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Working with Young People to Have Their Say in the Post-2015 Development Dialogue

Originally posted by UNAIDS

Today’s generation of young people is the largest in history, with 1.8 billion adolescents and youth making up one quarter of the world’s population. Young people have a critical role in ensuring that political momentum to achieve the end of the AIDS epidemic and to secure specific targets around sexual and reproductive health and rights in the post-2015 development agenda is sustained. Read more...

On The March Towards Improved SRHR Outcomes For Youth In Uganda Through Think-And-Thin

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

By: Wanzala E. Martin, Allied Youth Initiative – Uganda

Since March 2014, the Allied Youth Initiative – Uganda (AYI-Uganda) has been working with partner organizations across the country to increase investments in youth-focused sexual and reproductive health (SRH) programs as a means to accelerate progress towards achieving the country’s local and international development targets by 2015. The goal of AYI Uganda’s “Better-Quality Access for Youth” (BAY) project is to gather as many as one million youth voices in support of reproductive rights through online platforms, essay competitions, and street interviews and then petition the Ugandan Speaker of Parliament to ensure adequate investment in youth SRH education and services. Read more...

Young People Must Be Listened To

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

By: Nargis Shirazi, FRESH Campain (Uganda)

What does it mean to be fully and richly empowered about sexual health? Is it having adequate comprehensive information about sexual reproductive health and rights? Is it about changing behavior based on the knowledge of harmful sexual practices? Is it having access to sexual reproductive health services? Or could it be the government making the conditions in the country favorable to accessing sexual health information and services? We have been asking ourselves these questions on the FRESH social media platform. We want to know how effective the platform is – how many people it is reaching and is it influencing behavior. Read more...

Women Bearing the Brunt of the Ebola Crisis Must Be Central to the Solution

By: Katja Iversen, CEO, Women Deliver; Originally posted by The Huffington Post

Medical authorities worldwide are struggling to contain the deadly Ebola virus wherever it breaks out, but one reality in the countries most affected is not receiving adequate attention. The outbreak is affecting girls and women more than boys and men - those who are infected as well as those who are not. Read more...

11 Days of Action for International Day of the Girl Child

Adolescence is a critical time in a girl’s life, when choices and opportunities define the present and future of the world. While half of the world’s population is under 30, mostly living in developing countries, young people – specifically young women – face barriers to realizing their rights and full potential. From child marriage and unintended pregnancy to lack of education and exposure to violence, girls are often compromised from a safe and healthy transition from childhood to adulthood. Read more...

Youth Coalition Launches “The Post-2015 Development Agenda and Young People”

Originally posted by the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights

The Post-2015 Development Agenda process has become an important platform to advocate for human rights. While a vast body of literature is available on the linkages between sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the YCSRR recognizes a lack of resources that capture the linkages between youth sexual and reproductive rights and Post-2015 specifically. Read more...

Women Deliver’s UNGA Recap

Last week, we gathered together at strategy sessions, coffee shops, UN Assembly halls, high-level receptions and meetings to amp up the volume regarding development and the future of development for girls and women. From exciting announcements to campaigns and calls to action, there is a growing momentum for ensuring that the health, rights and well-being of girls and women are prioritized within the post-2015 framework and beyond. Women Deliver was on hand all week, participated in more than 50 events, and shared the message loud and clear that when we invest in girls and women, everybody wins!  Read more...

Delivering for Girls and Women Through UN General Assembly Week

As world leaders, international agency heads, government officials, civil society representatives, corporate executives, and youth advocates begin to gather in New York City for the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Women Deliver is poised to call for greater awareness of and investments for the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women. Read more...

Finding New Ways to Reach A Project’s Goals Despite Unexpected Challenges

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

By: Tunde Ajidagba, Campus Health & Rights Initiative (Nigeria)

The goal of my project is to promote access to comprehensive and integrated sexual and reproductive health services among students at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) to reduce unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Although the project has faced some challenges, I have been able to provide strong solutions.

One major challenge for implementing the project was the change in the school calendar due to a national strike by the academic staff at the university. OAU is a federal university and for over two months, the lecturers at the university went on industrial strike to drive home some demands of the government. When the strike ended, the academic calendar had to be adjusted to compensate for the lost time – class schedules and exam periods were changed. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Education for All: What’s Advocacy Got to Do With It?

By: Emily Teitsworth; Originally posted by Global Campaign for Education, U.S Chapter

Emily Teitsworth is the Director of Programs at Let Girls Lead and Champions for Change

Why are we failing to deliver on the promise of educating girls? In rural areas in Nigeria, surveys have found that at the end of 3rd grade, only 6 percent of students are able to read a simple sentence. In Malawi, it is illegal for pregnant girls and young mothers to return to school. In Guatemala, only 10 percent of rural girls complete secondary education.

Educating girls has been shown to strengthen families, reduce maternal mortality, and break intergenerational cycles of poverty. A single year of secondary education can increase a girl’s potential income by up to 25 percent, and significantly reduce the likelihood that she will become pregnant young or die in childbirth (World Bank, 2012).  In spite of significant investment and political will going towards expanding girls’ access to education, the global development community has not yet achieved the transformative promise of a world where both girls and boys receive free, quality education. Read more...

Young People Won’t Be Forgotten at Uganda’s First National Conference on Family Planning

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

As Uganda’s first annual National Conference on Family Planning (July 28-30) drew to a close, the presence and impact of the country’s young people was clear. With nearly 80% of Uganda’s population under the age of 30, it is a demographic group that the country cannot afford to leave behind any longer.

