Thirty-two year old Comfort Adongo is back in school in Bolgatanga, northern Ghana. Comfort was just 14 when a stranger kidnapped and sexually abused her. Abduction and forced marriage of young girls is a growing phenomenon in this part of Ghana. Now back home with her parents, she is determined to finish her schooling and rebuild her life.
Nike Okundaye is an internationally renowned artist specializing in Adire, the traditional Yoruba indigo art from western Nigeria. She has used her craft to overcome a difficult past, and now trains disenfranchised young Nigerian women, including former sex workers in Italy.
Seventy-four year-old Ma Grace Masuku is a community health worker with a mission. She works with young women in South Africa's rural areas, passing on the traditional knowledge she learned from her grandmother to encourage entrepreneurship and self-respect.
Grace Lwemamu is manager of the family business Mulya Maize in Uganda. Mary Kaddu runs her own supermarket business. But both felt their lack of management expertise was holding them back. Now they have taken part in a new national mentoring scheme, pairing experienced businesswomen with would-be entrepreneurs in Uganda, equipping them with new confidence and negotiating skills.
Nineteen-year-old Ardiana Shehu has worked on her family's farm in the village of Krusha e Vogel, in southwest Kosovo, since she was 12. She, her mother, and her sisters do all the farm jobs that were traditionally men's work. Why? Almost 70 percent of Krusha's male population is still missing after the 1999 Serbian military offensive in Kosovo.
Vija Ancane runs her own bakery, shop, and bread museum in the rural village of Aglona, south of Latvia's capital Riga. It's one of 300 small and medium sized businesses to benefit from a new loan scheme started by Latvia's Land and Mortgage Bank to encourage more women to go into business.
In the rural, cane-growing region of Fiji, a new enterprise is revolutionizing the lives of the local community by providing an income for women who previously relied on their husbands, helping them scale up production and save money, and financing the country's only senior citizens center.
Geng Liufen met her husband in the large city of Kunming. But after witnessing how isolated women in his home village of Zuji were, Liufen decided it was up to her to change the status quo and help Zuji's women get the education, training and health information they needed to transform their lives.