Women around the world continue to face an uneven playing field in education, employment, earnings and decision-making power. A World Bank report from 2012 presented evidence that ensuring that the world’s 3.5 billion women have equal opportunities can be global economic boon. The Seattle Chapter of the Society for International Development (SID) is partnering with the SID Washington, DC Chapter for a special bi-coastal event that will discuss the intersection between health and women’s economic empowerment. A video feed will link the audiences and two speakers in each location. PSI President and CEO Karl Hofmann is scheduled to join the conversation from Washington DC with other global health experts and activists.
Click below for further details on the event if you want to attend the even to see how global health initiatives are working together with increase economic opportunities to both improve the well being of and empower women.
By Deputy Editor Tom Murphy
Washington DC - A marginal part of the recent mHealth Summit, global health took center stage on the final day with keynote addresses and discussions from global health leaders. Dr Nafis Sadik, UN Foundation Board Member and former head of United Nation’s Population Fund used her time in the spotlight to issue a challenge for embedding women and girls into mHealth.
Dr Sadik spoke directly to the mHealth Alliance, a convening group for coordinating mHealth that involves multiple stakeholders from the public, private and NGO sectors. She commended the work done by the Alliance to bring people to the table in order to improve health outcomes through mobile technologies.
The shooting of Malala Yousufzai by a member of the Taliban captures both the challenges faced by many girls around the world and the spirit to fight for equality. Malala continued to go to school and advocate for girls education in the face of threats from the Taliban. She and another girl were shot this week while traveling to school. The head wound that Malala suffered was severe, but recent reports indicate that she is on the road to recovery.
International Day of the Girl is celebrated for the first time ever to call to attention the challenges that girls face and celebrate the courage of advocates like Malala. One important way to support girls around the world is through health. Thanks to the outstanding research, communication and advocacy efforts by the organizations and campaigns like Girl Effect, Girl Up, 10×10, the Center for Global Development, the World Bank and others, there is clear and demonstrable evidence that good health is the key to unleashing the full potential of girls.
There are no shortages of known interventions that have the potential to expand access to healthcare for girls and women, but there are gaps. The structure of public/private partnerships have evolved to a genuine partnership that is mutually beneficial. Whether an organization’s bottom line is measured in lives saved, revenue, or a combination of the two, everyone wins.
The following is an excerpt from an article in Positive Luxury featuring PSI board member and global ambassador for our YouthAIDS prevention program Ashley Judd. The site had the opportunity to chat with Judd ahead of last week’s London Summit on Family Planning.
What do you expect from the summit?
What I expect from the summit is that modern family planning be put back on the international agenda. With the very appropriate emphasis in the past 15 years on the HIV/Aid crisis, and the lack at the time of a full integration of health services, family planning fell off the agenda. However it is absolutely key to poverty alleviation. Family planning increases the number of girls staying in school, which obviously has a whole cascade of positive benefits for her income generation, her family, her community. Family planning increases the health of girls and women, both by preventing maternal morbidity and mortality, as well as allowing a mother to have more resources, time and emotional and financial support to dedicate to the children she does have.
There are a variety of ways to alleviate poverty, all of which are important, such as land tenure, inheritance rights, legal rights and so on. But it is so wonderful that there’s a summit focussed on family planning, as there is a worldwide unmet need for safe contraceptives that women can choose to use according to their preference.