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15 Journalists, 15 Voices for Girls and Women

March 5, 2015, New York, NY – To celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8), Women Deliver is honoring 15 journalists for their consistent and game-changing coverage of maternal, sexual and reproductive health and rights issues at the global and national levels. Read more...

Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark Named Patron of Women Deliver 2016 Conference

New York, NY, 25 February 2015 – In May 2016, thousands of world influencers, advocates, activists, researchers, policymakers, young people, journalists, private sector leaders, and members of civil society will gather in Copenhagen, Denmark, to share ideas and strategize on how to make the world a better place for girls and women. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: How Reducing Social Isolation Can Also Reduce the Risk of HIV Infection

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

Despite years of investment and progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the disease remains the leading cause of death among girls ages 15 to 19 in Ethiopia. In addition, adolescent girls remain disproportionately at risk of infection. The Population Council’s Biruh Tesfa project is seeking to change this by taking a “whole girl” approach to addressing HIV infection – social isolation, economic insecurity, poor access to services, and sexual and gender-based violence. Read more...

How Three Dollars is Improving Maternal Mortality in India

By: Lauren Himiak, Women Deliver

Globally, girls and women have less access to health care. In India, for example, 80 percent of healthcare facilities are located in urban areas, while 72 percent of the population lives in rural regions, creating significant challenges for health and well-being of girls and women. Without adequate access to comprehensive health services, preventative care, and treatment, girls and women are more likely to acquire diseases like HIV, suffer from malnutrition, and experience other health complications. Fortunately, there are people like Zubaida Bai working to change this. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: The Sisterhood in Girls’ Education

By: Melissa Hattab, Women Deliver

Sadhana is one of five sisters, living in a remote village in Maharashtra, India. Like many others, they were born to parents who felt that girls were a burden and who were therefore indifferent to them. We discovered her story hidden in the New York Times as an opinion piece. It was written by Priyanka Chopra, known globally as a prominent Indian actor but by her own preferred definition, a UNICEF ambassador devoted to promoting child rights. Read more...

Innovative and Exciting Young Leaders Program Opens for New Applicants

January 15, 2015, New York, NY – Women Deliver announces the opening of the application process for their new Young Leaders Program (YLP). The YLP is a three-year fellowship opportunity for young people under the age of 30 who are working to advance the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women around the world. Read more...

Most Girls In Her Village Don’t Finish Elementary School. Maureen Graduated From College.

By: Women Deliver and Maureen Oduor

Women Deliver eagerly celebrates the gradtion of one of our Young Leaders, Maureen Oduor, who received her Bachelors degree Kampala International University in December. Rather than shining the spotlight on herself, Maureen took the opportunity to use her graduation celebration as a platform to bring local and international light to the issue of education accessibility and the need for girls’ access to schooling. This is her story. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Finding the Beauty in Education

By: Melissa Hattab, Women Deliver

Every girl deserves an education, and one major American magazine is joining the global campaign to prioritize the education of at-risk girls all over the world. Glamour magazine has collaborated with four nonprofits to raise money for girls to help them attend secondary school.

Cindi Leive, Glamour’s editor in chief, said that the magazine started The Girl Project in part because of recent world events, including the girls kidnapped from their school in Nigeria and the many schools damaged in Gaza. Read more..

International Migrants Day 2014: The Most Vulnerable

A statement from the independent Expert Review Group on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health; Originally posted by WHO

GENEVA, DECEMBER 18, 2014 - As we commemorate today International Migrants Day, there are more people living abroad, more Internally Displaced People (IDP’s), more irregular migrants, more refugees, and more asylum seekers than ever before in the history of mankind.

Many of these people live under degrading conditions, facing the threat of becoming victims of human trafficking, facing discrimination, racism, violence, they are prone to disease and have no, or very poor and limited, access to basic human rights like education and health care. Read more...

Women Deliver Joins the #16Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

As we mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, an annual campaign to end all forms of violence against women, Women Deliver is excited to join the global call to action.

