WHO Releases Guidance on Safe Abortion

Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) released an update of the groundbreaking publication, Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems. Since the first publication of the guidance in 2003, updated data has emerged, leading to new methods, approaches and recommendations relating to safe abortion. Read more...

Honoring Girls and Women on World Refugee Day

By: Niki Bhargava, International Justice Project

In honor of World Refugee Day, which falls on June 20 every year, the International Justice Project is spearheading a series that will highlight Darfurian refugees whose strength truly inspires us and whose stories shed light on the ongoing violence in Darfur, Sudan and the struggles of adapting to a new life in the United States. We do not use names to protect those who courageously share their stories with us.

Eight years ago, OK came to the United States as a refugee from Darfur, Sudan who was escaping the violence perpetrated by the Sudanese government. Now, she is the founder of an organization called the Darfur Women’s and Children’s Association (“DWACA”), which is dedicated to empowering Darfurian women and helping them and their families adapt to life in the United States. Read more...

Women and Sustainability: Five Youth-Led Initiatives That Are Shaking Up Rio+20

By Seyyada Burney, Research Intern, Nourishing the Planet

Women Deliver is collaborating with Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project to highlight the important role of women, youth, and reproductive and sexual rights in sustainable development at the upcoming Rio+20 conference.Women Deliver is collaborating with Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project to highlight the important role of women, youth, and reproductive and sexual rights in sustainable development at the upcoming Rio+20 conference.Women Deliver is collaborating with Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project to highlight the important role of women, youth, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in sustainable development at the upcoming Rio+20 conference.

Les jeunes, os jovens, or vijana. Call them what you will, young people make up nearly 40 percent of the global population. According to statistics from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 85 percent of the world’s children and youth currently live in the developing world, mostly in Asia. Read more...

Oslo Conference Shines a Spotlight on Girls’ and Women’s Health

By: Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver

Norway held a high-level conference in Oslo City Hall on June 1, 2012 to showcase its efforts to promote global health and gender equality, including women’s and children’s rights and health. This conference, entitled “A World in Transition; Charting a New Path in Global Health” brought together prominent politicians and experts in a joint effort to eliminate the tragic and preventable deaths of women, mothers and children around the world. Read more...

G(irls)20 Summit Communiqué Released

The G(irls)20 Summit has released a communiqué following their May 24 – June 4, 2012 Summit. The Summit convened 21 representatives from the European Union (EU), the African Union (AU) and each G20 country. Each country delegate was a young woman between the ages of 18-20. This year, the Summit took place in Mexico City, Mexico, just two weeks ahead of the G20 Summit which will take place in Los Cabos, Mexico. The G20 Summit is an international forum which gathers the 19 country members and the European Union which constitute 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two-thirds of the world’s population. Read more...

Policymakers Recommit to Unfinished Agenda of Landmark Cairo Population Conference

ISTANBUL, 25 May 2012—Lawmakers from 110 countries reaffirmed today their support to the principles and goals of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), emphasizing their continued centrality to efforts to reduce poverty and safeguard people’s health and rights, including sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
At the fifth global parliamentarians’ conference on population and development, held here on 24-25 May, some 400 delegates, including more than 200 parliamentarians, discussed a course of action over the coming years to implement the ICPD Programme of Action by 2014 and beyond. They also considered ways to influence any new development framework to follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015. Read more...

Plan International: Reach for the Stars

By: Keshet Bachan, Plan International; Plan International is a winner of the Women Deliver 50

A narrow one-way lane leads to a dirt track about 5 hours south of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. To one side of this dirt track sits a small one room shack where Srey Pha, her elder brother, younger brother and parents all live together. Srey Pha’s mother, Hean Ra, couldn’t attend school because she had to help her mother with the house chores and take care of her younger siblings. When she was 16, a local farmer who knew her parents asked for her hand in marriage. After a year of steady pressure by her parents, she relented and agreed to marry a man 10 years her senior. She now hopes her daughter will have a better future. “I advise my daughter to study hard, I tell her if you don’t study you will regret it, end up like me. I want her to be a teacher or a health worker”. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Chanan Development Association Empowers Youth

By: Linda Nyanchoka, Women Deliver; Chanan Development Association is a winner of the Women Deliver 50

Young people play a major role in addressing the health and development issues affecting their country. At the young age of 12, Muhammad Shahzad protested against the arranged marriage of his 15 year old sister to an older man in his fifties by going on a hunger strike. This action influenced his family and community, and led to his family calling off the marriage. Muhammad has since dedicated his life to being an agent of change. Read more...

New Report Indicates a Global Reduction in Maternal Deaths

A new report launched today by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank found that maternal deaths have fallen by nearly 50 percent over the past two decades, demonstrating that global investments in maternal and reproductive health programs are having a measurable impact around the world.

According to the report, the number of maternal deaths around the world has dropped from 543,000 in 1990 to 287,000 in 2010 – a 47% decline. Additionally, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR, or number of women dying for every 100,000 live births) declined from 400 in 1990 to 210 in 2010. This new data comes at a critical time, with just three years remaining before the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). MDG 5 aims to reduce maternal deaths by 75 percent globally. Read more...

