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Celebrate Solutions: Creating Change through Collaboration

By: Brittany Tatum, Women Deliver

Business is at its best when it can help people, make profits, and create real change – this is the basis of “shared value,” a management strategy for companies to increase their value by addressing social problems that intersect with their business. It requires businesses to grow in new ways, learn new skills, and change fundamental thinking. And it’s the topic of the Shared Value Leadership Summit, on 12-13 May in New York City. Read More...

Celebrate Solutions: Boys Learning to Take a Stand against Violence in Kenya

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

Violence against women is prevalent in Kenya. According to government data from 2008-2009, nearly half of Kenyan who have ever been married have been physically abused by husbands. The same survey showed that over half of women believe that men have the right to beat their wives.

Ujamaa Africa, whose mission is to promote health, personal security and economic empowerment for vulnerable women and children, is trying to change this. The organization is currently running a program called Your Moment of Truth, a project to end violence against girls and women in slums in Nairobi by encouraging adolescent boys to take action. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Investing in Local Communities to Transform Lives

By: Lauren Himiak, Women Deliver

Half of the world’s population is under the age of 30 making today’s generation of young people the largest in history. Their choices and opportunities define the present and the future of our world, yet barriers such as child marriage, HIV, poverty, and others, hold back our youth from realizing their full potential. Luckily, there are organizations working to combat these issues and empower the next generation of leaders. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: How Men Can Deliver for Women by Speaking Up

By: Melissa Hattab, Women Deliver

Yesterday, 8 March 2015, was International Women’s Day - global observance of the economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present, and future. We know that women cannot fight for gender equality alone – we need boys and men to stand up too. The issues that girls and women face globally are gaining traction in global development, as advocates continue to push for equality. From journalists, to global partnerships, the world is poised to make gender equality a reality and improve the lives of girls and women. To do this, we need all advocates – especially boys and men – to stand with us and demand equality. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: How Girls Can Realize Their Power Through Sports

By: Melissa Hattab, Women Deliver

The Women’s Sports Foundation strives to make every girl active and healthy. And we know that when we invest in women’s health, everyone wins. Their mission is one we at Women Deliver support wholeheartedly – “To advance the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity." Founded in 1974 by tennis legend, Billie Jean King, the Women's Sports Foundation is dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: How Reducing Social Isolation Can Also Reduce the Risk of HIV Infection

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

Despite years of investment and progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the disease remains the leading cause of death among girls ages 15 to 19 in Ethiopia. In addition, adolescent girls remain disproportionately at risk of infection. The Population Council’s Biruh Tesfa project is seeking to change this by taking a “whole girl” approach to addressing HIV infection – social isolation, economic insecurity, poor access to services, and sexual and gender-based violence. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: The Sisterhood in Girls’ Education

By: Melissa Hattab, Women Deliver

Sadhana is one of five sisters, living in a remote village in Maharashtra, India. Like many others, they were born to parents who felt that girls were a burden and who were therefore indifferent to them. We discovered her story hidden in the New York Times as an opinion piece. It was written by Priyanka Chopra, known globally as a prominent Indian actor but by her own preferred definition, a UNICEF ambassador devoted to promoting child rights. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Is Access to Safe Water A Secret Ingredient to Reducing Maternal Deaths?

By: Whitney Sogol, Women Deliver

In a recent PLOS article, “From Joint Thinking to Joint Action: A Call to Action on Improving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Maternal and Newborn Health,” representatives from WaterAid, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, WHO, UNICEF, UN Population Fund, UNFPA, and the Share Research Consortium, put forward a case that access to safe water is an overlooked but essential tool for reducing maternal mortality—a development goal that has proven particularly hard to reach. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Micro-Entrepreneurship as a Tool for Women’s Empowerment

By: Emily Mello, Women Deliver

When you invest in girls and women, everybody wins.

Here at Women Deliver, we can’t say that enough. Economically empowered women not only raise the labor productivity of their countries, but also spend more of their earned income on their families. Hindustan UniLever Limited (HUL), India’s largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods Company, is applying this principle through Project Shakti. This entrepreneurial program offers rural women microgrants to become distributors of the company’s health and hygiene products. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: 2015, a New Year, New Resolutions, Important Remembrances

By: Melissa Hattab, Women Deliver

As we enter the New Year with good intentions, new resolutions, and re-commitments to issues that matter to us, we must resolve to keep in our collective memory the girls and women who have been lost in an effort to silence or end their human rights activism.

We at Women Deliver bring to your attention the powerful tribute to Feminists and Women Human Rights Defenders who have passed away created by the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) as part of the 16 Days Campaign Against Gender Based Violence (November 25 – December 10, 2014). Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Finding the Beauty in Education

By: Melissa Hattab, Women Deliver

Every girl deserves an education, and one major American magazine is joining the global campaign to prioritize the education of at-risk girls all over the world. Glamour magazine has collaborated with four nonprofits to raise money for girls to help them attend secondary school.

Cindi Leive, Glamour’s editor in chief, said that the magazine started The Girl Project in part because of recent world events, including the girls kidnapped from their school in Nigeria and the many schools damaged in Gaza. Read more..

