Campaign to End Fistula Wins Award

The Campaign to End Fistula was recognized as a model for championing collaboration between countries in the Global South, receiving an award of excellence from the United Nations Development Programme.

Ann Starrs: “Half a Million Reasons”

Ann Starrs, president of Family Care International, wrote an article, “Half a Million Reasons,” in the current issue of Public Service Review: International Development. In it, Starrs provides an update on progress toward MDG 5, on the challenges that still lie in the way of its fulfillment, and on recent causes for hope.

HIV in Marriage

Late last month, Population Action International (PAI) showed the world premiere of their documentary The Silent Partner: HIV in Marriage. The screening drew more than 170 community leaders, members of the media, and local and international advocates together in Nairobi, Kenya.

Advocating For Women’s Rights as Human Rights

New York – Today marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the conclusion of the campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. The campaign, which bookends November 25th (the International Day Against Violence Against Women) and December 10th (Human Rights Day) and encompasses Women Human Rights Defenders Day (November 29th), World AIDS Day (December 1st), and the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre (December 6th), provides opportunities to link women in global solidarity around human rights, and women’s rights in particular.

This year, hundreds of organizations used 16 Days to plan events and call for recognition of women's right to live free of violence. Organizing themes this year included: ending violence against women, directing resources to gender-based violence advocacy, focusing on violence and experiences of women human rights defenders, and strengthening the UN system to better address the human rights of women.

Examples of 2008 16 Days advocacy:

In India, groups used street plays and road shows to raise awareness about domestic violence in more than 500 towns and villages.

In Switzerland, unions, women's organizations, peace organizations, and churches planned a joint calendar of over 50 events, including an exhibit of portraits of 1,000 women from around the world.

In Uganda, a local network worked with over 30 African organizations to engage men in dialogue about masculinity and violence.

In Fiji, a local group ran a mobile women's radio campaign that gives rural women the chance to produce media content.

In Belize, activists held a Torch Run across the country to bring attention to the intersections between HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence.

As Charlotte Bunch, Executive Director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership, notes, "We are proud that the 16 Days Campaign has taken root in 156 countries, and well over 2000 civil society groups have highlighted women's creative and strategic anti-violence advocacy. Even governments and UN agencies have adopted this civil society campaign to promote their own anti-violence programming."

For more information about the 16 Days Campaign, visit the Center for Women's Global Leadership website.

For information about the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition, visit the Defending Women Defending Rights website.

And, for more information on maternal health as a human right, visit the International Initiative for Maternal Mortality and Human Rights website.

National Geographic on Maternal Health

The December issue of National Geographic has a great piece on maternal and child health in the central part of India's Maharashtra state. The author, Tina Rosenberg, focuses on the Jamkhed program that trains local midwives to administer health services and deliver babies safely.

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