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The Role of the Artist Is to Make [the Maternal Health] Revolution Irresistible

By: Lisa Russell, MPH, an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and co-founder of MDGFive.com; Originally posted on Huffington Post

I came across a photograph on my Facebook news feed a few months ago that depicted a mural in Rome scribed with the quote, "The role of the artist is to make revolution irresistible."

As a documentary filmmaker and social activist, my first reaction was to share it amongst my more so-called "radical" artist colleagues who are participating in revolutionary movements, such as those in the Middle East, or protesting police brutality in New York City, or engaging in some other form of political protest. However, I realized I should have forwarded it to my maternal health colleagues as well. 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...

‘It Is A New Way of Working’

By Amy Lieberman; Originally posted on Devex

There is some suspicion around the increasing role of the private sector on global health care delivery, especially in developing countries, admits Geralyn Ritter, senior vice president of pharmaceutical company Merck’s global public policy and corporate responsibility department. But the reality remains: The private sector now provides about half of the health care services in Africa and for roughly 80 percent of families in South Asia. Read more...

Turning Recommendations Into Reality

By: Rachel Wilson; Originally posted on PATH Blog

This blog post is published in collaboration with a campaign led by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in support of Every Woman Every Child.

Medicines, resuscitators, contraceptives—they’re all essential tools with the potential to save lives. But in developing countries, too often these commodities and others are in short supply or not available at all. Read more...

Committed to Every Woman Every Child

By: The CORE Group

This blog is published in collaboration with a larger campaign spearheaded by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and conducted by Heads of State and Government; Heads of U.N. Agencies; CEO’s; Leaders of Civil Society Organizations; and other global leaders who have demonstrated their leadership in the health field, in support of Every Woman Every Child. Learn more at www.everywomaneverychild.org.

CORE Group is committed to supporting the Every Woman Every Child campaign’s goal to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015. As a global health network organization, CORE Group exponentially saves lives by bringing together its member NGOs, associate organizations and partners working all over the world to develop solutions, best practices, and technical tools and resources to improve maternal and child health. Read more...

Achieving Results for Every Woman and Every Child

By: Michel Sidibé; Originally posted on Huffington Post Impact

The past two years have been significant for women's and children's health for many reasons. The unprecedented global momentum towards saving the lives of 16 million women and children generated by the Every Woman Every Child movement is among the most remarkable. Read more...

Oslo Conference Shines a Spotlight on Girls’ and Women’s Health

By: Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver

Norway held a high-level conference in Oslo City Hall on June 1, 2012 to showcase its efforts to promote global health and gender equality, including women’s and children’s rights and health. This conference, entitled “A World in Transition; Charting a New Path in Global Health” brought together prominent politicians and experts in a joint effort to eliminate the tragic and preventable deaths of women, mothers and children around the world. Read more...

Save the Children’s 2012 State of the World’s Mothers Report

This year’s thirteenth annual State of the World’s Mothers report features more than 60 countries and a foreword by USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah. Filled with ground-breaking research, this year’s report focuses on the importance of nutrition during the first 1,000 days between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday.

This year’s report also includes their annual Mother’s Index, ranking the best and worst countries in which to be a mother based on health and status indicators for women and children in 165 counties. Norway, as in 2011, ranks first; Niger, replacing Afghanistan in 2011, ranks last. The United States comes in at #25 among the 43 developed countries ranked. Eight of the 10 worst countries to be a mother are in sub-Saharan Africa. We must continue to work to ensure that moms everywhere can care for their kids. Read more...

New Report Indicates a Global Reduction in Maternal Deaths

A new report launched today by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank found that maternal deaths have fallen by nearly 50 percent over the past two decades, demonstrating that global investments in maternal and reproductive health programs are having a measurable impact around the world.

According to the report, the number of maternal deaths around the world has dropped from 543,000 in 1990 to 287,000 in 2010 – a 47% decline. Additionally, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR, or number of women dying for every 100,000 live births) declined from 400 in 1990 to 210 in 2010. This new data comes at a critical time, with just three years remaining before the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). MDG 5 aims to reduce maternal deaths by 75 percent globally. Read more...

Submit Photographs and Stories to Spotlight Maternal Health

In late September, PATH will be hosting a reception in New York to feature the specific ways that medicines and other supplies bring about improvements in maternal health. Attendants will likely represent nongovernment organizations, UN agencies, the UN Commission on Life-saving Commodities for Women and Children, Clinton Global Initiative, GBC Health’s Healthy Women, Healthy Economies initiative, and other groups. They plan to display large, museum-quality photographs and produce a postcard book to help the audience connect emotionally with the issue and the plight of women in low-resource settings. Read more...

TedxChange asks “How Have Contraceptives Changed Your Life?”

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

Today, TedxChange and Melinda Gates launched the No Controversy website, in the hopes that people around the world will share their stories, read about the experiences of others, and become educated on the importance of contraception and family planning. The launch, which is available on Livestream, comes three months ahead of the July 11 Family Planning Summit that will take place in London. The Summit, supported by the Department for International Development (DFID), The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other partners, seeks to generate political commitment and greater resources to meet the family planning needs of women in some of the least wealthy countries by 2020. Read more...

