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.
Mila Rodriguez is one of the young members of Colombia’s Cantadora Network, a network of singers using traditional Afro-Colombian music to preserve their culture and promote peace.
Sophia Dianne Garcia from the Philippines is a youth activist who teaches young people to advocate for their rights and for peace. She spoke to UN Women about what sustainable peace means for her, as part of an editorial series that presents the daily sustainable development challenges that people around the world face and how they are bringing about change.
Anny Tengandide Modi is a 36-year-old single mother living in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In July 2017, she joined the African Women Leaders Network, launched by UN Women, the African Union Commission and the Permanent Mission of Germany.
Irlanda Pop is the Mayor of Lanquín, a municipality in the Alta Verapaz department of Guatemala. She is the only indigenous Mayor and one of ten women Mayors in the country.
Through women’s cooperatives, a joint UN program provides training in agricultural techniques, improved seeds and time-saving machinery, while also granting loans and encouraging saving.
Qerim Emini, a 25-year-old man from the Ashkali community in Lipljan, Kosovo had heard many stories of young girls getting married in his city. As it was considered the norm, he thought nothing more of it. Normally, after a few months of marriage, the gossip from the teenage brides would turn to hushed whispers and tales of recent beatings. “Growing up, with every year of school, I began noticing fewer and fewer girls in my classes.”