On the margins of the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, a high-level side event on "Accelerating the elimination of harmful practices to reap the demographic dividend in Africa" convened Member States, civil society, youth and development partners to discuss decisive measures to eliminate child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) across the continent.
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MARADI, Niger - The preacher Malama Ouani may seem like an unlikely advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights. She teaches women about Islam and family welfare during study groups, known as "madrassas," in her conservative community in southern Niger.
When she was 15, Halima Yakoy Adam was forced to become a suicide bomber. Now, she is a paralegal dedicated to educating her community about all forms of violence against women.
Fishing has traditionally sustained communities in the Lake Chad Basin area, supporting nearly 30 million people living along its shores in Chad, but also Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger. However, the once huge lake which covered 250,000 km2 has now shrunk to one tenth of its original size, largely due to unsustainable water management and the corrosive effects of climate change. With fish now more scarce, and fisherfolk needing to travel further to find them, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has stepped in to offer support.
In Niger, the Diffa Region bordering Nigeria is home to more than 300,000 refugees who have been driven from their homes by massacres, abduction and rape by Boko Haram militants. Women and children are 70 per cent of displaced persons, and have experienced widespread sexual violence.
When Fati was 12-years old, her father removed her from school in Niamey and sent her to Nigeria to marry a 40-year-old man. A year later, she was hospitalized with injuries inflicted by her new husband.
Fighting food taboos for women In Yalosuna, a village in the northeastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dimitra community listeners' clubs have played a role in changing people's perceptions about food taboos for women, improving food security and nutrition issues in the communities as a result.