Category: CIS, Central and East Asia

Spring Buds

After both her parents had died, Fangfang’s grandmother worked tirelessly collecting scrap metal to earn cash to send her granddaughter to school. Poverty almost forced Fangfang to quit after primary school, but support from the Spring Bud project aimed at

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Snapshots of Change, China

I Won’t Hide

Shuqing Xia and her husband inadvertently contracted HIV through blood donations in the early 1990s. Initially stigmatised and shunned by her local community, Xia is now a champion for the rights of HIV/AIDS sufferers in China, calling for respect, compassion

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Snapshots of Change, China

The Daughter-in-Law

After the lavish wedding ceremony and family rituals, young wives in rural Uzbekistan move into their husband’s family home. Here, the mother in law rules the roost, often treating them as domestic slaves, responsible for all the housework and work

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Snapshots of Change, Uzbekistan

First Steps to Survival

Before Vera Klimova arrived to shake it up, Yacevka was just one of the many dying villages in rural Kazakhstan abandoned by inhabitants who’d moved to the flourishing, new oil-rich cities. But now, there are plans for a hotel, jobs

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Snapshots of Change, Kazakhstan

A Plea for Love

In Russia, 14,000 disabled children are raised in state institutions. Fathers often reject them. The government provides little support. Schools refuse to educate them. But mother-of-five Olga refused to let an institutional upbringing become the fate of her youngest son,

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Snapshots of Change, Russia


Following the end of the war and the harsh Taliban regime, thousands of Afghani women and children refugees are returning home each month. Most head for the war-torn capital Kabul. But the city’s tripled in size, and there aren’t enough

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Real to Reel, Afghanistan

Women and Power

Ukraine is a country managed by men, but Lyudmila Bezpalko manages a home and the largest pharmaceutical factory in the Ukraine.

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From Rhetoric to Reality, Ukraine


Twenty seven year old Afghan MP Malalai Joya is already a legend in her lifetime. A former refugee in Pakistan, she became a health worker and political activist on her return to Afghanistan. In 2003 she made headlines when she

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Why Women Count, Afghanistan

Long Way to Go…

Shukla Rani and her neighbour Nobendu Mollik fell in love in their teens, and were secretly married in 2004. But Nobendu’s family refused to accept the marriage, and Nobendu, frightened of being disinherited, ran away and abandoned Shukla at her

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Why Women Count, Bangladesh

Lily counts!

Lily Thapa was a widow in her early thirties when she first came face-to-face with the brutality traditionally meted out to widows in Nepal. “The first people to treat me as an outcast were my own family,” she says. “There

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Why Women Count, Nepal

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