H.R.H. Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has become Patron of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, to support the agency's work to promote maternal health and safer motherhood in more than 150 developing nations. This work is a UNFPA key priority because women have about 1 in 7 lifetime risk of maternal death in a few developing countries; compared to 1 in 17,800 in Denmark, according to the latest published United Nations estimates. more...
June 2nd, 2010
By Dr. Fred Sai, co-host of Women Deliver 2010 and former advisor to the Ghanaian government on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS. You can follow the live stream of the Women Deliver 2010 conference from June 7th to 9th at www.womendeliver.org/webcast.
Originally posted at ONE blog.
This March, the Lancet released new statistics that revealed an unprecedented drop in the number of women who die every year during pregnancy and childbirth. The study found that from 1980 to 2008, maternal deaths globally have fallen from 500,000 each year to 340,000. Having spent some 40 years working on women and children’s health in Ghana and across Africa, I welcomed this progress. But as the world celebrated, I also couldn’t help but wonder, “Where is Africa?”
May 21st, 2010
By Linda Alexander, Vice President of Women's Health and Global Advocacy, QIAGEN
I’m here in Beijing, at the 20th annual Global Summit of Women (May 20-22), where women business, NGO and government leaders have assembled to discuss strategies for advancing women’s economic opportunities and to lead, shape, and transform the global future.
The theme on this 20th anniversary year of the Global Summit is "Women at the Forefront of Change," and few cities in the world more embody rapid change than Beijing. From ancient pagodas to jaw-dropping modern architecture, and from rickshaw rides through alleyways to bustling subway stops, Beijing is vibrant and colorful, and feels both new and old at the same time.
May 5th, 2010
By Peer Schatz, CEO of QIAGEN
In every country, community, business, and family, girls and women are an economic force. This is especially true in the developing world, where women are the anchor of the family and community and provide the majority of labor and transportation for cultivation and production. With the tremendous loads they carry already, imagine being able to lift the burden of cervical cancer from women in the developing world. Out of 250,000 women that die each year from cervical cancer — the second-most common cancer in the world — about 80 percent of these occur in the developing world, This vision to lift the burden of cervical cancer from women in the developing world is within reach today, if we all work together to ensure that women and girls become a global priority. The health and empowerment of women form the cornerstone of a healthy society.
April 30th, 2010
May 9th, 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the approval of the birth control pill in the US, coincidentally also Mother’s Day. Women Deliver will celebrate this golden anniversary by holding an all-day symposium on reproductive health technology, “50 Years after the Pill — The Revolution Continues,” during the Women Deliver conference, June 7-9 in Washington, DC. The symposium will be opened by psychosexual therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, Dr. Nafis Sadik. It will feature experts in the field of reproductive health discussing the social, economic, and health benefits of modern contraceptives, in addition to where availability has fallen short for women in much of the developing world.
March 9th, 2010
Young people from across the world gathered together in New York to attend the 54th Commission on the Status of Women which also marks the 15 year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. These documents noted governments’ commitments to increase young people’s access to counselling, sexual and reproductive health information and services, and to promote their rights to privacy, confidentiality, respect and informed consent in this regard...
February 2nd, 2010
The PBS newsmagazine show NOW on PBS highlighted maternal mortality in Haiti on Friday night with an interview from Ann Starrs, president of Family Care International. While Haiti's catastrophic earthquake has left lives and institutions in ruin, it has also exacerbated a longtime lethal risk in Haiti: Dying during childbirth. Challenges in transportation, education, and quality health care contribute to Haiti having the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere, a national crisis even before the earthquake struck.
January 11th, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for renewed support for and dedication to international family planning and reproductive health programs in a speech from the U.S. Department of State.
January 5th, 2010
At 2:30 p.m. EST this Friday, January 8, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will make a major speech commemorating the 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and will reaffirm U.S. support for achieving the ICPD goals. As you know, the ICPD put forth a vision and framework for achieving sustainable development and reducing global poverty that made gender equality, human rights, and comprehensive reproductive health a priority - things we continue to advocate for today in U.S. foreign assistance.
