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World Contraception Day: Family Planning is More Than Smart Economics

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver and Elisabeth van der Steenhoven, Director of WO=MEN, Dutch Gender Platform

In just a few weeks, the world’s population will surpass seven billion. This intimidating figure should be a critical reminder to all of us—especially advocates and donor countries—of a promise we have yet to deliver on: ensuring access to family planning for women around the world. Read more...

World Contraception Day: Let’s Use Social Media

Get Involved: Add Your Own Perspectives At The Conversations For A Better World Blog Series

By: Bridget Akudo Nwagbara, Chair of the Youth Health Workers Advocates, Nigeria – MNCH

Social media has revolutionized the way people across the globe interact with one another. At the recent, the Social Good Summit, initiatives like Shot@Life, which was launched with the intent to leverage online communities to deliver health care to marginalized and vulnerable populations, were lauded. Young people are leading this revolution! And as such, they should be the target of more initiatives that use social media. 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...

Corporate Buzz: A Thousand Tiny Knots - On the Way to One Million Health Care Workers

By: Joy Marini, Director Corporate Contributions, Johnson & JohnsonDai_Moms.jpg

A few months ago, I was sitting in a room full of “dai-moms” -- lay midwives in Dhaka, Bangladesh. These women are amazing. One of the most intriguing things about them is how they keep track of their activities. They use knotted ropes that they tuck carefully into their waistbands. Many of these midwives cannot read or write, so they keep an account of all births that they attend with the rope of tiny knots. Every knot represents a birth. Every knot represents a life. The dai-moms even remember who is represented by each knot and return to the families for newborn checks. Our partners -- Narigrantha Prabartana and the Global Fund for Women -- support these dai-moms with education, camaraderie and motivation, all of which are in short supply in the harsh, remote environments where the dai-moms work. Read more...

World Contraception Day: “Hombres y mujeres jóvenes y el acceso a anticonceptivos”?

Get Involved: Add Your Own Perspectives At The Conversations For A Better World Blog Series

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What Is The Difference Between How Young Women And Men Learn About And Access Birth Control Methods? And Why?

By: Yunuén Flores, Director of the Gender Program

I’m a young female activist and even more importantly, I live in a Latin American country: Mexico. I come from a culture that is patriarchal, machista, religious and full of taboos. Ah, and I already told you that I’m a woman! So I have lived my life with different rules than the men in my community, typecast by social norms that we ourselves have created. Read more...

2015+: Ensuring Women’s Sexual & Reproductive Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean

By: Mabel Bianco, President of Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer – FEIM

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Prior to the creation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and particularly MDG 5 (to improve maternal health), there were many international agreements for improving the status of all citizens, including those focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Although these international agreements, including the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), Programme of Action (PoA) and the Beijing Platform for Action (PfA), preceded the MDGs, the responsibilities and commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights that governments and donors established are broader than those encompassed in MDG5 and 5B. Read more...

World Contraception Day: Young Girls Don’t Ask “Improper” Questions

Get Involved: Add Your Own Perspectives At The Conversations For A Better World Blog Series

By: Dalia Al-Eryani, one of the Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders538282430_27fe6449dc_z.jpg

A little over a year ago, I was working to raise awareness regarding the safe age of marriage in a small rural village in the mountains of Yemen. One of our biggest supporters was, Fatima, an old woman from the community who hosted our team meetings in her home every month with her family. Fatima couldn’t have been that old really, but the hardship she had endured in her life left her looking like a fragile old woman with sun-kissed cracked brown skin, tired eyes and a big heart. One morning our meeting ended early and she sat down to talk to us. She hugged her legs to her chest and began telling us why she believed in what we were doing. Read more...

Today is World Contraception Day: Live Your Life and Know Your Rights

Get Involved: Add Your Own Perspectives At The Conversations For A Better World Blog Series

By: Janna Oberdorf, Director of Communications and Outreach at Women DeliverYTFgroup_Group.jpg

Happy World Contraception Day! If you haven’t heard of World Contraception Day, welcome, get excited, and tune in. The theme this year is “Live your life, know your rights. Learn about contraception.” It’s a pretty simple slogan but it has a powerful implication.

Young people have the right to access accurate and unbiased information about contraception and safe sex, which they need to prevent unwanted pregnancies, STIs, and improve their lives in a number of ways. But they don’t often know that, or they can’t realize those rights. We are trying to change that. Read more...

African Ministers of Health Join Multi-Sector Partners In Forum On Improving Women’s Health

Meeting was aimed at determining ways to accelerate progress to improve the health of girls and women in developing countries._M3D9867.JPG

New York, NY, September 23
– Ministers of Health from several African countries joined high-level participants yesterday to identify programs and policies that will most effectively support the needs of disadvantaged women and girls in their countries. Timed to coincide with the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the forum focused on improving maternal health, which is one of eight global Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at ending extreme poverty and strengthening health outcomes by 2015. Read more...

