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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...  

Corporate Buzz: Partnering for Healthy Girls, Women and Economies

By: Madeline Taskier, Strategic Partnerships Associate at Women Deliver

Farm.jpgIn November 2010, GBCHealth (formerly the Global Business Coalition) launched a cross-sectoral initiative, Healthy Women, Healthy Economies (HHWE), to highlight the importance of investing in the health of girls and women in order to promote economic sustainability and growth. Each HHWE corporation works to strengthen their programs while also collaborating with other partners to learn ways in which they can invest better in girls and women through the development of best practices and strategic innovations.

The partnership between GBCHealth, the U.S. State Department Office of Global Women’s Issues, and companies including Coca Cola and Chevron (among many others) guides corporate investment to areas where companies can have the most impact: improving health systems, bolstering the health of the female workforce, and supporting girls’ education. Read more...

Family Planning Conference Brings New Funding and Declarations of Support

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager at Women Deliver

Yesterday, at the 2011 International Conference on Family Planning, Senegal’s Minister of Health announced his country’s pledge to double its investment in family planning, while the British Department for International Development (DFID) pledged an additional £35m in funding for family planning programs in developing countries. These two groundbreaking announcements have been pivotal moments at the global conference in Dakar, Senegal, where over 1,500 participants have gathered to share best practices. Read more...

16 Days Campaign Challenges MIlitarism And Violence Against Women

16Days.pngNew Brunswick, New Jersey -- On November 25, 2011, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) will launch the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign. Hundreds of events by organizations worldwide are planned to campaign against gender-based violence, which is experienced by up to 70% of women in their lifetime, according to the United Nations. It is estimated that worldwide, one in five women will experience rape or attempted rape. Women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war, and malaria. Read more... 

Women’s Health Issues in a World of 7 Billion

By: Jill Sheffield, Founder and President of Women Deliver
Originally posted by The Huffington Post

yemengirls.jpgThis past month, the world met a milestone. We officially live in a world of seven billion people -- an impressive figure that drives home just how much responsibility we all have to take care of our globe, ourselves and each other. This benchmark has sparked many conversations anew, from the impact of population on the environment to the undeniable importance of contraception. But as UNFPA's recently launched State of the World's Population 2011 report points out, a world of seven billion is not a time to ask, "Are we too many?" but rather, "What can I do to make our world better?" Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: One Country’s Plant Is The Whole World’s Treasure

By: Dr. Aoife Kenny, Volunteer at Women Deliver

bamboobike.jpgWhat is stronger than steel, completely sustainable, and could transform the lives of underserved rural women and girls worldwide? The answer is Bamboo. And Ghana’s commitment to bamboo bicycles is a powerful first step in showing how resourceful this plant can be.

Access to rural transport is critical to poverty reduction and development. When unavailable, communities that can’t get their goods to market, can’t bring in new capital; nor can individuals reach new and more lucrative employment opportunities. In addition, statistics have shown that countries with the least access to rural transport have the highest maternal mortality and gender education disparity, as issues of mobility are intrinsically linked to a country’s economic growth and the global issue of climate change. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Shaping our Future, Access to Reproductive Health Care in 2015

By: Saundra Pelletier, CEO, WomenCare Global

Many smart people love the idea of alleviating poverty; however, because it is such an overwhelming proposition, they quickly shift their thinking to more attainable goals. What they do not realize is the answer is simple; the puzzle can be solved; and it as easy as investing in the world’s women. Women, after all, hold up half the sky. A woman multiplies the impact of an investment made in her health, education, and well being by extending benefits to the world around her, creating a better life for her family, and building a strong community. Yes, Women Deliver.

When I look ahead to the year 2015, I envision a world where there is a cultural consciousness and awareness of why preventing mothers from dying in childbirth is so vital. Women’s health, particularly women’s reproductive health, will no longer be pushed aside for more “pressing issues.” The lives of women and mothers will be at the core of conversations in both global health and global development circles. One of the most important benefits will be that 600,000 children will not grow up without the love and care of a mother. Read more...

2015+: Join Our Critical Online Discussion Forum on the Future of Reproductive and Maternal Health

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With the deadlines for the Millennium Development Goals and the International Conference on Population and Development’s Program of Action fast approaching, Women Deliver is calling on the entire reproductive and maternal health community—from policymakers to health workers to advocates—to participate in an online discussion to shape the future of our field.

Join this critical global conversation at www.knowledge-gateway.org/womendeliver and weigh in on where we are, where we need to be, and how we need to get there. This means taking stock of lessons learned, challenges ahead, and tackling the critical question: What will—and what must—happen to the MDGs and ICPD after 2015? Read more...

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