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World Contraception Day: Crossing the Borders of Tradition and Religion

By: Dr. Shibilu Shamsudeen, Women Deliver 100 Young Leader from United Arab Emirates

 

 

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.

In many parts of the Muslim world, the topic of contraception is largely avoided, as is sexual education in general. Further, any discussion related to sexuality, especially to the unmarried, is a taboo. Many countries in the Middle East even have laws against the purchase of oral contraceptive pills. Read more...

Global Female Condom Day

By: Nienke Blauw, Universal Access to Female Condoms (UAFC) Joint Programme

Today, September 12, 2012 is the first ever Global Female Condom Day. Thousands of individuals and organizations from over 21 countries will join this event, initiated by several female condom advocates and coordinated by the US-based National Female Condom Coalition. The purpose of this dedicated day of action is to raise awareness and demonstrate the need for female condoms, promote their use, and call for greater access. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Integrating Family Planning into the Health System

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

In 1998, Russia’s federal government withdrew funding for national family planning programs, leaving the task to municipal and regional governments. In response, USAID and John Snow Inc. stepped in to fund the Women and Infants’ Health [pdf] (WIN) pilot project from 1999 to 2003, followed by the scale-up phase called Maternal and Child Health Initiative (MCHI) from 2003 to 2006. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Making Schools in Zambia Safer Spaces for Girls

By: Harshi Hettige, Women Deliver

Over 600 Zambian girls have been empowered to stand up against violence as a result of the Tisunge Ana Athu Akazi (Lets Protect Our Girl Children) Coalition (TAAAC). The Coalition took action in a country where one-third of girls surveyed reported that they knew of girls who had been sexually harassed by a teacher, and half reported knowing girls who had been exploited by a family member.

Led by Equality Now and with a grant from the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, TAAAC unites Zambian organizations to take action against gender-based violence. Read more...

Partnering with Youth for International Youth Day 2012

August 12th marks the 4th anniversary of International Youth Day, an event organized and adopted by the United Nations. Recognizing the growing role and importance of young people as stakeholders in global development, this year’s theme, “Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth,” is a call to action for organizations and individuals to develop partnerships and involve youth, especially in the areas of education, including sexual and reproductive health; political inclusion; employment; and protection of rights. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Berhane Hewan Prevents Child Marriage in Rural Ethiopia

By: Harshi Hettige, Women Deliver

“I hate early marriage. I was married at an early age and my in-laws forced me to sleep with my husband and he made me suffer all night. After that, whenever it starts to get dark, I get worried, thinking that it will be like that. This is what I hate most.”
11-year old girl from Amhara region, Ethiopia. Married at age 5, lost her virginity at age 9.

The Berhane Hewan (“Light for Eve” in Amharic) project was established to help girls like this one by providing best practices to protect them from early marriage and supporting those who are already married. Read more...

Latin America and Caribbean Regional Consultation Youth Pre-Conference

From June 4-6 2012, Women Deliver, held its second regional consultation in Mexico City, in partnership with Grupo de Trabajo Regional para la Reduccion de la Mortalidad Materna (GTR). Discussion from the consultation is being used in agenda planning for Women Deliver's 2013 Global Conference.

This consultation gathered more than 180 participants and 12 young leaders from 13 different countries, who had the opportunity to attend through scholarships. Read more...

Early Marriage Robs Children of Their Opportunities

By: Graça Machel and Desmond Tutu; Originally posted on Washington Post

Graça Machel was the first education minister of Mozambique. Desmond Tutu is archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. They are members of The Elders, a group of independent leaders working for peace and human rights.

“If adults know child marriage is wrong, why do they allow it to happen?” a teenage girl asked one of us during a visit this year to Bihar , a state in northeast India where, despite national law to the contrary, 69 percent of girls are married before age 18. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Iran’s Family Planning Success Story

By: Harshi Hettige, Women Deliver

Iran’s family planning program has been lauded as an ‘Iranian Miracle’ and modeled around the world, including here in the US. It holds the record for the largest and fastest decline in fertility ever. The total fertility rate (TFR) dropped from 6 children per woman in the mid-1980s to 2.1 children per woman in 2000. This greatly exceeded expectations; the TFR in 2000 was less than half of what had been planned for 2011. "It confounded all conventional wisdom that it could happen in one of the world's few Islamic republics," said Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi, a demographer at the University of Tehran. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Convenient, Lifesaving HIV Testing in Tanzania

By: Harshi Hettige, Women Deliver

Jhpiego, a global health care organization for women and families, has made it their mission to ask the question, “How can we make lifesaving services available and accessible to the people who need them—all over the world?” This question will be brought up again and again at the International AIDS Conference in Washington DC next week. Together with partners Africare and the Tanzania Marketing and Communication (T-MARC) Company, Jhpiego has found an answer in Tanzania. Read more...

