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Girls’ & Women’s Health and Rights in Focus at Women Deliver 2013 in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysian Prime Minister Honourable Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak and other global luminaries
open largest conference on girls and women of the decade

World Bank and Guttmacher Institute release new data on the value of investing in girls and women

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 28 May 2013 — Today, more than 4,000 global leaders and advocates from nearly 150 countries gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for Women Deliver 2013, the largest conference of the decade focused on the health and wellbeing of girls and women. The opening sessions of this three-day event highlighted the critical need to invest in girls and women to spur development worldwide.

Malaysian Prime Minister Honorable Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak delivered welcoming remarks and discussed Malaysia’s efforts to ensure equal rights and opportunities for women as a critical component of the nation’s development and economic growth. The Prime Minister highlighted Malaysia’s success in reducing maternal mortality, and offered to share lessons learned with countries working to improve maternal health. Read more...

Women’s Rights in Global Cartoons

By: Liza Donnelly, Forbes Contributor; Originally posted on Forbes

The global advocacy group, Women Deliver, is hosting its third conference, May 28-30, 2013, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This conference brings together thousands of activists, world leaders, healthcare professionals, corporate leaders, NGOs and global media outlets from around the world to discuss how to help improve the lives of women and girls. For the event, I was honored to be invited to curate an exhibit of international cartoonist’s art on the subject of women’s rights. The artwork, gathered from cartoonists from 22 different countries, is also collected and published in a book, titled, “Women Deliver, The World Receives.” It was wonderful to be given the opportunity to invite my colleagues to submit their artwork on the subject of women and women’s rights. Cartoons can get at the heart of difficult and important subjects in ways that words often cannot. It takes a village, and the village usually has a cartoonist or two. Read more...

Young Leaders Can Change the World – One Girl at a Time

By: Victoria Melhado, Women Deliver Young Leader 2013

Victoria is one of 100 Young Leaders from around the world selected to participate in a leadership development program as part of the 2013 Women Deliver conference in Kuala Lumpur, May 27-30, 2013. The youth pre-conference is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. Follow Victoria during the conference at @Vicmelhado.

My path to becoming a nurse, midwife, and an advocate for women’s health began before I knew what any of those things were. Read more...  

More Than “Just a Blog”: Chatting With Girls’ Globe

By: Amie Newman; Originally posted on Impatient Optimists

As we head into the week prior to the 2013 Women Deliver conference, the largest global meeting of the decade to focus on the health and well-being of girls and women, we thought it would be a perfect time to highlight the voices and stories of some of the amazing advocates, from around the world, who are attending this monumental world meeting. Today, meet Julia Wiklander founder of Girls' Globe. Read more...

Now Is the Time to Invest in Girls and Women

By: Jill Sheffield, Founder and President of Women Deliver; Originally posted on Huffington Post

Last month, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize nominee in history. Less than six months earlier, she was shot at point-blank range by those who wanted to silence her for promoting girls' education in her native Pakistan. In a world that too often punishes and oppresses women, and tells girls that they cannot achieve, Malala is a beacon of hope. Read more...

Making Reproductive Rights a Global Priority

By Dr. Gamal Serour, DAl Azhar University; Originally posted on Al Arabiya

On April 5th, the world began the 1,000-day countdown to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline. Created in 2000, the MDGs spurred action from governments, international organizations, and civil society. In recent years, we have cut the global poverty rate in half, reduced the prevalence of deadly diseases, improved sanitation, narrowed the gender gap, and more. Although we have made progress toward these Goals, there is still much to be done, especially for the girls and women of the Muslim world. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Investing in Girls’ Futures

By: Kristin Lindsey, Chief Executive Officer, The Global Fund for Children

Women as a whole have made great strides towards equality, but the fact remains that too many girls in the developing world live in circumstances that are unfair at best, and dangerous at worst. Who are these vulnerable girls? They are child brides. Roughly one-third of all girls in developing nations are married before they turn 18, and in certain countries the number climbs even higher. What does the future hold for a child bride? A lifetime of illiteracy and a drastically increased risk of dying from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Read more...

Ugandan Physician, Receives 2013 United Nations Population Award

Originally posted on: PPD ARO Blog

Dr. Jotham Musinguzi a strong advocate of reproductive health and family planning was announced winner of the 2013 United Nations Population Award. Dr. Musinguzi is the Regional Director of Partners in Population and Development (PPD) Africa Regional Office (ARO) based in Kampala, Uganda. Read more...

Voices of Advocates Part 1: Domestic Violence (Trinidad &Tobago)

Originally posted on ThinkBrigade

This opinion piece is published in collaboration with Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders, liaised by Bijoyeta Das. Ife Smith is one of the 100 Young Leaders for 2012-2013. 

The story of a young woman who endured both domestic violence and a court system that is unfriendly to the poor. A hard-working, law-abiding young woman who made the wrong decision of entering into a relationship with someone she thought she knew. During this relationship she endured physical, mental and emotional abuse. Not only did she had to literally run for her life, but the life she now has she can barely call her own because of  her country’s inhumane, unfriendly and insufferable legal system which she had to turn to for help.

 

Celebrate Solutions: Calcium Supplements to Save Women’s Lives

By: Janna Oberdorf, Women Deliver

For pregnant women in Nepal, calcium is an important part of prenatal care that can save both mothers’ and babies’ lives. But too many women in developing countries, including Nepal, can’t afford to buy the expensive calcium supplements they need to prevent conditions like pre-eclampsia that can have life-threatening complications. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Leveraging Personal Relationships for Girls and Women

By: Lynn ElHarake, Women Deliver

Muslims hold mothers in high esteem, not just for the burden they endure during pregnancy and childbirth, but also for the key role they play in families, communities and societies overall. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself taught the followers of Islam that “paradise lies at the feet of the mother,” ensuring mothers a special place in the religion.

