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UNFPA

HARGEISA - Asha Ali Ibrahim, 41, has been performing female genital mutilation (FGM) on girls in Diaami, Hargeisa and other parts of Somalia since 1997. July and August are her busiest months of the year. "This is the peak season, when parents bring their children to be cut," she told UNFPA.

UNFPA

NAMPULA CITY, Mozambique - "Some adolescent girls will leave school to marry for money," 21-year-old Edma told UNFPA. "Some are engaging in unsafe sexual behaviours, unaware of the risks and their rights." Edma sees these realities every day. And she has made it her mission to change things: She has become a mentor.

UNFPA

AHUACHAPÁN, El Salvador - "I could have died the day my son was born," said Evelyn*, who became pregnant when she was only 13. Her pregnancy was complicated, and she spent most of the time bedridden and in constant discomfort. During her pregnancy, Evelyn had a variety of severe complications, including gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

UNFPA

SAYED KHEL, Pakistan - "It was seven in the morning, and I had not yet started my working day, when Hafsa* was brought to the clinic with normal labour pains," said Mahbooba, a 27-year-old midwife who runs the Aqtash clinic in Afghanistan's rural Sayed Khel District.

UN News Centre

Women continue to be disproportionately affected by drug use, and face obstacles in accessing treatment, compared to men, according to the President of the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).

UNFPA

DAMASCUS, Syria - Ruqayya was pregnant when she fled the embattled city of Deir ez-Zor, in north-eastern Syria, with her husband and two young children. The family took refuge in Al-Areesheh camp, in Al-Hasakah Governorate - but Ruqayya's ordeal was not yet over.

UNFPA

CAVITE, Philippines - Seven months ago, Mae Esparcia, 30, gave birth to her first child, Maria Carmen. After her delivery, Ms. Esparcia, a garments factory worker at Hamlin Industrial Corp. in Cavite, Philippines, decided to start using contraceptive pills, which she received for free - from her workplace.

UN News Centre

The United Nations population agency today urged governments and development partners to expand midwifery programmes and promote an environment where midwives can effectively serve the needs of women and their families.

UNFPA

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Elizabeth was exhausted after four hours of contractions at the Petite Place Cazeau clinic, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Finally, with gentle guidance from the midwife, she gave one last push. Stifled cries filled the delivery room. The nurse presented a baby girl to the new mother.

UNFPA

LUSAKA, Zambia - "I have seen girls become pregnant, become victims of violence and become HIV-positive, and I don't want to become one of those girls," said 13-year-old Lydia Mwelwa, a student at Kabulonga Basic School in Lusaka, Zambia's capital. "I'm happy they have taught us in school how we girls can protect ourselves," she added.

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