WINDHOEK, Namibia - In many ways, Lelanie Basson is the picture of an empowered woman. But the best-selling Namibian author and entrepreneur remembers darker times: an abusive relationship that turned her life upside down. "He would threaten my life and that of my son.
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IBB, Yemen - Last year, Ayisha was married at only 13 years old. She delivered a baby several weeks ago - a girl. "My family forced me to get married and took me out of school," she told UNFPA while recuperating from childbirth. She was crying; the new reality of her situation weighed heavily on her.
If all of the ten-year-old girls living in developing countries that currently drop out of or do not attend school were to complete their secondary education, it would lead to an additional $21 billion per year, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) revealed today in its annual State of the World Population Report.
The world's future will be determined by the fate of its 10-year-old girls. Age 10 is the beginning of adolescence, when girls start to see life's possibilities expanding - or contracting. As these girls approach puberty, they may begin to exercise more independence and explore new interests.
MAKONDE, Zimbabwe - Three years ago, Sibongile Majaura was on the cusp of dropping out of school, a misfortune all too familiar to girls in Zimbabwe. But she has defied the odds. With just a little investment and a lot of ingenuity, she was able to start a thriving business and return to school.
Women do not stop giving birth when disaster strikes. Every day, about 500 women die of childbirth-related causes in humanitarian emergencies or fragile settings. Yet women's reproductive health needs are not considered priorities in humanitarian response.
NAMPULA Mozambique - "Before I entered the safe space, I was shy, and it was difficult for me to express myself. I spent my free time after school with vulnerable girlfriends my age who had left school to marry, and some were even pregnant," 16-year-old Amelia Abadala Salimo told UNFPA.
SA'ADA, Yemen - Civilian fatalities are mounting in Yemen, with some of the deadliest episodes of violence taking place in the last two months. UNFPA estimates over 400,000 pregnant women are caught in the conflict, requiring essential and sometimes urgent health services. Sa'ada Governorate has seen some of the worst of this fighting.
KAMPALA, Uganda - Talking about sexual and reproductive health is not easy, especially in the conservative corners of Uganda. But the girls of Buddo Secondary School found a powerful way to address the issue: poetry.
KHANKE, Iraq - "Do not blame me for repeating my story, as what happened to me is the unforgettable story of my life," Golleh*, a Yazidi woman, said. She had been abducted by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS or Da'esh), and enslaved for eight months.