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The Philippines Passes Reproductive Health Bill in Second Reading

In a historic vote, Philippines political leaders passed a Reproductive Health Bill on a second reading after 14 years of debate in Congress. The bill aims to provide universal access to basic health services, including contraception and information on sexual and reproductive health.

The sponsor of the bill, Albay province Representative Edcel Lagman, said that the bill was about more than just reproductive health, but about “human rights, maternal and infant health and sustainable development.”  Read more...

Making the Most of your Holiday Giving

By: Bill and Melinda Gates; Originally posted on The Gates Notes

When we talk with people about the work our foundation does, one question frequently comes up.

“How can I help?”

That’s getting easier and more fun with the exciting transformation happening in online giving. This holiday season, we decided to list several of the charity initiatives that have sparked our interest. Each of these projects takes a different approach, but they have three things in common: they’re innovative, committed to transparency and accountability, and they’re getting good results.
Read more...

The Bali Global Youth Declaration: For Young People, By Young People

By: Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver and Amanda Keifer, Public Health Institute; Originally posted on RH Reality Check

With the world’s population now at seven billion and counting, issues of human rights, health, education, and employment require action more urgently than ever before—especially for youth under the age of 25, who comprise more than 40 percent of the world’s population. That’s why we joined more than 3,000 young people from more than 150 countries—in Bali and virtually—this week at the Global Youth Forum to chart a progressive vision for equitable, sustainable, and just global development. Read more...

How Can I Help?

By: Jill Sheffield with Maz Kessler; Originally posted on Huffington Post

When I was 27 years old, I met a young mother who became one of my greatest inspirations and left a lasting impression on my life.

I was an idealistic young volunteer at a family planning clinic in Nairobi, Kenya. One morning, a woman my own age walked in asking for contraceptives. She carried a newborn baby on her front, and another, older baby on her back. She told me that she had already been pregnant 11 times, but only had six living children.

I was immediately struck by the fact that although we were the same age, I had so many choices that she did not. Back then, Kenya, like so many other countries, required a woman to have her husband's signature in order to access contraceptives. Read more...

The Role of the Artist Is to Make [the Maternal Health] Revolution Irresistible

By: Lisa Russell, MPH, an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and co-founder of MDGFive.com; Originally posted on Huffington Post

I came across a photograph on my Facebook news feed a few months ago that depicted a mural in Rome scribed with the quote, "The role of the artist is to make revolution irresistible."

As a documentary filmmaker and social activist, my first reaction was to share it amongst my more so-called "radical" artist colleagues who are participating in revolutionary movements, such as those in the Middle East, or protesting police brutality in New York City, or engaging in some other form of political protest. However, I realized I should have forwarded it to my maternal health colleagues as well. Read more...

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