A refugee from Iraqi Kurdistan, Taffan Ako fled to Sweden in 1997 with her family. Today she is the Coordinator of One Young World Ambassadors for Scandinavia and Eastern Europe and founder of EmpowHERment, an organization that assists women and young girls who have been former ISIS sex slaves or victims of human trafficking.
Brazilian soccer player Marta Vieira da Silva is UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for women and girls in sport. Marta, as she is popularly known, wants to inspire women and girls to challenge stereotypes, overcome barriers and follow their dreams and ambitions, including in the area of sport.
Marquita da Cunha is an army lieutenant with the Falintil–Defence Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) who recently participated in a training designed for female military officers organized by UN Women and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in preparation for future deployment in UN peacekeeping operations.
For over a decade, Boko Haram insurgency has displaced over 200,000 people within the borders of Cameroon. After being on the run for years, Rachel Medivede and her family settled in the northern town of Mora, where she received counselling and livelihood support from a UN Women-supported program. Medivede now works as a dressmaker and has also started her own business of selling beignets.
Nabila Musleh, Afghanistan’s Deputy Minister of Women's Affairs, has worked to promote gender equality, women’s empowerment and human rights in Afghanistan for more than 10 years. From August 11-16, Ms. Musleh joined 32 other senior government officials for a visit to Indonesia to learn about their gender-responsive budgeting experience.
Palmira Martínez, a blind professional runner from Mexico, is among the 70,000 women who ran for gender equality as part of the largest 5K race for women in the world.
Bakirova Kyzdarkan is one of 124 women who have been elected to local water user councils across Kyrgystan, where water scarcity is threatening the livelihoods of many. She is mobilizing women in her community to advocate for equal access to water, and because of her work, several women now serve on local water management councils.
Spartak Kosta is a third-year journalism student at the University of History and Philology in Tirana, Albania. He was among the first group of students to take a new university course on the reporting of trafficking of women and girls.
Johanitha Katunzi, 43, is a business woman in the Temeke markets in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Raising awareness of women’s rights in the workplace has improved the safety of the market, and increased access to financial services has enabled Katunzi to buy land. Now, she is able to send her three children to school.
Aleeza Hafeez from Sialkot, one of Pakistan’s most industrialized areas, has her own income for the first time. Knowing her own rights and an enabling environment at the workplace made it possible for her to work and grow as a professional. The project has changed family dynamics too. Now, Hafeez’s father includes her when making family decisions, a role previously reserved for male members.