Why you should think twice about ignoring women’s sports

By: Katja Iversen; Originally Posted on Women in the World 

If money talks, then the Women’s World Cup was a whisper at best. After Team USA’s win over Japan in the final last Sunday, the shocking disparity between women’s and men’s World Cup winnings has been thrown into sharp focus. To add insult to injury, FIFA’s financial statements relegate the Women’s World Cup to “other FIFA events.” Read More...


Celebrate Solutions: Engaging Men in Family Planning Decision-Making

By: Shalmali Radha Karnad and Claire Watt Rothschild, Jacaranda Health

On any given morning, the seats in the reception at Jacaranda Health’s Kahawa West maternity hospital are full – young mothers nursing newborns, pregnant women thumbing through antenatal care brochures, toddlers clambering over benches as they await their immunisations, and men – husbands, partners, fathers – all attending the maternity to support and care for their wives and children. Read more...

Dr. Peter Cairo Continues to be a Champion for Women as New Chair of the Board for Women Deliver

Women Deliver, a global advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women, is delighted to announce the Dr. Peter Cairo has been named Chair of the Board for Women Deliver.

Dr. Cairo joined the board in 2014, with 20 years of experience as a full-time faculty member at Columbia University. He has played an integral part in the strategic planning of Women Deliver’s 2015 narrative and mission. Read more...

Who Will Be There When Women Deliver?

Think about this: Africa has 24% of the global burden of disease, but just 3% of the health workforce. High-income countries, which have only one-third of the world’s population, make up about 75% of the health workforce. This imbalance must be addressed. Read more...

15 Journalists, 15 Voices for Girls and Women

March 5, 2015, New York, NY – To celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8), Women Deliver is honoring 15 journalists for their consistent and game-changing coverage of maternal, sexual and reproductive health and rights issues at the global and national levels. Read more...

Critical Next Steps for the Maternal Health Community

By: Katie Millar; Originally posted on MHTF Blog

As we reflect on lessons learned from the MDGs and set strategies for improving global maternal health, it’s time to identify what has worked and what more is needed to not only avert preventable maternal deaths, but also provide quality health care for every woman.

In a paper published today, Tamil Kendall, a post-doctoral fellow of the Maternal Health Task Force, summarizes priorities for maternal health research in low- and middle-income countries based on three broad questions she asked 26 maternal health researchers from five continents: Read more...

Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark Named Patron of Women Deliver 2016 Conference

New York, NY, 25 February 2015 – In May 2016, thousands of world influencers, advocates, activists, researchers, policymakers, young people, journalists, private sector leaders, and members of civil society will gather in Copenhagen, Denmark, to share ideas and strategize on how to make the world a better place for girls and women. Read more...

How Three Dollars is Improving Maternal Mortality in India

By: Lauren Himiak, Women Deliver

Globally, girls and women have less access to health care. In India, for example, 80 percent of healthcare facilities are located in urban areas, while 72 percent of the population lives in rural regions, creating significant challenges for health and well-being of girls and women. Without adequate access to comprehensive health services, preventative care, and treatment, girls and women are more likely to acquire diseases like HIV, suffer from malnutrition, and experience other health complications. Fortunately, there are people like Zubaida Bai working to change this. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Transforming the Economic Status of Marginalized Women in India

By: Rehema Namukose, Women Deliver

Marginalized populations of people living with HIV/AIDS often suffer from stigma and discrimination. This discourages many of them from getting tested, and seeking or adhering to treatment and care. It affects their emotional well-being, dignity and quality of life thereby hindering many from achieving their full potential.

Marginalization is one of the major factors contributing to the low decline rate of HIV/AIDS infections globally. In 2013, there were 4.8 million people living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific, with an estimated 3.1 million adults not receiving antiretroviral therapy, resulting in many deaths. India alone accounted for 51% of the total 250,000 deaths. Read more...

Disrespect and Abuse During Maternity Care Keep Women from Seeking Facility Births

By: Koki Agarwal, Director, MCHIP and forward by Katie Millar, Technical Writer, MHTF

This post is part of the Maternal and Newborn Integration Blog Series, which shares themes of and reactions to the “Integration of Maternal and Newborn Health: In Pursuit of Quality” technical meeting.

