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Rio+20 Conference Concludes Without Significant Mention of Reproductive Health and Rights

Women Deliver and Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet project call on global leaders to affirm that women and their reproductive health and rights are central to sustainability goals.

New York, New York, 22 June 2012 – The “Future We Want” outcome document from this week’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20, lacks meaningful inclusion of reproductive health and rights. While the document includes promising language on women’s empowerment and family planning, leaders missed a historic opportunity to affirm the central role of women and their reproductive health and rights in global sustainable development goals. Read more...

Live from Rio+20, Day One: Women and Reproductive Health

By: Vicky Markham, Center for Environment and Population (CEP); Originally posted on RH Reality Check

June 18, 2012, From Rio: This week begins the major UN Rio+20 “Earth Summit,” and I’ve just arrived at the sprawling “Rio Centro” complex where the official UN negotiations and many non-governmental organizations’ (NGOs) side-events are taking place.  While here for the duration of the meeting, I’ll be covering women and reproductive health (RH) issues as relate to the official UN proceedings, the NGO perspectives, and global south women’s personal stories on how Rio+20 touches their lives. Read more...

Why Women’s Needs Must be Part of the Conversation at Rio

By: Suzanne Ehlers and Michael Brune; Originally posted on GristBy: Suzanne Ehlers and Michael Brune; Originally posted on Grist

The outcome document for this week’s Rio+20 summit is 49 pages long. Some 23,917 words.

Women were mentioned in less than 0.01 percent of the text. And only two of the 283 sections addressed women’s needs for family planning.

At first, this might not seem like a big deal. It’s easy to think of Rio as a purely environmental conference, dealing with issues related to sustainable development and a green economy. It’s easy to say that Rio is not about “women’s issues.” Read more...

Women and Sustainability: What You Want to Know About Rio+20

By: Women Deliver and Worldwatch Institute

Women Deliver is collaborating with the Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project  to highlight the important role of women, youth, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in sustainable development at the upcoming Rio+20 conference.

Rio+20 is a key moment for advocates of reproductive health and rights to ensure that leaders understand and support the central role of reproductive health and voluntary family planning in sustainable development.  Below are some common questions about Rio+20 and the role of women in sustainability. Read more...

222 Million Women Have Unmet Need for Modern Family Planning

A new study by the Guttmacher Institute and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, finds that the number of women in developing countries who want to avoid pregnancy but are not using modern contraception declined only slightly between 2008 and 2012, from 226 to 222 million. However, in the 69 poorest countries—where 73% of all women with unmet need for modern contraceptives reside—the number actually increased, from 153 to 162 million women. Read more...

Why Aren’t Women’s Issues on the Agenda at Rio+20?

By: Carmen Barroso, International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region; Originally posted on Grist

In just two months, world leaders will gather in Rio to hammer out a new set of agreements on what sustainable development means, and more importantly, how both rich and developing nations can get there before it’s too late. Day by day, the buzz is building around this historic Earth Summit. But there’s a problem: The big plans being hatched for the occasion — nicknamed Rio+20 — leave women out. Read more...

New Report Shows Increase In Unsafe Abortion

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager 

Guttmacher.gifThe long-term decline of abortions worldwide has stalled, and unsafe abortions are now on the rise, according to Induced Abortion: Incidence and Trends Worldwide from 1995 to 2008, a report by the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization (WHO) published yesterday by The Lancet. After a global decline in abortion rates from 35 per 1000 women in 1995 to 28 in 2008, progress has now stagnated.  The proportion of unsafe abortions out of total abortions has risen from 44% in 1995 to 49% in 2008. Read more...

Where There Are No Doctors, Who Can Deliver Health?

By: Carolyn S. Miles, President and Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children
Originally posted by: Huffington Post Impact

Frontline.jpgWhat do 1) Florence Nightingale, 2) Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and 3) Heathcliff Huxtable have in common? Yes, all are famous health workers. But what more sets them apart from others like Dr. House or Doogie Howser, M.D.?

Tied to this answer is the key to addressing some of the world's greatest health challenges. Read more... 

Melinda Gates and Nick Kristof Answer Your Questions

By: Melinda French Gates
Originally posted by: the Impatient Optimists

GatesQuestions.jpgMelinda recently returned from a three-day trip to Bangladesh. She, along with Nick Kristof, agreed to answer readers’ questions about development issues focusing on that part of the world. Here is the first installment of the Q&A session reposted from Kristof's New York Times blog "On the Ground." Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Bayer Health Care Increases Access to Contraceptives For Women Worldwide

Earlier this week, Bayer Health Care broadened its commitment to reproductive health supplies for women by reducing the price of its five-year contraceptive implant product, Jadelle©. The price will decrease from $21 to $19.50 per implant, and could further reduce with future large orders.

Bayer projects that with these cost savings, over half a million women who view Jadelle© as their contraceptive method of choice will now be able to access it. Potential outcomes are powerful and plentiful, including the prevention of more than 550,000 unwanted pregnancies, 255,000 abortions, 1,000 maternal deaths, and 6,000 newborn deaths. Read more...

