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As part of a new editorial series, UN Women is capturing the unique and powerful stories of people around the world, to showcase their daily lives and challenges and how they are bringing about change.
“I always said I needed the day off because I was the one who is sick, not my son or daughter.
For that was not acceptable...”
Cristina Francisco Reyes
“One of the main obstacles I’ve faced, is that women with disabilities are stigmatized and labelled as ‘ill’, as being incapable of developing leadership, incapable of having an impact and influence on social changes, equity, our equality and our political participation...”
Desirée Akpa Akpro Loyou
“I was abused twice. The first time was when I was in primary school and was 8 or 9 years old...”
“Many people in our region have lived without clean drinking water for many years and had very little hope that things would ever change. We drank water from the same pond as the livestock so there have been frequent cases of infectious diseases...”
“I used to struggle to work in the fields but now I proceed to my office, the community solar workshop...”
“I was 6 years old when I was cut.
For me, the most traumatic experience was seeing what my older sister went through. She wasn't as lucky as me...”
"Farmers didn’t think that I would be able to handle this business, because I am a woman and this is not a woman’s job...”
"I am the only woman bus driver in the city, among 202 men drivers...”
“I have been selling at Suva Market for 60 years. I like it because it keeps me active; I’d rather be here than stuck at home and it’s better that I earn my own money than rely on my children...”
“Where I come from, police officers are some of the most highly respected people, and becoming one brought pride to my family. However, being a female police officer in Kenya can pose challenges...”
"When I was 21, my husband 'stole'* me from my father. I was a student at the time. My father agreed, with one condition—if my husband would allow me to finish law school. But we ended up having two kids and I couldn’t complete my studies...”