Forward: In the following post, Dr. Agarwal speaks of an unfortunately common problem between health workers and mothers: disrespect and abuse. This problem and its solution—respectful maternity care—play a role not only in health outcomes for the mother, but for the baby as well. At the Integration of Maternal and Newborn Health technical meeting, Rima Jolivet and Jeff Smith reviewed research that showed emotional support during labor significantly decreases:

  • The need for pain medication during labor
  • The rate of prolonged labor, labor complications, episiotomies, caesarean sections, low apgar scores, lack of exclusive breastfeeding, and severe postpartum depression
  • The risk of newborn sepsis

Women Deliver Partners with Family of Woman Film Festival

Originally posted by the Family of Woman Film Festival

OCTOBER 8, 2014—The 8th annual Family of Woman Film festival will take place Thursday, Feb. 26, to Sunday, March 1, 2015, at The Sun Valley Opera House, preceded by The Bonni Curran Memorial Lecture for the Health and Dignity of Women on Tuesday, Feb. 24. The theme for the 2015 Festival will be “Women and Their Dreams.” This carefully curated presentation of an international collection of films about exceptional women and girls who have taken control of their destinies will be followed by discussions with filmmakers and subjects of the films. Read more...

Copenhagen Announced as the Official Location of the Women Deliver 2016 Global Conference

Denmark highlights commitment to girls and women with conference announcement and launch of a new gender framework

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 18 August 2014 – Today, with 500 days left until the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) deadline, advocacy organization Women Deliver and the Danish Minister for Trade and Development Corporation, Mogens Jensen, announced that the next Women Deliver global conference  will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in May 2016. The announcement was made at the Invest in Girls and Women – Everybody Wins event held at the Danish Parliament, where Denmark’s new Strategic Framework for Gender Equality, Rights and Diversity was also launched.

“We are beyond thrilled that the Women Deliver 2016 Conference will be in Copenhagen,” said Women Deliver President Jill Sheffield. “The Danish government has played a key role in advancing girls’ and women’s health and rights and, with its support, this conference could catapult these issues to the forefront of the global development agenda and unify advocates from all around the world around one simple ask: Invest in girls and women – it pays.” Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Midwives Changing Lives of Women and Communities of Myanmar

By: Rehema Namukose, Women Deliver

When a community has access to trained midwives, the health of women and their children will improve, creating healthier families and communities. However, 70 percent of Myanmar’s population that live in rural areas barely have access to basic health education and information about maternal and child health care services. Many have no knowledge about basic reproductive health services like birth spacing, pre-and post natal care, and safe delivery services, all of which  can be provided by a skilled midwife.

The country’s health care system was ranked the second worst in the world by WHO in 2000, and that is why the government has been working ever since with many partners, including global civil society organizations, to make access to health care services a reality for all. A project intervention by Marie Stopes International Myanmar (MSIM) and Myanmar Nurse and Midwife Association (MNMA) is training young midwifery professionals known as Volunteer Midwives (VMWs) and placing them in villages in urgent need of health care services in the Ayeyarwaddy and Yangon regions of Myanmar. Read more...

Q&A with Katja Iversen About Her Vision for the Future

In this Q&A, Women Deliver’s new CEO Katja Iversen shares her motivations for becoming an advocate for girls’ and women’s health and rights; discusses lessons she has learned in her career; offers advice for emerging advocates; and describes her vision for the future for girls and women around the world.

Q: What first inspired you to become a maternal and reproductive health advocate?

I’m proud to say it was my grandmother. Back in the 1930s she – in her own quiet and behind-the-scenes way – fought fiercely for girls’ and women’s reproductive rights in Denmark, where I am from. At the time, only married women could get access to modern contraceptives.  She and my granddad lived together without being married, and she worked seven days a week to get him through college, so getting pregnant just wasn’t an option. Even when she got married and had kids, she kept up the fight for all women’s reproductive rights – because it was just the right thing to do. Read more...

