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Young #WomenInspire us to #InvestInGirls

By Lindsay Menard-Freeman; Originally posted on Huffington Post

March is an exciting time to celebrate girls and women. Women's History Month commemorates the pioneers of women's rights and equality, past and present. International Women's Day encourages us all to continue the fight for women's rights around the world. And this week, the United Nations 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women revives our commitments to build a better future for girls and women everywhere.

This March, however, also marks a particularly critical time for women's health and rights: For the first time in over a decade, we have an opportunity to shape a brand new global development agenda. The 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) generated unprecedented political will and funding for girls' and women's health and rights. Unfortunately though, the MDGs are quickly coming to an end just when we are beginning to gain momentum. Read more...

This International Women’s Day, Invest in Our Future

By: Jill Sheffield, Founder and President of Women Deliver; originally posted on Devex

Throughout the last three decades, I’ve dedicated my life’s work to improving the health and well-being of girls and women. I have tremendous gratitude for the trailblazers who made this possible — those around the globe who spoke up for the health and rights of girls and women even when it was unpopular or dangerous to do so. They have made possible all the progress we’ve seen, and inspire me to keep striving for more.

On this International Women’s Day, I want to look ahead to the future and celebrate the young men and women, many of whom weren’t even born when I began my journey, who are not only picking up the torch to advocate for women’s rights, but are carrying it with new fervor, passion and creative thinking. Read more...

10 Young Leaders, 10 Promising Solutions to Benefit Girls & Women

Women Deliver Awards US$50,000 in Seed Grants to Young Advocates in Africa, Asia & Latin America

New York, NY – Today, in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, Women Deliver awarded seed grants of US$5,000 each to 10 young people to support projects aimed at advancing girls’ and women’s health and rights in their communities.

Women Deliver also launched an online voting competition that will allow the public to vote for the project they believe will have the greatest impact. Voting will close on March 20 at 5 PM EST, and the winner will receive an additional $500 for his or her project. Read more...

Women Deliver Young Leader Esther Agbarakwe Nominated for Award

Esther Agbarakwe, one of the 2010 Women Deliver Young Leaders and a speaker at the 2013 Women Deliver global conference has been nominated for the Vlisco Women’s Month Award for her outstanding work as an exceptional climate change policy expert and advocate for the rights of women and girls in Nigeria.The Vlisco Women’s Month Awards celebrate inspiring women in West and Central Africa annually during the month of March. This year’s theme is Dare to Dream: A tribute to women who have faith and courage to realize their dreams.Read more...

It Takes Two to Launch Family Planning Campaign at Third Annual International Women’s Day Concert

5,000 people expected to attend concert to promote girls’ and women’s health and rights

Kampala, Uganda, February 26 – It Takes Two will launch its national youth-focused family planning campaign at Talent Africa’s International Women’s Day concert on March 8. The concert will recognize the importance of women’s health and rights, and feature performances by international and local female artists, including Nyanda, Cindy Sany, Lilian Mbabazi and Irene Ntale among others. Read more...

Groundbreaking Report on ICPD by UN Secretary-General

In addition to the release of the ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Report, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also authored a timely and progressive report assessing progress made under the ICPD Programme of Action. In the report, Framework of Actions for the follow up to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014, the Secretary-General notes that the ICPD review:

…overwhelmingly supports the ICPD consensus that respect, protection, promotion and fulfilment of human rights are necessary preconditions to improving the development, dignity and well-being of all people; and that sexual and reproductive health and rights, and an understanding of the implications of population dynamics are critical foundations for sustainable development. Read more...

The Lancet Publishes New Study on Maternal Mortality in Adolescents

The following contains excerpts from The Lancet article "Maternal mortality in adolescents compared with women of other ages: evidence from 144 countries."

The Lancet has published a new article investigating the toll of maternal mortality on adolescents. Adolescents are often noted to have an increased risk of death during pregnancy or childbirth compared with older women, but the existing evidence is inconsistent and in many cases contradictory. The new study aimed to quantify the risk of maternal death in adolescents by estimating maternal mortality ratios for women aged 15 to 19 years of age by country, region, and worldwide, and to compare the ratios with those for women in other 5-year age groups. Read more...

 

Accelerating Development Agenda Top Priority for ECOSOC

Originally posted by United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

With the United Nations development agenda in transition – moving from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) era towards a focus not just on poverty eradication but also on the health of the planet – the newly-elected President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) pledged to continue to strengthen that body’s role as a platform for unified dialogue on sustainable and inclusive development. Read more...

Large Returns from Small Investments in Women’s and Children’s Health

By: Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA; Originally posted on Huffington Post and devex

A recent study published in The Lancet finds that an increased investment in health of only five dollars per capita per year in 74 of the poorest countries can result in a nine-fold social and economic return. The Global Investment Framework for Women's and Children's Health, supported by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, the World Health Organization and other partners, shows that small investments in women's and children's health will yield a large return. By making the additional investments needed for life-saving interventions, it would be possible to not only avoid unnecessary deaths, but also have healthier, more productive individuals, communities and countries. Read more...

2013: A Year of Delivering for Girls and Women

As we near the end of 2013, it’s time to look back on the incredible accomplishments of the past year to drive progress for girls and women. From Women’s Deliver’s biggest and brightest global conference to-date to significant progress made in increasing access to family planning and in developing a new global framework that priorities girls and women, this year has been monumental. Advocates from around the world and across sectors joined together to evaluate current and past efforts, analyze lessons learned, and look towards a brighter future. Read more...

