The UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women Announces the 2011 Call for Proposals

The United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women is accepting applications for its 16th grant cycle (2011) from government authorities, civil society organizations and networks — including non-governmental, women’s and community-based organizations and coalitions, and operational research institutions — and UN Country Teams (in partnership with governments and civil society organizations). Read more...  

A Declaration in Support of A Global Campaign for Safe Abortion Access

Dakar, Senegal, December 2, 2011 -- The following declaration was released at the International Conference on Family Planning. A similar declaration was prepared and read by the following partners during the 6th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (APCRSHR) held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in October 2011: Asia Safe Abortion Partnership (ASAP), Concept Foundation, Women on Waves, Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation East and SE Asia and Oceania Region (IPPF-ESEAOR) and South Asia Region (IPPF-SAR). 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...

World AIDS Day 2011: Funds Diminish, Epidemic Rages On

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager at Women Deliver

Today’s commemoration of World AIDS Day marks 30 years since the HIV/AIDS epidemic began, claiming nearly 30 million deaths around the world in the decades since. Progress towards averting deaths, through global partnerships and committed donors, has been heartening: close to 50% of those eligible for antiretroviral therapy now have access to lifesaving treatment, and new HIV infections have decreased by 21% since 1997. Overall, treatment has saved the lives of nearly 2.5 million people since 1995, bringing the world closer than ever before to UNAIDS’ goal of “getting to zero”- zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: New Hotline for Women with Obstetric Fistula in Sierra Leone

By: Madeline Taskier, Strategic Partnerships Associate at Women Deliver 

fistula.jpgThis fall, the Aberdeen Women’s Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone is bringing hope to thousands of women affected by obstetric fistula. In October, the centre, which provides a variety of maternal and child health services, began offering a free phone hotline, follow up services, and surgery for women suffering from this debilitating condition.

Obstetric fistula, like maternal mortality, is an almost entirely preventable condition experienced by at least 2 million women in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia every year. When a woman has obstructed labor delaying delivery of her baby, a hole can form in the tissue between her bladder, vagina, and rectum causing uncontrollable leakage of feces or urine and can result in a stillborn birth. Performing surgery to repair the fistula is successful 90 percent of the time, but many women in these regions often do not have access to trained surgeons and have little knowledge of existing treatments. Read more...

16 Days Campaign Challenges MIlitarism And Violence Against Women

16Days.pngNew Brunswick, New Jersey -- On November 25, 2011, the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) will launch the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign. Hundreds of events by organizations worldwide are planned to campaign against gender-based violence, which is experienced by up to 70% of women in their lifetime, according to the United Nations. It is estimated that worldwide, one in five women will experience rape or attempted rape. Women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war, and malaria. Read more... 

Corporate Buzz: Women Deliver Report Advocates For Cervical Cancer Prevention in Developing World

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager at Women Deliver

HPVvaccine.jpgToday, Women Deliver released a new report, “Saving Lives: The Road to Comprehensive Cervical Cancer Prevention in the Developing World,” which highlights recent innovations and commitments focused on preventing and treating cervical cancer. Currently the number one cancer killer of women in developing countries, cervical cancer causes over 275,000 deaths each year, 88% of which occur in the developing world. Though cervical cancer isn’t directly addressed in the Millennium Development Goals, and is too often viewed as a problem of the developed world, addressing this major public health issue will have a direct impact on reducing poverty and improving women’s health in the developing world. Read more... 

Women Deliver Releases Report On Cervical Cancer Prevention in the Developing World

New York, November 23, 2011 -- Today, Women Deliver released a report “Delivering Cervical Cancer Prevention in the Developing World,” that highlights exciting new partnerships and innovations in cervical cancer prevention and treatment. 

This report comes at an important time: the GAVI Alliance recently announced its commitment to providing HPV vaccinations for 2 million girls in nine countries by 2015. This is a pivotal milestone in the efforts both to bring global attention to the issue of cervical cancer and to galvanize resources to scale up prevention efforts. Partnerships, worldwide and across sectors, have the potential to bring us closer than ever before to a world free of cervical cancer-related deaths. Read more... 

Corporate Buzz: Shaping our Future, Access to Reproductive Health Care in 2015

By: Saundra Pelletier, CEO, WomenCare Global

Many smart people love the idea of alleviating poverty; however, because it is such an overwhelming proposition, they quickly shift their thinking to more attainable goals. What they do not realize is the answer is simple; the puzzle can be solved; and it as easy as investing in the world’s women. Women, after all, hold up half the sky. A woman multiplies the impact of an investment made in her health, education, and well being by extending benefits to the world around her, creating a better life for her family, and building a strong community. Yes, Women Deliver.

When I look ahead to the year 2015, I envision a world where there is a cultural consciousness and awareness of why preventing mothers from dying in childbirth is so vital. Women’s health, particularly women’s reproductive health, will no longer be pushed aside for more “pressing issues.” The lives of women and mothers will be at the core of conversations in both global health and global development circles. One of the most important benefits will be that 600,000 children will not grow up without the love and care of a mother. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Universal Anesthetic Machine Saves Lives In Developing Countries

By: Dr. Aoife Kenny, Volunteer at Women Deliver

DRC.jpgImagine you are an expectant mother in a developing country. You know women who have died in childbirth and want to make sure both you and your child are safe. You have heard the “big” hospital has trained midwives and surgeons, so as you go into labor, you travel there.

Your labor is long, too long, and the midwife is concerned something is wrong. The pain in your belly intensifies and the midwife takes your blood pressure. It is dangerously low. You are told you are losing a lot of blood and you need to have an operation to get the baby out. You are afraid, but you trust in the hospital’s trained staff. Read more...

