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Time to Bridge the Gap for Women’s Health

By: Serra Sippel and Zeda Rosenberg; Originally posted on Huffington Post

Nearly 20 years ago, the global community gathered at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo and declared -- for the first time -- that a woman's right and ability to control her reproductive health was fundamental to her well-being and key to global development. That meeting sparked two decades of advances for women, and the pace has been accelerating. In just the past year, the London Summit on Family Planning led to unprecedented pledges to increase access to products and services for women in developing countries, a UN Commission called for increased access to life-saving maternal health products, and the UN created new policy standards to end violence against women and girls. Read more...

A Former Sex Worker’s Story About Learning to Protect Her Sexual Health and Rights

By: James Kityo, The Key Correspondents Programme

The Key Correspondents Programme is covering the Women Deliver 2013 global conference live from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia May 28 – 30.

Former sex worker and single mother Rose lives in Bwaise on the outskirts of Uganda’s capital Kampala. These days Rose, 23, provides for her three children by working in a salon plaiting hair, a skill she acquired through training from the Uganda Youth Development Link drop in centre. Read more...

Christine Obuya’s Dream Job: Helping Mothers and Babies Affected by HIV

By: Sarah Nakimbowa, The Key Correspondents Programme

The Key Correspondents Programme is covering the Women Deliver 2013 global conference live from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia May 28 – 30.

Her name is Christine Obuya, but she is known as Pastor and she earned her nickname for her dedication to reducing the rate of HIV transmission from mothers to their children.

As a midwife at Iganga government hospital in Uganda, Obuya has seen firsthand the importance of integrating HIV with sexual and reproductive health services. And as an HIV activist Obuya, 63, has had a huge impact on women in her community, but it was almost a very different story. Read more...

Women & Sustainability: Why They Need Each Other in a Post-MDG World

By: Carmen Barroso, Regional Director of IPPF-WHR; Originally posted on Huffington Post

There's a lot of talk about investment these days; as the global economic crisis stumbles on, social services are cut from the USA to Uruguay, and the planet faces ever more urgent environmental threats. But next week, women and policymakers from around the world will gather in Malaysia to foment a revolution. Their call? Investment of a different kind, investment in girls and women for the sake not only of people, but also for the planet. Read more...

Men, Step Up on Family Planning

By: Babatunde Osotimehin, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund; Originally posted on CNN Opinion

Our failure to give women in certain parts of the world the ability to decide the timing and number of their children is deeply damaging -- not just for the women themselves but for societies, too. Lifting the obstacles is not something that can be tackled half-heartedly.

Modern family planning programs were introduced widely in the developed world decades ago. Providing voluntary family planning is one of the most cost-effective ways of improving health. Yet, over 200 million women, overwhelmingly in the poorest countries, who want access to modern family planning still can't get this help. Read more...

The Lancet: Women Deliver Special Issue

The Lancet today [Friday 17 May, 2013] publishes a special theme issue ahead of the 2013 Women Deliver conference, to be held May 28 – 30 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Women Deliver brings together voices from around the world to call for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women, and the latest issue of The Lancet highlights some of the latest research and views on maternal health. Read more...

Partner Spotlight: The Journey to Motherhood is One from which Some Do Not Return.”

By: Dr. Joachim Osur, Program Director, Ipas Africa Alliance

Illness or death during pregnancy in my country, and throughout the region of Africa, is so common as to be considered a necessary risk of creating a family. This is particularly true for women of fewer means or in rural areas. Each case represents a family crisis or tragedy — but to me they represent opportunities lost and rights denied. Read more...

Partner Spotlight: Marie Stopes International

By: Faustina Fynne-Nyame, Ghana Country Director for Marie Stopes International

There are still more than 200 million women and girls around the world who want to use contraceptives but cannot access them.

For some, not being able to control the number and spacing of their children is a matter of life and death. Some 287,000 women die each year – mostly in developing countries – as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. A further 47,000 die having risked their lives through unsafe abortion. For others meanwhile, having too many children to support locks them into extreme poverty. Read more...

Ugandan Physician, Receives 2013 United Nations Population Award

Originally posted on: PPD ARO Blog

Dr. Jotham Musinguzi a strong advocate of reproductive health and family planning was announced winner of the 2013 United Nations Population Award. Dr. Musinguzi is the Regional Director of Partners in Population and Development (PPD) Africa Regional Office (ARO) based in Kampala, Uganda. Read more...

Partner Spotlight: Vouchers - Investing in Women’s Health

By: Ben Bellows, Associate, Population Council, Reproductive Health Programme

When women survive, families, communities, and countries thrive. Investing in the health and well-being of women and girls should be a top development priority. Yet progress toward meeting Millennium Development Goal 5, which calls for improving maternal health, lags furthest behind all eight MDGs. Read more...

 

Partner Spotlight: Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace

By: Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace

For maternal and reproductive health to be realized globally, women’s empowerment at the grassroots level is imperative.  Women’s empowerment is intimately linked to our ability to confront the most pressing challenges of the 21st Century. When women have a voice in decision-making at the family, community, and national level, society as a whole benefits. Read more...

The Twitter Chat: Girls and Women As Catalysts for Change

Girls and women are catalysts for change (#girls4change). When girls and women are educated, healthy, and empowered, they invest back into their families, communities, and nations. We know it’s true – when girls and women survive, the world thrives. That’s why we want to make sure girls and women are a focal point in the TEDxChange 2013 discussions. Read more...

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...

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