December 18th, 2009
Population Action International has just announced that they will provide a small grants program dedicated to supporting and empowering young people to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). PAI will support organizations and networks in the three following countries: Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Young people are often at a great disadvantage, especially when it comes to accessing accurate, timely information about their reproductive health needs. Thus, PAI seeks to provide dedicated resources for advocacy to support young people in developing appropriate strategies for increasing resources and attention for sexual and reproductive health and rights.
December 4th, 2009
Cell phones have cut dramatically the number of women dying during childbirth in Amensie village in south-central Ghana, according to an article posted on AlertNet.
December 1st, 2009
“The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is Universal Access and Human Rights. For me, that means doing everything we can to support countries to reach their universal access goals for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support - all the while protecting and promoting human rights.”
- UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé
2009 World AIDS Day message
December 1st, 2009
It’s time, right? Gender-based violence (GBV) can pervade a woman’s entire life cycle, beginning with selective abortion of a female fetus to female genital mutilation/cutting to intimate partner violence. GBV is usually perpetrated by men against women and girls, and it can take many forms – sexual abuse, physical violence, emotional or psychological abuse, verbal abuse, economic abuse or beatings during pregnancy. GBV jeopardizes a woman’s health and well-being and detracts from her reproductive health.
November 30th, 2009
Women Deliver, a landmark global conference, will be held in Washington DC on June 7-9, 2010 to halt the needless deaths of over 500,000 girls and women who die every year during pregnancy and childbirth, and the four million newborn babies. These tragic deaths are a major contributor to poverty around the world, and can be easily prevented with effective, low-cost investments.
November 20th, 2009
Despite progress, health system shortfalls and gender discrimination are severely impacting women’s health worldwide, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report Women and Health: Today’s Evidence, Tomorrow’s Agenda.
November 19th, 2009
Recent research indicates that between 25 per cent to 40 per cent of maternal deaths could be avoided by ensuring access to family planning. This data was cited in the 2009 Report of the UN Secretary-General to the Commission on Population and Development, World Population Monitoring, E/CN.9/2009/3, on page 20, citation 35, which is an article by Oona M.R. Campbell and Wendy J. Graham, “Strategies for reducing maternal mortality: getting on with what works”, that appeared in The Lancet, vol. 368, 2006.
November 9th, 2009
This weekend, the Christian Science Monitor published an article called, “Amid war Afghanistan trains thousands of new midwives.” The article says:
Pashtoon Azfar, head of the Afghan Midwives Association, says the number of trained midwives has grown nearly six-fold since rebuilding effort in Afghanistan began. “In 2002, we had 467 midwives, but no one knew how qualified they were; for years, they had received no access to training,” says Ms. Azfar, also a midwifery specialist with the international nonprofit health organization Jhpiego, whose maternal health programs are funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Today, there are more than 2,400 midwives around the country who have been trained in a standardized and accredited two-year program, she says.
November 3rd, 2009
Yesterday, the world’s largest malaria conference, The 5th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) Pan-African Conference, opened with a call for substantial and sustained support for research to guide evidence-based policies and the development of new malaria tools, which together could save countless lives. Watch this interview video with Dr. Rose Leke, University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon, where she discusses the dangers of malaria during pregnancy — and how to prevent it.
October 28th, 2009
Below is the speech delivered by Imane Khachani, MD, Msc, from the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights for the High-Level Meeting at the International Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action.
October 27th, 2009
Addis Ababa — Ending the needless death and suffering of women during pregnancy is one of the greatest moral, human rights and development challenges of our time, agreed more than 150 delegates that met at the High-Level Meeting on Maternal Health. Facing that challenge requires concrete action to protect and fulfill everyone’s right to sexual and reproductive health, they declared.