From where I stand...

This new series captures the unique and powerful stories of people around the world, through compelling first-person accounts of their daily sustainable development challenges and how they are bringing about change.

Maria Judite da Silva Ballerio. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Maria Judite da Silva Ballerio

"I have a niece who has had the Zika virus. She’s indigenous. Women in Brazil are in a state of panic...” SDG 3: Good health and well-being

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Maruti Joshi

Maruti Joshi

“When I joined the Indian police force in 1997, I was the first and only female officer in a batch of 35 male officers...”SDG 5: Gender equality

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Sita Shrestha stands infront of community tab at Irkhu VDC-7 in Sindhupalchwok, Nepal. Photo: UN Women/N. Shrestha

Sita Shrestha

“For as long as I can remember, I have been walking miles every morning before school to fetch water for my family...” SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation

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Stella Cosmas Chetto. Photo: UN Women/Stephanie Raison

Stella Cosmas Chetto

“At first, my husband was not very supportive because he said ‘politics is a big challenge, you will spend a lot of money and, as a woman you will not gain enough support because politics is for men.’ But I continued and he saw that I was gaining support, he changed his mind...”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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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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Yanar Mohammed. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Yanar Mohammed

“The situation is very grim in Iraq. We run into many young women who have run away from their homes, who have been trapped by a trafficking group who have put them in brothels, who want to escape to have a better life, and they cannot go back home because they will be killed...” SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

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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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Patricia Pérez Gómez

Patricia Pérez Gómez

“From a young age, I have worked looking after children. Here, in Chiapas, migrant workers come from many states and countries....”SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth

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Tebogo Mashego

Tebogo Mashego

“Most mining companies, government and big businesses do not procure from local women-owned businesses...”SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

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Lucía del Socorro Basante

Lucía del Socorro Basante

“I was scared to become a candidate [in the Department of Nariño, Colombia], despite all my years of experience as a lawyer. Fear paralyses you. The fear that male councillors will raise their voices, the fear of not being capable, of being in men’s territory...”SDG 5: Gender equality

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Sonja Dimitrijoska. Photo: UN Women/Mirjana Nedeva

Sonja Dimitrijoska

“Although the job can be very stressful and intense, I love what I am doing. I started working as a humanitarian worker at the refugee transit centre in Tabanovce* [former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia] in October 2015. Trains arrived every two to three hours and we had around 10,000 people arriving and leaving per day...” SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

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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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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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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...” SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation

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Souhad Azennoud

Souhad Azennoud

“In our mountain village here in Kissane, in Morocco's Taounate Province, we can see the impact of climate change. People notice it and say, ‘Before, the wheat was higher and didn't need to be sprayed’...”SDG 15: Life on land

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Nahimana Fainesi

“This is my second time living in communal camps, second time running away from civil war to protect myself...” SDG 2: Zero hunger

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Zaad Al-khair. Photo: UN Women/Christopher Herwig

Zaad Al-khair

“The day I fled to Jordan there was heavy shelling in my neighbourhood. There were bombings close to our house. It was very dangerous. We had no choice but to run away...” SDG 1: No poverty

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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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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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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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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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