UN Resolution on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Adopted

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects ManagerUN_Maternal_Mortality.jpg

Last week on September 28th, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution reaffirming the importance of addressing maternal mortality and morbidity, and calling for direct action to save mothers’ lives. Specifically, the resolution calls for the development of practical guidance, through an expert workshop, to assist States, the United Nations system and all stakeholders in applying human-rights based frameworks to programs and policies aimed at preventing maternal death and disability. Read more...

Blogging For Good: Connecting Online Audiences to Offline Actions for Women

In the world's poorest countries, mothers risk their lives giving birth. And women and girls bear the greatest burden when it comes to all issues that contribute to poverty and poor health. Every year, an estimated 358,000 women die from complications during pregnancy and childbirth and 8.1 million children die before their fifth birthday.

Can blogging the stories of women and the challenges they face in the developing world turn empathy to action here? Three organizations, ONE, Women Deliver, and Vestergaard Frandsen set out to prove that social media can be a powerful tool to educate, inform, inspire, and make real change on issues like HIV/AIDS, maternal health, child health, clean water, environmental sustainability, and more. Read more...

Analysing the Commitments to Advance the Global Strategy for Women’s & Children’s Health

PMNCH Report 2011 - Massive Push to Improve the Health of Women and Children: Tens of billions have been committed from both rich and poor countries

20 SEPTEMBER 2011 | GENEVA/NEW YORK - In only one year, more than 100 countries, foundations, multilateral organizations, the UN, the private sector, and academic and professional associations have made unprecedented financial and political commitments to greatly improve the health of women and children. Read more...

Merck Joins Global Fight to Help Save Women’s Lives During Pregnancy and Childbirth

President and CEO Ken Frazier Announces 10-Year, $500 Million Mobilization: "Merck for Mothers" Joins Global Community to Apply Scientific and Business Expertise in Support of UN Goal to Decrease the Maternal Mortality Ratio by 75 Percent

NEW YORK, N.Y., September 20, 2011 – Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced that it will join United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and heads of state at the UN later today to launch "Merck for Mothers," a long-term effort with global health partners to create a world where no woman has to die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth ( Read more...

Stay Tuned: Maternal Health on Primetime Television

Check out how Maternal Health is being featured in a variety of ways on television. BIRTHRIGHTS is a series of 8 half hour films about maternal health around the globe on Al Jazeera. NO WOMAN, NO CRY the documentary produced and directed by Christy Turlington Burns that follows the stories of women in Tanzania, Bangladesh, Guatemala and the United States as they face critical junctures in their pregnancies, will have its television debut on the Oprah Winfrey Network in May. PUSHING THE ELEPHANT, a film that explores the long-term and often hidden effects of war on women and families, particularly those in traditional societies, will be broadcast on PBS Independent Lens through April. Finally, check out the maternal health challenge that is part of the ABC News Initiative Be the Change: Save a Life. Read more...

New Report: Linking Contraceptives to Human Rights

A new report, The Right to Contraceptive Information and Services for Women and Adolescents, launched 23 March 2011 by UNFPA and the Center for Reproductive Rights, examines the right to access contraceptive information and services for women and adolescents. It provides practical guidance for activists, scholars, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, governments and other actors working in the area of sexual and reproductive health to integrate human rights into programs and policies on contraceptive information and services. Read more…

CEO of Vestergaard Frandsen Stresses the Importance of Social Responsibility in Business

Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, CEO of Vestergaard Frandsen and one of the Women Deliver 100, gave the keynote speech at The Economist’s conference, The Sustainable Business Summit, where he spoke about the significance of social responsibility. To begin his speech, he paints a bleak picture:

“Imagine you are 10 years old. You are a girl. You’re walking 3 miles under a 110 degree blazing hot sun. You are fetching water. You do this every day, spending time bringing water home to your family; time you could’ve spent going to school. The water you find may look clear, but it is fact swarming with bacteria. Many of your neighbors are now suffering from chronic diarrhea... But this is your only water source, so you drink it anyway.” Read more...


New Publications from WHO and Population Reference Bureau

A new report from the World Health Organization confirms a significant decline in the number of deaths from unsafe abortion worldwide. However, the data show that women in least-developed countries and sub-Saharan Africa bear a disproportionate burden. The Worlds Women and Girls 2011 Data Sheet has the latest data on a wide variety of indicators on the socioeconomic status of women and girls in more than 180 countries, with a focus on demography, reproductive health, education, work, and public life. Read more...

Just Add Water: Simplicity of Microloans Has the Potential to Bring Clean Water to Millions in Need

By: Joy Marini, Director of Corporate Contributions for Johnson & Johnson, Maternal and Child Health

water.gifThis weekend, l was hiking with my daughter in Thompson Park in New Jersey when we came upon a spigot from a natural spring. The water was fresh and ice cold. It was a perfect break from our brisk walk on a warm, early Spring day. The signs at the spigot read, “Consume at your own risk” (although people have been drinking from this spring for decades) and “Families please take no more than eight gallons if people are waiting in line.” If you’re a hiker or a camper, bottling eight gallons does not seem all that extraordinary. But – for families living in a country where water is scarce or polluted by human waste, this is an unimaginable luxury. Read more...

Emergency in Japan: Keeping Women and Mothers Safe and Healthy

japanearthquake.jpgA 9.0 magnitude earthquake, which is the largest to hit Japan since records began, hit the north-east of the country on 11 March 2011. It was followed by a series of strong aftershocks, and also triggered a massive tsunami, which has destroyed most of the cities and villages on the north-east coast of Japan. During periods following a major natural disaster, women often lose access to basic health services, as public health and clinical care infrastructure are disrupted. Read more...

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