By: Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver
There is a clear link between a girl’s access to quality education and her ability to live a healthier, more productive life. We also know that one of the major reasons why girls drop out of school is that they lack of access to sanitary facilities and supplies. Without access to basic menstrual supplies and sanitation, girls’ health and educational opportunities are marginalized. The long-term consequences of this preventable reality for girls create a ripple effect among their communities and, collectively, the global economy. Read more...
March 31st, 2014
By: Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver
March 19th, 2014
By Lindsay Menard-Freeman; Originally posted on Huffington Post
March is an exciting time to celebrate girls and women. Women's History Month commemorates the pioneers of women's rights and equality, past and present. International Women's Day encourages us all to continue the fight for women's rights around the world. And this week, the United Nations 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women revives our commitments to build a better future for girls and women everywhere.
This March, however, also marks a particularly critical time for women's health and rights: For the first time in over a decade, we have an opportunity to shape a brand new global development agenda. The 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) generated unprecedented political will and funding for girls' and women's health and rights. Unfortunately though, the MDGs are quickly coming to an end just when we are beginning to gain momentum. Read more...
March 12th, 2014
By Denise Dunning; Originally posted on Huffington Post
Girls around the world rarely have the opportunity to tell their stories and speak their truth to a global audience. That reality is about to change with the global film premiere of 'PODER,' a compelling short documentary about girls' power to transform their own lives, families, communities and the world.
'PODER' is the engaging story of Elba and Emelin, two indigenous Guatemalan girls who overcame poverty and discrimination to transform a community of over 26,000 people, and their nation of 14 million. Unlike many documentaries that depict girls as powerless victims, 'PODER' captures girls as leaders and powerful agents of change. Read more...
February 26th, 2014
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...
February 24th, 2014
By: Stacy Teicher Khadaroo; Originally posted by The Christian Science Monitor
To help girls stay in school, women and girls in Malawi are taking a stand against child marriages. So far they have persuaded leaders in 22 villages to penalize men who try to marry a woman under age 21. One possible penalty? Taking away some of the man's goats or chickens.
It's the kind of strategy that probably wouldn't have occurred to a US-based nonprofit. But in countries where girls and women bear the brunt of poverty, Let Girls Lead, an Oakland, Calif.-based initiative founded by Denise Dunning, helps them amplify their voices and broaden their hopes, turning small victories into large-scale changes. Read more...
February 18th, 2014
By Dr. Denise Dunning; Originally posted on Impatient Optimists
My mom is from Argentina, and we often spent Christmas holidays there while I was growing up. When I was 12, I was riding on a train with my parents to spend Christmas Eve with family friends living outside of Buenos Aires. The mood on the train was festive – everyone was dressed up and many carried holiday gifts. At a station about 20 minutes outside the city, I saw a teenage girl board the far end of the train. The girl, only a couple years older than me, was carrying a baby and dragging a toddler along behind her. They were ragged and very poor – their faces were streaked with dirt and their clothes were torn. Read more...
February 17th, 2014
By: Katia Gomez, Executive Director, Educate2Envision
According to UNESCO, only 28% of rural youth 15-25 years have completed a secondary school education compared with 60% of those from urban areas in Honduras. This truth is complicated by the fact that more than half of the secondary school age population resides in rural areas.
Aside from the average four hour walk round trip to reach the nearest secondary school and the total cost incurred by households to send their children to class equipped with all necessary supplies, the lack of opportunity for young people to gain practical leadership skills and play a direct role in developing their communities is a critical barrier to confronting generational poverty. This holds true especially for girls who must break free of the gender norms that are perpetuated daily in their isolated surroundings. Read more...
February 10th, 2014
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...
January 22nd, 2014
This week, approximately 2,500 global leaders, key decision-makers, entrepreneurs, corporate executives and youth from around the globe have gathered in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. Over the next few days, participants will discuss this year’s theme, The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business. The meeting presents a tremendous opportunity to shape global policy through advocacy events, such as the United Nations Secretary-General's MDG Advocacy Group event Scaling Up Success: Investing in Girls’ Empowerment for MDG Acceleration. Read more...
