12 Women (and one man) who are inspiring change

To mark International Women’s Day this year, our partners at Marie Stopes compiled a list of 12 women and one man who’ve inspired change and helped to improve the lives of women either in their community or at a global level. Each day this week, they’ve revealed two names on the list, in the build up to International Women’s Day, which is coming up on Saturday, March 8.

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IUDs in the eyes of providers

IUD stands for intrauterine device. It’s a mouthful in English; now imagine trying to recommend using it in Nepalese, to a patient you’re not quite sure is eligible for it, and you’re not quite sure how manageable the side effects really are.

You’re probably not going to recommend it. That’s unfortunate because it’s safe enough for over 160 million women worldwide, can be as reliable as sterilization, has manageable side effects, and is completely reversible (source).

PSI recently did some research into the knowledge and perceptions of intrauterine devices among family planning providers in Nepal, publishing this research brief by Dr. Nirali Chakraborty, Caitlin Murphy, Mahesh Paudel, and Sriju Sharma.

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Endangering Women's Health by Banning Abortions

Infographic-740-BanningAbortion

47,000 women die worldwide every year from unsafe abortions. That does not even include the many more who are injured by unsafe procedures. This infographic from the Guttmacher Institute quantifies the impact and damage caused by unsafe abortions performed in countries where it is illegal for a woman to get an abortion. The institute points out that the core issue is not abortions themselves, but access to family planning. Ensuring that women have the right to chose and the tools to prevent unintended pregnancy is the best way to reduce the need for abortion.

“The best way to reduce the need for abortion is not by denying women access to safe and legal abortion procedures, but by giving them the power to control their fertility and prevent unintended pregnancy,” says the institute.

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Generation Z Delivers For Women's Health

By Joy Marini, MS, PA-C, Director, Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson

A few days ago, my 17-year-old daughter asked for help on a school project about “Generation Z.” I Googled it immediately. Apparently, “Generation Z” describes those born at the tail end of the Millennial generation (approximately 1982-2002). They are the first generation to grow up with a computer in their home. They are reliant on technology to communicate and surveys indicate that they text and tweet as much as almost 80 times a day.

They also want to make a difference. When the first wave of Millennials became teens, volunteerism and community service surged.

As I write, I am at this year’s Women Deliver conference in Kuala Lumpur, the triennial gathering of the most committed leaders for the global health and empowerment of women and girls. This year’s conference includes something new and innovative that puts the strengths and spirit of the new generation to its best use: the 100 Young Leaders program.

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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.

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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.

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