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Early Marriage Robs Children of Their Opportunities

By: Graça Machel and Desmond Tutu; Originally posted on Washington Post

Graça Machel was the first education minister of Mozambique. Desmond Tutu is archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. They are members of The Elders, a group of independent leaders working for peace and human rights.

“If adults know child marriage is wrong, why do they allow it to happen?” a teenage girl asked one of us during a visit this year to Bihar , a state in northeast India where, despite national law to the contrary, 69 percent of girls are married before age 18. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Agroamerica and UN Explore Efforts to Support MDG 5

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

In Guatemala, where about 120,000 girls and women die from pregnancy-related causes each year, the agricultural company Agrofruit is exploring ways to reduce maternal mortality. The company specializes in growing tropical fruits, and is based in Guatemala.

The efforts began in 2011, when Agroamerica teamed up with a team of American doctors from the University of Colorado to explore the southwestern area known as “trifinio,” where three provinces called San Marcos, Retalhuleu and Quetzaltenango converge. Read more...

Family Planning is Key to a Sustainable World

By: Danielle Nierenberg, Jill Sheffield; Originally posted on Impatient Optimists

In June, at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, global leaders missed a historic opportunity to put reproductive health and family planning at the center of global sustainability and development.  Today’s London Summit on Family Planning, hosted by the United Kingdom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, succeeded where the Rio+20 conference fell short, by making clear the inextricable links between women, reproductive health, and poverty reduction. Read more...

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...

Including Non-Communicable Diseases in the Rio+20 Dialogue on Sustainable Futures

By: Nalini Saligram and Felicia Marie Knaul; Originally posted on Huffington Post

The upcoming Rio+20 Conference (June 20-22, 2012) is a pivotal moment for leaders across the world to come together to find solutions to many of the issues that plague the planet. The conference will focus on important issues core to sustainability, including decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans, and disaster readiness. Read more...

The Guardian Announces Journalism Competition Finalists

The Guardian newspaper has announced 16 finalists in the 2012 Guardian International Development Journalism Competition. The competition, which aims to highlight overlooked or underrepresented issues in the developing world, called on contestants to submit a feature piece on an aspect of global poverty deserving of greater attention. Of the hundreds of entries submitted, a long list was narrowed down to 40 contestants, and then short-lists of eight amateur and eight professional writers were finalized. Read more...

Every Woman Every Child and Rio+20

Originally Posted By: Every Woman Every Child

Every Woman Every Child, spearheaded by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, works with leaders from governments, multilateral organizations, the private sector and civil society to mobilize and intensify global action to improve the health of women and children around the world.

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or “Rio+20”, will take place 20 years after the historic 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development. “Sustainable development”, by definition, integrates economic, social and environmental issues. View the official conference Every Woman Every Child website here. Read more...

Family Planning Summit Could Mark Turning Point For Maternal Health

By: Babatunde Osotimehin; Originally posted on The Guardian

More than 200 million women, largely in the least developed countries, want to use modern family planning methods but can't access them. They may face cultural barriers or family resistance. Contraceptives may not be available in their communities or they may not have the money to buy them, or there is a lack of information or trained workers to give advice. The result is human misery on a huge scale – and a major brake on our development hopes.

Next month in London an initiative will be launched to meet this unfilled need for modern family planning in developing countries by tackling the estimated $3.6bn (£2.3bn) annual shortfall in investment (pdf).Read more...

A Push for Women’s Rights at Rio+20

By: Jennifer James; orginally posted at Impatient Optimist

Next month world leaders will converge upon Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from June 20 – 22, for Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (commonly called the “Earth Summit”).  Women's groups are pushing to become a major part of the agenda as women continue to be marginalized when it comes to poverty eradication and sustainable development.

The vast majority of the world’s poor are women and children--even twenty years after the first sustainability conference in Rio. It’s one reason why the Women’s Major Group, which includes international sustainable development organizations, is calling for women to share their stories and make their voices heard to ensure women’s issues are not shuffled off the agenda. Read more...

“Women Deliver 50” Honors Bright Ideas and Big Solutions

By: Jessica Mack, Orginally posted on RH Reality Check 

International Women’s Day, March 8, is a harbinger of lists. Those lists are usually awesome and inspiring – hundreds of women who shake the world, deliver for girls and women, or are simply deemed “top in the world.” (Why these lists don’t come out more than once or twice a year is beyond me). But this year, sifting through International Women’s Day emails, events, and announcements, I was pleasantly surprised to see a different kind of list. Read more...