January 9th, 2014
Originally posted by Council on Foreign Relations
A new interactive guide from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) examines the threat that child marriage poses both to the prosperity and stability of the countries in which it is prevalent and to U.S. development and foreign policy interests. "Child marriage is linked to poor health, curtailed education, violence, and instability, and perpetuates an intergenerational cycle of poverty that is difficult to break, as the InfoGuide shows," said CFR Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy Rachel B. Vogelstein, formerly director of policy and senior adviser on global women's issues at the U.S. State Department. "Its effects harm not only girls but entire families, communities, and economies—and U.S. interests around the world." Read more...
January 7th, 2014
Nargis Shirazi, featured in the article below, is one of Women Deliver's 100 Young Leaders selected to attend the Women Deliver 2013 Conference.
December 6th, 2013
By: Tyler LePard, Catapult; Originally posted on Huffington Post
Girls and women are disproportionately more affected than men by armed conflict, sexual violence, injury, death, intimidation, and human trafficking. Yet less than 7.5 percent of private foundation funding goes towards girls and women's rights, and two years ago one in four of women's organizations were in danger of closing.
That's why we started Catapult, the first crowdfunding platform dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women around the world. We aim to make a real difference and to use the power of the internet to connect people who care about justice with trusted organizations that are working issues like reproductive rights, child marriage, and girls education, and desperately need financial support. Read more...
November 4th, 2013
By: Rati Bishnoi, Catapult
Located in the Trans Mara district of Kenya, the Kakenya Center for Excellence is a primary boarding school focused on serving the most vulnerable underprivileged Maasai girls. The academy provides girls a space for academic excellence, female empowerment, leadership, and community development. This summer—through a fundraising campaign on Catapult.org—the Kakenya Center for Excellence was able to raise funds to provide uniforms, foods, books and supplies, and personal items for 30 students and support a teacher's salary. Read more...
October 21st, 2013
By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver
Around the world, there are 15.4 million people who have fled from their country for fear of persecution or because they are fleeing a dangerous conflict zone. Of these, almost half are children. For many of these children arriving with no one watching over them, a new place means new dangers of being exploited or trafficked. In the United Kingdom, The Global Fund for Children is helping young female asylum-seekers to avoid this fate through a 12-week training program. Read more...
October 15th, 2013
By: Denise Restauri; Originally posted on Forbes
Elba Graciela Velásquez Hernández is a 16-year-old indigenous girl activist from Guatemala. The oldest of six children and proud daughter of Dario and Olivia, Elba is from Concepción Chiquirichapa, a small Maya Mam community in the country’s Western Highlands. She plans on studying law and becoming a lawyer and journalist. Her dream for the future is a world with better opportunities for adolescent girls, one where girls become respected leaders in their communities. Elba is a leader in Let Girls Lead’s girls’ empowerment program and a star of the upcoming short film ¡PODER!, which tells the story of how she and her friends convinced their town to stop discriminating against girls and start supporting girls’ education, health, and empowerment. The word poder has a double meaning, both “power” and “ability.” Read more...
October 11th, 2013
By: Purnima Mane, Pathfinder International; Originally posted on Huffington Post
2013 has been an exciting year for girls. The rallying cry for girls' education, ending early marriage and pregnancies, and preventing gender-based violence is resonating with a more global and diverse audience than ever before. In May, the global health community convened at the Women Deliver conference around the central message that investing in women and girls is not only an important investment, but a smart one.In July, Malala—the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for attending classes—addressed the United Nations with an impassioned call to action in support of girls' education, "Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons." Read more...
October 11th, 2013
By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver
Today marks the second-ever International Day of the Girl, a call to action for the rights of girls worldwide. This year’s theme, “Innovating for Girls’ Education”, is representative of current global development needs, all of which center around girls’ access to education. When girls are educated, they are less likely to become child brides, less likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth, less likely to be infected with HIV, and more likely to have healthy children and long, empowered lives. Simply put, educating girls is a win for the entire world. Read more...
October 7th, 2013
By: Saundra Pelletier; Originally posted on Huffington Post
We have all attended conferences knowing that 10% will be substantive and 90% will be superfluous. CGI is not that conference. The substance of the program is unparalleled. Each of the main speakers is a well-developed leader in an area of global change and is strategically selected to provoke ideas and facilitate thoughtful exchange. And, as a result, this meeting left many of us realizing that sustainable change ABSOLUTELY requires total commitment and dedication. Not only do we all need to be better global citizens, but we must constantly recruit others to join us on the journey. Read more...
October 7th, 2013
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...
August 29th, 2013
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...