Raising Our Voices: Young Leaders at the International Conference on Family Planning

By: Ms. Makda Mikre Tessema, Let Girls Lead AGALI fellow, YWCA Ethiopia

The International Family Planning Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia included more than 4000 people from all over the world bringing together family planning educators, researchers, practitioners and most importantly, the highest number of young people attending an international conference.

Before the official opening of the ICFP conference, I had the great honor to speak at the Family Planning + Social Good pre-conference event, representing Let Girls Lead’s Adolescent Girls Advocacy & Leadership Initiative and the YWCA of Ethiopia. Let Girls Lead empowers girls and their allies to lead social change, contributing to improved health, education, and livelihoods for over 3 million girls globally. I graduated from Let Girls Lead’s AGALI program in 2010, where I learned to lead changes that improve young people’s lives, including increasing their access to family planning. Read more...

African Ministers of Health and Education Commit to End Child Marriage by 2020

By: Yemurai Nyoni, WD 100 Young Leader and Youth SRHR Advocate; Originally posted by FHI 360

Ministers of Health and Education from 21 countries in the East and Southern African region have committed to end child marriage as part of a broader commitment to ensure comprehensive sexuality education for young people in the region by 2015. The commitment was endorsed on the 7th of December 2013 during the on-going 17th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa and is titled the ‘Ministerial Commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern African (ESA). Read more...

Communicating About Sexual Health with Young People: Lessons From Cats and Birds

By: Nina Benedicte Kouassi, Key Correspondents Network

There is a popular saying in many African countries that goes: curiosity killed the cat. It comes from the fable that the cat, out of curiosity, put his head in a pot full of water and died. When it comes to young people asking their parents questions about sex, they are often told: don’t you know curiosity killed the cat? In other words, they are supposed to just keep quiet and never ask this question anymore.In my work with orphans and vulnerable children, I have witnessed often how this proverb was applied. Matters related to sex are not discussed with adolescents out of fear it will encourage them into a sex life too early. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Bringing Health Care to Street Youth in Peru

By: Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver

The following contains excerpts from INPPARES' Progress Report on Catapult

Successfully reaching vulnerable youth requires strong partnerships with clinics, youth organizations, and governments. It also entails empowering young people themselves to demand their rights. INPPARES is working closely the Cesar López Silva Health Clinic, a center with services tailored specifically to adolescents, to ensure they can meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of vulnerable youth in the Villa El Salvador District of Lima, Peru. The International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region affiliate raised $32,500 through their project on Catapult to do just that. Read more...

Closing the Gap; Millennium Development Goals 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

By: Victoria Melhado, Women Deliver 100 Young Leader; Originally posted on Impatient Optimists and Frontline Health Workers

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
-Margaret Mead

Today, I say proudly that nurses are changing the world. In 2000, the United Nations adopted the Millennium Declaration, which laid out the framework for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The eight MDGs take a holistic approach to poverty reduction, covering education, gender equality, health, environmental sustainability and the need for a global partnership to facilitate the realization of these goals. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Preparing Girls for Political Leadership in Kenya

By: Atieno Oduor, iGLOW

Girls Leading Our World Initiatives (iGLOW) is a grassroots Kenyan NGO dedicated to advancing the personal, professional and political leadership of young girls and women in Kenya. It is run by a group of dynamic young Kenyan women, and its mission is to broaden the horizon of possibilities for young women in underprivileged regions of Kenya and to advance the next generation of Kenyan leaders. Read more...

Post-2015 Development Framework: What’s In It For Young People?

By: Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver, and Julie A. Cornell, Johnson & Johnson

On Thursday, September 26th a group of young activists from around the world gathered at the UN Church Center to discuss ways in which young people can contribute meaningfully to the post-2015 development framework, particularly related to HIV and access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Each speaker underscored the importance of ensuring that young people have a seat at the table where global development decisions are made and a stake in the post-2015 development agenda.

Dr. Luiz Loures, Deputy Director of UNAIDS, opened the session by reminding the audience of a stark statistic: There are 1.8 billion young people around the world and 3 billion people under the age of 30. The majority of policy makers deciding the post-2015 framework will be far advanced in age, or indeed no long around, by the time most of these young people have matured into adulthood.

So where are the young people in this discussion about the future of development? Read more...

RH Journal Article on Youth at Women Deliver 2013

The latest issue of Reproductive Health Journal includes an article on the health and development needs of young people as highlighted at the Women Deliver 2013 conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The sixteen co-authors put together key themes which emerged at the conference and developed solutions to improving the health and well-being of youth worldwide. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Empower Young People, Improve Our World

By: Janna Oberdorf, Women Deliver; Originally posted on Huffington Post

Today, on International Youth Day 2013, there are more than 3 billion people under the age of 30—that's half of the world's population. While this number may seem overwhelming, we know that young people play an indispensable role in efforts to achieve international development goals. Each of these young women and men represents a solution—so today, we're celebrating 3 billion solutions that are just waiting to be harnessed. Read more...

Help Malala’s Birthday Wish Come True: Support Her Fight for Education

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

On their 16th birthday, many girls around the world hope for new clothes or a cell phone. Tomorrow, when Malala Yousafzai celebrates her 16th birthday, her wish will not be small or simple, but it will have the potential to change the world. She will speak at the United Nations in support of the 57 million boys and girls who do not yet have access to education, asking that the global Education Emergency be put to an end. Read more...

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