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Maternal Mortality in Cameroon: An Urgent Need for Action

By: Nehsuh Carine Alongifor, Women Deliver Young Leader

Maternal mortality continues to escalate in most African countries and the target to reduce maternal deaths and ensure universal access to family planning services is far from being met. Cameroon is no exception; according to different national demographic and health surveys, even with the rising prevalence of modern contraception, maternal mortality has increased over the years with 430 per 100,000 live births in 1991 to 430 in 1998, 669 in 2004, and 782 in 2011. Read more...

What Does ‘Equality’ Mean on International Women’s Day?

On International Women's Day 2016,  Women Deliver Young Leaders share what "equality" means to them.

“In 2014, I shared a picture with some of the Nigerian adolescent girls I work with of a female Civil Engineer in her bright orange overalls, deeply engrossed in a building project with her all-male-but-one team. The girls cringed. They all thought it was a ‘weird’ place for a young woman to be. To my mind, equality means that this table of ‘weirdness’ is flipped, and all members of my society cringe instead at the absence of women across several socio-economic spaces.” –Olaoluwa Abagun Read more...

Love in the Times of Zika: Public Health Strategies and Women’s SRHR in Latin America

By: Lucía Berro Pizzarossa and Marinella Matejcic, Women Deliver Young Leaders

The World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency in response to the Zika virus, stating that "the level of alarm is extremely high." At the same time, Latin American governments are asking women "not to get pregnant." The virus, first discovered in 1947 in the Zika forest of Uganda, was initially thought to be harmless until a causal relationship between Zika virus infection and birth malformations and neurological syndromes was suspected. Read more...

Carving a Way Forward in the Fight Against HIV

By: Catherine Nyambura, Women Deliver Young Leader

It has been 30 years since Kenya’s first case of HIV was diagnosed. The efforts to fight HIV/AIDS have been bittersweet, with a lot of lessons, challenges, and opportunities. The International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) provides just the platform to reflect on the journey thus far and to carve a way forward. Read more...

Ensuring Universal Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Services Through SDG3

By: Jennifer Amadi, Women Deliver Young Leader

Young women in Nigeria are caught between tradition and a shifting cultural landscape, brought about by urbanization, globalized economies, and a media-saturated environment. Many young women are unprepared to face the challenges that accompany limited access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including forced child birth, banishment from the community, infections, and even death. Read more....

#OrangetheWorld to End Violence Against Women


Today is International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, or what social media is calling #OrangetheWorld. These 16 days of activism – leading up to Human Rights Day on December 10 – are raising public awareness about a huge global health problem affecting the health of millions of girls and women. That problem is violence. Read More...

 

 

Say NO to Child Labour and YES to Quality Education

By: Isaac Oriafo Ejakhegbe, Women Deliver Young Leader

“Education helps young people know about trending issues like the Sustainable Development Goals, one’s basic right as citizens and how to contribute to government developmental plan”  - 13, Junior

Between 50 and 60 million children between five and 11 worldwide are involved in some form of labour according to the ILO. This labour may threaten their education, health, and safety and too often many of these children are engaged in a manner that is hidden from the public eyes or in settings where child labour is considered normal and acceptable.

The Power of Youth: Transformation of the Future

By: Gvantsa Khizanishvili, World Contraception Day Ambassador

Today’s generation of young people is the largest ever! There are 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24 on our earth; this means that one out of six people in the world is a young person.  This generation of fast-growing youth, especially in lower-income regions, comes with big and specific aspirations for their future. Giving young people the opportunity to realize these aspirations and hearing young people’s needs, will determine our future. Read More...

Dear G7, it’s time to put girls and women at the top of your agenda

By: Katja Iversen; Originally posted on The Guardian

The Ebola outbreak has served as a prolonged and revealing stress test, exposing countries’ deep vulnerabilities well beyond the disease response. In particular, Ebola’s relentless and disproportionate toll on girls and women has highlighted how precarious their health and rights are worldwide — and how much work will remain even after Guinea and Sierra Leone join Liberia as Ebola-free. Read More... 

Women Deliver Young Leader Oumie Sissokho to Host Camp for Girls Affected by FGM

Women Deliver Young Leader Oumie Sissokho is a co-founder of The Girls’Agenda, a community-based organization in Gambia that empowers girls and women in areas like reproductive health, human rights, and life skills that protect girls and women from abusive relationships and forced and early marriages.

In August 2015, The Girls’ Agenda is partnering with For My Sister to host a summer Camp for 100 young women between the ages of 14 and 24. This intensive summer camp will focus on issues that affect the young women's well-being, progress, liberty, and freedom. The empowerment forum will focus on comprehensive sexuality education, leadership skill building, mentorship opportunities, and education on harmful traditional practices (with an emphasis on early marriage and female genital mutilation). Read more...

Opinion: Rape in Conflict: Speaking Out for What’s Right

By: Serra Sippel; Originally posted by Inter Press Service News Agency

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama delivered an impassioned speech marking the 50th Anniversary of the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama and the bloody attack on civil rights marchers by police.

