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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...

World AIDS Day: Sexual Health an Uphill Struggle for Women in Rural Zimbabwe

By: Hazvinei Mwanaka, Key Correspondents

World AIDS Day is December 1st

Ester Lorence lives deep in rural Zimbabwe and when she was diagnosed with HIV she knew little about the disease. This story is not uncommon as many young women not only struggle to negotiate safer sex but often don’t even realise the risks they are taking.  Read more...

The X Factor: Why Investing In Family Planning Can Yield The Greatest Impact

By: Pamela W. Barnes, EngenderHealth; Originally posted on Forbes.com

There are certain moments in our lives when the dots connect, the numbers add up, and things just make sense. Last month in Malaysia, I experienced the dots connecting from all over the world when I was among world leaders, policymakers, and advocates — including Melinda Gates, Chelsea Clinton, Dr. Christine Kaseba-Sata, First Lady of Zambia, and Princess Mary of Denmark, to name just a few — at Women Deliver 2013, the largest meeting of the decade to accelerate progress for women and girls. Read more...

Separation During Menstruation: Tradition or Torment?

By: Allyn Gaestel

This post is part of a series created in partnership by WASH Advocates and Women Deliver. For more information, please contact Cecilia Snyder.

Wearing a fitted pink sweatshirt that hugged her slim hips and a hot pink bunny hat that highlighted her bright upturned cheeks, 15-year old Puja Kunwar showed me the tiny hut where she sleeps when she is on her period. The squat structure looked even more cramped in contrast to the family’s sturdy two-story home just across the small courtyard. Read more...

Girls’ & Women’s Health and Rights in Focus at Women Deliver 2013 in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysian Prime Minister Honourable Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak and other global luminaries
open largest conference on girls and women of the decade

World Bank and Guttmacher Institute release new data on the value of investing in girls and women

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 28 May 2013 — Today, more than 4,000 global leaders and advocates from nearly 150 countries gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for Women Deliver 2013, the largest conference of the decade focused on the health and wellbeing of girls and women. The opening sessions of this three-day event highlighted the critical need to invest in girls and women to spur development worldwide.

Malaysian Prime Minister Honorable Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak delivered welcoming remarks and discussed Malaysia’s efforts to ensure equal rights and opportunities for women as a critical component of the nation’s development and economic growth. The Prime Minister highlighted Malaysia’s success in reducing maternal mortality, and offered to share lessons learned with countries working to improve maternal health. Read more...

Harvesting Rainwater Helps Keep Girls Safe at School in Uganda

By: Gemma Bulos, Director of the Global Women’s Water Initiative

This post is part of a series created in partnership by WASH Advocates and Women Deliver. For more information, please contact Cecilia Snyder.

**Are you a journalist at Women Deliver? Contact Cecilia Snyder to arrange an interview of Gemma and other great leaders in Women and WASH!**

At Amuria High School in Uganda, even though female students live at the school as boarders, perfect attendance is not guaranteed. Girl children are required to fetch water during school hours and they can sometimes miss up to three hours of school. Along the way to retrieve water, they also face the threat of violent attack, including sexual assault. What is more, since there is no water on the school grounds, their meals can be served late, and during menstruation they can miss up to a week of studies because they can’t clean themselves properly. In fact, without a reliable supply of clean water to drink, as many as five girls per day faint from dehydration. 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...

Women Deliver President Jill Sheffield: What Women’s Empowerment Means to Me

By: Jill Sheffield, Women Deliver President: Originally posted on BSR

As part of BSR’s celebration of International Women’s Day during the month of March, we asked BSR partners to contribute a guest blog on their experience with women’s empowerment through their lives and work.

My journey as a women’s health advocate began when I worked in the family planning/reproductive health outpatient clinic of Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. I was 27 at the time, and I met a young Kenyan mother, my exact age, who had already been pregnant 11 times but had only six living children. She came to the clinic for contraceptives but was legally barred from obtaining them without her husband’s permission. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: How the Right Kind of Training Can Save the Lives of Mothers and Newborns

By: Lynn ElHarake, Women Deliver

At the busiest maternity unit at the Lady Willingdon Hospital, a teaching hospital in Lahore, at least one woman every hour gives birth in the unit, often after experiencing complications. Despite the high number of deliveries, the unit was lacking even the most basic guidelines to protect mothers and newborns. That is, until healthcare professionals attended an informative and interactive Jhpiego-led workshop on the postpartum intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD). Read more...

