among the civil society organizations participating in the UN Women project, Test it, if you tasted it, focused on showing the hidden discrimination that marginalized women face.
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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.
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Tatyana Bobrovska, 36, attended the 25 th regional review meeting of the Beijing Platform for Action (Beijing+25) for the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) as well as the Civil Society Forum ahead of the meeting. Ms. Bobrobska represented the Association of Women with Disabilities of Northern Donbas, Ukraine, and highlighted why it is important to have a dialogue for achieving gender equality and women’s rights.
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Amira Kushta* was diagnosed with a rare tumor in the spine and was paralyzed after back surgery when she was 19. Her house became her prison for 24 years.
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Veronika Mitro is one of the most vocal advocates for women’s rights in Serbia, with a particular focus on the sexuality of women with disabilities. She is one of the founders of the Women's Studies and Research Centre in Novi Sad, Serbia. Currently, she is working at the NGO ‘...iz kruga - Vojvodina’, which is partnering with UN Women to provide services to survivors of gender-based violence – specifically women from marginalized groups, including women with disabilities, and survivors of rape and sexual assault.
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25-year-old Oksana Kononets had an accident three years ago which resulted in a spinal injury and a disability for life. Last year, she was chosen Miss World Ukraine in a wheelchair. She combines her roles as a model and a social worker through her charity “Unbroken” that helps women with disabilities break stereotypes in modeling and promotes equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities. Kononets collaborates with UN Women to raise awareness about the discrimination that women with disabilities face in Ukraine.
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While women with disabilities are mostly excluded from the local planning and decision making, when empowered they become active agents of change in their cities and communities. Public authorities and civil society organizations jointly identified the practical measures and steps to be implemented through planning and budgeting to address the specific needs and priorities of women and girls with disabilities in the conflict affected Kramatorsk city and Donetsk oblast.
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Vesna Nestorovic, 52, is the founder of the “White Cane” Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired, an author and the President of an Aikido Association for persons with disabilities in Serbia.
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Olga Berdeu, 50, is a woman with disabilities from Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, who attended UN Women’s "We have abilities, we want possibilities!" initiative, which aims to strengthen the leadership skills of women with disabilities in the Republic of Moldova. The initiative ran from June to October 2017 and was part of the UN “Women in Politics” Programme, financed by the Government of Sweden.
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For the first time in the Republic of Moldova, 40 women with disabilities across Moldova, including from the left bank of the Nistru river, who want to get actively involved in the economic, social and political development of the country, participated in “We Have Abilities - We Want Possibilities!” National Forum.
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A recent study has uncovered that women, like Edith, with mental disabilities who are being held in Serbia’s institutions often suffer multiple forms of violence.
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UN Women invites women civil society organizations (CSOs) and networks to submit proposals aimed at strengthening the capacity for the provision of quality services to women and girls from marginalized groups with a special focus on women with disabilities and survivors of rape and sexual assault. This call for proposal is only for Serbia.
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Elena Kochoska is a vocal advocate for persons with disabilities in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and works at the local organization, Polio Plus, Movement Against Disability. She participated in training and mentoring sessions on gender-responsive budgeting (GRB)—analyzing a budget to ensure women’s needs are met—organized by UN Women’s regional programme on GRB, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Austrian Development...