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End Virignity Testing Infographic.
UN News Centre

A group of United Nations agencies has issued a joint statement calling for a ban on tests meant to assess the virginity of a girl or a woman, which is a common practice in at least 20 countries. The statement, which was issued during the World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) in Rio de Janeiro, stresses that such tests are both unscientific, and a violation of human rights.

 

A woman walks with her child in Niger.
UN News Centre

The world's population is set to grow by 2.2 billion between now and 2050, the UN said on Wednesday, and more than half of that growth - 1.3 billion - is likely to be in sub-Saharan Africa, where women's rights are hampered by limited access to healthcare and education, along with "entrenched gender discrimination".

Rohingya refugees make their way down a footpath during a heavy monsoon downpour in Kutupalong refugee settlement, Cox's Bazar district.
UN News Centre

More than a year into the crisis in Cox's Bazar, the number of Rohingya refugees has reached nearly one million, with young girls in Bangladesh refugee camps sold into forced labour accounting for the largest group of trafficking victims, reported the UN Migration Agency (IOM) on Tuesday.

Some 88,000 people have been displaced by the twin disasters in Indonesia's hardest-hit areas. Ibu Fariati and her family now share a tent with six other families.
UNFPA

"I am so scared. I can't even describe it," Ibu Fariati, 27, told UNFPA. On 28 September, Ms. Fariati's home collapsed in a 7.5-magnitude earthquake that, just 30 minutes later by some accounts, unleashed a 6-metre wall of water. The wave swept away Ms. Fariati's home - and nearly 70,000 others.

ReliefWeb

Young girls sold into forced labour are the largest group of trafficking victims identified by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps. IOM counter-trafficking experts warn that more than a year into a crisis that has seen the number of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar soar to almost a million, more desperate families are sending their young daughters off into dangerous work situations because most households have no other way to earn money in the camps.

The poorest and most vulnerable people in Rwanda have benefited from the “Green Village” concept, a Rwandan government initiative which is supported by UNDP and UN Environment, that aims to tackle the African country’s growing natural resource challenges,
UN News Centre

    Marking International Day of Rural Women, on Monday, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on countries to ensure that women and girls living in rural areas can enioy their human rights as this would enable making “progress for all”.

    Olga Macz.
    UN Women

    At thirty, Olga Macz is a teacher and entrepreneur, and a force to be reckoned with. She leads a women’s group in Campur, a small municipality in the mostly rural Alta Vara Paz department of Guatemala, which makes and sells organic shampoo. For many of the women, this is the first time that they are making their own money and making decisions.

    The flag of Saudi Arabia (centre) flying at United Nations headquarters in New York.
    UN News Centre

    UN human rights experts are urging Saudi Arabia to "immediately and unconditionally" release all women human rights defenders, including six imprisoned on charges relating to their peaceful defence of human rights. The detained have been charged for being involved in pro-democracy demonstrations, and previously campaigning for the right of women to vote and drive.

    Alphonsine Nyiranzeyimana
    UN Women

    Alphonsine Nyiranzeyimana, a farmer from Cyahinda, in the southern part of Rwanda, says that learning new farming techniques completely changed her life. She’s not exaggerating. Today, Nyiranzeyimana is the leader of a farmers’ cooperative and the yield on some of her crops has more than doubled. The agricultural sector accounts for a third of Rwanda's GDP and more than 70 per cent of Rwandan women are engaged in farming activities since their childhood. Yet, they don’t have the same access to land, production inputs, finance or markets as men.

    Many women have started their own businesses since participating in skills and livelihood training delivered by the project, including creating and selling handicrafts at the local markets.
    UN Women

    The city centre of Apia is festive today. The market stalls are laden with handmade mats, baskets and traditional jewellery made by women from rural Samoa; music and laughter lace the air. The two-day market is part of an event to showcase the results of a project that trained and empowered 5,170 nofotane women in the course of the last two years, funded by UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality.

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