Alongside CEO Katja Iversen’s appeal to world leaders and policymakers to make the safety of girls at school a priority in her article for Thomson Reuters Foundation, Women Deliver is sharing the stories of some of our Young Leaders who are taking action to end violence against girls and women around the world. During the next two and a half weeks, we will be updating our Instagram daily with a photo and story about the amazing work our youth advocates are doing in their home countries. Read more...

Girl Effect Accelerator Mentors Social Enterprises

Many start-up social enterprises with promising solutions to improve the lives of girls and women fail because they lack strategic planning, mentorships for staff, exposure or capital investments. The Girl Effect Accelerator is now working to solve these problems and help already proven social ventures scale impact to reach more girls and women worldwide. 

Through a partnership between the Nike Foundation and Unreasonable Institute, the world’s first accelerator was launched at the beginning of November in San Francisco, training the first cohort of 10 social ventures. The accelerator aligned the 10 ventures with first-class mentorship, strategic financing, and access to a global network of support with the objective of rapidly scaling up the benefits these ventures can bring to girls in poverty. Read more...

Pick Up the Pace and Mind the Gap

By: Katja Iversen and Whitney Sogol, Women Deliver; Originally posted by The Huffington Post

With the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) new release of the 9th edition of the Global Gender Gap Index, the world has more hard data than ever before to support the claim that investing in girls and women is a win for everyone. The Global Gender Gap Index analyzes whether women have the same opportunities as men in the arenas of health, education, economic participation and political empowerment, and discusses the implications of disparities for global development. Evidence from this year’s report is both reassuring and disconcerting. Read more...

Disrespect and Abuse During Maternity Care Keep Women from Seeking Facility Births

By: Koki Agarwal, Director, MCHIP and forward by Katie Millar, Technical Writer, MHTF

This post is part of the Maternal and Newborn Integration Blog Series, which shares themes of and reactions to the “Integration of Maternal and Newborn Health: In Pursuit of Quality” technical meeting.

Forward: In the following post, Dr. Agarwal speaks of an unfortunately common problem between health workers and mothers: disrespect and abuse. This problem and its solution—respectful maternity care—play a role not only in health outcomes for the mother, but for the baby as well. At the Integration of Maternal and Newborn Health technical meeting, Rima Jolivet and Jeff Smith reviewed research that showed emotional support during labor significantly decreases:

  • The need for pain medication during labor
  • The rate of prolonged labor, labor complications, episiotomies, caesarean sections, low apgar scores, lack of exclusive breastfeeding, and severe postpartum depression
  • The risk of newborn sepsis

Why Development Begins with Women

By: Melinda Gates; Originally posted by Impatient Optimists

One of the best parts of my job is the opportunity to talk to women and girls all over the world. As different as our lives may seem, I’m always struck by how much we share in common. At some level, all women, everywhere, have the same hopes: we want to be self-sufficient and create better lives for ourselves and our loved ones. And if we have children, we want them to have the brightest futures possible, full of the chances and opportunities they deserve.

For these reasons, women and girls are some of the development community’s most valuable allies. And that’s why, when I’m not in the field meeting with women and girls, I’m working to ensure that they are at the center of our development efforts. As I’ve told our partners all over the world, this isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing—because when women are empowered, they use that power to lift others up. They help everyone around them stand on their own two feet. Read more...

Not Just the New Fashion

By: Dr. Denise Raquel Dunning, Founder and Executive Director, Let Girls Lead, Champions for Change and Youth Champions Iniative; Originally posted by Impatient Optimists

‘Fashion week’ just ended for the global development community, when thousands of international leaders convened in New York for the UN General Assembly (UNGA). Presidents, ministers, donors, UN leaders, and CEOs celebrated the newest designs in global development: stylish poverty reduction plans, glamorous partnerships to prioritize girls’ education, and beautiful spokespeople for the latest hot issues like climate change and child trafficking. Read more...

