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Women’s Equality Day: Mobilizing the Women of the World

By: Saundra Pelletier, WomanCare Global; Originally posted on Huffington Post

What does investing in women and in their ability to advocate for themselves mean for the world? In Caribou, Maine, where I'm from, girls had two choices when they were growing up - who they would marry and how many children they would have. There were many "invisible women" who lacked access to resources, powerful female role models and, above all, choice. My mother encouraged me to advocate for myself and for those who felt invisible. As the CEO of WomanCare Global, a non-profit women's health company focused on delivering high-quality healthcare products, I believe that empowering women by ensuring their reproductive choice is critical for women who simply want to provide a better quality of life for their children and ultimately, themselves. On a global scale, an investment in female empowerment ensures healthier, wealthier and better educated communities. Read more...

 

Celebrate Solutions: Stopping Violence in its Tracks

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

Throughout the year, I receive emails from well-meaning friends and family with tips on how to avoid sexual assault and remove myself from life-threatening situations. I agree that safety is important, but I think that preventing gender-based violence in the first place is much more effective than trying to avoid it. In Massachusetts in the United States, domestic violence social workers have designed an assessment system that identifies abusers with homicidal tendencies and intervenes right away to prevent attacks before they happen. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Integration Improves HIV and Family Planning Efforts

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

In the largest evaluation of different methods of HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) integration to-date, results have shown clear success, particularly in Africa. The five-year project, called The Integra Initiative, is managed by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Population Council and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Empower Young People, Improve Our World

By: Janna Oberdorf, Women Deliver; Originally posted on Huffington Post

Today, on International Youth Day 2013, there are more than 3 billion people under the age of 30—that's half of the world's population. While this number may seem overwhelming, we know that young people play an indispensable role in efforts to achieve international development goals. Each of these young women and men represents a solution—so today, we're celebrating 3 billion solutions that are just waiting to be harnessed. Read more...

Keeping My Soul Right: Making Global Health Films on Women and Girls

By: Lisa Russell; Originally posted on Huffington Post

"Why do you always make bad films about Africa?"

As a Western documentary filmmaker who has traveled over 25 times to the African continent, I have been asked this question a lot, mostly by my African friends. And while I try to justify my work by elaborating on my "pure" intentions and my heartfelt efforts to retain the dignity of the people I film in my story, the reality is, making films about women and girls in Africa, as a non-African, usually means focusing my camera on the suffering, the struggles and the challenges facing African people. Read more...

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