Celebrate Solutions: Girls on the Run for a Better World

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

Running will always be yours,” my Cross Country coach told me back in high school. “Anytime, anywhere you are, you can lace up your shoes and go.” In my own life, I’ve seen firsthand how running on a cross country team transformed me from a quiet, insecure girl to one with confidence, purpose, and a sense of peace. Running helped me to manage stress, and left me feeling proud of what I could accomplish with just my own two feet. Read more...

 

 

Celebrate Solutions: Driving Change and Saving Lives in India

By: Lauren Himiak, Women Deliver

Imagine waking in the middle of the night choking, unable to breathe, scared, and unsure what to do. One’s first response may be to call for an ambulance, but what if none were available? This was the case in 2004 for Shaffi Mather whose mother awoke to this terrifying situation in India. Unsure of what to do, Mather’s family drover her to the hospital themselves. Just a few days later, a similar situation happened to Ravi Krishna, but in New York where a 911 ambulance was on the scene within minutes. Seeing firsthand such a stark contrast of availability and accessibility of standardized emergency medical services (EMS), Mather and Krishna decided to act. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Building Relationships, Accelerating Action

By: Whitney Sogol, Women Deliver

Over the past decade the global health community has seen a proliferation of MNCH innovations. Research on the efficacy of these innovations has not kept pace. Similarly, traditional business models have failed when it comes to making MNCH innovations affordable and accessible to those with the least resources and greatest need. Under these unfavorable conditions, innovators struggle to secure funding for untested MNCH products or programs that promise minimal, if any, profit. Scarce resources and capacity forces innovators to abandon their work at early stages even as women and children continue to suffer or die. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Transforming Health Care Access in Africa

By: Rehema Namukose, Women Deliver

For pregnant women worldwide, lacking transportation can be a matter of life or death. A delay in reaching health care is one of the 3 delays that contribute to maternal mortality and morbidity. Riders for Health is working to address this and many other health issues in Zambia, The Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria and Zimbabwe by providing accessible, reliable transportation to people who need care, regardless of where they live. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Savings Clubs in Nigeria Promote Economic Independence for Women

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

In Zamfara state, a predominately Muslim region of Nigeria, women are traditionally dependent on their husbands, who are legally allowed to have up to four wives. Men are in control of their family’s resources, and it is difficult for women to have control over their own finances and that of their families. This fuels poverty and disempowerment, and contributes to the high disease burden, high fertility rate, and weak health systems for the more than four million people who live there. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Youth as Agents of Change in Sierra Leone

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

Every 10 minutes, an adolescent girl dies from violence somewhere in the world, according to a new UNICEF report. Think about that for a moment—in the timespan of an 8 hour workday, forty-eight girls will have died as a result of violence. And many more will suffer from the violence they face day after day, minute after minute. We may never truly know the exact number, due to the shame, stigma and sometimes dangerous repercussions girls face when they attempt to speak out. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Fighting Everyday Sexism for a Better Future for Girls

By: Lauren Himiak, Women Deliver

October 11th marked a significant day for girls around the world. International Day of the Girl Child, an annual event, calls attention to the most pressing issues facing girls today. This year’s focus, selected by UNICEF, focused on ending violence against girls. By highlighting the ways in which violence limits the choices and opportunities of girls, the internationally recognized observance engaged national governments with support from civil society, the private sector, media, young people, the United Nations, and men and women everywhere. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Girl Advocates Fighting Child Marriages in Malawi

By: Rehema Namukose, Women Deliver

Malawi is one of the top ten hotspots of child marriage worldwide, with five out of every ten girls married off before the age of 18. This is majorly attributed to strong taboos around child and early marriage practices such as the Kusasa Fumbi practice, in which girls (usually aged 10-12) who have just begun their menstrual cycles  have sex with a man as a way of removing “childhood dust;” Chitomero, another common practice that encourages parents to offer dowry to an older man who agrees to marry their young daughter; and kupimbira, a practice in the northern part of Malawi where a young daughter is married off as repayment for a debt.

These practices expose girls to HIV and sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), denying much the chance to finish school and exposing them to higher risks of maternal mortality due to early pregnancies. Child and early marriages violate a girl’s right to education and choice on who and when to get married, perpetuating poverty levels among various communities. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Government Initiative Improves Abortion and Post-Abortion Care in Ghana

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

Although Ghana has one of the most progressive abortion laws in sub-Saharan Africa, mortality from unsafe abortion is still a problem. The 2010 maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in Ghana was 350 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, compared to an average MMR of 240 in the developing world. One of the largest contributors to maternal deaths are complications from unsafe abortions. The 2007 Ghana Maternal Health Survey estimates that approximately 40% of abortions are performed by untrained providers. Evidence also suggests that many health care providers are not aware of the abortion law. Others may feel that performing an abortion conflicts with their religious beliefs. This lack of knowledge, along with social stigma that surrounds women seeking an abortion, drives the practice underground, resulting in clandestine procedures that are often performed by untrained providers or attempts at a self-induced abortion. Read more...

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