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Celebrate Solutions: Empowering Girls, Period

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

In Kenya, young women aged 15-24 are four times more likely to contract HIV then young men their age. Education has the power to turn these statistics around. Research by The Global Campaign for Education suggests that if children receive comprehensive primary education, around 700,000 cases of HIV in young adults could be prevented each year. Yet many young girls in Kenya have been forced to miss school while menstruating, often because they aren’t able to afford hygienic sanitary pads. Since 2008, Huru International has been working to change this. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Preparing Girls for Political Leadership in Kenya

By: Atieno Oduor, iGLOW

Girls Leading Our World Initiatives (iGLOW) is a grassroots Kenyan NGO dedicated to advancing the personal, professional and political leadership of young girls and women in Kenya. It is run by a group of dynamic young Kenyan women, and its mission is to broaden the horizon of possibilities for young women in underprivileged regions of Kenya and to advance the next generation of Kenyan leaders. Read more...

High-Level Task Force for ICPD Calls on African Leaders for Gender Equality

Originally posted by the High-Level Task Force for ICPD

Today, the High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) launched its policy recommendations in Africa, calling on the region’s top decision-makers to step up political will and investments for advancing gender equality, the  empowerment of women and young people, and sexual and reproductive health and rights – fundamental human rights issues and also critical for the sustainable development of the region. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Bridging Sustainability and Family Planning for a Brighter Future

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

The East Africa Population, Health and Environment (PHE) network was founded on the belief that integrated issues require an integrated approach. Women are drivers of change, and their ability to choose if and when to have children has a profound effect on population growth and resilience to climate change. In Ethiopia, PHE is working to bring essential family planning and HIV services, along with materials for natural resource conservation and food source diversification. Now, family planning usage rates have skyrocketed and hundreds of households are using energy-saving stoves. Read more...

A Fistula-Free Generation Is Possible

By: Pamela Barnes and Dr. Joseph Ruminjo; Originally posted on Huffington Post

We are thrilled to be in Uganda to recognize the achievements of EngenderHealth's Fistula Care project, the largest U.S. government-funded initiative to treat and prevent obstetric fistula in more than 10 countries throughout Africa and Asia. We are here with our incredible partners -- government officials, representatives of nongovernmental organizations, doctors, community health providers and hospital administrators -- to share lessons learned and chart the way forward toward achieving a fistula-free generation. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Integration Improves HIV and Family Planning Efforts

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

In the largest evaluation of different methods of HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) integration to-date, results have shown clear success, particularly in Africa. The five-year project, called The Integra Initiative, is managed by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Population Council and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions:  Empowering Women Living with Fistula

By: Alyssa Tartaglione, Catapult

EngenderHealth, a leading global women’s health organization, has a proven track record working to repair fistula, having supported the provision of more than 25,000 surgeries in the last decade. But their work goes far beyond just providing this vital surgery. Read more...

Despite Newly Free Deliveries in Kenya, Some Mothers Opt for Traditional Birth Attendants

By: Mary Wairimu, Kenya News Desk; Originally posted on Global Press Institute

Although many mothers are taking advantage of newly free delivery services in Kenya’s public hospitals, some women still prefer traditional birth attendants. The government waived fees to lower the maternal mortality rate, as one in 55 women can currently expect to die from pregnancy-related causes in Kenya. Traditional birth attendants resent the government’s interference, which they say endangers their businesses. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Save a Mother, Save a Child

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

At Women Deliver, we believe that healthy mothers are the key to healthy families and communities. A recent study in rural Malawi proves this to be the case. Evaluations of a five-year program found that improving maternal health care reduced newborn mortality by 30% and saved at least 1,000 newborn lives. Read more...

An Africa Fit for Women and Girls

By: Yemurai Nyoni, Women Deliver 100 Young Leader; Originally posted on allAfrica

I believe in an Africa that is fit for women and girls; that protects their well-being and creates a supportive environment for them to realise their aspirations. As I look at the work done by African states in pursuit of gender equality, I am convinced that the continent is either on course for another dismal episode in the empowerment of women, or it's on the brink of a women's rights revolution.

The failure of African leadership in safeguarding the rights of women thus far has resulted in a sad state of affairs, where being a young African woman is perhaps the most perilous form of identity in the continent. Read more...

A Revolution from the Ground Up

By: Deborah Espinosa, Landesa; Originally posted on Landesa Field Focus Blog
 
Women in Ol Pusimoru, Kenya have much to celebrate today – but it hasn’t been an easy journey.
 
