Every citizen especially the vulnerable groups are supposed to feel secure whenever they see a member of the security forces, but the situation here in Zimbabwe sees the reverse occurring.

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The United Nations official leading the fight against sexual violence in times of conflict today voiced concern over reports that women and girls fleeing famine in Somalia were being raped or abducted and forced into marriage by bandits and other armed groups as they tried to reach refugee camps in Kenya.

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At a public meeting in the village of Benena, in Mali’s Segou Region, a gathering of women collectively shot their hands up in the air when asked why girls’ education in their community had been neglected in the past. Florence Koné, wearing a dress made of colorful fabric to commemorate International Women’s Day, stood up with a rush of enthusiasm. “You want to know why previously we didn’t educate our girls?” she exclaimed. “I’ll tell you. We were afraid they might get in trouble - maybe they would get pregnant, maybe they would leave school.”

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Over 4 million girls, aged 6 - 11 do not attend school in Nigeria in spite of the fact that the country has made steady progress in primary school enrolment, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina has said.

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Members of security organs from various countries applauded Rwanda for taking adopting numerous initiatives to fight Gender Based Violence (GBV).

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Public voting is under way in a United Nations contest aimed at finding the best advertising campaign to promote awareness in Europe about the battle to defeat gender-based violence, which affects more than two out of every three women worldwide.

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The First Ladies observed that if the youth shun pre-marital sex and married partners are faithful to each other, Africa will get a generation of children free of AIDS.

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In 2003 when the Narc government came to power, they promised to introduce the issuance of free sanitary towels in schools. On May 24, 2011 the Prime Minister Raila Odinga revived the promise when he said the Ministry of Education should liaise with that of Public Health to provide the sanitary towels in all public schools from the next financial year.

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At her grandmother's home in the western Kenyan village of Nyamataro, 14-year-old Ruth* lies on a mat surrounded by visitors, all congratulating her on becoming a woman; the previous week, Ruth was one of 10 girls to undergo female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).

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Globally, some 39 million girls of lower secondary age are currently not enrolled in either primary or secondary education, while two thirds of the world’s 796 million illiterate adults are women. Only about one third of countries have achieved gender parity at secondary level.

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