How the UK is Advancing Women and Girls

An event held in advance on Friday’s International Women’s Day saw the head of the UK’s Department for Intentional Development (DfID), Justine Greening, unveil new ways that the body will prioritize women and girls. “Investing in girls and women works  it’s becoming increasingly a core business strategy yielding real investor returns,” she said. “Locking out women isn’t just bad for an economy, it’s bad for a society. It seems common sense, but it’s still happening. From the very start girls lose out.”

Greening discussed how the UK sees Afghanistan as strategic priority for advancing the protection of women and girls in order to build upon the nation building efforts over the past decade.  She also unveiled a list of ways that DfID will support women. Devex lists:

- An 11.5 million pounds ($17.3 million) support for the World Bank’s Gender Innovation Lab project, which will focus on research highlighting “what works in terms of giving girls and women control over their economic lives in sub-Saharan Africa.”
- More funding to provide 3 million contraceptive implants and 17 million female condoms, and for a so-called Leadership for Change program, which will help promote and enhance women’s leadership skills.
- A high-level conference sometime in September whose aim is to galvanize action on violence against women and girls in humanitarian emergencies. The event will be participated by donors, aid agencies and gender advocates, among others.
- The establishment of an expert advisory group, which, according to Greening, will include leaders from human rights groups, the private sector and civil society.

Read More

Join the Discussion on Breakthroughs in Global Women's Health

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.

Read More

Empowering and Supporting Women Through mHealth

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.
Read More

Championing Girls Through Health and Private/Public Partnerships

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 EffectGirl Up10×10, 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.

Read More

'Half the Sky' Shows Women Overcoming Oppression and Building a Better World

The two part special Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide premiered on PBS earlier this week. America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde join New York Times journalists Nick Kristof to meet some of of the women that are profiled the book of the same name co-authored by his wife Sheryl WuDunn.

A post in the Huffington Post by Dr. Jamela Saleh Alraiby, Deputy Minister of Public Health and Population, Yemen and member of the White Ribbon Alliance Board of Directors, tells of the importance of women and girls. She explains her hopes for ending the suffering of girls in her home country.

Fighting to ban child marriage in Yemen is so difficult as it has religious, cultural and tribal roots, but this challenge gives us more strength to save our girls and to stop the violence they are exposed to, to assure that they have the means and tools to make their own decisions, and to ensure their participation in sustainable development.

Read More

Visualizing the Burden of HIV/AIDS on Women in Developing Countries

Who doesn’t love a good infographic? Better yet, who doesn’t love a bunch of infographics that address the burden of HIV/AIDS on women in developing countries?

If you are shaking your head in agreement you will be happy to know that GOOD is running a contest on this very subject. People can enter their infographics that show how women in developing countries are impacted by HIV/AIDS. There is one more day left to vote for the winner who will receive $2,500 for the design.

You can go vote here.

In the meantime, check out some of the entries below:

Structural Layers

Story of One: Story of All

Stop the Spread, Spread the Word on HIV

Read More

Reproductive Rights are No Joke

For millions of women around the world, access to family planning is hampered by slow services, missing medications and rules that require the presence of a woman’s husband in order to get birth control. It would be unacceptable in the United States, so why is OK somewhere else.

Pathfinder International wants people to take a stand for reproductive health and rights. Their new video employs humor to show that the situation is in fact not very funny at all. Check it out and share with us why you think reproductive rights matter.

Read More

Turning the Tide toward Girls

By Her Royal Highness Crown Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador, Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Healthy New Generation

Thousands of people gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 2012 International AIDS Conference July 22-27. I have attended IAC in years past as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS, and I always look forward to being among the people who devote their lives to stopping this confounding epidemic.

It energizes me.

The theme of AIDS2012 was “Turning the Tide Together.”  As I look back on the Conference, my mind is on the girls and women I met during my recent trip to New Delhi, the microcosm of India

 

Much of the city was unrecognizable to me this last trip. I have been to India many times, and each time there are more buildings, more highways and more people. Thankfully, some sentimental things had remained the same: the spices, the color and pace of life everywhere.

The one thing that regrettably was still recognizable was the poor health of the girls and women I met.

With nearly 17 million residents, Delhi is one of the most expensive and richest cities in India. It’s famous not just for its wide, tree-lined avenues, but also for slums.

I took my trip with my friend and PSI Vice President Kate Roberts.

We are both doting mothers who are avid supporters of the Girl Effect and committed to improving the health of girls and women. This was a learning journey for me to see some of PSI’s and its partners’ health programs. I wanted to get a glimpse of the whole picture – the daily lives of women and girls and the innovative health solutions reaching them.

Read More

Family Planning is Key to Poverty Alleviation Says Ashley Judd

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.

Read More