Women Deliver Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Birth Control Pill

May 9th, 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the approval of the birth control pill in the US, coincidentally also Mother’s Day. Women Deliver will celebrate this golden anniversary by holding an all-day symposium on reproductive health technology, “50 Years after the Pill — The Revolution Continues,” during the Women Deliver conference, June 7-9 in Washington, DC. The symposium will be opened by psychosexual therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, Dr. Nafis Sadik. It will feature experts in the field of reproductive health discussing the social, economic, and health benefits of modern contraceptives, in addition to where availability has fallen short for women in much of the developing world.

President Bachelet of Chile and Dr. Fred Sai Announced as Honorary Co-Chairs

We are pleased to announce the two honorary co-chairs for the Women Deliver 2010 conference:

Frederick Torgbor Sai, Ghanaian physician
Dr. Fred Sai, a Ghanaian family health physician, trained in the Universities of London, Edinburgh and Harvard, is an internationally recognized gender and reproductive health advocate.

Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile
Michelle Bachelet is the former president of Chile, and the first woman to hold the position. A moderate Socialist, her presidential campaign was based on a platform of continuing Chile's free market policies, while increasing social benefits to help reduce the country's gap between rich and poor.

Serra Sippel Blogs on Maternal Mortality Decrease

Last week, Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity in Washington, D.C., posted a blog on the Huffington Post about the new maternal mortality figures released in the Lancet. As the title of her blog suggests, these figures are good news, but the "Maternal Mortality Decrease is not 'Mission Accomplished'." As she says in her post,

"While the decrease in the maternal mortality ratio reported yesterday by the Lancet  is a victory, it is anything but a "mission accomplished." We are not off the hook--the same report also documented that HIV is responsible for more than 60,000 maternal deaths each year. The US--whose maternal mortality rate ranks 41st in the world, tying with Serbia and Montenegro--still has a responsibility to prevent maternal death. No woman should die giving birth, in the US or abroad." Read more...

UN Secretary-General Launches Global Effort on Women’s Health

UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK, 14 April – With only five years left until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is announcing the development of a Joint Action Plan for accelerating progress on maternal and newborn health.

“No woman should die bringing life into the world,” said Secretary-General Ban. We must create a seamless continuum of care that helps to improve the health of women from pregnancy through childbirth and builds the foundation for a healthy society.”

Every year, hundreds of thousands of women and girls die in pregnancy or childbirth, and another 10-15 million suffer severe or long-lasting illnesses or disabilities caused by complications.  The Joint Action Plan will bring together key partners -- including Governments, foundations, the corporate sector, civil society, and United Nations agencies -- in a targeted effort to improve the health of women and children.

Women Deliver Response to Lancet Data

Lancet Report Indicates Dramatic Drop in Global Maternal Mortality Figures, but Increases in US and Canada

A new study in the Lancet reports that maternal deaths have fallen by more than 35 percent over the past 30 years, offering one of the first indicators that investment in maternal health programs is having measurable effects. The Women Deliver conference, June 7-9 in Washington DC, will gather global leaders in a historic effort to push policymakers to build on momentum and increase funding for proven maternal health programs by at least $12 billion per year through 2015.

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