Understanding the Girl Effect

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver; Originally posted on the Impatient Optimist 

girl_effect_gates.jpgOn Friday, The Guardian’s Poverty Matters Blog posted an opinion piece by Dr. Ofra Koffman that questions the contributions that girls and young women can make to economies when they delay childbirth. Koffman argued that the so-called “Girl Effect” of delaying childbirth does not necessarily “stop poverty before it starts,” as the Department for International Development (DFID) claims.

However, the “Girl Effect” is about much more than adolescent fertility. It’s about the holistic approach to harnessing the power of girls and women—from literacy to the elimination of death in early childbirth to leadership opportunities—and how these factors come together to reduce global poverty. 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: Grants To Accelerate Mobile Technology Centered on Maternal and Newborn Health

Earlier this month at the mHealth Summit in Washington, DC, the Innovation Working Group, part of the UN Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child Strategy, and the mHealth Alliance announced 8 winners of grants to support mobile health programs. The grants will fund innovative mobile technology projects that have the potential to improve maternal and child health globally.

The projects are based in low-income countries with high maternal and child mortality rates. They aim to improve evaluation design, enhance health information sharing, and increase the capabilities of technologies that help clinical decision-making. Over the two-year grant period, the grantees will build partnerships, scale up their projects to national levels or extend their reach to new communities. The grant program is generously supported by NORAD, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, with technical support from the mHealth Alliance. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Jhpiego wins $1.6M grant from GE Foundation

By: Alexander Jackson, originally posted on Baltimore Business Journal

Jhpiego.jpgA Johns Hopkins University affiliate has been awarded $1.6 million from the GE Foundation to support the development of lifesaving technologies for women and children in developing countries.

Jhpiego, a Baltimore-based international nonprofit, will use the money to create new products through its Innovation Development Program. Centered on maternal and child health, the program focuses on early-stage innovation and then, for selected projects, field-testing and product introduction. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: A New Generation of Business Models for Health

By: Victoria Hale, PhD, CEO at Medicines360

Most people have one life changing, “ah-ha” moment in their lives, but in my case, I had two. The first moment came when I was sitting in the back of a New York City taxi, and the driver asked me what I did for a living. When I told him that I was a pharmaceutical scientist, he said, “Oh, you have all the money!” And, in that moment, my first company, OneWorld Health, was born.

OneWorld Health is a first-generation non-profit pharmaceutical company created as an innovative, gutsy initiative to develop drugs to treat people with neglected tropical diseases. This charity model is entirely dependent on others—that is, on large grants from philanthropists and on the for-profit pharmaceutical industry for the delivery of medicines to the poor. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Chickpeas Nourish Ethiopia’s Mothers, Children and Agricultural Economy

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

chickpeas.jpgCould chickpeas be a potential solution for meeting two of Ethiopia’s biggest challenges: child malnourishment and an underperforming economy?

PepsiCo, the World Food Programme (WFP), and USAID believe so. That’s why the company is entering into an innovative public-private partnership with the WFP and USAID to promote food and economic security in the east African nation. Under Enterprise EthioPEA, the three organizations will work with nearly 10,000 Ethiopian farmers to double chickpea yields by utilizing modern agricultural practices and better irrigation techniques. Read more...

Historic U.N. Ruling Finds Brazil Violates Woman’s Human Rights in Maternal Death Case

In the first-ever maternal death case to be decided by an international human rights body, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women established that governments have a human rights obligation to guarantee that all women in their countries—regardless of income or racial background—have access to timely, non-discriminatory, and appropriate maternal health services. Read more…

New UN Report Says Invest in Youth, Women, Reproductive Health to Reduce Poverty

Investments in young people, women’s empowerment and reproductive health, including family planning, are critical to boosting least developed countries’ productive capacity and speeding their escape from poverty, according to a new report by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. The report, “Population Dynamics and Poverty in the LDCs: Challenges and Opportunities for Development and Poverty Reduction”, says that the world’s 48 least developed countries (LDCs) have a large and rapidly growing youth population, with some 60 per cent of their population under the age of 25. 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...

Women Deliver 100: The Most Inspiring People Delivering for Girls and Women

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, Women Deliver is announcing the “Women Deliver 100,” our list of the hundred most inspiring people who have delivered for girls and women. This list recognizes women and men, both prominent and lesser known, who have committed themselves to improving the lives of girls and women around the world. Honorees derive from the fields of health, human rights, politics, economics, education, journalism, and philanthropy, and represent a great diversity of geographic and cultural backgrounds. The 100 honorees were selected from among hundreds of potentials and feature some of the most intrepid, committed, and results-driven people in the world. Click through to read the full list.

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