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Partner Spotlight: Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises

By: Inter-agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises

The reproductive health (RH) needs of women, men and adolescents do not disappear when they are forced to flee their homes and communities as a result of conflict or natural disaster.  In fact, for many, the instability and violence often associated with displacement will increase their demand for RH services. When coupled with the increased barriers to care associated with conflict or disaster, among them: weakened or disrupted health systems; inadequate human resources, including a dearth of trained providers; and stock-outs of essential medical supplies, it is not surprising that eight of the 10 countries with the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world are also affected by fragility and conflict.1 Nine of the 10 countries with the highest under-five mortality rates are also currently experiencing or emerging from armed conflict.Read more...

Voices of Advocates Part 1: Domestic Violence (Trinidad &Tobago)

Originally posted on ThinkBrigade

This opinion piece is published in collaboration with Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders, liaised by Bijoyeta Das. Ife Smith is one of the 100 Young Leaders for 2012-2013. 

The story of a young woman who endured both domestic violence and a court system that is unfriendly to the poor. A hard-working, law-abiding young woman who made the wrong decision of entering into a relationship with someone she thought she knew. During this relationship she endured physical, mental and emotional abuse. Not only did she had to literally run for her life, but the life she now has she can barely call her own because of  her country’s inhumane, unfriendly and insufferable legal system which she had to turn to for help.

 

Women Deliver Announces Cinema Corner Finalists for Women Deliver 2013

On International Women’s Day, Women Deliver is pleased to announce the filmmakers who are invited to screen their work at Cinema Corner, a special feature of the Women Deliver 2013 global conference. These films will tell the stories behind Women Deliver’s mission of reducing maternal mortality and improving access to reproductive health, and they will help conference participants connect to these key issues. This year, nearly 200 inspiring and informative films were submitted for consideration. Read more...

Women Who Dare: Jill Sheffield Helps Make Maternal Health a Global Priority

By: Jaime-Alexis Fowler, Associate Director of Public Relations and Online Communications at Pathfinder International; Originally posted on Pathfinder International

This post is part of Pathfinder's "Women Who Dare" series in celebration of International Women's Day 2013.

Jill Sheffield is the founder and President of Women Deliver, an international advocacy organization dedicated to advancing political action around and investment in maternal health. Jill is a tireless advocate for women’s health who credits her time spent in a Kenyan maternity hospital as the inspiration for her work. Jill’s daring work has been a contributing factor to increased international attention to maternal mortality, an area of continued need given the stalled progress on lowering maternal mortality.  Read more...

Women Deliver Highlights Social Enterprises That Improve the Health and Wellbeing of Girls and Women

For International Women’s Day, global online voters selected 10 inspiring start-up enterprises to compete in the Women Deliver Social Enterprise Challenge in May 2013

Global advocacy organization Women Deliver today announced the finalists of the Women Deliver 25, an online competition that features innovative social enterprises that benefit girls and women around the world. More than 13,500 votes were cast online to select ten organizations to receive scholarships to the Women Deliver 2013 conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (May 28-30, 2013), where they will participate in the Women Deliver Social Enterprise Challenge. Read more...

Women Deliver 25: Social Enterprises That Deliver for Girls and Women (2013)

Global Leaders To Call For Action On Maternal & Reproductive Health At Women Deliver 2013 Conference

High-level participants join program for advocacy organization’s landmark meeting in Kuala Lumpur
A number of influential leaders are confirmed to participate in the Women Deliver’s third global conference, Women Deliver 2013, which will take place on May 28-30 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Speakers at the conference will include:

  • Melinda Gates, Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General & Executive Director of United Nations Women
  • Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
  • Dr. Hans Rosling, Professor of International Health, Karolinska Institute; Co-founder & Chairman, Gapminder Foundation

Read more...

My Hope for 2030: Universal Access to Contraception

By: Dana Hovig, CEO of Marie Stopes International; Originally posted on Impatient Optimists

Bill Gates recently asked people to tell him their hopes and dreams were for 2030. For me there can only be one: that by 2030 we are finally living in the golden age of family planning. One in which everyone has access to whatever type of contraception they want, no matter where they live or what their circumstances are. If we are to reach this golden age though, we must keep an ever watchful eye on results and impact, and make sure family planning services are available to the people who need them most. Read more...

Community Work Pays Off For Varsity Students

By: Sharifa Kalokola; Originally posted on The Citizen

The author, Sharifa Kalokola, is a Women Deliver 2013 conference scholarship recipient. The article features two of Women Deliver's 100 Young Leaders from Tanzania, Florence Mwitwa and Maureen Anyago Oduor.

It turns out that being voted a class monitor, prefect or student leader in primary, high school and university might actually be a good predictor of one’s success later in life. For many world leaders today, leadership did not come when they already had grey hair – it all started in school. Academic achievement is part of the success story, but it’s not the whole story. This is the wisdom that drives Florence Mwitwa and Maureen Anyago, two 27-year-old university students, who were recently selected to represent the country in the 2013 Women Deliver conference Malaysia later in May. Read more...

GAVI Funds Vaccines to Protect Girls Against Cervical Cancer

Support for HPV vaccine pilot programmes approved for eight developing countries

GENEVA – More than 180,000 girls in eight developing countries are set to receive protection against the leading cause of cervical cancer thanks to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines funded by the GAVI Alliance. In an announcement made on World Cancer Day, the Alliance confirmed that Ghana, Kenya, Lao PDR, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Sierra Leone and Tanzania will become the first countries to receive GAVI support to start HPV vaccine demonstration programmes. Read more...

