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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...

Women Speak on Building a Vision for Women and Girls by 2030

By: Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Originally posted on Impatient Optimists

In 2000, the United Nations took bold action to address critical global health and development challenges impacting the world’s poorest populations. The results were the Millennium Development Goals.  By thinking big and collectively holding ourselves accountable for results, the global community has come together to improve the health and well-being of millions of people. Read more...

2012 Was a Year for Women and Girls: Will We See the Same Momentum in 2013?

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

In March of this year, on International Women’s Day, I asked, “Is 2012 the Year for Women and Girls?”  Now, as the year winds to a close, I find myself looking back on my call for stronger partnerships, more global coalitions and wondering, are those enough? 2012 was a year for women. We saw tremendous renewal of the commitment by world leaders to ensure that countries and communities have the political support and financial resources needed to improve access to sexual and reproductive health. Read more...

Catapult Earns Recognition for Supporting Girls and Women

After debuting on the International Day of the Girl in October 2012, Catapult has been recognized as a top-tier tool for social good. Catapult, a crowd-funding platform for girls and women and a project of Women Deliver, has more than 70 projects representing nearly forty countries. Check out the impact Catapult is having on the lives of girls and women. Read more...

The Bali Global Youth Declaration: For Young People, By Young People

By: Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver and Amanda Keifer, Public Health Institute; Originally posted on RH Reality Check

With the world’s population now at seven billion and counting, issues of human rights, health, education, and employment require action more urgently than ever before—especially for youth under the age of 25, who comprise more than 40 percent of the world’s population. That’s why we joined more than 3,000 young people from more than 150 countries—in Bali and virtually—this week at the Global Youth Forum to chart a progressive vision for equitable, sustainable, and just global development. Read more...

The Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights Celebrates Release of the Final Declaration

The Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, member of the International Steering Committee for the Global Youth Forum, celebrates the release of the Final Declaration from the Forum, which took place in Bali, Indonesia from December 4-6th 2012, and applauds the hard work of all those who were engaged in and supported the outcomes of the process. The Global Youth Forum brought together hundreds of youth, civil society and member states, among others (in addition to the 2,400+ virtual youth delegates), to identify and discuss issues and priorities facing today and tomorrow’s generation of young people within the context of population and development. Read more...

Women Deliver Opens Media Registration for Groundbreaking Conference on Girls and Women

Advocacy organization’s third triennial global conference in May 2013 will draw 5,000 policymakers, researchers and advocates to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

New York, NY, December 6, 2012—Media registration is now open for the Women Deliver 2013 conference, the largest meeting of the decade to focus on the health and empowerment of girls and women. This landmark event expects to draw 5,000 leaders and advocates to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from May 28-30, 2013. The 2013 conference, which will be hosted for the first time in Asia, follows Women Deliver’s historic conferences previously held in London in 2007 and Washington, D.C. in 2010. Read more...

We Can Only End Violence Against Women Together

By: Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women; Originally posted on Huffington Post

I am often asked whether ending violence against women is possible given the pervasiveness and persistence of these crimes. My answer is yes. It is possible. But we can only do it together. We are all responsible and it is time for leaders to fulfill the promises made to women. Today, looking towards Sunday's International Day to End Violence against Women, I call on all leaders: Take a stand to end violence against women and girls. Last year I launched the 16-step policy agenda. Today, I urge all Heads of State and Government to end the scourge of violence that affects every society by participating in an exciting global initiative to showcase national commitments to end violence against women and girls. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Empowering Aspiring Female Tech Workers in Kenya

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

Information Technology, or IT, has dramatically transformed how we communicate, learn and work around the globe. Yet the opportunities arising from this new digital world still face significant social and cultural barriers, particularly gender discrimination. Although half of Africa’s workforce is female, women only make up 15% of workers in the technology field. Through an innovative, multi-faceted approach, the AkiraChix training program in Kenya has aimed to turn this trend around, bringing IT training and job opportunities to 200 women so far. Read more...

A New Global Focus on Preterm Births

World Prematurity Day highlights effective, low-cost care and new commitments to address the problem

Preterm birth is the world's largest killer of newborn babies, causing more than 1 million deaths each year, yet 75 percent could be saved without expensive, high technology care.

That's the primary message and motivating theme of World Prematurity Day, November 17, a global effort to raise awareness of the deaths and disabilities due to prematurity and the simple, proven, cost-effective measures that could prevent them. Read more...

Young People Have the Power to Change the World

By: Babatunde Osotimehin; Originally posted on The Atlantic

... despite half of the world's youth living on less than two dollars a day.

