Fewer Girls Threatened by Female Genital Mutilation

UNFPA and UNICEF call for accelerated efforts as the practice begins to decline

UNITED NATIONS, New York, 6 February 2013—Fewer girls are subjected to the life-threatening practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) according to new data from the United Nations, released on 6 February, the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. The data show that FGM/C is becoming less prevalent overall and the younger generation is less vulnerable to the practice. In the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East, where the practice of FGM/C is concentrated, on average, 36 per cent of girls aged 15-19 have been cut compared to an estimated 53 per cent of women aged 45-49. The decline is particularly sharp in some countries: in Kenya, for example, women aged 45-49 are three times more likely to have been cut than girls aged 15-19.  Read more...

UN Passes Resolution to Ban Female Genital Mutilation

Yesterday, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution banning the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This resolution was one of five passed yesterday to advance the rights of girls and women worldwide.

Approximately 140 million girls and women across the globe are affected by FGM, and each year an additional three million girls are at risk of being subjected to the practice. In Africa, it is estimated that 92 million girls under the age of 10 have undergone FGM. FGM can result in severe bleeding, urinary difficulties, infections, infertility and complications in childbirth, and is widely recognized as a human rights violation. Read more...

The Bali Global Youth Declaration: For Young People, By Young People

By: Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver and Amanda Keifer, Public Health Institute; Originally posted on RH Reality Check

With the world’s population now at seven billion and counting, issues of human rights, health, education, and employment require action more urgently than ever before—especially for youth under the age of 25, who comprise more than 40 percent of the world’s population. That’s why we joined more than 3,000 young people from more than 150 countries—in Bali and virtually—this week at the Global Youth Forum to chart a progressive vision for equitable, sustainable, and just global development. Read more...

The Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights Celebrates Release of the Final Declaration

The Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, member of the International Steering Committee for the Global Youth Forum, celebrates the release of the Final Declaration from the Forum, which took place in Bali, Indonesia from December 4-6th 2012, and applauds the hard work of all those who were engaged in and supported the outcomes of the process. The Global Youth Forum brought together hundreds of youth, civil society and member states, among others (in addition to the 2,400+ virtual youth delegates), to identify and discuss issues and priorities facing today and tomorrow’s generation of young people within the context of population and development. 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...

We Can Only End Violence Against Women Together

By: Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women; Originally posted on Huffington Post

I am often asked whether ending violence against women is possible given the pervasiveness and persistence of these crimes. My answer is yes. It is possible. But we can only do it together. We are all responsible and it is time for leaders to fulfill the promises made to women. Today, looking towards Sunday's International Day to End Violence against Women, I call on all leaders: Take a stand to end violence against women and girls. Last year I launched the 16-step policy agenda. Today, I urge all Heads of State and Government to end the scourge of violence that affects every society by participating in an exciting global initiative to showcase national commitments to end violence against women and girls. Read more...

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence


The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign calls for an end to gender-based violence and appeals to governments to respond, protect, and prevent violence against women. Over the course of the 16 Days of Activism, which begins on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25) and ends on Human Rights Day (December 10), Women Deliver will highlight 16 key leaders and updates about women's rights worldwide. When women survive, families, communities, and nations thrive. Read more...

Fred Sai: The Godfather of Family Planning

By: David Holmes; Originally posted on The Lancet

On Nov 14, the United Nations Population Fund released The State of World Population 2012: By Choice, Not By Chance: Family Planning, Human Rights and Development. Fred Sai is that slogan made flesh; he is the godfather of family planning. In a career spanning over 50 years, Sai has served as population director at the World Bank, is a past president of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and chaired the main committee of the pivotal 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. Now semi-retired, the 88-year-old still finds time to sit on the boards of Women Deliver and Population Action International. The Lancet caught up with Sai to find that, after more than half a century of involvement in family planning, his passion burns as fiercely as ever. Read more on The Lancet...

APA releases “Engaging with ‘New’ ASEAN” Resource Kit

Asian Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA) has released the “Engaging with the ‘New’ ASEAN” report highlighting the need for civil society to collaborate with ASEAN members to improve reproductive and health rights of women and youth in the region. The report also provides an overview of the sexual and reproductive health trends in ASEAN countries and recommendations on opportunities for civic engagement. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Cambodian Coalition Works to End Sex Trafficking

By: Yousra Yusuf, Women Deliver

When many of us envision the life of a girl, we picture her poring over her notebooks and spending time with friends. Yet for trafficked young women, these images are replaced by the reality of long trips from home to an unknown village for the promise of a good job, followed by years of physical and sexual abuse. Human trafficking is the third largest crime industry in the world after drug and arms trafficking. Globally, about 2.5 million people are in forced labor at any given time, with the majority—1.4 million—working in Asian countries. Trafficking is especially rampant in Cambodia—over 2,000 victims were trafficked into the country in 2005. Fortunately, there are NGOs working to make a difference. Last year, the Coalition to Address Sexual Exploitation of Children in Cambodia (COSECAM) released a ten-year report highlighting successful efforts to prevent trafficking and help survivors rebuild their lives. Read more...

