Women and Water: A Path to Empowerment

By: Mina Das

This post is part of a series created in partnership by WASH Advocates and Women Deliver. For more information, please contact Cecilia Snyder

NISHTHA means devotion or commitment in Bengali and is also the name of a small organization in West Bengal, India that was founded by women. NISHTHA has over 35 years of program experience in the areas of health and hygiene, women and girl empowerment, legal advocacy, water resource installation and maintenance, vocational support, and education for sustainable agriculture. Read more...

Partner Spotlight: The Journey to Motherhood is One from which Some Do Not Return.”

By: Dr. Joachim Osur, Program Director, Ipas Africa Alliance

Illness or death during pregnancy in my country, and throughout the region of Africa, is so common as to be considered a necessary risk of creating a family. This is particularly true for women of fewer means or in rural areas. Each case represents a family crisis or tragedy — but to me they represent opportunities lost and rights denied. Read more...

Millions of Girls in Developing Countries to be Protected Against Cervical Cancer Thanks to New HPV

Originally posted by GAVI Alliance

A new record low price for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines will help ensure millions of girls in developing countries can be protected against cervical cancer.

Thanks to the GAVI Alliance, the poorest countries will now have access to a sustainable supply of HPV vaccines for as low as US$ 4.50 per dose. The same vaccines can cost more than $100 in developed countries and the previous lowest public sector price was $13 per dose. Read more...

Partner Spotlight: Marie Stopes International

By: Faustina Fynne-Nyame, Ghana Country Director for Marie Stopes International

There are still more than 200 million women and girls around the world who want to use contraceptives but cannot access them.

For some, not being able to control the number and spacing of their children is a matter of life and death. Some 287,000 women die each year – mostly in developing countries – as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. A further 47,000 die having risked their lives through unsafe abortion. For others meanwhile, having too many children to support locks them into extreme poverty. Read more...

Partner Spotlight: WOMEN LEAD - Strong Women Save Lives

By: Belkis Giorgis, PhD, Management Sciences for Health

At Management Sciences for Health (MSH), we say that leaders aren’t born:  Leadership is learned.

If we only look to those in official positions of power, whether in the health system or in political offices, we may be missing the most influential leaders to develop and empower: the women in the households and on the frontlines of the health system.

Head of household

As health caretaker for her family, a woman requires all the characteristics of a good leader. She has to multi-task, prioritize, negotiate, manage, inspire, and persuade. The stakes are high: the strength of her leadership can ensure the survival of her family. Read more...

Partner Spotlight: Vouchers - Investing in Women’s Health

By: Ben Bellows, Associate, Population Council, Reproductive Health Programme

When women survive, families, communities, and countries thrive. Investing in the health and well-being of women and girls should be a top development priority. Yet progress toward meeting Millennium Development Goal 5, which calls for improving maternal health, lags furthest behind all eight MDGs. Read more...


Partner Spotlight: Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace

By: Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace

For maternal and reproductive health to be realized globally, women’s empowerment at the grassroots level is imperative.  Women’s empowerment is intimately linked to our ability to confront the most pressing challenges of the 21st Century. When women have a voice in decision-making at the family, community, and national level, society as a whole benefits. Read more...

Partner Spotlight: Ensuring Real Contraceptive Choice Through a Robust Supply Chain

By: Saundra Pelletier, CEO of WomanCare Global

As a new member of the Women Deliver Board of Directors and as CEO of WomanCare Global, I am so looking forward to attending the May 2013 Women Deliver meeting.  We will be thousands of voices strong, united in our call to bring women better choices for improving their health. In particular, I am eager to learn more about the work so many organizations are doing in family planning.

Less than a year ago many of us assembled in London for a groundbreaking family planning summit, where we committed ourselves to mobilizing resources so that an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries receive family planning information, services and supplies by 2020. Read more...

Bringing Films and Their ‘Extended Families’ to the 2013 Women Deliver Cinema Corner

By: Lisa Russell; Originally posted on Huffington Post

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. While attending this year's CSW (Commission on the Status of Women) at the UN these past two weeks, there's one message that's very clear -- words are an incredibly important element of pushing forth the maternal and reproductive health agenda. And that's why its been so exciting to curate the 2013 Women Deliver Cinema Corner, bringing imagery, stories and advocacy together for the betterment of women and girls worldwide. Read more...

The Power of Conditional Cash Transfers for Girls and Women

By: Svetha Janumpalli, New Incentives

New Incentives is one of the Women Deliver 25 finalists.

Manali is thirteen years old. She’d like to be a doctor when she grows up and loves science. She lives with her older brother and mother, and has access to a school.  They struggle to live on less than $1 a day. Manali’s dad abandoned the family and her mom has trouble earning enough money to support the three of them. Will Manali ever have the chance to pursue her dream?  Read more...