2015+: A Conversation about Youth Sexual and Reproductive Rights

By: Maria Inés Romero (26, Paraguay) and Wieke Vink (20, the Netherlands), members of the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights

2015+.JPGThis next blog in our series "2015+" is a conversation between two Youth Coalition members (ages 20 and 26) about youth sexual and reproductive rights and why they think it’s important to put young people at the heart of the next development agenda. Read more...

Additional Contraceptive Services Needed to Reduce Unsafe Abortions in Colombia

A new report released by the Guttmacher Institute and Fundación Oriéntame assesses that the number of induced abortions in Colombia rose between 1989 and 2008. Despite this, the country’s abortion rate rose only minimally; indicating a rise in the number of reproductive aged women as the reason for growth. Unintended Pregnancy and Induced Abortion in Colombia: Causes and Consequences, points to the criminal nature of abortions by the Colombian government as the major source of complications and health risks to women. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Leveraging the ‘Foot Ambulance’ in Filipino Villages

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

For generations, men in the villages nestled in the remote mountains of the Ifugao province in the northern Philippines have used the “ayod” or hammock to carry the sick to hospitals and medical facilities. Now, this traditional “foot ambulance” is increasingly becoming the heart of a community-grown maternal health system that is saving the lives of women and girls and keeping families and communities intact in this rural area. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Coffee Partnership Works to Prevent Cervical Cancer

coffee_beans.jpgBy: Kristin Rosella, Program Associate for Strategic Partnerships for Women Deliver

Thousands of women in low-resource areas of Mexico, Nicaragua, and Tanzania are now getting life-saving cervical cancer screenings through a unique public-private partnership between Grounds for Health, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization, and coffee-farming cooperatives. Read more...

2015+: A World Without the MDGs

2015+.JPGBy: Dr. Frederick Torgbor Sai, a Ghanaian family health physician and honorary co-chair of Women Deliver 2010 conference

The eight MDGs are too well known to warrant repetition here. MDG 5 asked for a reduction of the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters between 2000 and 2015. Other goals related directly to MDG 5 are focused on child health, improvement in women’s status and the reduction of poverty. The attainment of all the other MDGs would also influence MDG 5, as would its attainment also impact all the others. Read more...

Ensuring Universal Access to Reproductive Health Supplies

Helping women around the world gain universal access to reproductive health supplies demands that the development community pursue three strategies across the next five “especially critical” years, according to the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition. This period will see the global community intensify efforts to meet Millennium Development Goal 5 to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters and achieve universal access to reproductive health. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Kenya to Spend $3.4 Million to Give Free Sanitary Pads to School Girls

kenya_girl.JPGBy: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

The Kenyan finance ministry this month announced plans to allocate $3.4 million in the current fiscal budget to provide free sanitary pads to school girls in an effort to remove a major barrier to education in the east African nation. Read more...

IPPF Releases One-Year Evaluation of World Bank’s Reproductive Health Action Plan

In a newly released evaluative report, the International Planned Parenthood Federation commends the World Bank for its commitment to sexual and reproductive health as shown through its implementation of the first year of the Reproductive Health Action Plan. However, it also calls on the bank to more closely monitor reproductive health (RH) indicators and increase collaboration with countries to better integrate RH into health systems strengthening programs and national policies. Read more...?

Celebrate Solutions: Improving Contraceptive Use in Timor-Leste

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

timor_leste_pregnant_woman.jpgWhile Timor-Leste obtained independence almost 10 years ago, it continues to suffer the aftereffects of a decades-long independence struggle against Indonesia and to face many challenges, such as building its health system and lowering its high fertility and maternal mortality rates. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Promoting Change in Reproductive Behavior in Bihar

By: Mariko Rasmussen, Communications Specialist at Women Deliver

In Bihar, one of India’s least developed and most populous states, men and women seeking information on contraceptives have faced barriers of all kinds: cultural, financial and socio-economic. The need for action is apparent: 58 percent of the population is under age 25, the median age of marriage for women from traditional villages is 15, and 28 percent of women give birth to their first child before the age of 18. In response, Pathfinder’s Promoting Change in Reproductive Behavior (PRACHAR) Project has been working since 2001 to transform attitudes and behaviors around contraceptive use and demand, with the aim of delaying and spacing pregnancies among adolescents and newlywed couples. Read more...

Youth Campaigning in “10 Days of Activism”

DoA-logo.jpgWant to see how young people from 50 countries all over the world find a way to come together in action for 10 days?

There are 1.8 billion young people in the world today, who make up 1/3rd of the world’s population. Below 90% of them live in developing countries – a number that will increase in the next 20 years. Y-PEER launches a 10-days campaign between July 1st – 10th, 2011 within the International Year of Youth (IYY). The goal of the campaign is to bring young people and youth organizations from 50 countries around the world together, unite forces and make their voice heard on youth issues including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). “10 Days of Activism” will take place simultaneously at national, regional and international levels and will be matched by a social media campaign. Read more...

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