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CPD: Renewed Support for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Gender Equality, and Youth Participation

The week-long 47th session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) ended on Saturday with governments calling for the promotion of gender equality, young people’s participation, and sexual and reproductive health in the next set of development goals. The Commission emphasized the need to advance these issues to achieve sustainable development.

The Commission, which met at UN headquarters in New York, assessed what progress has been made in the 20 years since the groundbreaking International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994. There, 179 governments agreed that women’s health and rights must be central to global development policies, programs, and funding. Read more...

Sexual and Reproductive Rights are Not ‘New’ Rights, Says UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

United Nations, New York, 8 April 2014 – Although sometimes considered controversial, sexual and reproductive rights are not ‘new’ rights, but “are intrinsic to a range of internationally binding treaties.”

That was one of the messages in the keynote address by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, speaking at a side event, Celebrating Cairo and Going Beyond, organized by the High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) on the occasion of the Commission on Population and Development. Read more...

CSW: Good News for Women’s Rights

Women Deliver welcomes the strong outcome of the 2014 UN Commission on the Status of Women, where a big battle was fought to prioritize gender equality and view women’s rights as human rights in the next development agenda.

After two weeks of tough negotiations between delegates, advocates praised the strong language around sexual and reproductive health in the outcome document. With the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set to expire at the end of next year, the Commission recognized that although the MDGs have advanced progress in some areas, the goals that focus on the health and well-being of girls and women, particularly surrounding maternal and sexual and reproductive health, have made the least the progress. Read more...

Press Release: Report Stresses Need for Bold Moves toward Gender Equality at Work

Originally posted by The World Bank

Empowering women at work advances fight to end poverty, World Bank Group says

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2014—A new report by the World Bank Group stresses the need for bold, coordinated actions to advance equal opportunities for women in the world of work, such as addressing gender biases early, expanding women’s access to property and finance, and raising legal retirement ages—with major payoffs in tackling poverty. By virtually every global measure, women are more economically excluded than men, according to Gender at Work. Trends suggest women’s labor force participation worldwide over the last two decades has stagnated, dropping from 57 to 55 percent globally. This is despite accumulating evidence that jobs benefit women, families, businesses, and communities. Read more...

The Center for Reproductive Rights Releases New Briefing Paper on Reproductive Rights

The Center for Reproductive Rights has finalized a new resource titled Substantive Equality and Reproductive Rights: A Briefing Paper on Aligning Development Goals with Human Rights Obligations. International human rights norms have recognized that reproductive rights are women’s rights, clarifying that violations of reproductive rights are primarily manifestations of discrimination, poverty, and violence. Where women’s rights to equality and non-discrimination are not fulfilled, women’s access to reproductive health services and decision-making about their reproductive lives is limited. In addition, where women are unable to access reproductive health services, the inequalities and discrimination women face are exacerbated by the differentiated impact that childbearing has on women’s health and lives, including education and employment. Read more...

Mind the Gap: Engaging Young Men and Boys in Getting to Zero

By: Remmy Shawa, Sonke Gender Justice and Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver; Originally posted by FHI 360

Throughout the session rooms of this 17th ICASA, it’s clear that gender inequality is a key driver of HIV in Africa. Gender-based violence, harmful practices against girls (like child marriage and female genital cutting) and violence against women in key affected populations all increase risk for HIV infection. In addition, HIV risk is closely connected to stigma, discrimination and blame for women, particularly women living with HIV and women who experience violence. But how can the HIV response encourage men to challenge gender inequality to get to Zero? Read more...

Girls’ & Women’s Health and Rights in Focus at Women Deliver 2013 in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysian Prime Minister Honourable Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak and other global luminaries
open largest conference on girls and women of the decade

World Bank and Guttmacher Institute release new data on the value of investing in girls and women

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 28 May 2013 — Today, more than 4,000 global leaders and advocates from nearly 150 countries gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for Women Deliver 2013, the largest conference of the decade focused on the health and wellbeing of girls and women. The opening sessions of this three-day event highlighted the critical need to invest in girls and women to spur development worldwide.

Malaysian Prime Minister Honorable Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak delivered welcoming remarks and discussed Malaysia’s efforts to ensure equal rights and opportunities for women as a critical component of the nation’s development and economic growth. The Prime Minister highlighted Malaysia’s success in reducing maternal mortality, and offered to share lessons learned with countries working to improve maternal health. Read more...

More Than “Just a Blog”: Chatting With Girls’ Globe

By: Amie Newman; Originally posted on Impatient Optimists

As we head into the week prior to the 2013 Women Deliver conference, the largest global meeting of the decade to focus on the health and well-being of girls and women, we thought it would be a perfect time to highlight the voices and stories of some of the amazing advocates, from around the world, who are attending this monumental world meeting. Today, meet Julia Wiklander founder of Girls' Globe. Read more...

Men, Step Up on Family Planning

By: Babatunde Osotimehin, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund; Originally posted on CNN Opinion

Our failure to give women in certain parts of the world the ability to decide the timing and number of their children is deeply damaging -- not just for the women themselves but for societies, too. Lifting the obstacles is not something that can be tackled half-heartedly.