President Obama issued what was tantamount to a call to action for Americans to speak out for what is right. He stated: “…Loving this country requires more than singing its praises or avoiding uncomfortable truths. It requires the occasional disruption, the willingness to speak out for what’s right and shake up the status quo.” 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 Responds to UN Secretary-General Report on Next Development Agenda

Yesterday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon released his synthesis report on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the road ahead for development efforts in the post-2015 era. We, at Women Deliver, welcome this report and its call to action to leave no one behind.

We are pleased to see that human rights and health for all people – regardless of gender, age or nationality – will form the foundation of the next development agenda. And we are particularly encouraged that the report specifically recognizes the critical importance of improving women’s health and rights – as well as the rights and involvement of young people, who are rightly called the “torch bearers of the next sustainable development agenda through 2030.” Read more...

Reimagine the Future – The Power of 1.8 Million Young People

By: Katja Iversen, CEO, Women Deliver

I have said it before, and I will say it again: Young people are not only the future, they are very much the present. And they are the ones who will define the world as we know it and as we want it.

Here, a couple of days after the release of UNFPA’s State of the World’s Population, The Power of 1.8 Billion, and on today's release of UNICEF’s The State of the World’s Children: Reimagining the Future – the latter celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – Women Deliver calls for an increased focus on the rights of children and particularly the rights of young people. Read more...

Just Not Acceptable: India Tragedy Showcases Grave Violation of Women’s Health and Rights

Women Deliver is deeply appalled by yesterday’s reports of the deaths and injuries sustained by women undergoing sterilization in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. It is still unclear whether the reason for the deaths were unsafe conditions and incorrect procedures, or contaminated antibiotics or other tainted drugs. Read more...

The Universal Periodic Review: Tracking Progress on Human Rights

Last week, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group concluded their 20th session after reviewing the human rights records of 14 countries. Italy, El Salvador, The Gambia, Bolivia, Fiji, San Marino, Kazakhstan, Angola, Iran, Madagascar, Iraq, Slovenia, Egypt and Bosnia and Herzegovina were all examined through the lens of human rights issues including gender-based violence, child protection, migrants’ rights, and hate crimes and discrimination against LGBTQ individuals. Strategic recommendations were also developed to improve the lives of all people in these countries, especially marginalized populations. Read more...

Raising Youth Voices to Stop Child Marriage and Dowry in Bangladesh

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

By: SM Shaikat, SERAC-Bangladesh

The title of my project - “Jagoroni” - means rising. This rising is to prevent two major disparities and human rights violations in Bangladesh society - child marriage and dowry. The plan was to engage youth to lead this rising, and Women Deliver’s C Exchange Youth Initiative became our opportunity to start.

I wanted to train young people so they could become change agents in their communities and, as a group, these volunteers were named as “Jagori,” meaning wakeful. The project was aimed to develop a watchdog group of young people that will be on the lookout for dowry violence and child marriage issues in Mymensingh, the district that has the highest rate of dowry cases in Bangladesh. Read more...

Addressing Maternal Mortality from a Human Rights Perspective

Since the establishment of the Millennium Development Goals, the development world has made some impressive strides in addressing maternal health. Maternal mortality rates have reduced by 45% since 1990, and the role of global health practitioners and advocates has been commendable. However, our work is far from over. Today, almost 300,000 women die each year from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. Of these deaths, 99% occur in the developing world, and almost 90% are preventable. Reversing this trend will require recognizing that surviving pregnancy and childbirth is a fundamental human right, which should not be contingent upon a woman’s age, where she lives, or her income level. In From Risk to Rights: Realizing States’ Obligations to Prevent and Address Maternal Mortality, a new publication by the Center for Reproductive Rights, this obligation is clearly outlined. Read more...

Promoting the SRHR of Adolescent and Young Mothers

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

By: Cecilia García Ruiz, Espolea (Mexico)

As the Adolescent and Youth Motherhood Project (AYMP) draws to a close, there are a few highlights that are worth sharing.

As mentioned in previous posts, it is important that human rights advocates have a deep understanding of the diverse realities, needs, interests and expectations of the populations they seek to benefit and reach. When working with adolescent and young mothers the first lesson to be learned is: do not take anything for granted. This means, for instance, that we cannot assume that adolescent and young mothers have more information and tools to access quality sexual and reproductive health services than any other young person in their community. Misconceptions about their experiences with the healthcare system are common. Very often, we find that a significant percentage of these young women have faced discrimination and violence from health providers, education workers, peers, and even members from their own families and communities. Read more...

Women’s Rights Defenders Call for the Inclusion of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

On the re-launch of May 28 International Day of Action for Women’s Health, Women’s Rights Defenders Worldwide Call for the Inclusion of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

This May 2014, in commemoration of 30 years of struggle and activism reflected in the victories of the women’s rights movement in the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994) and in the IV World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), women’s rights defenders and activists worldwide are re-launching May 28, the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, by calling on governments to ensure a holistic, inclusive, and human rights-based approach to women and girls’ health, which includes sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Read more...

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