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G(irls)20 Summit Communiqué Released

The G(irls)20 Summit has released a communiqué following their May 24 – June 4, 2012 Summit. The Summit convened 21 representatives from the European Union (EU), the African Union (AU) and each G20 country. Each country delegate was a young woman between the ages of 18-20. This year, the Summit took place in Mexico City, Mexico, just two weeks ahead of the G20 Summit which will take place in Los Cabos, Mexico. The G20 Summit is an international forum which gathers the 19 country members and the European Union which constitute 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two-thirds of the world’s population. Read more...

A Push for Women’s Rights at Rio+20

By: Jennifer James; orginally posted at Impatient Optimist

Next month world leaders will converge upon Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from June 20 – 22, for Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (commonly called the “Earth Summit”).  Women's groups are pushing to become a major part of the agenda as women continue to be marginalized when it comes to poverty eradication and sustainable development.

The vast majority of the world’s poor are women and children--even twenty years after the first sustainability conference in Rio. It’s one reason why the Women’s Major Group, which includes international sustainable development organizations, is calling for women to share their stories and make their voices heard to ensure women’s issues are not shuffled off the agenda. Read more...

MenCare - Updates on the Global Fatherhood Campaign to Support Men’s Roles as Fathers

By: MenCare Coordinators, Jane Kato (Promundo) and Wessel Van den Berg (Sonke)

If the world is to advance on gender equality, and if men – as individuals and collectively – are to be seen as taking gender equality seriously, men must take on their fair share of the costs, time and care work required in daily life. This will also allow men to more fully experience the benefits of having close, non-violent and caring relationships with others. Campaigns are one way to begin to break with rigid gender norms and expectations. Read more...

MenCare - Marcio's Story from Promundo on Vimeo.

Akshaya Tritiya: Hotbed of Child Marriages

By: Chaitra Arjunpuri; Originally posted on Al Jazeera

AlJazeera_AkshayaTritiya.jpgI am one of those unfortunate Hindu women whose hard lot is to suffer the unnameable miseries entailed by the custom of early marriage. This wicked practice of child marriage has destroyed the happiness of my life. It comes between me and the things which I prize above all others - study and mental cultivation. Without the least fault of mine, I am doomed to seclusion; every aspiration of mine to rise above my ignorant sisters is looked down upon with suspicion and is interpreted in the most uncharitable manner..."
- Extract from a letter written by a woman named Rukhmabai to The Times of India on June 26, 1885, reproduced in Child Marriage in India: Socio-legal and Human Rights Dimensions, by Jaya Sagade (Oxford University Press, 2005). Read more...

Women Deliver 50: the Most Inspiring Ideas and Solutions That Deliver for Girls and Women

By: Jill Sheffield, President, Women Deliver

WD50_Photo.gifInternational Women’s Day is an opportunity for the global community to celebrate the contributions of girls and women to our families, communities and nations. It is also a time to reflect on the issues and challenges that face girls and women everywhere, from maternal deaths to poor access to healthcare to child marriage to violence.

Last year, Women Deliver highlighted 100 leaders who are making a difference for girls and women. This year, we released the Women Deliver 50, which puts a spotlight on inspiring ideas and solutions to improve the health and well-being of girls and women through an online contest. We put out a global call for nominations, a selection committee chose 125 finalists, and the public voted for 50 winners. Read more...

The “Women Deliver 50” is Announced!

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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...

Celebrate Solutions: Using Sports to Level the Playing Field

By: Rati Bishnoi

For the thousands of Kenyan girls participating in the Moving the Goalposts sports program in Kilifi district, Kenya, playing soccer is not just a physical exercise. Instead, participating in the girls-only sports program is an exercise in learning to be confident, growing into leaders, and re-envisioning a world in which girls can do just as much as—and be just as respected as—boys. 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
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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...

Celebrate Solutions: Girls School Shines Light on Community’s Education, Health, and Future

By: Dr. Aoife Kenny and Rati Bishnoi

For 67 girls, traveling daily through their slum to attend the Kibera School for Girls means getting a superior education, nutritious food, uniforms, supplies, and a chance at a brighter future—for free. Read more... 

Shining Hope For Communities from Left Of Frame on Vimeo.

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...

Michelle Bachelet Outlines Action Agenda to Advance Equality as UN Women Completes One Year

Statement Of Ms. Bachelet On UN Women One Year Anniversary: Calls for global mobilization and commitment to women’s rights as political and economic changes continue worldwide

New York, 2nd February — At a press conference in New York today, UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet called for galvanizing greater commitment and action for women and gender equality, as political and economic upheaval threaten progress on women’s rights (remarks enclosed here). She called the press conference to report on the first year of operations of UN Women. With austerity measures, budget cuts and political changes impacting women’s lives, worldwide, Ms. Bachelet outlined the action agenda of the organization in her first press conference of 2012. Read more...