High-Level Panel on Post-2015 Agenda Meets with Civil Society in Liberia

The Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda met in Monrovia, Liberia last week to consult with civil society and discuss the national building blocks required for sustainable progress. Under the main theme of Economic Transformation, panel members focused on the issues of enablers and barriers to economic transformation; equitable and sustainable outcomes; the role of the private sector; partnerships; conflict and fragility; and African perspectives and positions. In total, over 100 participants attended, including 60 civil society representatives. Of these, 40 met with the High-Level Panel members on January 30th. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Rwandan Radio Drama Raises National Health Awareness

By: Harshi Hettige, Women Deliver

Urunana, a Rwandan radio soap, is raising national sexual and reproductive health awareness by broadcasting health information weekly to approximately 10 million people. The engaging plots regularly draw 74% of Rwanda’s population to tune into new episodes twice a week. The show addresses subjects that are often met with silence: HIV and AIDS, family planning, domestic violence, and rape. Where the national average life expectancy is 55 years old and the number of maternal deaths is ranked 145th out of 180, it is vital that Rwandans learn about topical health issues. Read more...

Women Deliver Welcomes New Board Members

Saundra Pelletier of WomanCare Global and Dr. Imane Khachani of Maternity Hospital Les Orangers in Morocco Join the Global Advocacy Organization’s Board

Women Deliver, a global advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of girls and women, is pleased to announce the election of two new board members, effective immediately: Saundra Pelletier, founding CEO of WomanCare Global, an organization that provides access to safe, affordable, quality reproductive healthcare products to women around the world; and Dr. Imane Khachani, an MD Resident in Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine at the Maternity Hospital Les Orangers, National Reference Center in Reproductive Health, in Rabat, Morocco. Read more...

2012 Was a Year for Women and Girls: Will We See the Same Momentum in 2013?

By: Purnima Mane, President and CEO of Pathfinder International; Originally posted on Huffington Post

In March of this year, on International Women’s Day, I asked, “Is 2012 the Year for Women and Girls?”  Now, as the year winds to a close, I find myself looking back on my call for stronger partnerships, more global coalitions and wondering, are those enough? 2012 was a year for women. We saw tremendous renewal of the commitment by world leaders to ensure that countries and communities have the political support and financial resources needed to improve access to sexual and reproductive health. Read more...

FP2020 Reference Group Launched to Advance Family Planning Commitments Made at London Summit

Leadership group announced for the landmark Family Planning 2020 partnership to help provide an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries with access to voluntary family planning information, contraceptives and services.

NEW YORK: Eighteen leaders from civil society, governments, multi-lateral organizations, technical institutions and foundations are participating on the “Reference Group” for Family Planning 2020 (FP2020). The partnership was a key outcome of the London Summit on Family Planning convened by the UK Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on July 11, 2012. Read more...

Top 2012 Highlights in Maternal Health

As 2012 comes to a close, it’s time to celebrate progress by looking back at some of the most memorable milestones and events of the past year. New reports launched this year show that we are moving in the right direction – maternal deaths are dropping, access to family planning is on the rise, and the health of girls and women remains a global priority. Moving into 2013, we look forward to seeing you at our third global conference and continuing our work together to ensure that girls and women are at the heart of development efforts. Read more...

The Philippines Passes Reproductive Health Bill in Second Reading

In a historic vote, Philippines political leaders passed a Reproductive Health Bill on a second reading after 14 years of debate in Congress. The bill aims to provide universal access to basic health services, including contraception and information on sexual and reproductive health.

The sponsor of the bill, Albay province Representative Edcel Lagman, said that the bill was about more than just reproductive health, but about “human rights, maternal and infant health and sustainable development.”  Read more...

The Bali Global Youth Declaration: For Young People, By Young People

By: Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver and Amanda Keifer, Public Health Institute; Originally posted on RH Reality Check

With the world’s population now at seven billion and counting, issues of human rights, health, education, and employment require action more urgently than ever before—especially for youth under the age of 25, who comprise more than 40 percent of the world’s population. That’s why we joined more than 3,000 young people from more than 150 countries—in Bali and virtually—this week at the Global Youth Forum to chart a progressive vision for equitable, sustainable, and just global development. Read more...

The Role of the Artist Is to Make [the Maternal Health] Revolution Irresistible

By: Lisa Russell, MPH, an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and co-founder of MDGFive.com; Originally posted on Huffington Post

I came across a photograph on my Facebook news feed a few months ago that depicted a mural in Rome scribed with the quote, "The role of the artist is to make revolution irresistible."

As a documentary filmmaker and social activist, my first reaction was to share it amongst my more so-called "radical" artist colleagues who are participating in revolutionary movements, such as those in the Middle East, or protesting police brutality in New York City, or engaging in some other form of political protest. However, I realized I should have forwarded it to my maternal health colleagues as well. Read more...

The Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights Celebrates Release of the Final Declaration

The Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, member of the International Steering Committee for the Global Youth Forum, celebrates the release of the Final Declaration from the Forum, which took place in Bali, Indonesia from December 4-6th 2012, and applauds the hard work of all those who were engaged in and supported the outcomes of the process. The Global Youth Forum brought together hundreds of youth, civil society and member states, among others (in addition to the 2,400+ virtual youth delegates), to identify and discuss issues and priorities facing today and tomorrow’s generation of young people within the context of population and development. Read more...

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