New Report Details Rights Abuses Stemming From Philippine Abortion Ban

The Center for Reproductive Rights released a new report, "Forsaken Lives: The Harmful Impact of the Philippine Criminal Abortion Ban," which illustrates the harmful consequences of the Philippine ban on abortion from a human rights perspective. By criminalizing abortion, the report states, the government has severely curtailed the reproductive rights of Filipino women and forces them to resort to dangerous alternatives. Despite the ban, each year, an estimated 560,000 clandestine abortions occur in the Philippines, 90,000 women suffered complications requiring hospitalization, and 1,000 women died.

UN Creates Single New Agency to Deal with Rights of Women Called UN Women

The United Nations General Assembly resolution to establish "UN Women" was agreed to on 30 June and formally adopted by the General Assembly on Friday, 2 July. The UN previously had four separate entities dedicated to women’s issues which will be combined in the new single entity focused on gender equality and the empowerment of women: the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), and the Office of the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI).

Rage for Justice Motivates Young People

By Joanne Omang

WASHINGTON, June 9 – Cell phone networks, edu-tainment, basketball teams, at least one kidney and great helpings of courage in the face of threats and even murder are bringing young people to the cutting edge of political change for women worldwide, a Women Deliver 2010 panel discussion demonstrated today.

Sarah Nkhoma of Malawi told the 3,000 conference participants that organizing university students to speak realistically about HIV/AIDS risks and sexual behavior earned her an arrest and a severe beating that left her hospitalized. “People don’t want to deal with the fact that young people have sex,” she said. “They owe me a kidney.”  more...

Human Rights Day 2009

Today, December 10, is Human Rights Day. As we at Women Deliver have been saying all year, MATERNAL HEALTH IS A HUMAN RIGHT. And as we said in our blog for Conversations for a Better World:

Women Deliver: A Global Conference To End Maternal Deaths

Women Deliver, a landmark global conference, will be held in Washington DC on June 7-9, 2010 to halt the needless deaths of over 500,000 girls and women who die every year during pregnancy and childbirth, and the four million newborn babies. These tragic deaths are a major contributor to poverty around the world, and can be easily prevented with effective, low-cost investments.

High Level Meeting on Maternal Mortality - Youth Experience

Below is the speech delivered by Imane Khachani, MD, Msc, from the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights for the High-Level Meeting at the International Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action.

World Delegates Affirm Family Planning at High-Level Meeting

Addis Ababa — Ending the needless death and suffering of women during pregnancy is one of the greatest moral, human rights and development challenges of our time, agreed more than 150 delegates that met at the High-Level Meeting on Maternal Health. Facing that challenge requires concrete action to protect and fulfill everyone’s right to sexual and reproductive health, they declared.

Fight For Your Right to Maternal Health

This blog-post was originally published at Conversations for a Better World, a shared blog on population gender and health.

Women around the world have had to struggle for decades, for centuries, to achieve equal rights and to achieve the human rights every man and woman deserves. And while the struggle has resulted in many positive steps forward, there are still areas where women are considered less than their male counterparts.

FIGO Launches Report on Maternal and Infant Deaths

Cape Town, South Africa – More than two million infants and women die worldwide each year from childbirth complications, outnumbering child deaths from malaria and HIV/AIDS, according to a new study released at the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) world congress.

A Leap Forward on Free Healthcare

UN – At a high-level gathering on the margins of the General Assembly, world leaders pledged more than US $5 billion in multi-year funding and committed to a new global Consensus for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

Getting the Conversation Started—Invest in Women

Our very own Jill Sheffield has posted on Conversations for a Better World as a "conversation starter." In her blog post, she writes:

Barriers to Maternal Health in Peru

Amnesty International just uploaded this video. Watch it and then read this article on about pregnancy and childbirth in Peru.

Maternal Health is a Human Right

In a fantastic op-ed in the Boston Globe, Mary Robinson and Alicia Yamin, advisory council members of the International Initiative on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights, discuss the issue of preventable maternal deaths as a violation of women's rights.

Gra├ža Machel on Recognizing Women’s Rights

Akimbo, the blog for the International Women's Health Coalition, just posted a fantastic video interview with Graça Machel, a renowned advocate for women's and children's rights.

Maternal Mortality and Human Rights

Check out the new website of the International Initiative on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights (IIMMHR).

Senator Clinton Pledges Support for Women’s Health

During her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Secretary of State nominee Sen. Hillary Clinton laid out an ambitious agenda for improving women's health worldwide as part of her comments on foreign policy.

Know Your Rights

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, animator Seth Brau brought the important words to life with motion graphics. Check out the video below to see his moving interpretation. And remember that maternal health is a human right. Health care improvements must come within a broader context of efforts to promote human rights, reduce poverty, and foster equality between men and women.

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