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Why contraceptives? Here are the top 5 benefits

By: Katja Iversen, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and Jill Sheffield, President, Women Deliver; Originally posted by Devex

What is contraception good for? The answer may seem obvious: As far back as the age of Cleopatra, who used gold pellets to prevent pregnancy, women have sought ways to plan the number and timing of their children. But critics of that idea go back just as far, and contraception remains controversial to this day. As the world celebrates World Contraception Day on Sept. 26, it’s worth reviewing some of the ways that access to modern contraception improves not only the lives of girls and women, but also men, boys and society in general. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Access to Contraceptive Implants Increased Nine-Fold in Some African Countries

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

Between 2008 and 2012, Marie Stopes International (MSI) provided 1.7 million contraceptive implants in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a Global Health: Science and Practice article published last month. The organization’s success is based on a mix of mobile outreach, social franchising, and clinic-based service provision. Read more...

It Takes Two to Launch Family Planning Campaign at Third Annual International Women’s Day Concert

5,000 people expected to attend concert to promote girls’ and women’s health and rights

Kampala, Uganda, February 26 – It Takes Two will launch its national youth-focused family planning campaign at Talent Africa’s International Women’s Day concert on March 8. The concert will recognize the importance of women’s health and rights, and feature performances by international and local female artists, including Nyanda, Cindy Sany, Lilian Mbabazi and Irene Ntale among others. Read more...

Press Release: Unsafe Abortion Widespread in Burkina Faso

Originally posted by the Guttmacher Institute

Low Level of Contraceptive Use in the Country Fuels High Rate of Unintended Pregnancy

An estimated 105,000 abortions occurred in Burkina Faso in 2012, the vast majority of which were clandestine procedures performed under unsafe conditions that jeopardize Burkinabe women’s health and lives. The finding comes in a new report, Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion in Burkina Faso: Causes and Consequences, released today by the Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la Population (ISSP) of the University of Ouagadougou and the U.S.-based Guttmacher Institute. According to the report, 43% of women who had an unsafe abortion experienced complications serious enough to require treatment, but many women did not receive the medical care they needed. Read more...

New Study Shows Access to Information and Services Does Not Lead to Sexual Risk Taking

A new study in Pediatrics has found that young women who are vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV) do not participate in riskier sexual behavior as a result. HPV is the most common STI in the United States and the leading cause of cervical cancer. These findings show, again, that providing young people with sexual and reproductive health information and services is not linked to riskier sexual behavior. Read more...

Saundra Pelletier Talks about WomanCare Global’s New Product at the World Economic Forum

In January, 2,500 global leaders, key decision-makers, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and youth from around the world gathered in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. The theme of this year’s meeting was The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business. Key issues included innovative ways to optimize funding for health programmes in developing and middle-income countries, closing the gender gap, and shaping global policy through advocacy. Read more...

ICEC Releases New Advocacy Brief on Emergency Contraception

Today, the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception (ICEC) announced the released a new advocacy brief entitled “The Unfinished Agenda: Next Steps to Increase Access to Emergency Contraception". The brief presents a summary of data collected by ICEC and partners on global emergency contraceptive access, including country-level policies and practices, availability across sectors, and awareness of EC among women and providers. Overall, the data suggest that while the past twenty years have seen a dramatic increase in EC availability, access remains limited, especially in developing countries. Read more...

The Most Inspiring Women and Girls I Met This Year

By: Melinda Gates, Originally posted by Impatient Optimists

Nargis Shirazi, featured in the article below, is one of Women Deliver's 100 Young Leaders selected to attend the Women Deliver 2013 Conference.  
 
One of the things I love about my job is the women and girls I meet as I travel around the world and around the country — from high-ranking government officials to mothers in remote villages in northern India to high school teachers in the Bronx. I'm struck by the common goals and aspirations that they share. They want to create a better future for themselves, their children, and their families. They want to improve their own communities, and also aspire to create change at a national and global scale. Read more...

 

 

Long-Acting Reversible Contraception in the Context of Full Access, Full Choice

2013 Statement from the Bellagio Group on LARCs

In November 2013 at the International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Population Council convened the third meeting of international experts to discuss ways to expand contraceptive choice and accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of universal access to reproductive health services by increasing access to highly effective, long-acting, reversible contraceptives (LARCs).

The Bellagio Group shares a commitment to leadership in increasing access and choice in contraceptive information, services, and supplies. Participants include service providers, donor representatives, researchers, procurement specialists, manufacturers, and public health specialists. Read more...

Looking Forward: From Problems to Progress

By: Saundra Pelletier; Originally posted on Huffington Post

As this year comes to a close, I'll take this time for reflection and introspection -- to celebrate the successes, lament the missteps and be grateful for how far WomanCare Global has come. But it won't be long before I'll start thinking about tomorrow and the work that needs to be done. It's critical work because our world needs women -- and women need to have choices. Regardless of what motivates you, whether it's global warming, nutrition, agriculture or clean water, I am certain that the first step forward is providing women and girls with safe, affordable and sustainable contraceptive choice. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Pakistani Midwives Provide Postpartum Family Planning Services

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

A new initiative, led by Jhpiego and funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, is providing counseling to women about postpartum family planning methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies and space births to improve the health of the mother and child. The program has trained 425 maternal health care providers of different skill levels across 21 facilities about postpartum family planning methods, including the postpartum intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD). It has also included input from district managers from the Government of Pakistan’s health and population departments and has taught them how to provide appropriate and supportive supervision to health facility staff. Read more...

