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Dual passions of flying and sport harmonize in Patricia Campos Doménech’s life. She is the first female pilot in the Spanish Armed Forces, and one of the first female professional European soccer coaches for an American team. She has won several awards for her piloting career, has been honoured as an official speaker for the U.S. organization Women in Aviation, and has also been given awards from the Spanish government on multiple occasions for both her piloting and coaching careers. Trailblazing in the Spanish Navy and in sport, she is a powerful voice for change.
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Zeliha Ünaldi, a long-standing gender advocate who attended the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, speaks on the impact of the meeting on her life. She now works as a Gender Officer in the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Turkey.
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Aasha Mehreen Amin was one of the first female editors of the most read English language magazine in Bangladesh, The Star, and is now the deputy editor of the Editorial and Op-ed section of the most widely circulated English newspaper in the country, The Daily Star. In her column “No Strings Attached”, in the paper, she provides insightful commentary on the news of the day. An emblem of courageous journalism, she is well-known in a media landscape where political commentary is a risky business, and the workforce, especially in the news media, dominated by men.
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The first female Minister of Defense in Spain, she began her career as a law lecturer. At the age of 27, she was elected the vice-mayor of Esplugues de Llobregat in Barcelona, and then worked assiduously towards women’s equal rights in the rule of law for several years as a parliamentarian. A working mother of one, Carme Chacón became the Vice-President of Congress, the Minister of Housing, and finally, was appointed as the first female Minister of Defense of Spain.
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Experiencing a harrowing train accident that robbed her of an arm and a leg at 19, Şafak Pavey, chose to overcome her challenges by immersing herself in the dual causes of gender equality and the environment. As the first Turkish woman parliamentarian with disabilities, she is a role model for many. She has also worked for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in conflict zones, produced three books, and now contributes to law-making for her country. Her mission is promoting equal rights for people of all races, creeds and religions. Winner of the International Woman of Courage Award from the U.S. Department of State, she is a force to be reckoned with.
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UN Agencies and over 150 organizations came together on the International Day of the Girl Child to applaud successes in ending violence against women and girls, such as being the first country to sign the The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention), but also to devise active steps that still must be taken to prevent violence against girls on a national scale.
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Professor Muhammad Yunus established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh with the objective of helping poor people escape from poverty by providing loans without collateral to support income-generating activities. From Prof. Yunus's personal loan of small amounts of money in the mid-70s to destitute basket-weavers in Bangladesh, the Grameen Bank has advanced to the forefront of a burgeoning world movement toward eradicating poverty through microlending. Today it has 8.4 million borrowers of whom 97 per cent are women, and has lent over USD 8.4 billion with a near 100 per cent repayment rate. Prof. Yunus is the recipient of 112 awards, including, the World Food Prize, the Sydney Peace Prize, and the Seoul Peace Prize. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2009.
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Nuria Felipe Soria is a communications specialist for UN Women. She was a member of the Spanish delegation at the Beijing Conference, carrying out functions involving communications and liaison with civil society organizations.