Youth activists started their hard work before the conference, with a two-day workshop on July 23 and 24 organized by It Takes Two and UNFPA Uganda. Under the theme of making universal access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services a reality for young people, the pre-conference’s nearly 100 participants were able to network with their peers, learn about their government’s commitments to SRH and youth, and strengthen their advocacy and communications skills. Representatives from the Ministry of Health, UNFPA Uganda, and PPD-ARO were all present to share how they are committed to helping Uganda’s young people realize their SRH. Read more...

Be seen! Be heard! Youth at the 3rd PMNCH Partners’ Forum

By: Yemurai Nyoni and Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver

This 3rd PMNCH Partners’ Forum is the first large-scale involvement of young people to date. Out of the approximately 1000 participants here in Johannesburg, nearly 10% are youth representatives under 30. This is a great start, and a clear opportunity to increase meaningful youth engagement in the forum and others like it. Will PMNCH consider including a youth constituency to its other seven constituencies while mainstreaming youth within and throughout? We really hope so.

Partners’ Forum representatives come together from governments, civil society, development agencies, private sector, and the media to deliberate on how best to accelerate progress for women, children and adolescents in the context of RMNCH. Youth representatives are uniquely positioned to put our issues front and center, and to magnify our contributions to advancing maternal and newborn health. Read more...

Join Us in Celebrating a Lifelong Advocate for Girls and Women

Dr. Fred Sai, Ghanian Physician and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Advocate, Celebrates His 90th Birthday

Join us in wishing a very happy birthday to Dr. Fred Sai, Board Member Emeritus and long-time friend of Women Deliver. Dr. Sai has been a champion for maternal and reproductive health for his entire lifetime, and next week will celebrate his 90th birthday. We will be compiling birthday messages for Dr. Sai and would love your input! Read more...

 

Q&A with Katja Iversen About Her Vision for the Future

In this Q&A, Women Deliver’s new CEO Katja Iversen shares her motivations for becoming an advocate for girls’ and women’s health and rights; discusses lessons she has learned in her career; offers advice for emerging advocates; and describes her vision for the future for girls and women around the world.

Q: What first inspired you to become a maternal and reproductive health advocate?

I’m proud to say it was my grandmother. Back in the 1930s she – in her own quiet and behind-the-scenes way – fought fiercely for girls’ and women’s reproductive rights in Denmark, where I am from. At the time, only married women could get access to modern contraceptives.  She and my granddad lived together without being married, and she worked seven days a week to get him through college, so getting pregnant just wasn’t an option. Even when she got married and had kids, she kept up the fight for all women’s reproductive rights – because it was just the right thing to do. Read more...

Denise Dunning Unlocks Girl Power Through Let Girls Lead

By: Stacy Teicher Khadaroo; Originally posted by The Christian Science Monitor

To help girls stay in school, women and girls in Malawi are taking a stand against child marriages. So far they have persuaded leaders in 22 villages to penalize men who try to marry a woman under age 21. One possible penalty? Taking away some of the man's goats or chickens.

It's the kind of strategy that probably wouldn't have occurred to a US-based nonprofit. But in countries where girls and women bear the brunt of poverty, Let Girls Lead, an Oakland, Calif.-based initiative founded by Denise Dunning, helps them amplify their voices and broaden their hopes, turning small victories into large-scale changes. Read more...

World Economic Forum Event on Investing in Girls

This week, approximately 2,500 global leaders, key decision-makers, entrepreneurs, corporate executives and youth from around the globe have gathered in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. Over the next few days, participants will discuss this year’s theme, The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business. The meeting presents a tremendous opportunity to shape global policy through advocacy events, such as the United Nations Secretary-General's MDG Advocacy Group event Scaling Up Success: Investing in Girls’ Empowerment for MDG Acceleration. Read more...

Keeping Complexity in a Human Rights–Based Approach to Family Planning: Is It Worth It?

Submitted by Shannon Harris, on behalf of the team led by Futures Group and EngenderHealth that developed the Voluntary, Rights-Based Family Planning Framework, Originally posted on Champions4Choice

Human rights–based family planning (FP) programming—what does it mean? Where do you start to translate it into practice? How comprehensive do you need to be? It is easy to become daunted by a long list of inputs and activities, such as those listed in the voluntary, rights-based family planning framework developed by a team led by Futures Group and EngenderHealth. The recent Vision 2020 newsletter refers to the overwhelming nature of existing guidance documents for ensuring that FP programs are rights-based and offers a simplified starting point. But will simplification of a complex set of challenges lead to the transformation in FP programming that our field needs? Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Domestic Violence Survivors Learn Legal Rights

By: Rati Bishnoi, Program Manager, Catapult

The following is a 90-day progress report on Jenesse Center’s “Legal self-defense for domestic violence survivors" project, which fully funded on Catapult earlier this year. Jenesse Center, Inc.—the oldest domestic violence intervention program in South Los Angeles—is more than just a shelter for survivors of domestic violence. Jenesse is a family institute with training and educational programs, services and outreach efforts that offer hope by rebuilding lives, reuniting families and enriching our community. This summer—through a fundraising campaign on Catapult — Jenesse was able to raise fund $25,000 to help domestic violence survivors effectively represent themselves and advocate for their legal rights in court. Read more...

Katja Iversen to Join Women Deliver as Chief Executive Officer

New York City -- Women Deliver, a global advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of girls and women, is pleased to announce that Katja Iversen, Chief of Strategic Communication and Public Advocacy with UNICEF, will be joining Women Deliver as Chief Executive Officer starting in March 2014.

“We are thrilled and honored to have Katja Iversen join Women Deliver,” said Jill Sheffield, Founder and President of Women Deliver. “Katja has a heart that beats for sexual and reproductive health and women’s rights, and we are honored to have her support and expertise moving forward.” Read more...

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence 2013

Today marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign. The 16 Days Campaign originated from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership in 1991.  Read more...

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