Global Citizen Festival Calls for Women’s Equality

By: Janna Oberdorf, Women Deliver

On Saturday, September 28th, more than 60,000 people will come together at a musical festival on the Great Lawn in Central Park, New York City, to focus on one goal – to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. The Global Citizen Festival, which will feature musical performances by John Mayer, Alicia Keys, Kings of Leon, and Stevie Wonder, gives “Global Citizens” the opportunity to join a movement of people who together are creating a world without extreme poverty. By taking action on globalcitizen.org, citizens from around the world can earn points to enter a chance to win passes to the festival.

The focus of the Festival this year will not only be on global poverty, but on accelerating progress on the issues of health, education, women’s equality, and global partnerships. Coinciding with the UN General Assembly, the Festival serves as an important platform for citizens to come together and raise their voices for change in a moment when critical leaders are gathered together. Read more...

The Everyday Heroes

By: Pamela Barnes; Originally posted on Huffington Post

Did you know that today is World Contraception Day? Many articles in your newsfeed today will likely call attention to the fact that despite ongoing advances in global reproductive health, there are still 220 million women around the world who want to avoid or postpone pregnancy but who lack access to modern contraception. World Contraception Day shines light on the urgent need for family planning and how best to get it into the hands of the women who need it most. A crucial but often forgotten link is the health care provider. When I think about World Contraception Day, I'm reminded that at some point in our lives, all of us need access to reproductive health information. Who gave you the information you wanted and needed? I would like to introduce to you to Nurse Peace Ametsitsi, an everyday hero whom I met while I was in Ghana. Peace helps women at the Koforidua Polyclinic in Eastern Ghana -- up to 50 a day -- find peace of mind in their lives. This post is dedicated to Peace, and to all health care providers whose guidance puts us on a healthy path. Read more...

Women’s Equality Day: Mobilizing the Women of the World

By: Saundra Pelletier, WomanCare Global; Originally posted on Huffington Post

What does investing in women and in their ability to advocate for themselves mean for the world? In Caribou, Maine, where I'm from, girls had two choices when they were growing up - who they would marry and how many children they would have. There were many "invisible women" who lacked access to resources, powerful female role models and, above all, choice. My mother encouraged me to advocate for myself and for those who felt invisible. As the CEO of WomanCare Global, a non-profit women's health company focused on delivering high-quality healthcare products, I believe that empowering women by ensuring their reproductive choice is critical for women who simply want to provide a better quality of life for their children and ultimately, themselves. On a global scale, an investment in female empowerment ensures healthier, wealthier and better educated communities. Read more...

 

The X Factor: Why Investing In Family Planning Can Yield The Greatest Impact

By: Pamela W. Barnes, EngenderHealth; Originally posted on Forbes.com

There are certain moments in our lives when the dots connect, the numbers add up, and things just make sense. Last month in Malaysia, I experienced the dots connecting from all over the world when I was among world leaders, policymakers, and advocates — including Melinda Gates, Chelsea Clinton, Dr. Christine Kaseba-Sata, First Lady of Zambia, and Princess Mary of Denmark, to name just a few — at Women Deliver 2013, the largest meeting of the decade to accelerate progress for women and girls. Read more...

Op-Ed: Put ladies first with education and contraception in Tanzania

By: Suzanne Ehlers and Halima Shariff; Originally posted in the Global Post

Empowering Tanzania’s next generation of women means committing to contraception today.

As First Ladies from around the world, including Michelle Obama, gather in Tanzania on Tuesday to talk about women’s empowerment, it’s crucial that both education and contraception are addressed. Tanzania has one of the world’s youngest populations, with nearly 45 percent under the age of 15. That represents a huge number of young women who will soon face choices about education, careers, sex, childbearing and marriage.

Contraception and Gamified Advocacy

By: Jill Sheffield, Women Deliver and Matti Navellou, Global Poverty Project; Originally posted on Huffington Post

It's time to modernize advocacy efforts to empower girls and women.

222 million women currently lack access to modern contraception. That's 222 million women who can't plan their fertility, and 222 million women who can't plan their lives.

As notable policymakers, government leaders, civil society representatives and corporate leaders come together this week to discuss the global health and empowerment of girls and women at the 3rd Women Deliver Global Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - now is the time to rethink effective advocacy in this area. Read more...

Women Deliver Catalyzes Conversations With Young People about Reproductive Health

By: Purnima Mane, President and CEO of Pathfinder International; Originally posted on Huffington Post

The first official day of the 3rd annual Women Deliver Conference just wrapped up. Perhaps the biggest takeaway here so far is the incredible presence and engagement of young people.

More than 100 young leaders have travelled from around the world to share their experiences, energy, and wisdom. Each of these young leaders is working to improve the health and well-being of women and girls in their communities. They joined a catalyzing pre-conference event on Monday that inspired Pathfinder's Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Advisor Callie Simon to share, "These young leaders here rock my world. Days like these that make it all worth it." Read more...

Partner Spotlight: Creating the Healthiest Generation Ever

By:  Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Last year, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) joined other independent organizations, governments, and private foundations at the London Summit on Family Planning in committing to expand women’s access to contraception around the world.

The London Summit set an ambitious goal for the global community: to increase access to contraception for 120 million women living in the world’s poorest countries by 2020. Read more...

 

Time to Bridge the Gap for Women’s Health

By: Serra Sippel and Zeda Rosenberg; Originally posted on Huffington Post

Nearly 20 years ago, the global community gathered at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo and declared -- for the first time -- that a woman's right and ability to control her reproductive health was fundamental to her well-being and key to global development. That meeting sparked two decades of advances for women, and the pace has been accelerating. In just the past year, the London Summit on Family Planning led to unprecedented pledges to increase access to products and services for women in developing countries, a UN Commission called for increased access to life-saving maternal health products, and the UN created new policy standards to end violence against women and girls. Read more...

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