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Timor-Leste breaks down barriers to justice for victims of domestic violence

An estimated 30 to 50 percent of Timorese women suffer abuse from their partners at some point in their relationship. This is in spite of the country’s 2010 Law Against Domestic Violence, which defines it as a public crime that requires the state to respond whether a victim files a criminal complainmore

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In Gaza, first female mukhtarah mediates legal disputes

Um Mohammed broke the conservative tribal traditions of her community when she became one of Gaza strip’s first “Mukhtarah” – the female equivalent of Mukhtar, one who peacefully settles disputes without need to resort to formal judicial systems. “I once found myself having to intervene to resolve amore

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Afghan police force recruits women to fight crime and stigma

Kabul, Afghanistan — It was four years ago that Captain Zohra Daulatzia joined the Afghan National Police. But the mother of two girls still gets excited about that momentous day in her life when she achieved one of her life’s greatest ambitions. “I was excited to wear the uniform and felt like I wamore

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In Afghanistan, mullahs use Islam to protect women and their rights

The Government of Afghanistan is tapping mullahs and religious elders to make people aware of the rights women are entitled to in accordance with Islamic laws. The national programme is being implemented by the Ministry of Haj and Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Women Affairs, with support frmore

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Gender-based violence awareness project opens eyes in Rwanda

Emmanuel, a pastor in northern Rwanda, had always considered himself a model husband. That is, until he attended a gender-based violence awareness programme in his community that showed him he had been violent to his wife to a degree that is considered illegal. “When I learned that my behavior was nmore

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Breaking the glass ceiling in Pakistan

Pakistan has a relatively high proportion of women in Parliament compared to other countries in South Asia, with women accounting for 19 percent of representatives in the upper and lower houses. Nonetheless, women in Pakistan still face many difficulties in accessing decision-making positions at themore

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In Panama, land deeds help farmers protect forests

Melquiades Jaén, a farmer in the Capira district of Panama, has spent 45 years living and working on his 130 hectares: cultivating the land, tending to crops, grazing cattle. But he has hasn’t been able to hold in his own hands the title deeds for his farm – until now. The Capira district west of Pamore

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Giving a voice to female victims in Guatemala

“We couldn’t stand the hunger, we were homeless, everything had been destroyed. We were desperate, and so my mother decided to give herself up to the squadron ... But instead of welcoming us, they hurt us," recalls Elena de Paz, a survivor of the domestic armed conflict in Guatemala, who was ramore

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South Sudan: Strengthening civil service to continue vital support

For most people, moving to a new country to work can be full of surprises. But for Yenew Azale, a trained nurse from Ethiopia working in South Sudan, adjusting to a new job has included being evacuated because of intense fighting. “Not everything is as I had expected,” he says. “But I feel a great smore

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Colombia participates in the peace process

Uffyunu, a Wayuu indigenous woman, has witnessed two massacres in her life, when paramilitary groups invaded her village, killed dozens of people and left hundreds without a home in 2001 and 2004. "It was terrible," says Uffyunu, who lives with her 5-year-old son in the southern part of Lamore

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Guatemala: Laying a mother to rest after 31 years

In Guatemala, UNDP is helping family members of some of the more than 45,000 “disappeared” to finally find out what happened to their loved ones. The murmur of chanting and the smell of incense fill the air in a small house in Rabinal, about 50 km from Guatemala City. A Maya-Achi funeral is in fullmore

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Mobile courts bring justice to rural Pakistan

In a remote village in the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, court is in session. The stenographer is typing away, the judge is listening intently and the air conditioner strains to keep the room cool as two property dealers from Hayatabad argue over US $6,000. But this is no ordinary courtroom. Thismore

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Legal Aid Clinics in Gaza help people get protection of the law

Asma* lived in Jabalia Camp in the Gaza Strip where she attempted to raise a family whilst trapped within a violent marriage. Aggression and attacks were part of her daily life; bruises and physical scars a recurring reminder of her predicament. Her husband often prevented Asma from seeing her childmore

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Fighting sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Gisèle* sits in the relative safety of a clinic for victims of sexual violence in the district of Ituri. The mother of three, whose husband was killed in combat, tells a harrowing but sadly typical story about her experience in the conflict in this part of eastern DRC. “I took refuge in a camp for dmore

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El Salvador: Sowing the seeds of peace

Giovanni’s face softens beneath the otherwise fearsome ink of his gang tattoos. As the 23-year-old bends over a row of pepper plants, his fingers dart carefully between them, plucking stray weeds in the greenhouse. “Before, my life was a mess,” Giovanni confesses quietly. “Now I have a lot to do—themore