Mercy Akout is a firm believer in educating women and young girls. A South Sudanese refugee living in Kenya's camp, Mercy escaped forced child marriage to become a vocal activist, fighting for women's rights. She works in her community, encouraging families to send their daughters to school and stop harmful cultural practices like child marriage.
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Mariéme Jamme, who received no education until she was 16, is now a technology entrepreneur with a mission to train young women. Mariéme is one of 16 World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders (YGLs) on a visit to Kakuma, and the Kalobeyei settlement in north-western Kenya, to meet refugees and host communities.
Girls around the world lack basic knowledge about their sexual and reproductive health and struggle to access menstrual health supplies. Many grapple with shame and taboos surrounding menstruation. These issues undermine girls’ health and rights. Girls can be subjected to stigma or miss school due to difficulty managing their menstrual hygiene. These concerns are being addressed at this week’s Menstrual Health Management Symposium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan has completed her two-day visit to South Sudan where she witnessed firsthand the complexity and scale of the South Sudan crisis and met internally displaced people who shared their experiences with her.
"I woke up one morning, and my father told me that we were poor and needed money," said Faith, describing the moment she learned she was engaged. She was 11 years old at the time.