Women Deliver Joins Calls for Action to End Child Marriage Globally

As the world celebrates the first International Day of the Girl Child, Women Deliver Launches Catapult Crowdfunding Platform

  • United Nations chooses child marriage as theme for International Day of the Girl Child
  • Activities planned around the world to highlight urgent need for action
  • Women Deliver launches Catapult – the first online funding platform solely dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women.

On the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child, Women Deliver calls for urgent action to address child marriage worldwide. Every day globally, 25,000 girls are robbed of their childhood.  Read more...

World Contraception Day: Overcoming Obstacles By Empowering Youth

By: Tunde Ajidagba, Women Deliver 100 Young Leader from Nigeria



This blog is part of a series, edited by Women Deliver, in partnership with Impatient Optimists, on youth perspectives to celebrate World Contraception Day. Share your thoughts in comments and join the conversation at #WCD2012. For more stories and to get involved further visit No Controversy.

There are many major obstacles that young people face when trying to access or use contraceptive services.  They range from socio-cultural issues, problems related to privacy and confidentiality, issues of cost and affordability, and even coping with threatening surroundings.

Osotimehin: Every Woman, Every Child

By: Babatunde Osotimehin; Originally posted on The Guardian - Nigeria

Dr. Osotimehin is a United Nations Under-Secretary-General and the Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. He wrote this opinion in support of Every Woman Every Child, a global movement spearheaded by UN and other global leaders to save the lives of women and children and improve the lives of millions more by 2015.

The launch two days ago (Wednesday) of the report of the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children is a major milestone in Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s push to ensure the success of the Every Woman Every Child movement. It is now two years since the movement was launched in New York during the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit. Its agenda – to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015 – is ambitious, but achievable. Read more...

New Somali Constitution Bans Female Genital Cutting

The new constitution of Somalia officially bans female genital cutting/female genital mutilation (FGC/FGM). Under Article 15, the constitution explicitly states “Circumcision of girls is a cruel and degrading customary practice, and is tantamount to torture. The circumcision of girls is prohibited.”

According to the World Health Organization, about 140 million girls and women worldwide have been directly impacted and are living with “consequences” of FGM. In the African continent alone, 92 million girls age 10 and older have undergone the procedure, with most procedures happening between infancy and the 15 years. Read more...

Early Marriage Robs Children of Their Opportunities

By: Graça Machel and Desmond Tutu; Originally posted on Washington Post

Graça Machel was the first education minister of Mozambique. Desmond Tutu is archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. They are members of The Elders, a group of independent leaders working for peace and human rights.

“If adults know child marriage is wrong, why do they allow it to happen?” a teenage girl asked one of us during a visit this year to Bihar , a state in northeast India where, despite national law to the contrary, 69 percent of girls are married before age 18. Read more...

Life Saver: Why Pacific Women Deserve Contraceptive Choice

By: Elissa Kennedy; Originally posted on The Conversation

World leaders, international donors, government officials from developing countries and civil society organisations gathered at the London Summit on Family Planning overnight to support the right of women and adolescent girls to freely decide the number and timing of their children.

Leaders from more than 20 developing countries made bold commitments and donors pledged US$2.6 billion over the next eight years to reach 120 million more women and adolescent girls with essential family planning services. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr showed his support earlier in the week with an editorial in The Lancet and committed to doubling Australia’s aid for family planning to more than $50 million a year by 2016. Read more...

UK Family Planning Summit Concludes with $2.6 Billion Pledged

The London Summit on Family Planning, hosted by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with UNFPA, national governments, donors, civil society organizations, private sector representatives, the research and development community, and many others, was held today. Read more...

New Lancet Series Demonstrates Impact of Family Planning

A new series by the Lancet called Family Planning has been published and released on the eve of the UK Family Planning Summit.

The series reviews evidence of the impact of family planning on population health and the environment. “Family Planning” provides a look at a combination of articles that represent the latest thinking behind the UK Family Planning Summit, demonstrating the negative consequences of an unmet need for access to family planning. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Using Social Media to Bridge Gaps Between Religion and Rights

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

A popular campaign that was conceived, developed, and implemented in Mexico is working to bridge divides between religion and rights using social media. In particular, the campaign works to inform the public debate on the role of the Catholic Church in Mexican society, in regards to Catholic teachings and human rights of women and youth, Church hierarchy and Catholic traditions. Read more...

WHO Releases Guidance on Safe Abortion

Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) released an update of the groundbreaking publication, Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems. Since the first publication of the guidance in 2003, updated data has emerged, leading to new methods, approaches and recommendations relating to safe abortion. Read more...

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