Stories: Women Empowerment

  • Women carry the burden of Ugandan war trauma

    Beatrice Adyero* woke up one July morning in 2002 to news that completely shattered her life. Her husband, four sons, and a daughter-in-law were among 56 civilians abducted and killed by the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group. Her youngest granddaughter, only two-years-old, wasn’t spared either. Nearly 16 years after the slaughter of her family, Adyero still struggles to...

  • Women are taking charge in Senegal’s growing tech industry

    On a balmy evening in Dakar, seven young women were gathered in the basement of a local university, not far from the city’s Monument of African Renaissance statue. Lit by the white glow of a projector screen, they tapped eagerly at laptops as the speakers covered everything from how to market your business on Instagram, to designing a...

  • The women and girls in Senegal pushing through the tech industry’s gender barriers

    The first time Binta Coudy Dé left Senegal was in 2011, when the then 22-year-old computer engineer was invited to participate in a tech competition organised by Microsoft in New York. Amongst the groups from all around the world participating in the competition, Dé’s group from Senegal was the only all-female team. “We knew that...

  • Meet Ami, Mali’s biggest female rapper

    There aren’t many female rappers in Mali. The West African country is known for the bedouin ballads of Tinariwen, the enduring voice of Khaira Arby, and the new-rock beats of Songhoy Blues. But Mali is not so famous for its rap scene—and even less so for its female rappers. Ami is an exception. “There is...

  • Mauritanian women take economic independence into their own hands

    A half-dozen men lug a silver-coloured vat towards the two-room building. It's a tight squeeze through the doorframe, and a few men are forced to let go to get the machine inside. Finally, the heavy vessel is set down in the corner of a room painted a bright turquoise and filled with local women who quickly crowd around the...

  • These Colombian women built their own city to escape violence. But peace is still elusive.

    A decade ago, unknown arsonists burned down a community center in northern Colombia where children were schooled and recreational activities were held. The center was empty. The effort, it appeared, was to intimidate the women who had just moved into the neighborhood. Within a year, the center bounced back, rebuilt by resilient women who would not be driven away...

  • The Strong Women Of Mongolia Are Ready To Take On The Patriarchy

    Gerelee Odonchimed was 23 the first time she said the word vagina. It was 2011 and she had recently joined a new women's rights group in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. For their initial project, the group decided to stage The Vagina Monologues, a play where women speak about their vaginas. The topic isn't something Asian and Mongolian women...

  • IRP Group Trip to Senegal

    The International Reporting Project (IRP) hosted a group reporting trip focusing on gender, human rights and civil society issues in Senegal in November 2017. About Senegal Senegal, one of Africa’s most prosperous and democratic countries, has enjoyed an economic boom since the late 1990s, primarily reliant on agriculture. Political stability, religious tolerance and rich culture bind...

  • Mongolia’s Hunt For Female Street Artists

    Odno Bold extends her hand in greeting, than pulls it away quickly. For a moment she has forgotten that her hands are covered in pink chalk and red paint, a hazard of the trade. Bold, who is 24, is outlining her first street mural on the wall surrounding the United Nations compound in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Dressed in black leggings and boots,...

  • Colombia’s female FARC fighters wage a new war, for gender parity

    When Angie Rios, 27, left to join communist rebels as a teenager, she told her mother never to change her phone number. Nine years later, Rios is a seasoned guerrilla and sports a pierced eyebrow, a bandana, and gumboots, tempered by feminine flourishes – rhinestones dangle from her earlobes and throat; her fingernails are painted pink. When the peace deal was...