International Organizations Convene for Rio+20 Discussions

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

Last month, staff from Women Deliver met with high-level members of several international organizations focused on the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and youth. The meeting was organized to discuss the lack of emphasis on gender, SRHR, and young people in the Zero Draft document for Rio+20, which takes place this June.

The Rio+20 summit, a UN conference on sustainability, will include seven priority areas: decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness. Despite the undisputed link between women’s health, reproductive rights, and family planning accessibility with these priorities, gender- and SRHR-related topics have not received as much attention as many believe it should have. Read more...

Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly Debates First Resolution on Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

The 126th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly took place in Kampala, Uganda from March 31 to April 5. This meeting was the first time the IPU has debated a resolution on maternal, newborn and child health. The resolution was drafted in September by the governments of Canada, India, and Uganda, and is known as ‘Access to Health as a Basic Right: The Role of Parliaments in Addressing Key Challenges to Securing the Health of Women and Children.’ The IPU Assembly, which meets every year as a focal point for worldwide parliamentary dialogue, drew over 600 members of parliament from more than 120 countries to Kampala, Uganda. Read more...

Women Deliver 2013: Apply for a Scholarship - APPLICATION CLOSED

Women Deliver is excited to announce that all scholarship applications for Women Deliver 2013 are open today.

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There are two different scholarship applications - one for young people who will be under 30-years-old at the time of the conference and one for those who will be 30-years-old or over at the time of the conference. All scholarship applications are due April 23, 2012. We will offer full scholarships to a select number of participants in order to maximize participation from those who are traditionally under-represented; namely, young people and those from the Global South. This support includes conference registration, round-trip economy class airfare, hotel accomodations and a fixed stipend for visa fees and other incidentals. Read more...

It’s Time to Deliver for Girls and Women

By: Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, Regional Director of the Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office; Originally published in The Independent

A few weeks ago, on 8 March, the world celebrated International Women’s Day, which serves as a clarion call to honor girls’ and women’s contributions to their families, communities and nations. As our global population swells to over 7 billion, we must heed this call by working to ensure that every girl and woman lives a long, healthy and happy life.

Here in Africa, we are doing just that. On 27-28 March, policymakers, researchers and advocates from across the continent – including Ugandan First Lady Janet Museveni and Minister of Health Honorable Dr. Christine Ondoa – are gathering in Kampala for a regional consultation on maternal and reproductive health. At this meeting, convened by Partners in Population and Development and global advocacy organization Women Deliver, experts will discuss lessons learned, best practices and challenges for improving the health and wellbeing of girls and women. Read more...

