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United Nations Adopts Landmark Resolution on Adolescents and Youth

Late Friday, 27 April 2012, at the 45th Session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development (CPD), member states issued a bold resolution in support of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and human rights.

This victory comes on the heels of a UNICEF report released this week highlighting the challenges that the largest-ever generation of young people face—including HIV/AIDS, violence, and unintended pregnancy—and reaffirms long-standing international agreements including the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action. Read more...

Op-Ed: Family Planning - a Force for Good Across Africa

By: Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Originally posted in The Independent (Uganda)

Last year, I visited a mother's group in the Korogocho slum in Nairobi to learn more about family planning in Africa. At the end of our conversation, a woman named Mary Ann told me something I'll never forget. She said she plans her family because she wants to "bring every good thing" to one child before she has another.

That desire to bring every good thing to our children must be universal, because it is also why my husband and I planned our family. We have three children, and we spaced them three years apart so we could give each one the attention they deserved. One billion people around the world use contraception for the very same reason. Read more...

TedxChange asks “How Have Contraceptives Changed Your Life?”

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

Today, TedxChange and Melinda Gates launched the No Controversy website, in the hopes that people around the world will share their stories, read about the experiences of others, and become educated on the importance of contraception and family planning. The launch, which is available on Livestream, comes three months ahead of the July 11 Family Planning Summit that will take place in London. The Summit, supported by the Department for International Development (DFID), The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other partners, seeks to generate political commitment and greater resources to meet the family planning needs of women in some of the least wealthy countries by 2020. Read more...

Maternal and Reproductive Health Issues Take Center Stage in Africa

Leaders from 27 African countries gather at ‘African Regional Consultation on Achieving Millennium Development Goal 5’ to make the health of girls and women a regional priority

Kampala, Uganda – On 27-28 March, policymakers, advocates and researchers from across sub-Saharan Africa are gathering in Kampala, Uganda, to reaffirm national and regional commitments to Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 – reducing maternal mortality and ensuring universal access to reproductive health.

At the regional consultation, convened by Partners in Population and Development and global advocacy organization Women Deliver, leading experts will discuss lessons learned in maternal, sexual and reproductive health and identify barriers to meeting the needs of girls and women in the lead-up to the 2015 MDG target date and beyond. Read more...

It’s Time to Deliver for Girls and Women

By: Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, Regional Director of the Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office; Originally published in The Independent

A few weeks ago, on 8 March, the world celebrated International Women’s Day, which serves as a clarion call to honor girls’ and women’s contributions to their families, communities and nations. As our global population swells to over 7 billion, we must heed this call by working to ensure that every girl and woman lives a long, healthy and happy life.

Here in Africa, we are doing just that. On 27-28 March, policymakers, researchers and advocates from across the continent – including Ugandan First Lady Janet Museveni and Minister of Health Honorable Dr. Christine Ondoa – are gathering in Kampala for a regional consultation on maternal and reproductive health. At this meeting, convened by Partners in Population and Development and global advocacy organization Women Deliver, experts will discuss lessons learned, best practices and challenges for improving the health and wellbeing of girls and women. Read more...

Woman’s Condom: Expanding Options for Dual Protection

By: Kimberly Whipkey, Global Advocacy Specialist, PATH; Woman's Condom is a winner of the Women Deliver 50

PATHcondom.jpgWomen need access to dual protection and more female-controlled options.

If you’ve been following the discussion around the World Health Organization’s technical guidance on hormonal contraception and HIV, chances are you’ve seen this message emerge. So what female-controlled, dual protection methods are available today—methods that help prevent both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV? Read more...

International Women’s Day: Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures

Janna Oberdorf, Women Deliver; Originally posted on the Impatient Optimist

Half the world’s population is under the age of 25. Young women have always been leaders in their families, managing households and caring for their family members. Increasingly, young women are taking on leadership roles in the private and public sector. But despite their extraordinary potential, girls and women remain invisible in much of the world. In developing countries, a girl is more likely to be uneducated, a child bride, or exposed to HIV/AIDS than to be an educated professional. Only $.02 of every development aid dollar is directed to girls. Read more...

Interview: ONE talks to Women Deliver Founder Jill Sheffield

By Erin Hohlfelder; Originally posted on ONE Blog.

I recently sat down with Jill Sheffield, founder of Women Deliver, an organization that works to reduce maternal mortality and achieve universal access to reproductive health, to talk about her plans for International Women’s Day, the Women Deliver 50 list and the fight for women’s equality and empowerment. Read more...

DFID to Host Family Planning Summit

The UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) has announced that this July, it will host a Family Planning summit with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners.  The event signals a major political commitment as well commitments by donors, corporations, and others to work towards meeting family planning needs, such as information, services, and supplies, for developing countries by 2020. Read more...

The “Women Deliver 50” is Announced!

WD50Logo.gif

On International Women’s Day, Women Deliver features grassroots and global initiatives that promote a better world for girls and women.

March 7, 2012, New York – Women Deliver, a global advocacy organization, today announced the “Women Deliver 50,” a compilation of the 50 most inspiring ideas and solutions that are delivering for girls and women across the globe.  After receiving hundreds of online nominations from 103 countries, a selection committee chose 125 finalists to be voted on by the public. More than 6,000 individuals participated in the online voting.

“The solutions on this list show that with ingenuity, drive and dedication, we can build a better world for girls and women,” said Jill Sheffield, Women Deliver Founder and President. “We are proud to celebrate these organizations and programs, which are pioneering real, lasting, social change at the local and global levels. We have seen time and time again that when we invest in girls and women, entire societies benefit.” Read more...

