Building the Momentum: Misoprostol for Postpartum Hemorrhage in Pakistan

By: Imtiaz Kamal; Originally posted by Family Care International

Imtiaz Kamal is the president of the Midwifery Association of Pakistan. She has led a “one-woman crusade” to promote the midwifery profession for more than 50 years.

In June 2013, all four provinces of Pakistan—Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Balochistan—included misoprostol for the prevention and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) on their respective Essential Medicines Lists (EMLs). EMLs indicate medicines that “satisfy the priority health care needs of the population” and should be affordable and available at all times within the context of a functioning health system. As advocates working towards improving reproductive and maternal health in Pakistan, we’ve come a long way in our mission to expand access to misoprostol. In this post, I share our advocacy strategy and the challenges we faced. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Clinical Skills Trainings in India

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

With support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Jhpiego recently trained more than 170 nurses, paramedics, and other health providers on how to improve their quality of care provided to pregnant women, mothers and infants, and women experiencing complications in pregnancy and childbirth in India’s second-most-populate state, Maharashtra. Read more...

Vocational Training for Young Women: What Works and What Doesn’t

By: Denise Dunning, Agali; Originally posted in The Guardian

Vocational training enables adolescent girls to earn an income and build crucial life skills. But programmes must also engage the private sector to be successful.

Girls, more than women or boys, lack access to financial capital and have limited opportunities to gain education, knowledge, and skills that can lead to economic advancement. Inadequate policy frameworks and inequitable gender norms also often create barriers to girls' economic advancement. Read more...

Reducing Maternal Mortality in Haiti

By: Nadene Brunk, Midwives for Haiti is a winner of the Women Deliver 50

MidwivesForHaiti.jpgMidwives For Haiti began educating Haitian women, in the skills that save mother's lives, in 2006. We began by teaching under trees, in the laundry room of a hospital, in an outdoor restaurant; wherever we could find room to teach and learn. With no textbooks in Creole, the native language of the majority of women in Haiti, we improvised and created teaching materials with our students. We learned that Haitian women are hungry for knowledge and have seen enough maternal and infant death to know they want to be a part of ending the suffering and grief. 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...

Celebrate Solutions: Using Sports to Level the Playing Field

By: Rati Bishnoi

For the thousands of Kenyan girls participating in the Moving the Goalposts sports program in Kilifi district, Kenya, playing soccer is not just a physical exercise. Instead, participating in the girls-only sports program is an exercise in learning to be confident, growing into leaders, and re-envisioning a world in which girls can do just as much as—and be just as respected as—boys. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Girls School Shines Light on Community’s Education, Health, and Future

By: Dr. Aoife Kenny and Rati Bishnoi

For 67 girls, traveling daily through their slum to attend the Kibera School for Girls means getting a superior education, nutritious food, uniforms, supplies, and a chance at a brighter future—for free. Read more... 

Shining Hope For Communities from Left Of Frame on Vimeo.

Melinda Gates and Nick Kristof Answer Your Questions, Part III

By: Melinda French Gates
Originally posted by: the Impatient Optimists

Gates3.jpgMelinda Gates and Nick Kristof recently returned from a three-day trip to Bangladesh. She, along with Nick, agreed to answer readers’ questions about development issues in that part of the world. Here is the third and final installment. 

ELAINE HARRIS: Presumably Melinda is visiting Bangladesh to ascertain the needs specifically related to women and children and ultimately providing assistance. What an amazing position to be in. How will the needs be evaluated? How will the women and children of Bangladesh be involved in the solution? Thank you both for engaging in these humanitarian efforts. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Fixing What’s Broken, Education for Medical Equipment Technicians

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern

tech.jpgTwo reasons—a lack of spare parts and too few highly trained technicians—are often cited as the causes of large numbers of out-of-service laboratory and medical equipment across the developing world. As a result of broken equipment, already burdened health systems find it increasingly challenging to accurately diagnose and treat patients.

This obstacle is particularly alarming as 2015, the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), looms on the horizon. Strong, functioning health systems are essential to reaching the MDGs, and MDG 5 in particular. With this in mind, Duke University researchers from Robert Malkin’s Developing World Healthcare Technology Laboratory set out to better understand the problem of unused or underutilized medical equipment in developing countries. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: One Country’s Plant Is The Whole World’s Treasure

By: Dr. Aoife Kenny, Volunteer at Women Deliver

bamboobike.jpgWhat is stronger than steel, completely sustainable, and could transform the lives of underserved rural women and girls worldwide? The answer is Bamboo. And Ghana’s commitment to bamboo bicycles is a powerful first step in showing how resourceful this plant can be.

Access to rural transport is critical to poverty reduction and development. When unavailable, communities that can’t get their goods to market, can’t bring in new capital; nor can individuals reach new and more lucrative employment opportunities. In addition, statistics have shown that countries with the least access to rural transport have the highest maternal mortality and gender education disparity, as issues of mobility are intrinsically linked to a country’s economic growth and the global issue of climate change. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Programs In Nigeria Set The Bar High

By: Lindsey Taylor Wood, Communications Associate

In Northern Nigeria, 1 in 23 women will die in pregnancy or childbirth. In fact, 10% of maternal deaths, globally, occur there; and rates of newborn and child mortality are also amongst the highest in the world. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Bringing Light and Improved Economic Livelihoods to Rajasthan

By: Madeline Taskier, Strategic Partnerships Associate at Women Deliver

barefoot.jpgAt only 12 years old, Kavita* stopped attending school to help her family with housework. By 15, she was married to a man from a village in the Ajmer District of Rajasthan, a western state in India. In this new village, she taught young children during the day and attended classes at night to improve her literacy. It was through this local literacy program, Kavita was approached by leaders of The Barefoot College; a new initiative trying to develop a cohort of female solar engineers. Read more...

Afghan Women Blogging Their Stories

Through distance learning with U.S. volunteers, Afghan women are learning writing skills and filling a blog with their thoughts about love, politics and family, according to an article in Womens eNews:

In more than 100 entries about love, politics and a variety of other topics, Roya, Seeta and a small group of other Afghan women are able to express themselves freely, something women like them cannot always do.


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