Delivering Real Results and Resources for Girls and Women

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver

Last week, the UN Commission on Women and Children’s Health released the final report, “Keeping Promises, Measuring Results,” with recommendations that will serve to hold countries and organizations accountable for the commitments they make to save the lives of girls, women and children around the world. I am honored to have been a part of this Commission. The brief and intense process has produced an accountability framework to deliver real results and resources for girls and women through monitoring, review and action. Read more...

Live From Kenya: Equal Treatment at Birth

By: Rachel Cernansky, winner of the Women Bloggers Deliver contest

In rural Kenya, a majority of women give birth at home and without a skilled attendant--often because hospitals, and the transportation to even get to a hospital, are simply too expensive and inaccessible for so many women.

Now imagine the situation for HIV-positive women, who should give birth by C-section to reduce the risk of transmission from mother to child. According to the Ministry of Health, only 65 percent of hospitals in the country provide that procedure. It's also more expensive, so even if it's locally available, it's not always a realistic option. Read more...

Live from Kenya: So Much More Than Water

By: Rachel Cernansky, winner of the Women Bloggers Deliver contest

school2.jpgIt was raining when we got to the Malava Girls school--the loud, heavy kind of rain that makes it hard to hear your own voice inside--and we weren't sure we would get to visit with the girls we came to see. The plan was to demonstrate a LifeStraw Family and to hear what they had to say about clean water and the impact of waterborne diseases on their lives.

But we waited the rain out and did get to see the girls, just an hour or so later than scheduled. And we got to hear about so much more than just water. Read more...

Live From Kenya: Bridging Clean Water to Maternal Health

By: Toyin Ajao, winner of the Women Bloggers Deliver contest

Emusanda_Health_Centre.jpgYesterday, on the Carbon for Water campaign trail, we met with Francis Odhiambo, the provincial public health officer of the Western Province in Kenya. He had a great impact in helping connect the dots between having safe drinking water, combating diseases and women having safe pregnancies and deliveries. Mr. Francis Odhiambo believed strongly that women suffer twice as much as men on health issues relating to water borne disease because of their daily activities and chores around the house and for their families. Women not only face the hardship of looking for nonexistent safe water, but they also have to trek miles to get stream water and firewood for boiling it. Read more...

Live From Kenya: The Brains and the Bruises

school.jpgBy: Toyin Ajao, winner of the Women Bloggers Deliver contest

As part of the Women Bloggers Deliver contest, and the Carbon for Water campaign, I am excited to be traveling around the Western Province of Kenya, meeting women and girls who are hard-hit by the issues associated with the Millennium Development Goals. Yesterday, I got the chance to visit the Malava’s Girls High School -- a reaffirmation time that the Millennium Development Goals are so important, especially the goal addressing women and girls’ issues. Read more...

Young People and Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Nigeria: Youth e-consultation

By: Esther Agbarakwe & Kikelomo Taiwo, Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders; posted on the WRA blog here

Globally between 350,000 and 550,000 girls and women die from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth every year, while 10-20 million girls and women suffer from maternal morbidities according to UNFPA. Each death represents a family’s loss of a sister, daughter, partner, mother, or friend. Early sexual exposure is an important reproductive risk factor among young people in Nigeria as many of them lack information and life planning skills to delay the onset of sexual activities. Read more...

USAID Experts Talk Women’s Health in Impact Magazine

USAID marks its 50th Anniversary this year. In the latest issue of PSI’s Impact magazine, Editor-in-Chief Marshall Stowell interviews senior USAID officials, including Susan Brems, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Global Health, and Scott Radloff, Director of the Office of Population and Reproductive Health. Both share their thoughts on improving the health of women in developing countries and new technologies that promise to advance these efforts. Check out the interviews at

Celebrate Solutions: Reaching Female Refugees, the RAISE Project

By: Madeline Taskier, Partnership Coordinator at Women Deliver

Burma.JPGAccess to maternal health services is a challenge for many women in developing countries, but women in crisis settings are especially vulnerable to reproductive health risks and maternal health emergencies. Over 42 million people in the world are uprooted and living far from their home countries or regions for months or years at a time—almost half of them are women. Read more...

Happy Mother’s Day: Winners of the Maternal Health Challenge

When ABC News launched their "Be the Change: Save a Life" series, they also partnered with the Acumen Fund and GOOD to launch a "Moms Matter" competition to raise attention to the hundreds of thousands of women who die in pregnancy and childbirth. They asked for submissions in the form of Tweets and print ads, guerrilla marketing campaigns and videos, essays, and a host of other creative ideas with one unifying purpose: to stand up as a global community and to say with one voice, "Enough is enough: moms matter." Read more...


Marching to Celebrate the Indispensable Midwife

By: Joy Marini, Director of Corporate Contributions for Johnson & Johnson, Maternal and Child Health 

midwives.jpgOne day after the International Day of the Midwife, I am gathering with colleagues in Africa to discuss how we can help address the shortage of global health workers.

In sub-Saharan Africa, many women give birth alone, and without a skilled attendant such as a midwife, there is no one to address the complications of child delivery or to advise a pregnant woman to seek more skilled care. In fact, more women in this region die during pregnancy and childbirth than any other place on earth – claiming as many as one in eight lives. Read more...

