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The Outreach with Maureen Odour, Tanzania

Orginally posted by Maafanta.com

An interview with Maureen Odour, a Women Deliver Young Leader and Founder of Plan at Hand Girl Empowerment Project

Oumie: Greetings Lady Maureen! It’s indeed an honor and pleasure to have the opportunity to talk with a fantastic, extremely brilliant and committed young woman as you. I must admit that I am delighted having you as our guest, especially for this month that we are celebrating International Youth day. It’s an honor to showcase your work in the Outreach. Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Maureen: Oumie, I am really honored to be part of the Outreach. I am Maureen Oduor, a development specialist by profession and women and girls reproductive health rights activist. I am Kenyan but work in Tanzania with African Peace Ambassadors Tanzania. I am the regional coordinator of the organization. Also, I am one of Women Deliver’s 100 young leaders working on women and girl’s empowerment.

Oumie: Thank you. Let’s begin with a little bit of history here. We all have our different paths that have motivated us or influenced our involvement in the global women’s movement. Please tell us a little about how your journey began. Read more...

Making Progress Toward a Bangladesh Free From Dowry and Early Marriage

These seed grants were funded by Johnson & Johnson and WomanCare Global via the Women Deliver C Exchange Youth Initiative.

By: SM Shaikat, SERAC-Bangladesh

It’s still a nightmare for many girls and women from poor families in Bangladesh to get married without a dowry. Many women whose families fail to comply with dowry demands experience mental and physical abuse – and even death – at the hands of their husbands or in-laws. It is my dream to stop these atrocities and transform Bangladesh into a dowry- and early marriage-free nation.

During my legal studies, I learned that dowries and child marriage are root causes of violence against women – and I immediately realized that I had to do something to put an end to these harmful practices. Armed with little more than determination, I launched awareness campaigns aimed at young people in Bangladesh. Before I knew it, a good number of young people joined the effort. Together we pressured law enforcement agencies, worked with media and advocated with stakeholders to generate attention around our cause. Read more...

Fueling the Movement to Invest in Girls and Women

By: Rahim Kanani; Originally posted by Thomson Reuters

There are only 500 days left to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. How do we accelerate progress for girls and women, and where do we go after 2015? In an in-depth interview with Women Deliver’s new CEO, Katja Iversen, we discussed the founding, evolution and impact of the organization to date, her vision for the future, and much more.

Rahim Kanani: Before I get to your new role as CEO, let's talk about how Women Deliver has evolved over the years. How did it start, and what have been some of the milestone initiatives or efforts to date?

Katja Iversen: It all started with a really powerful message: Invest in Women – It pays. At the time, there was a recognition that there was a profound need to start talking about maternal and reproductive health differently, and to start doing things differently in order to not only preach to the choir, but to reach those people who could make change happen faster. When you think about who can do that – we all realized that we couldn’t just talk about health and rights, but that we had to start thinking about and communicate with the people who held the purse strings. We had to talk to the hearts and minds of the people who held the money! Read more...

500 days and counting: Progress for girls and women means progress for all

By: Jill Sheffield and Katja Iversen; Originally posted by Devex

August 18 marks 500 days remaining before the Millennium Development Goals expire at the end of 2015. Some countries are on track to meet those goals and some are not, and central to the difference is their relative levels of investment in women and girls.

The MDGs emerged from an historic summit of world leaders to mark the new millennium nearly 15 years ago. Since then, countries that worked to boost girls’ education, women’s rights and comprehensive maternal, sexual and reproductive health care saw benefits not just for gender equality and longer lives for women and children but in other areas as well — against poverty and hunger, against diseases including HIV and AIDS, and toward a more sustainable environment. Investment in girls and women turned out to be the most cost-effective way to advance on all the goals.

Women Deliver was organized to point out this connection. At three global conferences of activists and decision-makers from around the world — in London in 2007, in Washington, D.C. in 2010 and in Kuala Lumpur in 2013 — it provided statistics and case studies that proved the truth of its slogan, “Invest in women — it pays!” Every year brought more proof and better examples of investments in girls and women in which everybody won. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: A Nurse Midwife’s Experience with Leadership and Management

By: Sarah Dwyer, Communications Manager, CapacityPlus/IntraHealth International; Originally posted by the

This post is part of the “Supporting the Human in Human Resources” blog series co-hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force and Jacaranda Health

“Things were really a bit appalling.”

That’s what conditions at her rural health center felt like to Habiba Shaban Agong, a senior nursing officer and midwife in Uganda.

She says she loves her profession. “In midwifery I do a lot,” she adds proudly. “I help mothers in carrying out their pregnancies. During deliveries I help them to conduct live babies—to make a better future.” But it pained her that her facility was not able to deliver the high quality of services the community deserved. Read more...

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