Month: September 2013

Women Delivering Development: Reproductive Health, Environment and the Post-2015 Agenda

This week I had the opportunity to attend a working meeting on integrating women, reproductive health, and environmental issues into the Post-2015 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals, and FP2020 hosted by the Wilson Center Environmental Change and Security Program, Center for Environment and Population (CEP), the Sierra Club Global Population and Environment Program and the Aspen Institute’s Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health. The meeting brought together a group of impressive stakeholders from the areas of women’s health and rights, climate change, and sustainability and included a special screening of the Wilson Center’s documentary “Healthy People, Healthy Environment” about empowering women and leveraging women’s rights to make a positive impact on the environment. The panel from the Women Delivering Development Meeting from left to right: Sean Peoples, documentary director; Kim Lovell, Sierra club Global Population and Environment Program; Mary Mavanza, Jane Goodall Institute; Suzanne Ehlers, FP2020 and Population Action International; D. Carmen Barroso, International Planned Parenthood Federation; and moderator Vicy Markham of the Center for Environment and Population. What exactly is the connection is between women …

The Girl Declaration!

#GirlDeclaration A post shared by Girls' Globe (@girlsglobe) on Sep 26, 2013 at 4:02pm PDT At the 2013 Women Deliver Conference, the Girl Tree provided an interactive experience for conference participants to listen to the stories of girls from around the world. On October 1st,  the Nike Foundation in coordination with the United Nations Foundation is launching the Girl Declaration. The Girl Declaration is a call to action that aims to ensure that adolescent girls are included in the post-2015 agenda. The Declaration shows that girls’ voices are powerful and need to be heard. Simply put, prioritizing girls in the post-2015 agenda requires that governments, organizations, individuals and various other stakeholders LISTEN.  #GirlDeclaration #MDG456Live A post shared by Girls' Globe (@girlsglobe) on Sep 26, 2013 at 4:12pm PDT This week during the United Nations General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative the Girl Declaration “took the stage” as organizations, dignitaries and individuals showed their support. Two spirited Rwandan journalists Benigne and Sifa continue to dedicate their time and talents to making the Girl Declaration known. What happens when …

Scaling up efforts for maternal and newborn health

On September 25th, during UNGA week, Johnson & Johnson hosted an event in collaboration with Save the Children, March of Dimes, and The MDG Health Alliance. Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief at the Lancet, led the conversation to discuss how we can create success in the status of maternal and newborn health. The dynamic conversation between leaders in the field agreed that we must invest in prevention, as well as care. Christopher Howson, VP at March of Dimes emphasized that prevention has been neglected, a lot because it is invisible, hard to measure, and not dramatic. If we succeed with prevention, including investing in adolscents’ health literacy, we will see unique benefits. Prevention & care must work together to reduce newborn deaths @savethechildren #MDG456LIVE #JNJ #EveryNewborn http://t.co/aeq7rt6uXi — J&J Global Health (@JNJGlobalHealth) September 25, 2013 A success in prevention and care in the post-2015 agenda means reaching the most vulnerable, utilizing and replicating successful interventions, creating innovative solutions and collaborating through multi-sectorial partnerships. In order to truly understand if we are being successful with improving maternal and newborn …

Saving 3.7 million lives by 2015

Save the Children, Family Care International, PATH, Women Deliver and World Vision International: In the 5 days world leaders gather at the UN General Assembly, close to 100,000 children and 4,000 women will die unnecessarily. We could be the generation that ends preventable child and maternal deaths, eradicates hunger and rids the world for good of the scandal of extreme poverty. But to do so will require a resolute focus on the hardest to reach and will only happen if we tackle the inequalities that are trapping the poorest and most marginalised people in poverty. In 2000, world leaders came together to promise an end to the scandal of children dying from preventable causes like, malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea and malnutrition and women dying from preventable causes in pregnancy or child birth. By signing up to the Millennium Declaration, the world made a pledge to cut the rate of children under 5 dying by two-thirds and the rate of women dying by three-quarters. We now have less than 1000 days left to meet MDGs 4 and …

