International Development Journalism Competition Focuses on Women’s Issues

The Guardian International Development Journalism competition, supported by Marie Stopes International, announced the winners of the 2010 competition last week. The goal of this journalism competition is to generate articles that will help to raise awareness with the general public on the need for continued investment in international development and support for the Millennium Development Goals.

The submissions from all 16 finalists have now been made available as two special supplements in the Guardian newspaper and are available to view on the newspapers’ website.  The articles are based on visits that the finalists made to countries in Africa, Asia and South America that had been facilitated by the competition’s supporting NGO consortium of Marie Stopes International, Orbis, Leonard Cheshire Disability, CBM UK, Hives Save Lives, Malaria Consortium, Saferworld and Save the Children.

Several of the finalists focused on issues that affect women and girls:

  • Why family planning saves lives” – New projects across Ethiopia are aiming to increase access to contraception and improve obstetric care. Competition runner-up Stephanie Hegarty explains.
  • Roads to rehabilitation” – Although obstetric fistula has been largely eliminated in the developed world, Maeve McClenaghan finds it is still causing misery in Tanzania. The condition is easy to treat – the difficulty is getting the victims to hospital.
  • Tackling gender inequality in Vietnam” – Poverty and cultural attitudes in Vietnam mean many women still die in childbirth, female foetuses are aborted and sex is a taboo subject. Himaya Quasem explains.
  • Not just a bride” – Taking paid employment on top of domestic work and farming isn't easy for many Ugandan females, but times are changing and women are increasingly finding ways to enter the cash economy. Veronica Oakeshott reports.
  • A community approach to justice” – The creation of paralegal committees across Nepal is providing a counter to the country's rigidly patriarchal traditions. Lara Brunt meets the women standing up to domestic abuse, sexual harassment and child marriage.
  • Bridging the healthcare gap” – The doctor-patient ratio in Mozambique is one of the lowest in the world. David Ralph hears how the country's government is addressing the problem by recruiting auxiliary medical assistants to reach into communities.

Learn more about the competitions and read all the finalists’ and the winners’ entries at the Guardian.

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