Women Bearing the Brunt of the Ebola Crisis Must Be Central to the Solution

By: Katja Iversen, CEO, Women Deliver; Originally posted by The Huffington Post

Medical authorities worldwide are struggling to contain the deadly Ebola virus wherever it breaks out, but one reality in the countries most affected is not receiving adequate attention. The outbreak is affecting girls and women more than boys and men - those who are infected as well as those who are not. Read more...

Helping Women Through Clean Water and Sanitation

By Katja Iversen and Massimo Berruti; Originally posted by MSNBC

Katja Iversen is the CEO of Women Deliver

In the U.S., the average girl can pour herself a glass of clean water when she’s thirsty. She can walk to school on paved streets without sewage getting in her way. And, when she matures, she can easily purchase feminine hygiene products and use a private restroom at her convenience. Her period is a nuisance, but it does not disrupt her day – or her life.

This is not the reality for the world’s poorest girls and women. Basic necessities — safe water, sanitation and hygiene supplies — are scarce and often unavailable to girls and women living in poverty. These stark conditions jeopardize the health, education and well-being of girls and women in ways the average American cannot, and does not have to, imagine. Read more...

Understanding the Experience and Needs of the Target Population is Crucial to a Project’s Success

These seed grants were funded by Johnson & Johnson and WomanCare Global via the Women Deliver C Exchange Youth Initiative.

By: Chukwudera Bridget Okeke, Concern Women International Development Initiative (Nigeria)

In Nigeria, people speak many different languages, so it is important to cater to each target population’s language needs. For the implementation of the project, all presentations used for training workshops were translated into the Tiv dialect, as majority of the participants did not understand English. In addition, we have trained and deployed more Female Sex Workers (FSW) as peer-educators, since many are native Tiv speakers. This has allowed us to reach more people, including FSW and their clients who are not based in brothels. While we were initially concerned about this language barrier, our efforts seem to have overcome this challenge. Given the feedback we have received, it appears that more and more FSW are being reached by the project. An important lesson to be learned from this, however, is that understanding the local context is crucial to the success of a project. Read more…

Young Leader Nargis Shirazi Nominated for The Waislitz Global Citizen Award

Nargis Shirazi, one of Women Deliver’s Young Leaders, Founder of the Wo-man Foundation, and It Takes Two Campaign Project Manager, has been nominated for the Waislitz Global Citizen Award in recognition of her work to empower girls and women in Uganda by advancing their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The Global Poverty Project, in partnership with Alex Waislitz, presents the award to shine a spotlight on the outstanding individuals who are working to improve the lives of people around the world. Individuals are nominated based on four key areas: embodiment of global citizenship; proven impact with a substantial record of making lasting change and creating opportunities for the world’s poor; innovation that brings new thinking to overcoming the challenges of ending poverty; and the potential to improve their work. Nargis was nominated for this inaugural award alongside David Auerberch from Washington DC and Anoop Jain and Swapnil Chartuvedi, both from India. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Education for All: What’s Advocacy Got to Do With It?

By: Emily Teitsworth; Originally posted by Global Campaign for Education, U.S Chapter

Emily Teitsworth is the Director of Programs at Let Girls Lead and Champions for Change

Why are we failing to deliver on the promise of educating girls? In rural areas in Nigeria, surveys have found that at the end of 3rd grade, only 6 percent of students are able to read a simple sentence. In Malawi, it is illegal for pregnant girls and young mothers to return to school. In Guatemala, only 10 percent of rural girls complete secondary education.

Educating girls has been shown to strengthen families, reduce maternal mortality, and break intergenerational cycles of poverty. A single year of secondary education can increase a girl’s potential income by up to 25 percent, and significantly reduce the likelihood that she will become pregnant young or die in childbirth (World Bank, 2012).  In spite of significant investment and political will going towards expanding girls’ access to education, the global development community has not yet achieved the transformative promise of a world where both girls and boys receive free, quality education. Read more...

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