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Celebrate Solutions: Empowering Maasai Girls Through Education

By: Rati Bishnoi, Catapult

Located in the Trans Mara district of Kenya, the Kakenya Center for Excellence is a primary boarding school focused on serving the most vulnerable underprivileged Maasai girls. The academy provides girls a space for academic excellence, female empowerment, leadership, and community development. This summer—through a fundraising campaign on Catapult.org—the Kakenya Center for Excellence was able to raise funds to provide uniforms, foods, books and supplies, and personal items for 30 students and support a teacher's salary. Read more...

More than 7 Million Girls in Poor Countries Give Birth Before 18 Each Year, Finds New UNFPA Report

Originally posted by UNFPA

Motherhood in childhood is a huge global problem, especially in developing countries, where every year 7.3 million girls under 18 give birth, according to The State of World Population 2013, released today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. Of these 7.3 million births, 2 million are to girls 14 or younger, who suffer the gravest long-term health and social consequences from pregnancy, including high rates of maternal death and obstetric fistula, according to the report, entitled, Motherhood in Childhood: Facing the Challenge of Adolescent Pregnancy. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: For Young Female Asylum Seekers, Hope for the Future

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

Around the world, there are 15.4 million people who have fled from their country for fear of persecution or because they are fleeing a dangerous conflict zone. Of these, almost half are children. For many of these children arriving with no one watching over them, a new place means new dangers of being exploited or trafficked. In the United Kingdom, The Global Fund for Children is helping young female asylum-seekers to avoid this fate through a 12-week training program. Read more...

The Right to Be a Girl: Moving From Rhetoric to Reality

By: Purnima Mane, Pathfinder International; Originally posted on Huffington Post

2013 has been an exciting year for girls. The rallying cry for girls' education, ending early marriage and pregnancies, and preventing gender-based violence is resonating with a more global and diverse audience than ever before. In May, the global health community convened at the Women Deliver conference around the central message that investing in women and girls is not only an important investment, but a smart one.In July, Malala—the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for attending classes—addressed the United Nations with an impassioned call to action in support of girls' education, "Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons." Read more...

The World We Want: An End to Child Marriage

Originally posted on Girls Not Brides

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended that a new agenda for international development should ensure the empowerment, wellbeing and social protection of the world’s most vulnerable people. In a commentary for the renowned medical journal The Lancet, three prominent figures in international development argue that to translate these principles into action and tangible results, we must end child marriage. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Guatemalan Girls Advocate for Change

By: Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver

Girls are powerful agents for change. The global health community has proven time and time again that when girls are healthy, educated and safe, they can move mountains. The Adolescent Girls and Leadership Initiative (AGALI) has demonstrated that girl-centered leadership and advocacy programs work for girls, and for their families and communities. Leveraging these results, AGALI is launching Let Girls Lead, a new film and participatory media initiative that amplifies the power of girls to create their own solutions, tell their own stories, and lead social change around the world. Read more...

Let Girls Lead

By: Denise Dunning, AGALI; Originally posted on Impatient Optimists

Like most girls in war-torn Liberia, 19 year old Oretha Yeagan has lived through more than her share of poverty and violence, dropping out of school in sixth grade when her mother couldn’t pay her school fees. But Oretha was lucky – she went to live in a safe home in Monrovia run by THINK, a Liberia-based NGO focusing on the rights and wellbeing of women and girls. There, she learned tailoring, finished school and now has plans to continue studying and become a computer analyst. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Black Girls Code Brings the Power of Technology to Girls Worldwide

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

Kimberly Bryant started Black Girls Code (BGC) in 2011 as a way to help her then 12-year old daughter learn about computer programming. In an interview with siliconrepublic, Bryant said, “I was looking for opportunities for her to grow and find out what her own interests and passions were around technology.” In the years since, BGC has developed a comprehensive programming and technology curriculum for girls aged 7-17 who are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. BGC has trained nearly 2,000 girls, and recently opened an international chapter in South Africa. Read more...

Girl-centred advocacy could protect 600 million girls from violence

By: Denise Raquel Dunning, AGALI; Originally posted in Guardian's Global Development Professionals Network

At the end of May, 4,500 political leaders and practitioners from 149 countries convened in Malaysia at the Women Deliver conference, which highlighted adolescent girls as the key to advancing the post-2015 development agenda.

Policymakers attending Women Deliver stressed the need to invest in girl-centred advocacy to improve girls' lives and achieve global development goals: "Girls need to be at the centre of the global development agenda. We need both stronger laws to protect girls, and greater political commitment to effective implementation," said the Canadian MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan. 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...