Women’s Rights Defenders Call for the Inclusion of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

On the re-launch of May 28 International Day of Action for Women’s Health, Women’s Rights Defenders Worldwide Call for the Inclusion of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

This May 2014, in commemoration of 30 years of struggle and activism reflected in the victories of the women’s rights movement in the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994) and in the IV World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), women’s rights defenders and activists worldwide are re-launching May 28, the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, by calling on governments to ensure a holistic, inclusive, and human rights-based approach to women and girls’ health, which includes sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Read more...

IPM Receives Worldwide Rights to HIV Prevention Medicine

Expanded public-private collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson will speed development and global distribution of dapivirine-based HIV prevention tools for women

The International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) announced today that it has received exclusive worldwide rights to a promising HIV prevention medicine called dapivirine from Janssen R&D Ireland, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. The agreement expands on IPM’s existing rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize dapivirine-based products for use by women in developing countries and will now give women in developed countries access to products containing dapivirine, such as a vaginal ring that combines dapivirine and a contraceptive. Read more...

CSW: Good News for Women’s Rights

Women Deliver welcomes the strong outcome of the 2014 UN Commission on the Status of Women, where a big battle was fought to prioritize gender equality and view women’s rights as human rights in the next development agenda.

After two weeks of tough negotiations between delegates, advocates praised the strong language around sexual and reproductive health in the outcome document. With the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set to expire at the end of next year, the Commission recognized that although the MDGs have advanced progress in some areas, the goals that focus on the health and well-being of girls and women, particularly surrounding maternal and sexual and reproductive health, have made the least the progress. Read more...

Global Leaders Call for Greater Investments in Girls and Women

As world leaders congregate in New York for the 58th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, policymakers, advocates, and experts convened a high-level event to focus on the need for greater global investment in reproductive health, education, and equality for girls and women.

Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark delivered opening remarks at the event, “Invest in Girls and Women: Everybody Wins,” co-hosted by Women Deliver, The Permanent Mission of Denmark to the UN, Plan International, the Nike Foundation, and the UN Foundation. The event was in support of Every Woman Every Child, an initiative launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that aims to drastically improve the health of women and children around the world. Read more...

International Women’s Day: Give Yourself the Chance to Be Extraordinary

By Saundra Pelletier; Originally posted by Huffington Post

Saundra Pelletier is the CEO of WomanCare Global, an international nonprofit organization that improves the lives of women by providing access to quality, affordable women’s healthcare products through a sustainable supply chain.

As I think about International Women's Day on March 8th, it reminds me that throughout my life I have been groomed by a series of extraordinary women who have always encouraged me to be an advocate for women who need a louder voice. I grew up in Caribou, Maine, a small town distinguished only because it is the Northern-most city in the United States. Women in this farming community were told they had only two important choices in life: whom they would marry and how many children they would bear. My mother felt oppressed by this mentality, so when I was 5 years old she told me, "Domestic skills won't get you out of Caribou, so you leave those to me and I'll teach you what's really important."

Instead of dusting and cooking, my household tasks included balancing the checkbook, educating my younger brother and organizing family activities. My mother's reluctance to raise another Betty Crocker became blatantly obvious when I started kindergarten and she sent me to school with a briefcase instead of a lunchbox. According to her, school was not about what your lunch looked like, it was about progress. Read more...

The Center for Reproductive Rights Releases New Briefing Paper on Reproductive Rights

The Center for Reproductive Rights has finalized a new resource titled Substantive Equality and Reproductive Rights: A Briefing Paper on Aligning Development Goals with Human Rights Obligations. International human rights norms have recognized that reproductive rights are women’s rights, clarifying that violations of reproductive rights are primarily manifestations of discrimination, poverty, and violence. Where women’s rights to equality and non-discrimination are not fulfilled, women’s access to reproductive health services and decision-making about their reproductive lives is limited. In addition, where women are unable to access reproductive health services, the inequalities and discrimination women face are exacerbated by the differentiated impact that childbearing has on women’s health and lives, including education and employment. Read more...

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