A social media revolution is unfolding before our eyes, forever changing the way we connect. I see this whenever I travel; the young boys of Lagos preoccupied with their cell-phones; a young girl tweeting from a health-care clinic in Bogota; a young Liberian nurse taking notes on an iPad. I also see how my own children connect with friends on Facebook. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Improving Education in Afghanistan by Training Better Teachers

By: Rati Bishnoi, Catapult

The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL)—an award-winning civil society group committed to improving Afghanistan’s future— is developing Afghanistan’s next cadre of innovative educators, one teacher at a time. Training teachers is a critical solution for helping increase the capacity of one of the weakest education systems in the world. A high illiteracy rate and resistance against educating girls serve as modern-day reminders of Afghanistan’s dark past. Read more...

 

Catapult: The Exciting New Crowdfunding Platform for NGOs

By: Tanya Cothran; Originally posted on WhyDev

Action. Transparency. User feedback. Equality. These words kept popping up as I talked with Maz Kessler, founder and creative director of Catapult, about her new crowd-funding platform. Catapult, which went live in beta form on October 11, is dedicated to promoting equality for women and girls by giving women and girl-focused organizations a place to campaign online. Read more...

Op-Ed: A Girls’ Education - A Challenge of Global Proportions

By: Kay Bailey Hutchinson; Originally posted on San Antonio Express

Kay Bailey Hutchison is the senior U.S. senator from Texas.

Gunmen stormed a school bus earlier this month and shot a 14-year-old girl in the head. Her crime? Getting an education. This seems almost inconceivable to those of us blessed to live in America, but in some areas of the globe, girls must risk their lives to get a basic education. Malala Yousafzai became a prominent voice for girls' education in Pakistan after the Taliban seized control of her native Swat - once a tourist destination renowned for its scenery, culture and open-mindedness - and forced an end to education for women and girls. Read more...

The Critical Role of Women in Sustainable Development

By: Jill Sheffield, President, Women Deliver and Robert Engleman, President, Worldwatch Institute

Jill Sheffield and Robert Engelman will discuss the links between investing in women and achieving sustainability goals in “Women’s Health: A Missing Sustainability Issue?” on Friday, October 26 at the BSR Conference 2012.

In June 2012, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, convened more than 100 heads of state to begin development of Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), which would reduce poverty while preserving the environment. Unfortunately, the conference missed a historic opportunity to affirm the critical link between investing in women and achieving sustainability goals. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Improving Sanitation Facilities for Girls and Women

By: Yousra Yusuf, Women Deliver

In a Celebrate Solutions column earlier this month, we saw how financial constraints can lead menstruating women to resort to unsanitary alternatives instead of disposable pads in India and other developing countries. Unfortunately, monetary restrictions are not the only obstacles preventing women from maintaining proper menstrual hygiene. Lack of access to sanitary facilities prevents girls and women around the world from reaching their potential in terms of health, education, productivity and self-empowerment. This past year, BRAC, a non-profit organization based in Bangladesh, celebrated tremendous progress made in incorporating menstrual hygiene management into its Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program. Read more...

World Contraception Day: Myths Block Contraception among Young People

By: Numfor Alenwi, Women Deliver 100 Young Leader from Cameroon

 

 

 

This blog is part of a series, edited by Women Deliver, in partnership with Impatient Optimists, on youth perspectives to celebrate World Contraception Day. Share your thoughts in comments and join the conversation at #WCD2012. For more stories and to get involved further visit No Controversy.

For young people in my country, the need for comprehensive education is needed to overcome myths and misconceptions about contraception. In Cameroon, only 37% of the demand for family planning is satisfied. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Educating Girls for a Brighter Future

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

This Thursday, we celebrate the first ever International Day of the Girl, a global call to action to advocate for girls’ rights. In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish this day to raise awareness on the issues girls face every day, promote girls’ rights, and highlight gender inequality. Girls Not Brides and its members in more than 30 countries are marking this day with action. Read more...

Upcoming Films Focusing on Girls and Women

By: Harshi Hettige

Look out for important and informative films about girls and in the upcoming months. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is a four-hour broadcast event airing on PBS in October, focusing on the links between sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, maternal mortality, and most importantly, how women are fighting for change. Girl Rising, coming in Spring 2013, spotlights ten adolescent girls’ powerful stories from ten developing countries, written by ten talented writers and narrated by ten actresses. It’s a Girl is screening globally starting in Spring 2013, delving into the “gendercide” that has led to 200 million girls “missing” in the world today. Click to watch the trailers and read more...

World Contraception Day: My Contraception?

By: Mallah Tabot, Women Deliver 100 Young Leader from Cameroon

 

 

This blog is part of a series, edited by Women Deliver, in partnership with Impatient Optimists, on youth perspectives to celebrate World Contraception Day. Share your thoughts in comments and join the conversation at #WCD2012. For more stories and to get involved further visit No Controversy.

With more methods of contraception available, girls and women are increasingly provided with the freedom to choose if and when to be mothers. This freedom, however, generates controversy. Read more...

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