White Ribbon Alliance: Making Leaders Stand By Their Commitments for Women

There are 828 days left until the Millennium Development Goals should be realized. This week, the United Nations, heads of state, political leaders, NGOs, activists, companies and entrepreneurs are getting together to discuss the progress and what we need to prioritize in the post-2015 agenda. The international community and national governments have made commitments to improve the health status of women and girls around the world, through universal access to maternal and reproductive health services. However, commitments are not enough in themselves, there needs to be a dramatic change in governance and social norms, in the empowerment of women and girls on a local (and household) level, as well as, an accountability of the promises that have been made.  The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood is a global network of maternal health advocates, who are holding governments and politicians accountable for their commitments and advocating for sustainable policies and more resources to prevent maternal deaths. The White Ribbon Alliance stand for accountability and voice. There are 35 million women of childbearing age in Nigeria. These …

United Nations High Level Luncheon on MDG Progress

CEOs, dignitaries, political figures, and organization representatives attended a high level panel luncheon today at the United Nations. The topics of discussion centered on the progress made thus far in the 2015 MDG agenda. In a comfortable round table format, notable speakers discussed the challenges as well as the way forward in the count down to 2015. 829 Days. #MDGProgress #MDG456Live A post shared by Girls' Globe (@girlsglobe) on Sep 23, 2013 at 7:32pm PDT Kathy Calvin, CEO of UN Foundation delivers the opening address at the UN high level lunch on MDG Progress. #MDG456Live #MDGProgress A post shared by Girls' Globe (@girlsglobe) on Sep 23, 2013 at 7:35pm PDT Kathy Calvin, CEO of UN Foundation opens the United Nations high level luncheon on MDG Progress. Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson #mdgprogress #mdg456live A post shared by Girls' Globe (@girlsglobe) on Sep 23, 2013 at 8:00pm PDT No one can do everything but everyone can do something. – UN Deputy Secretary General, Jan Eliasson Former President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufor addresses the high level …

Educating girls: The Right Thing to Do, and the Smart Thing to Do

October 11th was declared the International Day of the Girl Child in December 2011 through UN General Assembly Resolution 66/170. The first celebration of the Day took place last year under the theme of child marriage. This year, for the second Day of the Girl, the focus is on “Innovating for Girls’ Education”. There has been notable progress in the area of girls’ education since 2000 when the Millennium Development Goals were launched. Still, much needs to be accomplished before girls and women around the world can enjoy equal access to, and quality of, education at primary, secondary and higher levels with boys and men. In many countries, girls still complete primary education at much lower rates than boys, and gender, along with poverty and place of residence, is a key factor in keeping kids out of school. Millions of girls are unable to complete basic levels of education because of multiple barriers related to poverty, safety, institutional and structural problems and culture – all of which disproportionately affect girls. There is overwhelming evidence that girls’ education …

The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health 2013 Report

To kick off UN General Assembly Week in New York City, Girls’ Globe bloggers attended the launch of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health 2013 Report. Some of the Report’s contributors and reviewers included members of the World Health Organization, Foreign Affairs Canada, India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, SickKids Center for Global Child Health, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins University. The representatives spoke on the current issues and accomplishments regarding maternal and child health, as well as accountability and moving beyond 2015. Discussions of the Report show that improvements have been made in several countries regarding maternal, newborn, and child health. Bangladesh was cited as a success story reporting a significant decrease in maternal and child mortality in the past decade. Increased access to modern contraceptives, access to skilled birth attendants and private sector facilities, gains in female education, and better roads and mobile phone use have all contributed to the decrease in maternal and infant mortality rates in Bangladesh. “Commitments to advance the Global Maternal …

Menstrual Health: It’s Your Box, Know What Goes In It

Ladies, truer words have never been spoken. Nor spoken enough. When it comes to periods, the products we use, and the health implications that result from their use, we aren’t talking enough. This is a problem. Period. All puns aside, the taboo around menstrual health is outrageous. Menstruation is a natural bodily function for many women, and is something that if not managed properly, can have serious health implications. Health issues resulting from improper menstrual management can interfere with a woman or girl’s ability to attend school, go to work, and reproduce. Let’s connect the dots- half of our population is female, and if half of our population isn’t getting educated or contributing to the economy because of poor health, some pretty important things like population growth, economic sustainability, and livelihoods of entire communities are in jeopardy. The taboo topic and lack of awareness around menstruation, especially in countries like my own (Canada), is simply something that needs to change. Luckily, it’s going to. This is all thanks to a refreshingly empowered, new, women-led company …