On International Women's Day, MAG is taking the opportunity to celebrate women's achievements by sharing the stories of the amazing women that work with us across the world.

An equal world is an enabled world. Whether clearing landmines and unexploded bombs or providing life-saving lessons to their communities, women working with MAG are saving lives and building safer futures across the globe.

Today, we celebrate their dedication and renew our commitment to fighting gender bias, challenging stereotypes and improving situations for the world's women.

Vian in Iraq

Vian has always worked with animals. Before she started working with X-Lang, a specially-trained mine detection dog, she was a shepherd.

Vian is also a Yazidi. Her community suffered some of the most brutal persecution when ISIS advanced across Iraq.

Although ISIS have been forced from Sinjar, their occupation has left behind a deadly and explosive legacy.

Vian joined MAG in 2017 and now, aged just 22, she is among a fearless group of women tasked with clearing the mines and unexploded devices littering Sinjar.

She is also the sole source of income for her family after her brother was killed fighting against ISIS in Mosul.

"We became very poor but now I have an opportunity to support my family and at the same time do an amazing job that saves lives in the community," she said.

"I am very happy to do this work, it is a humanitarian job. We will clear the land so that people can come home. To me, this is a holy job."

In 2019, MAG teams in Iraq destroyed more than 4,000 mines and made safe more than 10,000,000 square metres of land.

Kem in Cambodia

Kem is a formidable leader. She manages a team of people working to clear landmines in Cambodia.

Cambodia is one of most heavily contaminated countries in the world, with landmines, cluster munitions and other unexploded weapons affecting every one of Cambodia's 25 provinces. Over 64,000 people have been killed or injured by explosive items here since 1979.

"When we clear a minefield, I am the person in charge of ensuring it is done properly and safely," she explains.

Cambodia is committed to being completely free of landmines by 2025. It's an ambitious target, but the work of mine action teams, like the one led by Kem, is helping make positive strides towards the goal.

Le Thi in Vietnam

Le Thi Bich Ngoc leads an all-woman demining team in Vietnam. The country is littered with unexploded bombs from the Vietnam War, a conflict that ended almost half a century ago.

Le Thi's team is clearing a deadly legacy that has claimed the lives of thousands of people, including her uncle.

“He died in an explosion. I was haunted by memories of him,” she says. 

But that has not deterred Le Thi and her all-female team from pressing on with the work, which is typically undertaken by men in her province, where women are often garment workers or farmers.

“This job is not about money, it is about making a better place and ensuring a safer land.”

“This job is not about money, it is about making a better place and ensuring a safer land.”

Last year, MAG found and destroyed more than 100,000 landmines and unexploded bombs, cleared and safely returned 76 million square metres of land and directly helped more than one million people across the world. This wouldn't have been possible without the vital efforts of the women who work with us.

MAG's commitment to fighting gender bias and promoting the empowerment and full participation of women doesn't start or end with International Women's Day; it is our ongoing responsibility.

Collectively, we can all work to create a gender-equal world.