International Day of the Midwife

By: Janna Oberdorf, Director of Communications and Outreach for Women Deliver

Today, May 5th, is International Day of the Midwife. The world needs midwives now more than ever. The World Health Organization, UN agencies and other global partners have identified that midwives are key to achieving reductions in maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities globally, yet there is a serious shortage. Read more... and get inspired by three midwives honored on the Women Deliver 100 list of the most inspiring people delivering for girls and women, below.


Juliette Coulibaly, Côte d'Ivoire / Imtiaz Kamal, Pakistan / Dorothy Ngoma, Malawi

This Mother’s Day, Learn About Motherhood Around the World

By: Janna Oberdorf, Director of Communications and Outreach at Women Deliver

COUNTmeINsticker3x3.jpgAbout a year ago, at the Women Deliver 2010 conference in Washington, DC, I watched Christy Turlington Burns’ directorial debut, “No Woman, No Cry.” In our huge conference hall, between intense conversations on funding streams and health strengthening solutions, this movie made an impact. It told the stories behind the stats, and it gave a face to the 358,000 women and girls who die during pregnancy and childbirth each year. Read more...

124th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Shines a Spotlight on Maternal Health

Women and children’s health were on the agenda at the 124th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which took place April 15-20th in Panama City, Panama. The Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, gave the keynote address on “Building Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment” to 600 parliamentarians from around the world, highlighting the need for women’s leadership and political participation. Read more...

World Malaria Day: A Focus on Women and Children

By: Janna Oberdorf, Director of Communications and Outreach at Women Deliver

Today is World Malaria Day—and there is much to celebrate. Over the past decade, malaria cases have drastically declined and deaths from malaria have been reduced. As we celebrate the many successes of the past decade in fighting malaria around the world, it’s important to put a spotlight on those who are most vulnerable to malaria—pregnant women and their children. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Allowing Community-Driven Ideas to Improve Care

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

Over the last two years, thousands of people from all walks of life—from computer engineers to tribal women—in Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Orissa state in India have lent their voices and ideas to improve the quality of maternal and child health care in their communities.

These three areas have something in common – they house some of the worst maternal and child mortality rates in the world. But the barriers and challenges women face to quality care differ for many reasons. Recognizing that community members—including those not usually associated with maternal health care—have a valuable perspective to offer as well as a stake in improving the lives of women and girls, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2009 funded a global partnership between UNICEF and Concern Worldwide to find bold, new ideas for addressing gaps in the delivery of quality care. Read more...

Mama: Using Text Messaging to Protect Maternal Health in Times of Crisis

Mama.GIFA new Facebook and SMS communications initiative, Mama: Together for Safe Births in Crises, was launched today by the Women’s Refugee Commission. The project addresses an important information gap for maternal health workers in emergencies, as identified by WRC research. Approximately 25 per cent of women of reproductive age in any displaced population are likely to be pregnant at any given time--the stress of being displaced coupled with the lack of skilled care heightens the risk these women face. Read more...

Mapping Maternal Health in Urban Slums

By: Madeline Taskier, Partnership Coordinator at Women Deliver

By 2030, more than 5 billion people will be living in urban settings, a trend that will have the greatest effect in Asia and Africa. Health care services in urban areas have not caught up with the rapid pace of population growth, leaving much of the urban poor without access to healthcare.

This week, at the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Maternal Health Task Force, UNFPA, and USAID co-hosted a policy dialogue series focusing on the state of maternal health in urban slums. Despite the relative proximity and concentration of health centers in urban compared to rural areas, poor women are still not able to access quality maternal health care. Read more...

Human Rights Upheld at the United Nations 44th Commission on Population and Development

The outcome document of the 44th annual session of the Commission on Population and Development which concluded last week reaffirms the landmark International Conference on Population and Development Program of Action and brings the international community one step closer to ensuring that all people have access to necessary reproductive health services. Read more...

Lancet Series Responds to the 2.6 Million Stillbirths Occurring Each Year

Today, The Lancet launched a new series on stillbirths.  In six series papers, two research articles, and eight comments, global health experts illustrate how stillbirths have been rendered invisible in the global health arena, and what can be done to bring these tragedies to light.  Through new analysis of stillbirth occurrences, success stories and lessons learned from around the world, with a focus on the poor and marginalized, The Lancet Stillbirth Series is a call to action that we cannot afford to ignore. Read more...

Statement by Advocates for Youth at the Commission on Population and Development

Women Deliver participated in the "Youth Caucus" organized by Advocates for Youth, the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, YouAct, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, and Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS. This caucus worked together to produce a statement that represented the perspectives of many different young people from around the world.

"I am presenting this statement, on behalf of youth led NGOs and young people from around the world. We are firmly in support and call for the realization of all young people's human rights which include sexual and reproductive rights, that must be respected regardless of our age. With this year being the UN International Year of Youth, and as outlined in international commitments, the human rights of all young people should be the priority for the governments, international agencies, policy makers and communities. That's why we are here to share with you our collective voice and message: Youth Demand Change." Read more...

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