Nigeria Should Invest in Family Planning Supplies, Programmes

By: Sola Ogundipe; Originally posted on Vanguard

WITH a 20 percent unmet need for family planning in Nigeria, the need  to invest in country-specific family planning supplies and programmes has been stressed. President of the Women Deliver, Jill Sheffield who disclosed this in an interview, said: “Nigeria should invest in family planning supplies and programmes, which would drastically reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, maternal deaths, newborn deaths, and unsafe abortions.” Read more...

No Mothers Day: Speak Up For Mothers by Staying Silent

Every Mother Counts, an advocacy and mobilization campaign aiming to increase education and support for maternal mortality reduction worldwide, invites the world to take part in their No Mothers Day campaign this Sunday, May 13th. No Mothers Day is a social issue campaign, being implemented to raise awareness about the hundreds of thousands of young girls and women who die each year during from causes relating to pregnancy and childbirth. The idea is to take a moment aside while many people in the world are celebrating their mothers to understand the issues surrounding maternal deaths around the world. As part of the campaign, the website encourages the world to “go silent” in an act of solidarity for the “missing mothers,” women who die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes around the world, and those who are vulnerable to high-risk pregnancies. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Transforming Victims into Advocates

By: The GEMS Team;  GEMS was a winner of the Women Deliver 50

GEMS’ Youth Leadership program delivers solutions for commercially sexually exploited and domestically trafficked (CSE) girls and young women, equipping them to reach their full potential. Since its inception in 2003, the program has succeeded in empowering generations of youth survivors of the commercial sex industry to become leaders and advocates to end the commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking. Read more...

Midwives Around the World Recognized on May 5

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

May 5 is International Day of the Midwife, a globally recognized day to acknowledge the life-saving work of midwives.

According to the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), more than 340,000 women die preventable maternal deaths each year, and according to the World Health Organization, this number rose to 358,000 in 2008. For every woman who dies, an additional twenty experience infection, injury or disability. Read more...

Africa Regional Consultation Youth Pre-Conference

From March 27-28 2012, Women Deliver, in partnership with Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office, held an invitation-only regional consultation for 100-150 participants from sub-Saharan Africa in Kampala, Uganda. Policymakers, researchers, experts, and advocates attended the consultation on Achieving MDG 5: Challenges, Opportunities and Lessons Learned to discuss regional success stories, lessons learned and pathways for future progress in maternal and reproductive health, with a focus on the International Conference on Population and Development’s (ICPD) Plan of Action and Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5. An outcome document is forthcoming and will be available on the Women Deliver website. View the agenda and all speaker presentations here. Read more...

We Must Act to Save Our Mothers and Our Sisters

By: Deusdedit Ruhangariyo; Originally posted on NewVision
Nargis Shirazi was one of the Women Deliver sponsored youth participants at the 2012 Africa Regional Conference

On 27-28 March, policymakers, advocates and researchers from across sub-Saharan Africa gathered at Speke Resort Munyonyo, in Kampala, Uganda, to reaffirm national and regional commitments to Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 – reducing maternal mortality and ensuring universal access to reproductive health - reducing maternal mortality and ensuring universal access to reproductive health. Read more...

AWID Forum 2012: Intersecting Arts, Empowerment and Advocacy

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

What do digital storytelling, gender budget analysis and social media outreach have in common?  They were each showcased at the recent AWID International Forum as powerful mechanisms to bring about real social change for girls and women around the world. Read more...

Submit Photographs and Stories to Spotlight Maternal Health

In late September, PATH will be hosting a reception in New York to feature the specific ways that medicines and other supplies bring about improvements in maternal health. Attendants will likely represent nongovernment organizations, UN agencies, the UN Commission on Life-saving Commodities for Women and Children, Clinton Global Initiative, GBC Health’s Healthy Women, Healthy Economies initiative, and other groups. They plan to display large, museum-quality photographs and produce a postcard book to help the audience connect emotionally with the issue and the plight of women in low-resource settings. Read more...

“Every Child Deserves a 5th Birthday” Campaign Begins

The US Agency for International Development (USAID), a member organization of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health has launched their “Every Child Deserves a 5th Birthday” campaign this week.  According to the website, fifth birthdays are regarded as a milestone birthday after which one is much more likely to survive into adulthood. Seven million children die before their fifth birthday, and many of these are preventable deaths in developing countries. Read more...

Advocates for Youth Introduces ‘Time is Now’ Campaign

Advocates for Youth, an organization focused on helping young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health, has kick-started their “Time is Now” campaign. It was developed in collaboration with a youth advisory board of 40 young people from around the world, and revolves around changes for greater inclusion of gender and youth in the upcoming Rio+20 summit. Read more...

Rwanda: MPs Agree On Abortion

By: James Karuhanga; Originally posted on

Members of the Chamber of Deputies, yesterday, passed the draft Penal Code, with the majority voting in favour of an article that permits abortion under special circumstances.

The critical vote came after the House received and approved a report of an earlier established joint Chamber of deputies-Senate committee to review the bill.

Seven women MPs abstained from voting for or against Article 165, which absolves criminal liability for exceptional abortion cases, arguing it was hazardous to the Rwandan society.  Read more...

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