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Community Voices

AFGHANISTAN: The Cost of My Freedom

When Zahra Saifey went off to university, she knew she would gain knowledge. She didn’t know she would shed the security blanket of her restrictive background to claim her autonomy and radically alter her worldview. Read More »

"Before going to university, I was blind. I could not see the world as it is."

Community Voices

AFGHANISTAN: A Letter to My Harasser

Harassed in the streets of Afghanistan, Noorjahan Akbar fights back. Read More »

"Not you, not the Taliban, not this government, not my brother or mother, nor can anybody else convince me that I am less than a man."

Community Voices

KENYA: A Cruel Cut in the Name of Tradition

Like many young girls in Africa, Gladys Kiranto was circumcised as a child. Today, she leads an organization that is fighting against the practice. Read More »

"I was lucky enough to survive. Many girls bleed to death after being cut."

Community Voices

IRELAND: Meditation for Healing from Sexual Abuse

As a child growing up in Northern Ireland, Aoife faced both the pain of living in a conflict zone and the pain of being sexually abused at the hands of her father. She has found solace and healing in the art of meditation. Read More »

"The joy I feel now is the same size as the terror I felt as a child. It is vast and deep."

Community Voices

CAMEROON: Stop Torturing Our Daughters

In Cameroon, women iron the breasts of their daughters in an attempt to delay sexual development. One organization has begun turning the tide against this violent practice. Nakinti reports. Read More »

"I have watched as women wept at their ignorance, never having imagined that the practice was in fact putting them at great risk."

Community Voices

INDIA: War Against Rape

Following the now infamous New Delhi gang rape, Stella Paul is simultaneously horrified and encouraged by her community's reaction. Read More »

"A hundred reasons for rape and sexual violence have been pointed out, but we have yet to hear someone come out and say the words that could set the ball of change rolling."

Community Voices

AFGHANISTAN: Breaking the Cycle

Once an abuser himself, Ali Shahidy is now an ally for women and an outspoken advocate against gender-based violence in his homeland. Read More »

"Men are blind and need to be healed. Women’s mouths are sealed and those seals must be broken."

Community Voices

NIGERIA: Access to the Internet Is Access to Life

Through her own empowerment story, counselor and social entrepreneur Obisakin Christianah Busayo illustrates the impact of women's Internet access in her country. Read More »

"My dream is to provide a safe place for women to access the Internet without fear of attack or being molested."

Community Voices

NIGERIA: What Women Are Worth

In her letter to UN Women executive director Michelle Bachelet, Nigerian women’s rights advocate Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale decries practices that rob girls and women around the world of equal opportunities. Read More »

"My womb can only carry daughters and I would never trade them for any boys."

Community Voices

ZIMBABWE: Middle Class Women Have Needs Too

Zimbabwean writer Fungai Machirori makes the case that gender development isn't just for the poor. She challenges new UN Women executive director Michelle Bachelet to support leadership opportunities for women at all income levels. Read More »

"By nurturing positive examples of women in the developing world, we debunk negative stereotypes and give women and girls hope that they too may rise up one day to assume positions of authority."

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