Yet, the disappointing reality is that despite the importance placed on mothers in Islam, six of the ten countries making up 60 percent of the global maternal deaths are majority-Muslim nations. Afghanistan, Chad, Sierra Leone, Somalia and South Sudan are some of the most dangerous places in the world for mothers to give birth. That is why in 2010, the Muslim Agency for Development Education (MADE) in Europe – a Muslim-led movement of young people leading the fight against global poverty and injustice – decided to launch At Our Mothers’ Feet, a campaign that aims to raise awareness within Muslim community in the United Kingdom about global maternal deaths. Read more...

Global Leaders To Call For Action On Maternal & Reproductive Health At Women Deliver 2013 Conference

High-level participants join program for advocacy organization’s landmark meeting in Kuala Lumpur
A number of influential leaders are confirmed to participate in the Women Deliver’s third global conference, Women Deliver 2013, which will take place on May 28-30 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Speakers at the conference will include:

  • Melinda Gates, Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General & Executive Director of United Nations Women
  • Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
  • Dr. Hans Rosling, Professor of International Health, Karolinska Institute; Co-founder & Chairman, Gapminder Foundation

Read more...

Community Work Pays Off For Varsity Students

By: Sharifa Kalokola; Originally posted on The Citizen

The author, Sharifa Kalokola, is a Women Deliver 2013 conference scholarship recipient. The article features two of Women Deliver's 100 Young Leaders from Tanzania, Florence Mwitwa and Maureen Anyago Oduor.

It turns out that being voted a class monitor, prefect or student leader in primary, high school and university might actually be a good predictor of one’s success later in life. For many world leaders today, leadership did not come when they already had grey hair – it all started in school. Academic achievement is part of the success story, but it’s not the whole story. This is the wisdom that drives Florence Mwitwa and Maureen Anyago, two 27-year-old university students, who were recently selected to represent the country in the 2013 Women Deliver conference Malaysia later in May. Read more...

High-Level Panel on Post-2015 Agenda Meets with Civil Society in Liberia

The Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda met in Monrovia, Liberia last week to consult with civil society and discuss the national building blocks required for sustainable progress. Under the main theme of Economic Transformation, panel members focused on the issues of enablers and barriers to economic transformation; equitable and sustainable outcomes; the role of the private sector; partnerships; conflict and fragility; and African perspectives and positions. In total, over 100 participants attended, including 60 civil society representatives. Of these, 40 met with the High-Level Panel members on January 30th. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Rwandan Radio Drama Raises National Health Awareness

By: Harshi Hettige, Women Deliver

Urunana, a Rwandan radio soap, is raising national sexual and reproductive health awareness by broadcasting health information weekly to approximately 10 million people. The engaging plots regularly draw 74% of Rwanda’s population to tune into new episodes twice a week. The show addresses subjects that are often met with silence: HIV and AIDS, family planning, domestic violence, and rape. Where the national average life expectancy is 55 years old and the number of maternal deaths is ranked 145th out of 180, it is vital that Rwandans learn about topical health issues. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Providing Support to Domestic Migrant Workers in Malaysia

By: Yousra Yusuf, Women Deliver

Around the world, there are currently about 175 million migrant workers who have left home in search of better jobs.  Many South Asian workers end up in Malaysia, which provides job opportunities to approximately 2.1 million documented migrant workers. Women from Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and other neighboring countries leave their families and support systems behind for jobs as domestic workers. Yet their lives are not always what they expected, and some are faced with devastating, abusive conditions. Fortunately, Women’s Aid Organization (WAO) has worked to provide over 100 abused women, including migrant workers, with shelter and counseling. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Making Giving Go Further

By: Rati Bishnoi, Catapult

Until the end of January, Catapult—the first-ever crowdfunding platform for projects advancing the lives of girls and women—is partnering with Johnson & Johnson to match donations to seven proven projects that are helping improve the lives of girls and women and to continue the fight against gender inequality in 2013. Read more...

UN Passes Resolution to Ban Female Genital Mutilation

Yesterday, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution banning the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This resolution was one of five passed yesterday to advance the rights of girls and women worldwide.

Approximately 140 million girls and women across the globe are affected by FGM, and each year an additional three million girls are at risk of being subjected to the practice. In Africa, it is estimated that 92 million girls under the age of 10 have undergone FGM. FGM can result in severe bleeding, urinary difficulties, infections, infertility and complications in childbirth, and is widely recognized as a human rights violation. Read more...

Top 2012 Highlights in Maternal Health

As 2012 comes to a close, it’s time to celebrate progress by looking back at some of the most memorable milestones and events of the past year. New reports launched this year show that we are moving in the right direction – maternal deaths are dropping, access to family planning is on the rise, and the health of girls and women remains a global priority. Moving into 2013, we look forward to seeing you at our third global conference and continuing our work together to ensure that girls and women are at the heart of development efforts. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Stopping Gender-Based Violence in Vietnam

By: Janna Oberdorf, Women Deliver

For too many women around the world, broken arms and bruised eyes are a part of daily life. Whether they are abused verbally or physically, by their husbands or even their mother-in-laws, these women live in constant fear and feel unable to escape. 

In Vietnam, where domestic violence is reportedly present in all areas of the country and across the social spectrum, the Improving Health Care Response to Gender-based Violence project was launched by the Center for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender, Family, Women and Adolescents and the Population Council, and financial support from the Ford Foundation. Read more...

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Women Deliver 

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