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Creating a Safe Space for Young Mayan Girls

By: Jennifer Catino and Alejandra Colom, Population Council; Abriendo Oportunidades (“Opening Opportunities”) is a winner of the Women Deliver 50

Abriendo.jpgClaudia*, a Mayan girl visiting from her village home in El Cerro Grande, arrived at a Guatemala City hospital with severe abdominal pains. After a brief medical exam she was released by the doctor, who found nothing wrong with her.

Claudia belongs to Guatemala’s most disadvantaged group: indigenous young females. Girls like her typically live in isolated rural communities with limited access to basic services like water, sanitation, passable roads, schooling, and health care. Their lives are marked by early marriage, frequent childbearing, social isolation, violence, and chronic poverty. Often they are disregarded by more affluent Guatemalans, like the doctor who examined her. Read more... 

International Women’s Day: Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures

Janna Oberdorf, Women Deliver; Originally posted on the Impatient Optimist

Half the world’s population is under the age of 25. Young women have always been leaders in their families, managing households and caring for their family members. Increasingly, young women are taking on leadership roles in the private and public sector. But despite their extraordinary potential, girls and women remain invisible in much of the world. In developing countries, a girl is more likely to be uneducated, a child bride, or exposed to HIV/AIDS than to be an educated professional. Only $.02 of every development aid dollar is directed to girls. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Engaging Men As Partners To Change Gender-based Inequity In Health

By: Mariko Rasmussen, Communications Specialist at Women Deliver

Gender can influence men’s and women’s health in profound ways; social expectations of what men and women should and should not do can directly affect attitudes and behaviors related to a wide variety of health issues. Often, it is men who decide the frequency and timing of sexual activity and whether or not to use contraceptives, sometimes through coercion or violence. Gender-based violence can contribute to the spread of HIV and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), and lead to poor reproductive health outcomes for women. And because of women’s low status in many societies, maternal health services are not prioritized. Empowering women is a critical step to turning this around, but efforts cannot end there: men must also be actively engaged as partners in change. Read more... 

 

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