They were about war and birth, devastation and optimism, but the most-read stories on Women & Girls in 2016 were all, at their heart, about people facing extraordinary challenges. Some have found solutions; others are still searching.
Starting with an island on Lake Victoria, Uganda, where conservation and contraception have saved a community, and ending with a look inside one of India’s sterilization camps, the videos in our series on family planning made a mark on our readers, who read, shared and engaged with them more than almost any other stories on the site. Other top stories included an account of what it’s like to be pregnant in Germany’s largest refugee camp, an interview with Uganda’s HIV-positive beauty queen, and a look at ways to end child marriage in Rajasthan.
We also share here some of the Women & Girls stories we always come back to when we think of the year’s best: the Canadian mother who lost her son to ISIS, the Ugandan journalist who dedicated his life to helping teen girls avoid the struggles he saw his mother go through, two doctors delivering babies as war rages around them in South Sudan – all deeply personal stories that speak of bigger issues impacting the lives of women and girls around the developing world.
FIVE OF THE TOP STORIES OF 2016…
‘Choice and Change’ Video Series
- The Island That Survives Thanks to Smaller Families
- Breaking Barriers to Stand up for Family Planning
- Tuk Tuks and Two Tents Bring Health Services to Uganda’s Slums
- Women in Brazil Face Barriers to Birth Control, in Spite of Zika
- The Doctor Who Wants Kenyan Men to Learn to Love Vasectomies
- Religion, the Law and Teen Pregnancy in the Philippines
- Inside One of India’s Mass Sterilization Camps
Bushra escaped from Iraq, but she and her family remain stuck in a makeshift shelter at Berlin’s former Tempelhof airport. Now the mother of five is expecting again and fears she’ll have to raise her newborn in the shelter’s dire conditions.
Ugandan activist Sharifah Nalugo knows what it’s like to live a lie. But revealing her HIV status to her friends has helped her cope with the disease, and earned her the crown in a beauty pageant for young HIV-positive role models.
… AND FIVE STORIES YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
An estimated 4,500 Westerners have joined ISIS so far – leaving behind devastated parents who never saw the signs of radicalization. One Canadian mother tells her story, and calls for more support for families who have lost their children to terror groups.
Gripped by a conflict that has devastated its healthcare system, South Sudan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates on earth. Two doctors share their stories of struggling to save women and their babies in the world’s newest nation.
As conflict rages in Burundi, reports are mounting of women being raped as punishment for their political affiliations. Women & Girls Hub spoke with women who had fled to refugee camps in Tanzania, many left with nothing but the memory of their ordeal.
For countries taking in Syrian refugees, aid focuses on food, shelter and healthcare. But to ensure a better future for Syria, children’s education should also be a priority, says Theirworld president Sarah Brown.