Women Deliver President Jill Sheffield: What Women’s Empowerment Means to Me

By: Jill Sheffield, Women Deliver President: Originally posted on BSR

As part of BSR’s celebration of International Women’s Day during the month of March, we asked BSR partners to contribute a guest blog on their experience with women’s empowerment through their lives and work.

My journey as a women’s health advocate began when I worked in the family planning/reproductive health outpatient clinic of Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. I was 27 at the time, and I met a young Kenyan mother, my exact age, who had already been pregnant 11 times but had only six living children. She came to the clinic for contraceptives but was legally barred from obtaining them without her husband’s permission. Read more...

Stronger Protection for Women and Girls’ Health Starts Today

Originally posted on GAVI Alliance

CEO statement on International Women’s Day 2013

Geneva, 8 March 2013 - International Women’s Day 2013 marks the beginning of a dramatic shift in the health of women and girls. Starting this year, GAVI is supporting the poorest countries of the world to roll out two vaccines that will directly benefit women and girls: human papillomavirus (HPV) against cervical cancer and rubella against ‘German measles’.

Every two minutes, a woman dies from cervical cancer. Most of these 275,000 women live in developing countries, where the highest burden of cervical cancer exists. Each death is a tragedy – not only because it means the heart-breaking loss of a wife, a mother or a sister, but because most of these deaths could have been prevented. Read more...

Government Ministers and UN, NGO Representatives Focus on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls

Government Ministers and UN, NGO Representatives from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and Middle East Focus on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls and Fulfilling Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

(March 7, New York) - At a roundtable meeting on March 5 hosted by the High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD), Government Ministers, delegates to the 57thCommission on the Status of Women (CSW),  and representatives from UN agencies and non-governmental organizations—164 individuals representing 36 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East—shared recommendations for action around the event’s theme, Charting a Forward-Looking Agenda–Ending Violence Against Women and Girls and Fulfilling Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All. Read more...


Women Who Dare: Jill Sheffield Helps Make Maternal Health a Global Priority

By: Jaime-Alexis Fowler, Associate Director of Public Relations and Online Communications at Pathfinder International; Originally posted on Pathfinder International

This post is part of Pathfinder's "Women Who Dare" series in celebration of International Women's Day 2013.

Jill Sheffield is the founder and President of Women Deliver, an international advocacy organization dedicated to advancing political action around and investment in maternal health. Jill is a tireless advocate for women’s health who credits her time spent in a Kenyan maternity hospital as the inspiration for her work. Jill’s daring work has been a contributing factor to increased international attention to maternal mortality, an area of continued need given the stalled progress on lowering maternal mortality.  Read more...

Three Global Priorities for Women and Girls

By: Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group; Originally posted on Huffington Post

In recent decades, the status of women and girls has improved around the world, but much more needs to be done. The vicious rape and death of a young woman in Delhi recently horrified us all, and also underlined just how far the world needs to go in order to protect women and girls. Violence against women is far too pervasive - an estimated 510 million women alive today will be abused by their partner in their lifetime. Read more...

What’s Your Method?: A Blog Series on Contraception

By: Gary Darmstadt and Monica Kerrigan; Originally posted on Impatient Optimists

What's Your Method? is a blog series featured in the Impatient Optimists, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation blog. The series offers a window into many of the contraceptive options for women and girls around the world. Each day, the series will publish one or more posts on these methods from some of partners working everyday to ensure that these methods truly become options for the millions of women and girls who want and need them. Read more...

Nepal: Chaupadi Culture and Violence Against Women

By: Allyn Gaestel; Originally posted on Pulitzer Center

Rabina Kumari Nepali clambered up the embankment, grasping strands of dried grass to hoist herself. She looked sheepishly over at me, as I walked up the pathway two feet to her left. “I can’t walk on the path,” she said. She gave wide berth to the front yard as she led us to a small hut. Across from the traditional two-story house, the squat mud-brick shelter sat on the edge of the stable yard crowded with buffalo. The wide, black animals stamped down slimy pools of excrement, hay and garbage; chickens clucked and foraged. Read more...

Women Speak on Building a Vision for Women and Girls by 2030

By: Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Originally posted on Impatient Optimists

In 2000, the United Nations took bold action to address critical global health and development challenges impacting the world’s poorest populations. The results were the Millennium Development Goals.  By thinking big and collectively holding ourselves accountable for results, the global community has come together to improve the health and well-being of millions of people. Read more...

2012 Was a Year for Women and Girls: Will We See the Same Momentum in 2013?

By: Purnima Mane, President and CEO of Pathfinder International; Originally posted on Huffington Post

In March of this year, on International Women’s Day, I asked, “Is 2012 the Year for Women and Girls?”  Now, as the year winds to a close, I find myself looking back on my call for stronger partnerships, more global coalitions and wondering, are those enough? 2012 was a year for women. We saw tremendous renewal of the commitment by world leaders to ensure that countries and communities have the political support and financial resources needed to improve access to sexual and reproductive health. 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...

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