UN Gender Focus: Pakistani activist, Ugandan entrepreneur and midwives in South Sudan

Saba Ismael. Photo: UN Women

Being a woman, human rights defender in Pakistan is "risky"

Being a woman and a human rights defender in Pakistan is "risky" a young activist who founded a non-profit called "Aware Girls" with her sister when she was just fifteen. Saba Ismail grew up in the conservative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan before "violent religious extremism" became an international buzzword. She grew up in an environment where martyrs were celebrated as heroes and people believed in using violence to defend their religion. Ms Ismail spoke to Jocelyne Sambira on the margins of a UN Women event discussion on Youth, Peace and Security. She shared the impact extremism had on the lives of young girls as well as hers.

Schoolchildren in Lira, Uganda. Photo: UNICEF/Proscovia Nakibuuka

Ugandan entrepreneur stresses importance of education for impoverished children

A Ugandan woman has been speaking at the UN about how education has turned her life around, from being condemned by some as a "useless person" to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Beatrice Ayuru is the founder of Lira Integrated School, whose mission is to educate impoverished children in northern Uganda. Ms Ayuru, who at age 17 was selling cassava for a living, believes that education is the answer to eradicate poverty. Andita Listyarini has been speaking to  Ms Ayuru .

Rise in midwives an "exciting story" from South Sudan

Maternity ward at Juba Teaching Hospital. (Screen grab from UNifeed Video)

Four years ago, there were only 10 qualified midwives in South Sudan, which has a population of more than 12 million. Today, more than 300 of these skilled workers are deployed across the country, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). The agency's Dr Wilfred Ochang described the rise in midwives as one of the "exciting stories" coming out of the world's youngest nation. South Sudan attained independence in July 2011, but has seen more than two years of brutal conflict. He told Sebit William that UNFPA dreams of a South Sudan at peace, where every baby is born in safe conditions.

Presenter: Jocelyne Sambira
Production Assistant: Sandra Guy
Duration: 10’00″

Filed under UN Gender Focus.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
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