Back in 2010, Kenya adopted a revolutionary new constitution that offered women unprecedented protections and freedoms – including equal rights to land and family resources. Read more...

Global Leaders Call for Accelerated Progress on Family Planning at Women Deliver 2013

Melinda Gates, Babatunde Osotimehin and others highlight progress in expanding contraceptive access

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 29 May 2013 – On the second day of Women Deliver 2013, the largest conference on girls and women of the decade, global leaders announced progress and new commitments toward expanding contraceptive access for women in developing countries. They also outlined plans for sustaining this momentum in the years to come. 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...

Mothers: The Women Behind Today’s ‘Women in the World’

By: Adam Lewis, Rabin Martin; Originally posted on Rabin Martin

“We are agents of change, we are drivers of progress, we are makers of peace – all we need is a fighting chance.”

This quote from Hillary Clinton at the 2013 Newsweek/Daily Beast Women in the World summit certainly captured the theme of the conference. Of course, by “we,” the former Secretary of State is referring to women – and how fitting for someone who is herself an agent of change, a driver of progress and a maker of peace to call for more rights for women. Read more...

Women Deliver Highlights Social Enterprises That Improve the Health and Wellbeing of Girls and Women

For International Women’s Day, global online voters selected 10 inspiring start-up enterprises to compete in the Women Deliver Social Enterprise Challenge in May 2013

Global advocacy organization Women Deliver today announced the finalists of the Women Deliver 25, an online competition that features innovative social enterprises that benefit girls and women around the world. More than 13,500 votes were cast online to select ten organizations to receive scholarships to the Women Deliver 2013 conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (May 28-30, 2013), where they will participate in the Women Deliver Social Enterprise Challenge. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Banishing Female Sexual Mutilation—One Community at a Time

By: Rati Bishnoi, Catapult.org

In Kayes, Mali, nearly every woman experiences female sexual mutilation (FSM)—either having all or parts of her external genitalia surgically removed for cultural or non-therapeutic motives. However, Équilibres & Populations and Association Malienne Pour le Suiviet l’Orientation des Pratiques Traditionnelles (AMSOPT) are fighting the staggeringly high (98 percent) FSM rate, one community at a time. Read more...

Gender-Based Violence: Three Dead Bodies, Zero Safe Space

By: Jos Dirkx; Originally posted on Mail & Guardian

Jos Dirkx is the founder and director of award-winning NGO Girls & Football South Africa. She spoke at TedX on "Girls, Football and Learning" and is a Women Deliver 2013 Young Leader. She has worked at the United Nations in Sudan and Eritrea, has lived in 10 countries, and is passionate about gender equality, media, technology and change.

Three stories regarding gender-based violence have recently "shocked" the world: the rape and mutilation of 23-year-old Indian Jyoti Singh Pandey on a public bus in New Dehli, the rape and disembowelment of 17-year-old South African Anene Booysen in a small 'dorp' near Cape Town, and the killing of 29-year-old South African Reeva Steenkamp in her boyfriend's luxury residence in Pretoria. 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: Improving Literacy and Driving Change Through SMS Text Messaging

By: Rati Bishnoi, Catapult.org

Using cell phones and text-message based literacy and numeracy training is helping Senegalese girls and women dramatically improve their ability to communicate with each other and their communities, according to an evaluation of a pilot program by Dakar, Senegal-based NGO Tostan. Tostan’s “Community Empowerment Program” is an award-winning, three-year nonformal education program that provides community wide trainings to help villagers lead social change projects within their communities. As part of the CEP program, Tostan offers a 150-hour cellphone literacy course--called Mobile Phone for Literacy and Empowerment--in which participants in 20 villages received 16 lessons on how to use cell phones, build literacy and numeracy skills, and use text messaging as a means to practice and learn. Read more...

Building an African Movement to End Child Marriage

Originally posted on Girls Not Brides

Three of the Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders were invited as special youth advocates to participate in this event – Yemurai Nyoni from Zimbabwe, Nebila Abdulmelik from Kenya, and Humphrey Nabimanya from Uganda.

There is not one corner of this continent that should not hear this message: end child marriage. This was a sentiment shared by more than 90 member organisations, associates and supporters of Girls Not Brides from 20 different African countries who came together in Johannesburg last week to discuss how to end child marriage across Sub-Saharan Africa, a region where 38% of girls marry before 18. Read more...

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