Family Planning is Key to a Sustainable World

By: Danielle Nierenberg, Jill Sheffield; Originally posted on Impatient Optimists

In June, at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, global leaders missed a historic opportunity to put reproductive health and family planning at the center of global sustainability and development.  Today’s London Summit on Family Planning, hosted by the United Kingdom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, succeeded where the Rio+20 conference fell short, by making clear the inextricable links between women, reproductive health, and poverty reduction. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Philips Electronics Showcases Clinical Solutions for Maternal Health

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

Philips Electronics, a signatory to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), announced in June that it would continue its work towards MDG 4 and 5 to reduce newborn and maternal deaths. The announcement took place during the 2012 Cairo to Cape Town Roadshow, while on a stopover in Ghana. During the stopover, Philips representatives showcased several clinical solutions designed to make progress towards reaching MDG 4 and 5.
By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

Philips Electronics, a signatory to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), announced in June that it would continue its work towards MDG 4 and 5 to reduce newborn and maternal deaths. The announcement took place during the 2012 Cairo to Cape Town Roadshow, while on a stopover in Ghana. During the stopover, Philips representatives showcased several clinical solutions designed to make progress towards reaching MDG 4 and 5. Read more...

Ford Foundation Launches Child Marriage Map and Partner Index

The Ford Foundation, in partnership with the Girls Not Brides campaign, has recently shared their child marriage interactive map, and partner index of Girls Not Brides member organizations. The map is linked to the recent article from Time magazine titled, “Why Is It So Hard to Combat Child Marriage?

The website examines 30 countries with the highest rates of child marriage, and offers some alarming statistics: “Across the developing world, more than one-third of girls are married by age 18, and one in seven is married by age 15, with devastating effects on girls’ health, education, earning power and independence.” Read more...

Rio+20: Highlighting the Voices of Women

By: Corine Milano; Originally Posted on World Pulse

World Pulse delivered the voices of grassroots women leaders to the UN’s 2nd Landmark Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Of the 55 statements from women in 28 different countries, eight recommendations were highlighted on the website, exposing that sustainable development must tackle issues ranging from sanitation to land rights to economic empowerment for women. Read more...

Rio+20: Sustainable Development Needs Women’s Empowerment, UN Official Says

Originally posted on UN News Centre

New York, Jun 18 2012—Sustainable development will not be achieved without empowering women, the head of the United Nations agency tasked with advancing gender equality said today, adding that the importance of their participation must be reflected in all aspects of the outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

“We cannot afford to leave women marginalized,” the Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), Michelle Bachelet, told reporters today in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Read more...

Women and Sustainability: Five Youth-Led Initiatives That Are Shaking Up Rio+20

By Seyyada Burney, Research Intern, Nourishing the Planet

Women Deliver is collaborating with Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project to highlight the important role of women, youth, and reproductive and sexual rights in sustainable development at the upcoming Rio+20 conference.Women Deliver is collaborating with Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project to highlight the important role of women, youth, and reproductive and sexual rights in sustainable development at the upcoming Rio+20 conference.Women Deliver is collaborating with Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project to highlight the important role of women, youth, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in sustainable development at the upcoming Rio+20 conference.

Les jeunes, os jovens, or vijana. Call them what you will, young people make up nearly 40 percent of the global population. According to statistics from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 85 percent of the world’s children and youth currently live in the developing world, mostly in Asia. Read more...

Women and Sustainability: Recognizing the Role of Women at Rio+20

By: Danielle Nierenberg, Worldwatch Institute

Women Deliver is collaborating with Worldwatch Institute's Nourising the Planet project to highlight the important role of women, youth, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in sustainable development at the upcoming Rio+20 conference.

From sustainable cities to renewable energy, some of the most crucial areas of development policy remain devoid of any mention or dialogue on the issue of women’s rights. To put these neglected issues on the global agenda, numerous governments, executives, NGOs, and civil society activists will gather next week to represent the voices of the women, youth, and children around the world at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20. Read more...

World Health Assembly Welcomes Calls to Address Early Marriage

Originally posted on Girls Not Brides
 
Last week, one of the world’s most credible, respected bodies on global health held a debate on early marriage, adolescent and youth pregnancies. The discussion at the World Health Assembly, a body that determines the policies of the World Health Organisation (WHO), formally recognised that we need to act across all health sectors if we’re to achieve a reduction in early marriage and save the lives of millions of young mothers. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Johnson & Johnson Supports Maternal Health Trainings in Nigeria

By: Denis Robson, Director of African Affairs, Johnson & Johnson

Despite the quiet and formal surroundings of Dr. Aminu Mai’s office, matters of birth and death are always at the front of his mind. As an obstetrician in Nigeria, where one expectant mother dies every 10 minutes through no fault of her own, Dr. Mai spends a lot of time thinking about how closely the two events are linked – and how important it is that the country’s birth attendants receive updated information and training to save lives. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Nike Foundation Funding for Tostan’s Community Empowerment Program

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

The Nike Foundation continues its commitment to the Girl Effect and the health of girls and women by funding Tostan’s Community Empowerment Programs

Tostan is an international grassroots organization. The Community Empowerment Program is a community-based effort that makes use of the power of social networks to promote knowledge and skills sharing. The program was created with the intention of targeting the most vulnerable in the country: rural girls and women and embraces a holistic and participatory approach. Read more...

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