The Word on Women - International Women’s Day: Voices from the Ground

By: Lyric Thompson, Originally posted on TrustLaw

This International Women’s Day, I had the privilege of sitting on the selection committee for Women Deliver’s 50 most inspiring ideas and solutions to deliver for girls and women, an annual campaign to honor the contributions of individuals and organizations dedicated to advancing female empowerment around the world.
It was a tremendous task. We received hundreds of submissions from across the globe, all inspiring accounts of innovations and ideas that are advancing women’s health, educational and economic opportunities, social and political empowerment and more. For someone whose entire career has been devoted to this field, I was newly energized by the number, quality and diversity of submissions, and grateful for the opportunity to learn about so much good work being done around the world, by organizations large and small.
I was personally pleased to see the efforts of phenomenal organizations I’ve had the pleasure to work directly with were finalists: Women for Women International’s work with male religious, military and community leaders to promote women’s safety and rights made the final 125, as did an innovative International Center for Research on Women program to protect and empower girls in Tanzania. 
And today, the votes are in. The 50 most inspiring ideas and solutions to deliver for girls and women have been announced and will be promoted throughout the forthcoming year. A big congratulations goes out to the groups and individuals involved in some of the most promising global efforts to promote equality, prosperity and peace through the full inclusion and empowerment of women and girls. From eco-friendly sanitary pads in Rwanda, to “Husband Schools” in Niger, to a youth leadership program engaging former sex slaves to end domestic trafficking in the U.S., these interventions and innovations truly do inspire.
There is hence much cause for celebration on this 101st anniversary of International Women’s Day. Yet there is also cause for reflection on the work left to be done.  As I reviewed the many submissions, I was particularly struck by the words of a Ghanaian woman who used the forum to write not about a particular idea or innovation that is helping women and girls, but about the areas in which she has seen little progress in her community: exploitation and violence against women. Her submission was a stark reminder of the distance we have yet to traverse before all women will enjoy security and true equality.
The words of our Ghanaian sister have awakened in me a deep appreciation for the reasons we observe International Women’s Day. My first experience living abroad was in Ghana, so the connection was all the stronger upon reading. Today I can think of no better way to honor the call to action she has put forward than by giving voice to them here. I have reprinted them below, providing slight edits for ease of reading, but the substance and the poetry of her testimony remains unchanged.
As we salute the year’s most inspiring progress in promoting the health, education, economic advancement and leadership of women and girls, I also offer the unmediated thoughts of our ally on the ground to serve as a reminder of the road ahead.
Happy International Women’s Day; may it be a day of celebration, inspiration and reflection for us all.
"Violence Against Women is the most common thing which is going on day in and day out in my country, killing of women as [they] come to stay with people. Any mistake a woman does will bring war at home, but every mistake a man does is right—why? Sexual Abuse in  homes,  Rape and Beating from [the] Husband—why?
I think this is The Right Time for every Woman to stand and fight for her rights, and to create a violence-free world for every Woman.  Woman has stayed for too long in the Dark. Let us also share the Good Things we have in us, for the whole world.
Maternal Health is very important for every pregnant woman. Every woman stands as a Big Tree in Her family. Whether you believe it or not, The Answer is Yes.  Because women are the people who suffer most in homes, I will be very glad if there would be a Law that will stop every pregnant woman from having to sell things on their heads at the road side. I think this can also help save more lives in some African countries as well. I think many organizations have to step in to train more and more African woman and girls in maternal health. I know this will enhance more understanding in many African communities, hospitals, and the World as a whole.
I would also like to share this with our African Men: Please help your wives at home by washing clothes or cooking, bathing the children, or cleaning the rooms.  I don't think this is a Sin if You assist your wives in doing this; I know this will bring total balance and joy into your family. 
Sex Trafficking is the leading problem in some African communities. School girls from the ages of 10 to 12 to 15 years go out with Big Men and have sex with them—why? Mothers should stop giving their girls to strangers that they don't know very well. Sometimes these people may appear to you very good from their [heads] up to [their] toes, but inside them is Black.  Some of these Traffickers travel from the cities to the rural communities just to go and Tell Many Lies To Innocent Girls. In the rural communities, these are some of their Tricks:
“Wards do you know you look very beautiful?” “Let’s go to the Main City; you will get lots of Money and Cars, Clothes,” and so [on].  Some will also tell the girl’s mother, “I own a Very Big  Company so I want Girls to work for Me.”
And when they bring in those girls to the city, first of all they take them out into Night Clubs. Then inside the night club these women will tell the Girls to go and dance with the men inside.  From this stage just guess what will happen to those poor girls. If this trafficking lady finds that  some of the men have fallen in love with any of the girls, she will walk to The Man face to face [and say:] “You cannot take her away without payment of Money to me.” Then you see that she will speak to The Poor Girl: “Do whatever this Man asks you to do, okay?” Then she will give her phone number to the Girl: “Call me if the Man wants to hurt you. Just let me know.”
All [this] is lies. Just pretending as if she really cares, and from there she will tell the poor Girl to go with The Stranger Man.  Then this Man will take the Girl in to a hotel to have sex with her as many [times] as he wishes, because he has given Huge Money to this woman who travels to rural areas just to tell fake stories to poor Girls.
Those Girls will just end their lives with this Deadly HIV AIDS Infection. My little advice to women and girls is: “Don't let  people waste your lives. Look sharp and Focus. Read wide and let your Eyes Open like an Eagle Bird.”

Lyric.jpgThis International Women’s Day, I had the privilege of sitting on the selection committee for Women Deliver’s 50 most inspiring ideas and solutions to deliver for girls and women, an annual campaign to honor the contributions of individuals and organizations dedicated to advancing female empowerment around the world.

It was a tremendous task. We received hundreds of submissions from across the globe, all inspiring accounts of innovations and ideas that are advancing women’s health, educational and economic opportunities, social and political empowerment and more. Read more...

Interview: ONE talks to Women Deliver Founder Jill Sheffield

By Erin Hohlfelder; Originally posted on ONE Blog.

I recently sat down with Jill Sheffield, founder of Women Deliver, an organization that works to reduce maternal mortality and achieve universal access to reproductive health, to talk about her plans for International Women’s Day, the Women Deliver 50 list and the fight for women’s equality and empowerment. Read more...

DFID to Host Family Planning Summit

The UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) has announced that this July, it will host a Family Planning summit with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners.  The event signals a major political commitment as well commitments by donors, corporations, and others to work towards meeting family planning needs, such as information, services, and supplies, for developing countries by 2020. Read more...

Celebrating International Women’s Day Every Day

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver; Originally posted on the Huffington Post

Today, on the 101st anniversary of International Women's Day, we celebrate girls and women, and the tremendous contributions they make to families, communities and the world. As my friends Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn have so profoundly said, women do hold up half the sky. They contribute up to one-third of global gross domestic product, and their health and education create a domino effect of positive outcomes. In turn, the world needs to ensure that girls and women have access to the information and services they need to stay healthy.

There could not be a more urgent time for the global community to focus our efforts on maternal and reproductive health. Each year, more than 358,000 women die from pregnancy- and childbirth-related complications. Approximately 99 percent of these deaths occur in the developing world, and the vast majority are entirely preventable. Read more...

Norway Releases White Paper on Global Health

Last month, the Norwegian government released the first ever white paper on global health. By mapping out health priorities within the context of development strategies, this paper serves as a blueprint to achieving optimal health outcomes for girls and women worldwide. Read more...

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