Calls for Second Round of Applicants for Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge

Calling all innovators: Do you have an “audacious but achievable” idea to prevent or treat the causes of maternal and neonatal deaths?

If so, then it’s time to prepare an application for the second round of grants for the Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development. USAID, Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, and the World Bank have released a request for applications to award $18 million in Saving Lives at Birth grants in fiscal year 2012. Read more...

Women Need Access to Dual Protection—Effective Contraceptives and HIV Prevention Options

WHO recommendations related to use of hormonal contraceptives remain unchanged. The use of condoms—male and female—is a reliable method of HIV prevention.

GENEVA, 16 February 2012—A stakeholder consultation convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva has reviewed recent epidemiological studies related to HIV transmission and acquisition by women using hormonal contraceptives. After careful review of all available evidence, the stakeholders found that the data were not sufficiently conclusive to change current guidance. Read more... 

Understanding the Girl Effect

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver; Originally posted on the Impatient Optimist 

girl_effect_gates.jpgOn Friday, The Guardian’s Poverty Matters Blog posted an opinion piece by Dr. Ofra Koffman that questions the contributions that girls and young women can make to economies when they delay childbirth. Koffman argued that the so-called “Girl Effect” of delaying childbirth does not necessarily “stop poverty before it starts,” as the Department for International Development (DFID) claims.

However, the “Girl Effect” is about much more than adolescent fertility. It’s about the holistic approach to harnessing the power of girls and women—from literacy to the elimination of death in early childbirth to leadership opportunities—and how these factors come together to reduce global poverty. Read more...

10 Facts About Contraception (And How It Changed the World) That Every Man and Woman Should Know

Excerpt of a blog by Keli Goff, author of The GQ Candidate and a Contributing Editor for Loop21.com
Birth_Control.jpg

Below is a list of the most powerful ways contraception has impacted and continues to impact the world, from issues such as literacy to life expectancy rates of women. 

1. In countries with the highest fertility rates, women have the shortest life expectancies.

Women in Sierra Leone live half as long as women in developed countries and 10 years less than their African counterparts in some African countries, and no, this is not merely due to the history of civil unrest. One in eight Sierra Leonean women dies in childbirth. In other countries like Chad, where women are likely to give birth to six or more children, women are lucky to live to age 55. Read more...

Obama’s Contraception Compromise Should Satisfy All Sides

Originally posted in the Daily News

By: Frances Kissling, Senior Advisor to Women Deliver

One of those thorny, negotiate-for-two-generations-and-still-kill-each-other battles has been going on for months in Washington over the definition of a religious institution and whether such groups will need to comply with administration policy requiring employers to offer contraceptive coverage to their employees. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Recognizing the Midwives - Making Afghanistan Safer for Mothers and Newborns

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern for Women Deliver

Maliha.jpgIn December, Mahila became the first winner of UNFPA’s Delivering Health, Saving Lives award for outstanding Afghan midwivesAt the young age of 25, Mahila has delivered hundreds of babies and is now recognized as the best midwife in the northeastern province of Badakhsan.

In 2008, Mahila graduated from the Community Midwives Education Programme after spending two years gaining basic level knowledge and skills related to obstetrics, neonatology, public health, family planning, prenatal care, delivery, and post-pregnancy careArmed with this technical knowledge, Mahila and other graduates of the Afghan Midwives Association and UNFPA-supported midwifery programme are helping to make Afghanistan a safer place for mothers and their children. Read more...

Updates from Women Deliver: Next Steps in Advocating for Girls and Women Worldwide

JanuaryUpdate.jpg2012 is already shaping up to be a year of progress and forward-thinking, particularly as we begin to construct a new development framework. Convening global and regional experts, engaging young people and revolutionizing funding for projects focusing on girls and women will be critical steps forward. With this in mind, the Women Deliver team has been hard at work planning for the 2012 Regional Consultations and the next global conference in 2013 in Kuala Lumpur; developing a funding platform; planning for the Commission on Population and Development; and continuing to advocate for the health and well-being of girls and women worldwide. We’re excited 2012 is already shaping up to be a year of progress and forward-thinking, particularly as we begin to construct a new development framework. Read more...

Komen Foundation Cuts Funding to Planned Parenthood for Breast Cancer Screenings

PlannedParenthood.jpgYesterday, The Susan G. Komen Foundation announced that they will no longer provide grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings and breast health education programs. Grants from Komen were used to fund nearly 170,000 breast exams over the past five years. Read more...

Gates Foundation: Every Woman Should Have Access to Family Planning

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager 

GlobalFundGates.jpgThis week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released their annual letter from Bill Gates, identifying family planning as a priority area for 2012. When women have access to family planning, Gates explains, poverty is reduced, more children are educated, and governments are better able to meet the needs of their people. This allows governments and citizens to benefit from the “demographic dividend”, referring to decreases in family size resulting in a higher number of educated youth. When these youth reach working age, they boost productivity and economic growth for their country. Read more...

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Lifesaving Work

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Announces $750 Million Contribution to the Global Fund, Affirming Support for the World's Largest Global Health Financier

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Gates Foundation Co-chair Bill Gates announced a $750 million contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The funds are committed in a promissory note, a new and innovative funding mechanism that will provide the Global Fund with the flexibility to distribute funds based on immediate program needs. The contribution will help finance Global Fund-supported programs in 150 countries, and comes just two days before the Global Fund's 10th anniversary on January 28. Read more...

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