Women in Action

Women in Action

Editorial: Building a better world for women

Women and girls represent half of the world’s population—but in spite of the progress that has been made in bettering their lives, the road ahead remains long.

Senegal / In Senegal, girls are breaking the rules to get in the game.

For the time being, Ndir Seck remains optimistic that both Ladies’ Turn and it's girls will go from strength to strength.

Nigeria / The WISE Women of Nigeria Sparking Change

In rural Nigeria, cooking can kill you. According to the World Health Organisation, preparing three meals a day on a traditional wood-burning stove is the equivalent of smoking 20 packs of cigarettes. Little wonder then that each year, some 98,000 women die from the resulting respiratory and cardiac problems.

International / Women's Voices Must be the Loudest on Matters of Climate, Governance and Societal Violence.

The world faces many major challenges, from climate change to armed conflict, massive displacement of people, the rise of the far-right and violence within our societies. These require urgent attention and action but none of these pressing issues can be adequately addressed without first facing up to the issue of gender inequality. No society can develop—economically, politically or socially—when half of its population is marginalised.

France / Women, Gender Equality and Climate Change: driving forward!

As the primary users of new agricultural techniques, as green energy entrepreneurs, or simply as those who decide on modes of consumption and behaviour within the family, women are key actors in bringing about change and developing solutions that secure our transition to a sustainable future.

Switzerland / Barbara Wildhaber, the Swiss Surgeon Saving the Tiniest of Lives

“Sometimes, when I’m operating, I say to myself, ‘but why do I do this?’”, Barbara Wildhaber laughs, as she often does during our meeting. The truth is that the paediatric surgeon doesn’t regret her choice. Each operation she carries out is highly pressurised, but there are benefits. “As soon as I’ve finished an operation, I know that it’s what I want to be doing. The combination of technique, the meticulous nature of operations—where everything is on a bonsaï scale—and then the relationships with parents and the children… It fascinates me.”

Senegal / Female Genital Mutilation

The practice of excision is on the decline in Senegal, thanks to the mobilisation of victims and NGOs In Senegal, the law that penalises excision doesn’t hold the weight it could hold, as local customs continue to exert a strong influence.

Nigeria / How A Nigerian State Turns the Page for Trafficked Women

Edo, one of Nigeria’s 36 states, has practically become synonymous with sex trafficking. Last August, Edo state governor Godwin Obaseki said he had had enough. He announced that the appointment of a high-level task force to find solutions to this scourge.



Breakthrough India smashes gender-based violence

When asked what her dreams are, 14-year-old Sunaina, who lives in a village in northern India, slipped into deep thought. After a few minutes, she said, “To get new clothes for Diwali,” referring to one of India’s biggest annual celebrations. “But what about a long-term dream,” she was prompted, “a wish you wake up to every day and want to achieve?” Another long silence, then Sunaina’s friends called her away. The question was never answered.

In Paris suburb Saint-Denis, a women’s refuge is coming to the rescue of those who were forgotten

In this former industrial suburb where residents’ access to healthcare is mostly limited to hospital visits, a new space that is unique in France has opened: one that houses not only gynecologists and psychologists, but also social workers and lawyers.

Beating Breast Cancer in Bangladesh

Clutching her baby, breast cancer survivor Basanti Majumder speaks of a pain in her left breast and fears her cancer may have returned. She stares briefly at the floor and giggles nervously. “I’m not going to the doctor now for financial reasons,” she says.

Sexy Lingerie for Breast Cancer Survivors

The model in the poster is gorgeous, and so is her lingerie. Nothing would give away the fact that the bra was made to measure for a woman who had been operated on to treat breast cancer.

No exceptions for health and rights: Women’s movements hold the key to get the world we want

In today’s world, women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights are being attacked and rolled back by those in positions of power. Take the Mexico City Policy, or Global Gag Rule, for instance, which has been expanded by the U.S. administration. It cuts off billions of dollars in funding for critical health services around the world like access to contraception or STD screenings.

Against the odds, Bangladesh puts mothers at the forefront of medical practice

Ruby Akthar can still remember the agony of her first labour. Nestled away in one of Bangladesh’s many urban slums—aged just 20—a frightened Akthar attempted to deliver her first baby at home without ...

Women in innovation: There is still room for progress…

At the end of August 2017, an article in the French economics and business magazine Capital hit like a bombshell. This special edition, dedicated to French start-ups, didn’t go unnoticed. Not a single female was among the line-up of highly promising entrepreneurs; those with the potential to make it among the heavyweights at international level. Social media had a field day with the story, creating a buzz that was spurred on by feminist associations, amongst a chorus of angry jeers.



Nebeday enables Senegalese women from rural areas to obtain new forms of income

Nebeday enables Senegalese women from rural areas to obtain new forms of income