We Can Only End Violence Against Women Together

By: Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women; Originally posted on Huffington Post

I am often asked whether ending violence against women is possible given the pervasiveness and persistence of these crimes. My answer is yes. It is possible. But we can only do it together. We are all responsible and it is time for leaders to fulfill the promises made to women. Today, looking towards Sunday's International Day to End Violence against Women, I call on all leaders: Take a stand to end violence against women and girls. Last year I launched the 16-step policy agenda. Today, I urge all Heads of State and Government to end the scourge of violence that affects every society by participating in an exciting global initiative to showcase national commitments to end violence against women and girls. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Addressing Malnutrition with Innovative Strategies in the Philippines

By: Yousra Yusuf, Women Deliver

Across the world, 510 million women and girls lack access to proper nutrition. In the Philippines, 5 million adults were found to be underweight in 2010. To fight malnutrition in the Philippines, nonprofit organization Roots of Health introduced the Vertical Gardening project to help women grow their own plants to feed their family and community. After the project’s implementation in May 2010, 101 vertical gardens have been installed in the Pulang Lupa community to-date. Read more...

Young People Have the Power to Change the World

By: Babatunde Osotimehin; Originally posted on The Atlantic

... despite half of the world's youth living on less than two dollars a day.

A social media revolution is unfolding before our eyes, forever changing the way we connect. I see this whenever I travel; the young boys of Lagos preoccupied with their cell-phones; a young girl tweeting from a health-care clinic in Bogota; a young Liberian nurse taking notes on an iPad. I also see how my own children connect with friends on Facebook. Read more...

Additional Investments in Family Planning Would Save Developing Nations More Than $11 Billion a Year

Access to family planning is an essential human right that unlocks unprecedented rewards for economic development, says new UNFPA report

  • 222 million women in developing countries have an unmet need for family planning
  • Additional $4.1 billion in funding is needed to address current needs and those of the growing youth population

LONDON, 14 November 2012—Making voluntary family planning available to everyone in developing countries would reduce costs for maternal and newborn health care by $11.3 billion annually, according to The State of World Population 2012, published today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. Read more...

AU Builds Common Platform For African Champions of Maternal Health – And Looks For More

Today the African Union’s Commissioner for Social Affairs, H.E Dr Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko launched a new website for its Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) – www.carmma.org.

The new website which has been pulled together by a team in the Department of Social Affairs promotes maternal and newborn survival, and provides evidence on progress in achieving the targets African leaders have set. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Improving Education in Afghanistan by Training Better Teachers

By: Rati Bishnoi, Catapult

The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL)—an award-winning civil society group committed to improving Afghanistan’s future— is developing Afghanistan’s next cadre of innovative educators, one teacher at a time. Training teachers is a critical solution for helping increase the capacity of one of the weakest education systems in the world. A high illiteracy rate and resistance against educating girls serve as modern-day reminders of Afghanistan’s dark past. Read more...

 

Celebrate Solutions: Improving Sanitation Facilities for Girls and Women

By: Yousra Yusuf, Women Deliver

In a Celebrate Solutions column earlier this month, we saw how financial constraints can lead menstruating women to resort to unsanitary alternatives instead of disposable pads in India and other developing countries. Unfortunately, monetary restrictions are not the only obstacles preventing women from maintaining proper menstrual hygiene. Lack of access to sanitary facilities prevents girls and women around the world from reaching their potential in terms of health, education, productivity and self-empowerment. This past year, BRAC, a non-profit organization based in Bangladesh, celebrated tremendous progress made in incorporating menstrual hygiene management into its Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program. Read more...

We Have a Dream

Everyone has a dream in life. These dreams help us define our own individual path, purpose, and goals. In this project, Women Deliver, DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung) and The Lancet want to highlight and explore the dreams of young people living across the world.

If you are a young person under the age of 30, we want to hear from YOU about YOUR dreams for a better future! Tell us your desires, hopes, goals– this can be about what you would like to achieve in life or about what you would like to see happen for your family, community and country. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Educating Girls for a Brighter Future

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

This Thursday, we celebrate the first ever International Day of the Girl, a global call to action to advocate for girls’ rights. In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish this day to raise awareness on the issues girls face every day, promote girls’ rights, and highlight gender inequality. Girls Not Brides and its members in more than 30 countries are marking this day with action. Read more...

Upcoming Films Focusing on Girls and Women

By: Harshi Hettige

Look out for important and informative films about girls and in the upcoming months. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is a four-hour broadcast event airing on PBS in October, focusing on the links between sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, maternal mortality, and most importantly, how women are fighting for change. Girl Rising, coming in Spring 2013, spotlights ten adolescent girls’ powerful stories from ten developing countries, written by ten talented writers and narrated by ten actresses. It’s a Girl is screening globally starting in Spring 2013, delving into the “gendercide” that has led to 200 million girls “missing” in the world today. Click to watch the trailers and read more...

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