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Women gain ground in El Salvador’s politics

Ana Luisa Rodríguez de González has already served four terms as the mayor of Atiquizaya. She won her first election in 2003. In that same year, of the 262 municipal councils holding elections, only 15 were led by women. "These first elections I contested were a two-fold challenge for me", More

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China: Mosuo women artisans reach world market

Luru-Dashima, a female artisan from the Mosuo community in southwest China, never imagined  her painstakingly hand-woven scarves would sit atop shiny shelves in Tangs, an upscale Singaporean department store. But for its latest Christmas sale, Tangs chose products not from Europe’s famous fashi More

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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 a public crime that requires the state to respond whether a victim files a criminal complaint o More

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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 a More

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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 wa More

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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 through a programme supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The national programme, which is being implemented by the More

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Through small businesses, Haitian women anchor economic reboot

Ninite Eltêbe, 56, is a resilient Haitian woman who lost her business after the devastating 2010 earthquake. Within three years, she was the leader of a cooperative of 25 women who raise and sell chickens locally. “I enrolled in a three-month skills development training programme on chicken rearing More

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Kyrgyzstan: Community development provides relief during harsh winter

The village of Kazybek, at the foot of the mountains in Naryn province, Kyrgyzstan, endures extremely harsh winters, with temperatures averaging around -20Cº and sometimes dropping as low as -40Cº. “Previously, the kindergarten was only open during the warmer seasons and closed for nearly five month More

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Reducing maternal death in Eritrea

In the market town of Senafe, in southern Eritrea, Fethawi Berhane has just undergone three days of painful labor and complications during childbirth that resulted in the death of her baby, despite the best efforts of a traditional birth attendant. Fethawi herself is lucky to have survived, given th More

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Gender-based violence awareness program 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 n More