The Power Of The “Demographic Dividend”

By: Gary Darmstadt
Originally posted by: the Impatient Optimists

Kanpur.jpgI recently had the opportunity to attend a meeting at the World Bank where global health and development leaders and finance ministers from rich and poor countries met to share experiences and learning about the demographic dividend.

The concept of the demographic dividend is that when fertility rates in a country decline, fewer births take place each year, and the size of the population of individuals who are dependent on the state grows smaller. Read more...

Family Planning Conference Brings New Funding and Declarations of Support

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager at Women Deliver

Yesterday, at the 2011 International Conference on Family Planning, Senegal’s Minister of Health announced his country’s pledge to double its investment in family planning, while the British Department for International Development (DFID) pledged an additional £35m in funding for family planning programs in developing countries. These two groundbreaking announcements have been pivotal moments at the global conference in Dakar, Senegal, where over 1,500 participants have gathered to share best practices. Read more...

Women’s Health Issues in a World of 7 Billion

By: Jill Sheffield, Founder and President of Women Deliver
Originally posted by The Huffington Post

yemengirls.jpgThis past month, the world met a milestone. We officially live in a world of seven billion people -- an impressive figure that drives home just how much responsibility we all have to take care of our globe, ourselves and each other. This benchmark has sparked many conversations anew, from the impact of population on the environment to the undeniable importance of contraception. But as UNFPA's recently launched State of the World's Population 2011 report points out, a world of seven billion is not a time to ask, "Are we too many?" but rather, "What can I do to make our world better?" Read more...

2015+: Join Our Critical Online Discussion Forum on the Future of Reproductive and Maternal Health

you_are_invited.jpg

With the deadlines for the Millennium Development Goals and the International Conference on Population and Development’s Program of Action fast approaching, Women Deliver is calling on the entire reproductive and maternal health community—from policymakers to health workers to advocates—to participate in an online discussion to shape the future of our field.

Join this critical global conversation at www.knowledge-gateway.org/womendeliver and weigh in on where we are, where we need to be, and how we need to get there. This means taking stock of lessons learned, challenges ahead, and tackling the critical question: What will—and what must—happen to the MDGs and ICPD after 2015? Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Programs In Nigeria Set The Bar High

By: Lindsey Taylor Wood, Communications Associate

In Northern Nigeria, 1 in 23 women will die in pregnancy or childbirth. In fact, 10% of maternal deaths, globally, occur there; and rates of newborn and child mortality are also amongst the highest in the world. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Private Sector and UNFPA Join Forces to Address our World at 7 Billion

 By: Kristin Rosella, Program Associate, Strategic Partnerships, Women Deliver

Earlier this week, SAP, Churchill Club, and UNFPA co-hosted the high-level conversation “Innovating for a World of 7 Billion.” The event, which marked the official beginning of the 7-day countdown to 7 billion, gathered industry thought-leaders from around the world to discuss the challenges and opportunities that population growth presents. Read more...

Additional Investments in Youth Needed as World Population Tops 7 Billion, States UNFPA Report

This year's State of World Population report, People and Possibilities in a World of 7 Billion, looks at the the dynamics behind the numbers. It explains the trends that are defining our world of 7 billion and documents actions that people in vastly different countries and circumstances are taking in their own communities to make the most of their--and our--world. Read more...

The World At 7 Billion: Sustaining Our Future

By: Dr. Aoife Kenny, Volunteer at Women Deliver

Yesterday, Columbia University’s Earth Institute, held a public event to explore the environmental and social impact of our global population reaching 7 billion this year, and highlighted the need for women's empowerment to be at the core of any plans that look to create sustainability.

Joel Cohen, a Professor of Populations at Columbia University, gave the keynote address and discussed how decelerating population growth is essential to global development and to addressing our environmental crisis. He believes in “empowering women to be able to have the number of children they want, and educating them, so they are able to decide.” Read more...

Women Deliver Has Strong Presence During UNGA Week

The third week of September was a busy one for Women Deliver. The United Nations General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), amongst other events, filled the city with Heads of State and agents of change, providing ample opportunity to discuss maternal health, sexual and reproductive rights and gender equity.  Here are a few of our highlights:

  • The World Bank: “Realizing the Demographic Dividend, Challenges and Opportunities for Ministers of Finance and Developmentpanel focused on the policy actions necessary in family planning, health, education, gender equality, and labor market policies, if positive economic returns are to be secured. Women Deliver Founder and President, Jill Sheffield, who spoke at the event, reinforced this point by stating: "The fact is: that women drive economic development. They operate the majority of small businesses and farms in developing countries and their unpaid work equals roughly 1/3 of the GDP." Read more...

Family Planning, Healthier Economies

Originally posted by the World Bank on 09/24/2011
By: Julia Ross, Corporate and Home Page Editor for the World Bank website

Countries like South Korea and Thailand have seen similar demographic formulas work to their advantage in recent decades: falling fertility rates lead to burgeoning adult working populations lead to greater economic productivity.

How did they harness these changes to create engines of growth? According to speakers at a World Bank panel on “Realizing the Demographic Dividend,” greater investments in health, family planning, and gender equality paved the way, followed by further investments in education, youth development, and job creation. Read more...

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