From where I stand

Sixtieth session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 14–24 March 2016

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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.

Sahar el-Salab, arguably the most successful woman in the Egyptian banking sector, is currently CEO of a family business and a member of the Arab Network for the Economic Empowerment of Women (Khadija)—a regional network of representatives of social, public and private sectors, supported by UN Women and the European Union. Photo: UN Women/Amna Magdy

Sahar el-Salab

“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...” SDG 10: Reduced inequalities

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Cristina Francisco Reyes.

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...” SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities

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Desiree Akpa Akpro Loyou, 37, is a social worker and Deputy Commissioner General responsible for training, for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) in Cote d'Ivoire. Photo: World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

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...” SDG 4: Quality education

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Surayo Mirzoyeva, 41, took part in a self-help group supported by the UN Women project “Empowering abandoned wives of migrant workers in Tajikistan,” which has provided more than 3,000 villagers in Fathobod, Tajikistan, with clean drinking water. Photo: UN Women/Humairo Bakhtiyar

Surayo Mirzoyeva

“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...” SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation

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Eisha Mohammed, 41, is a solar engineer working and living in Mjimwema, a remote village in southern Tanzania. Photo: UN Women/Stephanie Raison

Eisha Mohammed

“I used to struggle to work in the fields but now I proceed to my office, the community solar workshop...” SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy

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Assétou Touré is a 49-year-old woman from Mali and a survivor of FGM. UN Women Mali/Coumba Bah

Assétou Touré

“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...”SDG 5: Gender equality

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Atefe Mansoori, 52, from Afghanistan, is Director of Abdullah Muslim Company, which processes and exports saffron.

Atefe Mansoori

"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...” SDG 2: Zero hunger

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Pelin Aslantaş, 43, is the only female bus driver in the city of Edirne, in north-western Turkey, where UN Women provided gender-responsive budgeting training to the municipality so that when budgets are planned, they respond to the needs of all, men and women. Photo: UN Women/Gizem Yarbil

Pelin Aslantaş

"I am the only woman bus driver in the city, among 202 men drivers...” SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth

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Anisa Marama, a market vendor in Fiji. Photo: UN Women/Eva Schroeder

Anisa Marama

“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...” SDG 1: No poverty

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Lucy Nduati is a 34-year-old single mother and a police officer from Nairobi. Photo courtesy of Lucy Nduati

Lucy Nduati

“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...” SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

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Laura Bosnea, 28, Roma woman elected as local councilor. Photo credit: UN Programme “Women in Politics”

Laura Bosnea

"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...” SDG 10: Reduced inequalities

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