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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...

Educating Girls Like Chrissie Can Save a Nation

By: Joyce Banda; Originally posted on CNN

Editor's note: Joyce Banda assumed the presidency of Malawi in April and is a member of the Aspen Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health.

When I was young, one of my best friends lived in my grandmother's village. I saw Chrissie every weekend as we made our way through childhood -- she in the village school and I in the town school. We finally came together as students in secondary school. Sadly, Chrissie studied with me for only one term, as her parents could not afford the school fee of $6. She returned to her village, married early and had more than a half-dozen children. Read more...

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...

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