Let’s Put an End to Gender-Based Violence

It’s time, right? Gender-based violence (GBV) can pervade a woman’s entire life cycle, beginning with selective abortion of a female fetus to female genital mutilation/cutting to intimate partner violence. GBV is usually perpetrated by men against women and girls, and it can take many forms – sexual abuse, physical violence, emotional or psychological abuse, verbal abuse, economic abuse or beatings during pregnancy. GBV jeopardizes a woman’s health and well-being and detracts from her reproductive health.

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.

Health Systems are Failing the World’s Women

Despite progress, health system shortfalls and gender discrimination are severely impacting women’s health worldwide, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report Women and Health: Today’s Evidence, Tomorrow’s Agenda.

Family Planning Saves Mothers’ Lives

Recent research indicates that between 25 per cent to 40 per cent of maternal deaths could be avoided by ensuring access to family planning. This data was cited in the 2009 Report of the UN Secretary-General to the Commission on Population and Development, World Population Monitoring, E/CN.9/2009/3, on page 20, citation 35, which is an article by Oona M.R. Campbell and Wendy J. Graham, “Strategies for reducing maternal mortality: getting on with what works”, that appeared in The Lancet, vol. 368, 2006.

Afghanistan Trains New Midwives

This weekend, the Christian Science Monitor published an article called, “Amid war Afghanistan trains thousands of new midwives.” The article says:

Pashtoon Azfar, head of the Afghan Midwives Association, says the number of trained midwives has grown nearly six-fold since rebuilding effort in Afghanistan began. “In 2002, we had 467 midwives, but no one knew how qualified they were; for years, they had received no access to training,” says Ms. Azfar, also a midwifery specialist with the international nonprofit health organization Jhpiego, whose maternal health programs are funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Today, there are more than 2,400 midwives around the country who have been trained in a standardized and accredited two-year program, she says.

Dangers of Malaria During Pregnancy

Yesterday, the world’s largest malaria conference, The 5th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) Pan-African Conference, opened with a call for substantial and sustained support for research to guide evidence-based policies and the development of new malaria tools, which together could save countless lives. Watch this interview video with Dr. Rose Leke, University of Yaounde 1, Cameroon, where she discusses the dangers of malaria during pregnancy — and how to prevent it.

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.

NY Times: Fighting for Family Planning in the Philippines

On October 25, 2009, the NY Times published a story about a bill that has been introduced in the Philippines to increase contraceptive use.

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.

Thousands of Indian Women Dying in Childbirth

Lucknow, India - Tens of thousands of Indian women and girls are dying during pregnancy and childbirth, despite government programs guaranteeing free obstetric health care, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a newly released report.

NGO Forum: Jill Sheffield on Integrating SRHR and the MDGs

By Jill Sheffield, President

Blazing Trails... Looking back at all the watershed milestones that emerged from the 1994 ICPD, what thrills me the most is the course that was set to acknowledge the right for all people of the world, especially women, to have access to quality sexual and reproductive health. 

Hillary Clinton Talks Maternal Health

On August 23, the NY Times has a special issue of the their magazine dedicated to "Saving the World's Women." We've been waiting in anticipation of this issue -- salivating over the cover-to-cover coverage of topics focused on women.

Population Data—Youth Population in Developing Countries Grows

Last week, the Population Reference Bureau launched the annual World Population Data Sheet, highlighting country, regional, and global population, health, and environment data and patterns.

Good News on Preventing Cervical Cancer

Each year, over a quarter of a million women die from cervical cancer.  Of these women, around 80% live in the developing world.  Cervical cancer is caused by HPV, one of the most common STIs.   This week, Akimbo talks about different HPV tests (there's more than a PAP smear) and vaccines available.

New Study: Legal Abortion in Nepal

Following the legalization of abortion in Nepal in 2002, abortion services have been provided safely at both government and private facilities throughout the country, according to a new study released by Ipas.

Why Investing in Women is a Smart Choice

This week, Akimbo, the blog for the International Women's Health Coalition, published a 3-part series on the importance of investing in women taken from a speech given at the 20th World Population Day in Abuja, Nigeria.

Graça 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.

New Report on Maternal Morbidity

Maternal morbidity is an issue that sometimes gets left off the table when it comes to discussing and advocating for maternal health.

ICPD and the Promises for Youth

Yesterday, we attended a luncheon on "The promises of the ICPD for Young People," sponsored by the Government of The Netherlands in conjunction with the IPPF. The panel discussed some really important topics like: youth friendly services; young women and abortion; youth participation; and delivering young people's SRHR programmes.

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