Period stigma and shame can be found everywhere but an extreme form of period shaming called Chhaupadi is stilkl practiced in parts of Nepal.
Warning: This blog includes a story of rape so may be distressing to some readers.
It's every parent's nightmare to discover that your child has been harmed and you were not there to protect them. The horror, helplessness and anger come in waves that threaten to flatten you and your world. This was the case for Patience, a mother living in a Kenyan slum, when she discovered her young daughter had been raped. Amid the grief and shock she also sought justice; not something that is easily available to people living in poverty.
Thankfully, she got help from the Wangu Kanja Foundation, an ActionAid partner. This dedicated group helped Patience to ensure her daughter’s case was taken seriously. Watch our video and read on to discover Patience's story.
Kuuntunna is a farmer who has many dreams for his seven-year-old daughter. None of them involves seeing her become a child bride. Yet he fears this chilling prospect because he lives in a part of Ghana where many girls are abducted and forced into child marriage. Poverty and patriarchy drive the problem. But men can also be part of the solution. Meet four men who are standing with local women and ActionAid to tackle child marriage in northern Ghana.
Every two seconds, somewhere in the world a girl is forced to marry. That's 28 child brides a minute. So by the time you finish reading this blog, 100 childhoods could have been cut short. Child marriage is a fundamental violation of a girl's rights. In its most violent form it begins with abduction. Here, women and girls kidnapped in northern Ghana, where ActionAid works, talk about how they survived.
Need a reason to feel cheerful about 2016? Well look no further than these stories about women who have done some incredible things this year. Sometimes small scale, often unnoticed, their achievements across communities in Africa and Asia have helped save lives and challenge stereotypes.
Whether it’s the mum in Kenya who went back to school at age 42 or the Bangladeshi campaigner who secured land for impoverished families, their efforts show that positive change can be brought about by anyone, anywhere.
How do you cope with losing a child? It’s a question that no parent should have to answer. When Mehreunnessa’s son was murdered in 2011, she felt her life was over. But the Bangladeshi mum found love and hope again in a place that few people would choose to look. She got a job at Happy Homes, an ActionAid-funded rescue home for street girls in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Every day Mehreunnessa, 52, helps girls to rebuild their lives. In exchange, they’ve given her a new reason to carry on with hers. Read on to find out how.