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10 Ways to Celebrate International Year of Youth

Today, August 12, 2010, is International Youth Day. Its a day to celebrate the power of young people to make positive change for their communities, countries, and the world. Even bigger, today kicks off the International Year of Youth. There are lots of ways you can get involved over the next few months, and year. Click through to read 10 actions you can take right now...

ICRW Releases 2nd Report in Girls Count Series, Girls Speak: A New Voice in Global Development

ICRW recently released 2nd report in the Girls Count series, “Girls Speak: A New Voice in Global Development,” shows that girls’ insights in development increase impact and effectiveness. The report draws together girls’ voices and makes them accessible to policymakers and program managers. The United Nations Foundation and the Nike Foundation funded the report. 

Youth Action: Delivering A Better Future For Women And Girls

By: Ernestine B. Greaves, one of the Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders

Globally, we now have the largest generation of youth in history: more than 1.2 billion young people are between 10 and 19 years old. We are the future. Yet our future is uncertain if our health systems and health services continue to fail this generation, and the next.

It’s an unfortunate truth that one woman, every minute, dies from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth around the world. This is also the leading cause of death for girls aged 15-19 in developing countries. Unplanned pregnancy rates continue to be high across the world, and of the 13% of maternal deaths worldwide due to unsafe abortions, almost half of those are aged under 19. The challenges of pregnancy and childbirth threaten young women’s lives every single day. 

Now is the time to deliver for these women. As her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attends the Summit of the African Union, she must take action on maternal health and protect and promote the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.

Young Advocates: 10 Ways to Get Involved and Take Action

Looking for an opportunity to become more involved in women's health? Keep reading to find out 10 ways you can make a difference this summer.

The G(irls) 20 Summit Calls for Action from World Leaders

Last week, Jill Sheffield, president of Women Deliver, joined a group of young women from around the world in Toronto, Canada at the first-ever G(irls)20 Summit meeting in advance of the G-20 Economic Summit taking place later this month. They met to discuss challenges facing girls and women across the globe.

A Welcome Time-Bomb

By: Robert Mukondiwa, a journalist and human rights advocate from Zimbabwe and one of the Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders

A time bomb is always something that is said to be ticking and with the ability to have disastrous consequences should it explode. For once I encountered a time-bomb I would have every pleasure in seeing explode.

The Women Deliver conference held in Washington, DC last week with a hope of delivering solutions for women and girls was preceded by a youth symposium that sent an amazing message out and gave me a personal reflective realization... I got a taste of the reality that under the seams of a seemingly quiet world with little going on, there is actually an unheralded youth movement that is about to explode... a ticking time-bomb of extraordinary leadership ready to be unleashed on the world.

Siddhartha Yadav on Young People at Women Deliver 2010

By: Siddhartha Yadav, one of Women Deliver's 100 Young Leaders, originally posted at BMJ (British Medical Journal) Group Blog

Last week, more than 3,000 global leaders working in the field of maternal and reproductive health gathered in Washington, D.C for the Women Deliver 2010 conference. With the theme of delivering solutions for girls and women, the conference focused on sharing solutions that can help us achieve the millennium development goals on maternal and reproductive health.

Young people were one of the focuses of the conference.  One hundred young leaders were selected to attend a special youth pre-conference. I was one of them. After interacting with my fellow young leaders, I am amazed by the amount of the work many of them have been doing and its impact in making the lives of girls and women in their communities better. 

Most of the young leaders on reproductive health that I met were not from a medical background. This was a bit of a surprise for me. There were maths students, human rights activists, engineers, managers who have been doing immense work to improve the health of women. This made me wonder if we, young doctors and medical students, are lagging behind in advocacy despite our distinct relationship to health and wellbeing.  Are we too clinically oriented?

Rage for Justice Motivates Young People

By Joanne Omang

WASHINGTON, June 9 – Cell phone networks, edu-tainment, basketball teams, at least one kidney and great helpings of courage in the face of threats and even murder are bringing young people to the cutting edge of political change for women worldwide, a Women Deliver 2010 panel discussion demonstrated today.

Sarah Nkhoma of Malawi told the 3,000 conference participants that organizing university students to speak realistically about HIV/AIDS risks and sexual behavior earned her an arrest and a severe beating that left her hospitalized. “People don’t want to deal with the fact that young people have sex,” she said. “They owe me a kidney.”  more...

Filling the Unmet Need for Contraception: Can We Deliver for Young Women?

Source: RH Reality Check

By Carmen Barroso, International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR)

When we speak about universal access to contraceptives and the huge unmet need for family planning services that exists in the world today, the image that usually comes to mind is that of poor women in Africa. Indeed, in most countries, poor women have a much higher rate of unmet need than do women with higher incomes, and in Africa, unmet need for contraception is much higher than in other regions. More than 60 percent of women of reproductive age have an unmet need for contraception in Africa. more...

Collecting Stories of Mothers and Babies Saved

At the Women Deliver 2010 conference, White Ribbon Alliance along with UNFPA will be debuting a multimedia exhibition called, "Stories of Mothers Saved." To celebrate the exhibit, they are hosting a countdown to Women Deliver with blog posts from people all over the world who have contributed to their multimedia exhibition. These blog posts include, Francois Zoungrana from Burkina Faso, Jameel Aldrbashi from Palestine, Smita Maniar from India, and Ahsan Mehboob from Pakistan.

Dying for Life-Pulitzer Center’s New Maternal Mortality Resources

Today the Pulitzer Center, a nonprofit that sponsors and produces award-winning international journalism, launched a new interactive site focused on maternal mortality issues, "Dying for Life".

A Call For Professional Allies

Women Deliver is excited to announce a wonderful new program developed for the Women Deliver 2010 conference called the “Professional Allies Program.”

The idea is to connect professionals in different and varying fields attending Women Deliver 2010 with the 100 Young Leaders who will be attending the Women Deliver youth pre-conference to facilitate information exchange and help them navigate the conference. The partnership will require 3 things from the “professional ally”: a pre-conference email exchange, a Sunday meet-and-greet, and a Wednesday follow up. 

For more information, please read this letter. If you are interested in participating, please fill out this form and return to us by May 14, 2010. Please note, this program is only open to registered participants. To register for the conference please go here.

UN Agencies Issue Joint Statement on Adolescent Girls

Adolescent-girl.jpgEarlier this month, six UN agencies issued a joint statement that called for accelerated efforts to fulfill the human rights of marginalized adolescent girls. The statement, issued during the Commission on the Status of Women, sends a strong message that the UN and its partner organizations believe empowering adolescent girls can bring about desired changes in the world.

Young People Advocating for Sexual and Reproductive Rights at CSW

Young people from across the world gathered together in New York to attend the 54th Commission on the Status of Women which also marks the 15 year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. These documents noted governments’ commitments to increase young people’s access to counselling, sexual and reproductive health information and services, and to promote their rights to privacy, confidentiality, respect and informed consent in this regard...

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.

Small Grants Opportunity for Young People

Population Action International has just announced that they will provide a small grants program dedicated to supporting and empowering young people to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).   PAI will support organizations and networks in the three following countries: Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.  Young people are often at a great disadvantage, especially when it comes to accessing accurate, timely information about their reproductive health needs.  Thus, PAI seeks to provide dedicated resources for advocacy to support young people in developing appropriate strategies for increasing resources and attention for sexual and reproductive health and rights.

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.

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.

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.

Progress on Health-Related MDGs

The Millennium Development Goals were set with the target deadline of 2015. We probably don't have to tell you -- we are not even close. In fact, MDG 5 (reduce maternal mortality) is the most off-track of all the MDGs, as stated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

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