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.”
Rukmini Rao, from India, is the founder of the Gramya Resource Centre for Women that tackles the issues of land rights for women, their right to education, and the prevention of violence against women and girls.
Matcha Phorn-in is the Executive Director of Sangsan Anakot Yaowachon, a civil society organization working with young people from marginalized communities, many of whom are indigenous, in disaster-prone Thai villages at the border with Myanmar.
Svitlana Moroz is a Ukrainian women’s rights activist living with HIV. She is one of the founders of the Union of Women of Ukraine affected by HIV “Positive Women” and since 2013 she has coordinated activities for the Eurasian Women’s Network on AIDS.
On a day celebrating the Philippine’s freedom from colonial rule, 65 high school students painted pictures on roads by Quezon City Hall to call for another kind of freedom—for women and girls to go about public spaces without fear of sexual harassment.
Jamila Babuba from Adamawa, Nigeria, is a strong advocate for Nigeria’s pending bill that aims to provide equal rights to men and women. She has championed women’s participation in her community and hopes to serve as an elected official in the future.
"If we want to have societies where there is truly sustainable development, we must ensure that half of its population, women and girls, have the same opportunities in all sectors, including sport,” said Belén Sanz Luque, Representative of UN Women in Mexico. “Sport can be a powerful tool to empower girls and women and to eliminate gender stereotypes and to fulfill the 2030 Agenda whose main goal is to achieve sustainable development without leaving anyone behind.”