2015+: What Happens After the MDG and ICPD Deadlines?

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver

2015+.JPGWith 2014 and 2015 approaching, advocates are beginning to talk about what will happen to maternal health and sexual and reproductive health and rights when major international agreements, like ICPD and the MDGs, reach their deadlines. What will happen to the global architecture for maternal health if and when these targets are or are not met? There is some talk of collapsing all the health MDGs (MDG 4, 5, and 6) into a solitary goal to make room for other critical issues, like non-communicable diseases, pandemics, or terrorism. Some thought leaders are talking of creating a whole new framework, while others think the MDGs and ICPD should be extended or have no timeline.

No matter what the decisions, we are certain of one thing - our work is far from done. Girls and women are still dying from complications of pregnancy and childbirth and an estimated 215 million of them lack access to modern contraception. At the same time, the case for investing in girls and women is stronger today than ever. We now know that women deliver enormous social and economic benefits for their families, communities, countries, and the world, and investing to improve maternal health and save women’s lives is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do.

So, we are in a curious position right now. 2010 was a banner year for issues related to girls and women—the year began with a $1.5 billion, 5-year pledge by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to maternal and children’s health and culminated in the launch of the UN Secretary General's initiative “The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.” But many of us are concerned, as there’s a growing global voice calling for new restrictions and new violations on women’s reproductive health, particularly in my own country.

We advocates need to be part of a global conversation as the international community and UN member nations begin to take positions and make decisions about post-ICPD and post-MDGs. And this conversation needs be regional, as well as global. If we are to truly understand the future of these agreements and to build the capacity of advocates to carry these agreements forward, we must also include young people in this dialogue, many of who were not even born when the landmark ICPD convened.

To this end, Women Deliver will devote part of three regional consultations that will be held in 2012 and the Women Deliver 2013 conference in Kuala Lumpur to gathering thoughts and ideas from advocates on what they think should happen post-ICPD and post-MDGs.

Beginning now and into 2012, we will post every few weeks the opinions of key thought-leaders around the globe about ICPD and MDG5 and what should happen after the deadline dates of 2014 and 2015. We will ask them to speak to specific questions and encourage you to comment. In the fall, we will have an online discussion forum to gather further comments, ideas, questions, and suggestions. It’s time to begin the conversation—and we have designated space on Women Deliver’s website to do just that.

Join in. Our voices must be strong and thoughtful as the global architecture is designed. And tell us your thoughts below!

Entry Comments

  1. Sadly with 4 years left we still have a long way to go.

    But the good thing is we won’t give up.

    In Nigeria, we are planning an E-consultation to review what is left to be done and what more we can do. We will also come up with new strategies to improve Maternal, Newborn and Child Health status.

    We are counting on your support.

  2. Great to see that women’s organisations are mobilising to discuss this important issue. Can I encourage you to engage with Beyond 2015, a civil society international campaign aiming to influence the creation of the post 2015 agenda? Over 150 organisations in 50 countries are already engaged with this!

    It makes sense for us all to be working together on this!



    Leo Williams
    Beyond 2015

  3. A proven solution to preventing loss of life from pregnancy and childbirth is more skilled birth attendants. There are already few initiatives willing to fund the education of more SBA’s so it is frightening to think we may see even less assistance for those programs in the future.

  4. Gender inequality is the moral challenge of the age. It is the underlying reason why women die in childbirth, why lack of universal access to family planning has not been realized, why obstetric fistulas are allowed to happen, why there is a dearth of midwives and on and on and on. 34 Million Friends of the U.N. Population Fund tries to educate people about the deep issues and to get them to take a stand. We’re still going strong after a full nine years.

  5. Across the globe women activists, human rights advocates, gender advocates, journalists, women professional groups and associations have to work collaboratively uniting nationally and internationally and intensified movement and activities to promote gender equality and eliminating violence and death of women and girls. If we don’t move in this way then nothing going to be happened especially in resource poor settings. For instance, recently 21 years old Buddhist Nun had gang-raped in the eastern region of Nepal by five youth aged 17, 18, 19, 21 who are bus drivers and helpers and bus association protested and gave pressure to the administration to release the culprits (Learn more visit

    Likewise, 12 year old girl, weighs 8 kilograms from rural western region of Nepal is on her deadbed in the hospital due to hunger and poverty who had six siblings (For more visit

    We all women professionals together with like-minded men professionals have to advocate to adapt proven best practices where MMR and NMR had significantly reduced 50-60 years before like in Sri Lanka, Kerela-India, Malaysia and currently ranked one of best countries/states in terms of gender indicators. Unless than until we don’t have midwives in the community level we can’t reduce MMR, NMR and promote gender equality.

    Introducing and integrating well trained midwifery workforce in the national health care delivery system where there is no existence of midwife for instance in Nepal, India, etc means sort of promoting gender equality because usually midwives are women, they will be better educated, gain income independence and empower women for their sexual and reproductive health and rights. This we can observe in Sri Lanka, Kerala-India and Sweden.

    Best regards
    Laxmi Tamang
    Doctorate Student

    • Jul 29
    • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    This is great awakening call, issues of Maternal Mortality and Reproductive Health need a new framework after 2015. This is because of the Millions that are dying yearly. We really need to weak up and think, so we can plan our future together.

    Surely,we are on the same page, so Let’s Move together.

    Mu’azu Muhammad
    An Advocate of Reproductive Health and Maternal Health.
    Sokoto, Nigeria.

  6. This is great awakening call, issues of Maternal Mortality and Reproductive Health need a new framework after 2015. This is because of the Millions that are dying yearly. We really need to weak up and think, so we can plan our future together.

    Surely,we are on the same page, so Let’s Move together.

    Muazu Muhammad
    An Advocate of Reproductive Health and Maternal Health.
    Sokoto, Nigeria.

  7. The Government of Sri Lanka is planning to host International Youth Conference in 2014 targeting a youth agenda for a framework beyond 2015. this is a very good opportunity for us to push right based approach for post 2015 development agenda.

  8. The MDG framework, including and especially MDG 4,5,6, must be retained, strengthened, expanded, and extended. There are many ways it can also be improved, and we need to listen to, understand and address all criticisms and concerns. My personal criticism is that the MDG process has hitherto failed to use participative communication tools effectively to engage all stakeholders to define and work together towards specific shared goals that contribute to the MDGs. For an example of this, see (and join) Healthcare Information For All by 2015 -

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