Women Deliver Opens Media Registration for Groundbreaking Conference on Girls and Women

Advocacy organization’s third triennial global conference in May 2013 will draw 5,000 policymakers, researchers and advocates to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

New York, NY, December 6, 2012—Media registration is now open for the Women Deliver 2013 conference, the largest meeting of the decade to focus on the health and empowerment of girls and women. This landmark event expects to draw 5,000 leaders and advocates to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from May 28-30, 2013. The 2013 conference, which will be hosted for the first time in Asia, follows Women Deliver’s historic conferences previously held in London in 2007 and Washington, D.C. in 2010. Read more...

A New Global Focus on Preterm Births

World Prematurity Day highlights effective, low-cost care and new commitments to address the problem

Preterm birth is the world's largest killer of newborn babies, causing more than 1 million deaths each year, yet 75 percent could be saved without expensive, high technology care.

That's the primary message and motivating theme of World Prematurity Day, November 17, a global effort to raise awareness of the deaths and disabilities due to prematurity and the simple, proven, cost-effective measures that could prevent them. Read more...

Why Women’s Needs Must be Part of the Conversation at Rio

By: Suzanne Ehlers and Michael Brune; Originally posted on GristBy: Suzanne Ehlers and Michael Brune; Originally posted on Grist

The outcome document for this week’s Rio+20 summit is 49 pages long. Some 23,917 words.

Women were mentioned in less than 0.01 percent of the text. And only two of the 283 sections addressed women’s needs for family planning.

At first, this might not seem like a big deal. It’s easy to think of Rio as a purely environmental conference, dealing with issues related to sustainable development and a green economy. It’s easy to say that Rio is not about “women’s issues.” Read more...

Including Non-Communicable Diseases in the Rio+20 Dialogue on Sustainable Futures

By: Nalini Saligram and Felicia Marie Knaul; Originally posted on Huffington Post

The upcoming Rio+20 Conference (June 20-22, 2012) is a pivotal moment for leaders across the world to come together to find solutions to many of the issues that plague the planet. The conference will focus on important issues core to sustainability, including decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans, and disaster readiness. Read more...

Women and Sustainability: Global Advocates Concerned by Language About Women and Reproductive Rights

By: Women Deliver and Worldwatch Institute

Women Deliver is collaborating with the Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project  to highlight the important role of women, youth, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in sustainable development at the upcoming Rio+20 conference.

After days of negotiations, world leaders and the over 50,000 participants at Rio+20 will be presented with a draft outcome agreement, known as “The Future We Want.” The draft, which will be finalized on Friday, will be presented to heads of state at the end of the conference and will likely serve as the framework for future goals on economic, social, and environmental sustainability, including the Sustainable Development Goals, which could replace the Millennium Development Goals when they expire in 2015. Read more...

The Guardian Announces Journalism Competition Finalists

The Guardian newspaper has announced 16 finalists in the 2012 Guardian International Development Journalism Competition. The competition, which aims to highlight overlooked or underrepresented issues in the developing world, called on contestants to submit a feature piece on an aspect of global poverty deserving of greater attention. Of the hundreds of entries submitted, a long list was narrowed down to 40 contestants, and then short-lists of eight amateur and eight professional writers were finalized. Read more...

2012 Population Awards Presented in New York

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has presented the 2012 Population Award to both Adrienne Germain, and the Federation of Reproductive Health Association Malaysia (FRHAM). The award, which was established in 1981, is given to individuals and institutions that have made outstanding contributions to population concern and their solutions. Read more...

GBC Health Coalition Conference Features First Maternal Health Panel

The Global Business Coalition on Health held its conference “Define Forward: Business, Health and the Road Ahead” on May 14-15, bringing together more than 700 corporate executives, government leaders, policy makers, civil society visionaries and media champions to explore the intersection of business and health. GBCHealth featured its first panel on maternal health, entitled “Milestone Moments on the Path to Healthier Motherhood.” Read more...

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