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Wedu Makes Strides in Women’s Leadership Development and Encourages Mentors to Join in Social Change

By: Vivian Lee, Wedu

Wedu was a winner of the Women Deliver Social Enterprise Challenge held at the Women Deliver conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in May 2013.

One year after the Women Deliver 2013 conference, Wedu has grown from 15 to 50 Rising Stars thanks to the momentum of a growing network of inspiring young leaders, mentors and community partners.  Originally from Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal, talented and passionate young women are now coming to Wedu from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, North Korea and Sri Lanka for mentoring and financial support for higher education. 

Wedu has been able to expand its reach to new countries through the support of local Talent Spotters who help identify high-potential young women in these rural communities.
Through Women Deliver’s Social Enterprise Challenge last year, Wedu has been able to establish a productive relationship with TrustLaw, who provides us with critical legal support, as well as initiate a groundbreaking relationship with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), where we are going to commit to take Wedu to the next level in scale, breadth and quality of services. Read more...

Rights-Based Family Planning: Importance of Increased Access

By: Chastain Fitzgerald; Originally posted by Population Council

Chastain Fitzgerald is the Chief Program and Development Officer of WomanCare Global

This post is part of a monthly blog series profiling viewpoints from leaders in reproductive health who are members of the Bellagio Group on Long-Acting Reversible Contraception. The Bellagio Group is a coalition of experts that convenes annually to discuss practices for expanding contraceptive choice and accelerating progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of universal access to reproductive health services. This post represents the views of the author and is not a representation of the Population Council or the Bellagio Group. Please direct any questions to the author at cfitzgerald@womancareglobal.org.

Two weeks ago, I observed a focus group in Lusaka, Zambia, where a moderator from a South African marketing agency spoke with eight young women about their views on contraception. Joined by a local researcher, a program manager, and marketers, I watched the session next door through a live television feed. Our goal was to get a head start on the development of marketing strategies for new contraceptive products—a project funded by USAID. In that small room in the Lusaka office building, we huddled around the television listening to these women’s opinions about different contraceptive options, hoping to understand how they make decisions about which methods to use and how the public health community can better meet their needs. Read more...

 

Maasai Lead Way to Ending Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya

By: Sidi Sarro, Key Correspondents

On 22 July, the UK is hosting the first-ever Girl Summit, which aims to end female genital mutilation and child, early and forced marriage. Sidi Sarro reports on how Kenya’s Maasai community are embracing alternative rites of passage for their girls.

Dressed in colourful kangas (traditional wrappers) and adorned in brightly-coloured beads and a headdress, 13 year old Naserian steps out to receive her certificate. She is one of many Maasai girls who are undergoing a symbolic ceremony which ushers them into womanhood. The air is filled with festivities and there is a distinct aroma of roasting meat. Read more...

Evaluating Women Deliver: A Look Back and a Plan for the Future

By: Jill Sheffield and Katja Iversen, Women Deliver

With the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) deadline rapidly approaching, the global community is taking stock of the tremendous progress we’ve made toward improving girls’ and women’s lives around the world and the challenges that remain. At Women Deliver, we too are taking advantage of this opportunity to reflect on what we’ve achieved and how we can do better to make a real and lasting impact for girls and women everywhere. 

Earlier this year, Women Deliver underwent an external, independent impact evaluation to 1) determine Women Deliver’s contributions to increasing visibility and awareness around girls’ and women’s health, and 2) inform a new strategic plan that will guide Women Deliver’s future programs. Our evaluators conducted a materials review, a media analysis, a survey of over 500 Women Deliver supporters, and interviews with almost 100 staff, board members and influential stakeholders in our field.

We are thankful to everyone who participated in this incredibly valuable project. We could not be more thrilled with the outcomes, and we are happy to share some of the findings. Read more...

All Babies Are Equal – Helping HIV-Positive Mothers Deliver Healthy Babies

By: Svetha Janumpalli, Founder & CEO at New Incentives

New Incentives was a winner of the Women Deliver Social Enterprise Challenge held at the Women Deliver conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in May 2013.

A year ago, I was invited to represent New Incentives in Malaysia for the Women Deliver Conference. At the time, I had been running New Incentives for two years, giving cash transfers for everything from increasing attendance for young females in rural India to reducing HIV transmission in West African villages. The concept was simple: poor people lack money and decisions like not sending their daughters to school is born more out of economics than a lack of understanding of the value. In the last year since winning the Women Deliver Conference, we have grown from a young startup that was still looking for a focus, to helping mothers with HIV give birth to healthy babies. Read more...

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