Why a Daughter is Not an Apology

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager

AfghanStoning.jpgLast week, 22 year-old Storai Mohammed was strangled to death by her husband and mother-in-law for giving birth to a girl, and not the son they had demanded of her. Her husband fled, but his mother was detained and told police that Storai “felt guilty” for bearing three daughters and committed suicide. 

In Afghanistan, as in many parts of the world, newborn sons are celebrated while girls are met with disappointment, fewer opportunities and a stifling lack of autonomy. Read more...

CALL FOR WOMEN DELIVER 50 NOMINATIONS ENDS TODAY, FEBRUARY 10TH AT 6PM EST


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Every year, in conjunction with International Women’s Day, Women Deliver celebrates the progress made on behalf of girls and women worldwide. Our Women Deliver 100 list in 2011, which featured 100 of the most inspiring people who have delivered for girls and women, was covered by over 100 traditional and new media sources. This year, to continue the momentum, we are spotlighting the top 50 inspiring ideas and solutions that deliver for girls and women. We would love to hear what you think are the most innovative, impactful, and promising advancements in overcoming gender inequality. Read more...

Mediaplanet to Release Call-To-Action Campaign to Invest in Women and Girls Globally

NEW YORK, Jan. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Mediaplanet Publishing, the global leader in theme media, announced the release of the fourth installment of their "Investing in Women & Girls" publication series to hit newsstands on March 2-4, 2012. In alignment with International Women’s Day, the publication will raise awareness of the potential women and girls have as the world’s greatest untapped resource, highlighting the idea that investing in women and girls is crucial in achieving global economic progress, political stability and greater prosperity for women and men around the world. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Empowering Young Girls in Egypt through Youth Centers

By: Madeline Taskier, Strategic Partnerships Associate at Women Deliver

Eygpt.jpgIn Egypt, young girls living in rural areas often do not have the opportunity to attend school. Instead, they help their families and are socially isolated due to conservative gender norms. They often marry young and have little access to public life, as they are confined to the home to raise children and take care of their households. These girls have little access to health care, education, or peers in their communities. To break the cycle of this isolation and enable these girls to reach their full potential, the Population Council launched Ishraq  (meaning “sunrise” in Arabic) in 2001. The program brings adolescent girls from Upper Egypt together in youth centers and provides training to improve their educational, health, and social opportunities. Read more...

A Formative Close to the Maternal Health Dialogue Series

By: Madeline Taskier, Strategic Partnerships Associate at Women Deliver

Yesterday, in Washington, DC, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Maternal Health Task Force, UNFPA, USAID Bureau for Global Health, and the African Population and Health Research Center co-hosted the last session of the two year maternal health dialogue series. The partners launched the report, “Delivering Solutions: Advancing Dialogue to Improve Maternal Health,” which captures the strategies and recommendations that emerged from the series.

Since December 2009, this maternal health dialogue series has hosted 28 sessions with over 100 panelists engaging in conversation and debate around some of the most pressing maternal health topics.   A total of over one thousand participants attended sessions on topics ranging from HIV/AIDS and maternal health service integration to family planning in fragile states; new applications of existing communications technologies; and addressing maternal health in urban slums. The series focused on major challenges and opportunities for moving the maternal health agenda forward, and affirmed that solutions for saving the lives of women and girls are plentiful and powerful. Read more...

Making Life: A Risky Proposition, A Diane Sawyer 20/20 Special

ABC News continues its year-long global health series by examining the most dangerous thing a woman can do: why so many women are dying during pregnancy and childbirth. Diane Sawyer and a team of correspondents report on a special edition of “20/20,” Friday, Dec.16 on ABC.

New York, NY, December 12, 2011 -- The numbers are staggering: every 90 seconds, a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth – that’s about 1,000 women a day. Yet experts say that more than 80% of these deaths are totally preventable if only the mothers-to-be received proper medical care. At the bottom of the list, countries like Afghanistan, with its child brides, and Sierra Leone, which has one of the highest fertility rates in the world. The US ranks surprisingly low in the industrialized world -- number 41 on the maternal mortality list. It is an issue that experts all over the world say is “unforgiveable” because even the most basic medicine and intervention could prevent the majority of these deaths. Read on...

The UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women Announces the 2011 Call for Proposals

The United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women is accepting applications for its 16th grant cycle (2011) from government authorities, civil society organizations and networks — including non-governmental, women’s and community-based organizations and coalitions, and operational research institutions — and UN Country Teams (in partnership with governments and civil society organizations). Read more...  

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