Sara* was 17 when she found out she was pregnant. Living in a rural village in the Comoros, she carried the entire pregnancy in secret, and then gave birth in a hospital bathroom. "Our society does not accept to get pregnant out of wedlock," she explained recently to UNFPA.
You are here
MOZYR, Belarus - When Anya Shevko, 29, became pregnant, she had to weigh herself at a recycling centre because the local maternity clinic did not have suitable scales. Even visiting the clinic was difficult because Anya is in a wheelchair - and so is her husband, Zhenya, 36.
"Your fear is controlling you," instructor Amany Abdel-Aal told a roomful of women at a Wen-Do self-defense class, held in a cheerfully painted youth center on the outskirts of Cairo. The students - most of them Syrian refugees - nodded in agreement.
Recent weeks have seen several high-profile cases of gender-based violence splashed across headlines. Millions of women around the world have demanded an end to these abuses - and, increasingly, people are calling for men to take action as well. In the remote villages of Imishli District, in Azerbaijan, men doing just that.
"I knew a little bit about how a baby is made, but not too much," said Natalia, 19, in Alieu, the rocky highlands of Timor-Leste. Her 1-year-old daughter, Afeena, was sleeping nearby. "I had no education about this at school. No lessons at all related to this topic.
"My sister was killed after gang rape in front of me, and they threw hot water on my body," Fatima*, 30, told a case worker at a UNFPA-supported women-friendly space in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Almost 600,000 Rohingya refugees have crossed the border since 25 August, escaping brutal violence amid the escalating crisis in Myanmar's Rahkine State.
On most weekday afternoons, you can find 22-year-old Hiba* working at a salon in Amman. She has a long list of loyal customers and a steady income. But what few of her clients know is that she was once a child bride - an experience that haunted her for years.
In today's world, gaps in wealth have grown shockingly wide. Billions of people linger at the bottom, denied their human rights and prospects for a better life. At the top, resources and privileges accrue at explosive rates, pushing the world ever further from the vision of equality embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
SHISELWENI, Swaziland - More than one in five adults in Swaziland are HIV-positive, according to the most recent data, and the rates are highest among women. Despite these dangers, young people - and young women in particular - often lack the information and services they need to keep themselves safe.
Despite years of efforts and advances, full gender equality has yet to be realized. There is not one country in the world free of gender-based violence or discrimination. And in too many places, the burdens of inequality fall hardest on the youngest.