The winter issue of the Center for Global Health and Diplomacy (GHD) Magazine is now available, and includes a special feature on the future of women and girls. In this section, which begins on page 36, articles focus on a range of topics including the future of development for girls and women; child marriage; child abuse; gender-based violence; mobile technology as an advocacy tool; and crowdfunding as a mechnism to save women's lives. Women Deliver President Jill Sheffield and incoming CEO Katja Iversen authored a piece on page 38 entitled A Dream of Progress for Girls and Women, which takes a forward look at the new development framework, and at how investing in girls and women is an investment in a better future for all.
Within the article, Sheffield and Iversen look back to progress made for girls and women in past decades, from reductions in maternal mortality and HIV infections to increased female representation in politics. Yet, as they point out, serious challenges remain. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5, reducing maternal mortality, is still the most underfunded of all the MDGs, and 222 million women in the developing world still have an unmet need for modern contraceptives.
Sheffield and Iversen call upon global leaders and key decision-makers to take action now to support maternal and reproductive health. They highlight the roles that can be played across sectors to bring about meaningful change, including scaling up health systems, preventing stock-outs of essential medicines and supplies, and providing critical input into policies and programs. When these investments are made, the benefits to society are tremendous: healthy girls and women lead to healthy families, and they play significant roles in poverty reduction and in driving economic development. Recognizing the centrality of girls and women to global development efforts is key to building a healthier, more equitable and more sustainable world.
The online version of the issue is available here, and the article by Sheffield and Iversen is on page 38.