Modern family planning programs were introduced widely in the developed world decades ago. Providing voluntary family planning is one of the most cost-effective ways of improving health. Yet, over 200 million women, overwhelmingly in the poorest countries, who want access to modern family planning still can't get this help. Read more...

The Lancet: Women Deliver Special Issue

The Lancet today [Friday 17 May, 2013] publishes a special theme issue ahead of the 2013 Women Deliver conference, to be held May 28 – 30 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Women Deliver brings together voices from around the world to call for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women, and the latest issue of The Lancet highlights some of the latest research and views on maternal health. Read more...

Now Is the Time to Invest in Girls and Women

By: Jill Sheffield, Founder and President of Women Deliver; Originally posted on Huffington Post

Last month, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize nominee in history. Less than six months earlier, she was shot at point-blank range by those who wanted to silence her for promoting girls' education in her native Pakistan. In a world that too often punishes and oppresses women, and tells girls that they cannot achieve, Malala is a beacon of hope. Read more...

The Twitter Chat: Girls and Women As Catalysts for Change

Girls and women are catalysts for change (#girls4change). When girls and women are educated, healthy, and empowered, they invest back into their families, communities, and nations. We know it’s true – when girls and women survive, the world thrives. That’s why we want to make sure girls and women are a focal point in the TEDxChange 2013 discussions. Read more...

Three Global Priorities for Women and Girls

By: Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group; Originally posted on Huffington Post

In recent decades, the status of women and girls has improved around the world, but much more needs to be done. The vicious rape and death of a young woman in Delhi recently horrified us all, and also underlined just how far the world needs to go in order to protect women and girls. Violence against women is far too pervasive - an estimated 510 million women alive today will be abused by their partner in their lifetime. Read more...

UNICEF: “Addressing Inequalities Is Not a Choice - It’s a Moral and Practical Necessity”

By: Shannon O'Shea and Richard Morgan; Originally posted on UNICEF.org

In his opening remarks at The Leadership Meeting on Addressing Inequalities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, held 18–19 February in Copenhagen, Denmark, Executive Director Anthony Lake spoke of the growing inequalities that are an impediment to sustainable and equitable growth.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 21 February 2013 – “[W]e should be asking not only what growth will do for equity…but also what equity will do for growth.” Read more...

How the EU Can Make Valentine’s Day Happier for the World’s Girls

By: Véronique Mathieu and Katarína Neveďalová; Originally posted on EurActiv.com

The right to choose your partner is vital for achieving global gender equality and development: It is the EU’s duty to take the lead in ending forced child marriage, say MEPs Véronique Mathieu and Katarína Neveďalová.
Véronique Mathieu (EPP, France) and Katarína Neveďalová (S&D, Slovakia) are members of the European Parliament’s Working Group on Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS and Development.

Alongside Christmas and Halloween, there are few days in the European calendar that arouse more attention that Valentine’s Day. Love is something universal that unites us all. 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...

Girl Guides Improve Maternal Health and Child Mortality in Nigeria and Hungary

Originally posted on WAGGGS

This article is published in collaboration with a larger campaign spearheaded by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and conducted by Heads of State and Government; Heads of U.N. Agencies; CEO’s; Leaders of Civil Society Organizations; and other global leaders who have demonstrated their leadership in the health field, in support of Every Woman Every Child. Learn more at www.everywomaneverychild.org

Two Girl Guides from Nigeria and Hungary have written about what girls and young women in their countries are doing to tackle the issues of maternal health and child mortality. These accounts illustrate the importance of the UN's Every Woman Every Child campaign, and the World Thinking Day themes for 2013 – “together we can save children’s lives” and “every mother’s life and health is precious.” Read more...

Women’s Major Group Final Statement on the Outcomes of Rio+20

The Women’s Major Group (WMG), representing 200 civil society women’s organizations from all around the world, is greatly disappointed in the results of the Rio+20 conference. We believe that the governments of the world have failed both women and future generations.

Women’s Rights Rolled Back

Two years of negotiations have culminated in a Rio+20 outcome that makes almost no progress for women’s rights and rights of future generations in sustainable development. The Women’s Major Group has worked around the clock to maintain women’s rights and commitments to gender equality that have already been agreed to, but gaining affirmation of those rights left no time for real progress and commitments to moving toward the future we need. Read more...

Rio+20 Conference Concludes Without Significant Mention of Reproductive Health and Rights

Women Deliver and Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet project call on global leaders to affirm that women and their reproductive health and rights are central to sustainability goals.

New York, New York, 22 June 2012 – The “Future We Want” outcome document from this week’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20, lacks meaningful inclusion of reproductive health and rights. While the document includes promising language on women’s empowerment and family planning, leaders missed a historic opportunity to affirm the central role of women and their reproductive health and rights in global sustainable development goals. Read more...

Live from Rio+20, Day Two: “Favelas and Protests”

By: Vicky Markham, Center for Environment and Population (CEP); Originally posted on RH Reality Check

This morning I ventured the opposite direction from Rio Centro where the UN Rio+20 negotiations are taking place, and travelled with colleagues to the Cachoeirinha (I was told it means “waterfall”) Favela in Rio de Janeiro. These shantytowns are quite common in Rio, well over one million strong, located within and around the city limits. This particular one has 37,000 residents. Read more...

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