Month: January 2016


#1 – The Global State of Maternal Health

In this first episode of The Mom Pod, hosted by Girls’ Globe Founder and President Julia Wiklander, you will be given an in-depth introduction to the global state of maternal health. Julia interviews Brigid McConville, Director of White Ribbon Alliance UK, who shares her expertise in the field of maternal health around the world. She tells stories of progress, speaks about what more needs to be done and what we can do. Brigid is a journalist and an award-winning author. She recently released her book On Becoming a Mother – Welcoming your new baby and your new life with wisdom from around the world.  Julia also calls Emma Saloranta, Co-Founder of The Mom Pod, who is based in Tanzania to speak about expectations, hopes and more! What do you want The Mom Pod to cover? Do you have unanswered questions you want an expert to tackle or are you curious about motherhood in other parts of the world? Record your voice message here or send us a written note. Cover Photo Credit: UNICEF Ethiopia/ Tesfaye, Creative Commons on Flickr.

Our daughter Maya in the making, with a month and a half to go. She turned out to be even prettier than she was as a pregnant belly :-)

The Mom Pod: A Global Village for mothers, fathers and caregivers

Today is a very exciting day for us at Girls’ Globe – we are launching our new production, The Mom Pod, a bi-weekly podcast series founded and hosted by Julia Wiklander and Emma Saloranta Winiecki, who both became mothers in late 2014. Emma and Julia were pregnant at the same time and during their pregnancies and after giving birth realized how many new, scary, weird, complicated, exciting, scary, wonderful, frustrating and amazing experiences and emotions they found themselves dealing with in daily basis. The Mom Pod is a space to explore those things, from a global vantage point. Through The Mom Pod we aim to create an open, judgement-free space for discussing a range of issues important to mothers, fathers, caregivers and other people interested in motherhood, babies and parenting.The Mom Pod will incorporate interviews, surveys and more to inform and raise awareness about issues relevant to mothers globally, bringing together research, data, hot topics on the media and personal stories and experiences of mothers from around the world. Follow and stay tuned for something exciting! …

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Breaking the Silicon Ceiling – an Interview with Audrey Eschright

Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about the lack of women in the technology field. Rightfully so. In a world where technology has become the backbone of many societies, women should be involved in the creation and development of the innovations revolutionizing our security, healthcare and finances, be high up in the companies that distribute them and be part of the social media sites we faithfully log into every day. The lack of diversity in technology is striking, and recognized from the media to the White House. Employee networks in technology, as one article writes, “can look like an old boy’s club.” Gradually, this is being called out and acted upon, in ways good and bad. Ellen Pao stands as a figurehead for the controversies surrounding the issue and last year’s GamerGate’s fiasco at SXSW showed passionate voices on both sides of the debate. On the ground, there are smaller, but equally powerful movements dedicated to helping women and girls break into the tech scene. One of the individual spearheading her own project is Audrey Eschright, from …


Ending child marriage is family planning

In my work I travel to cosmopolitan cities and remote villages to assist girls and young women in living the lives that they want- and deserve- to live. Today as I sat before an audience of activists, scholars and practitioners to present my research on child marriage at the International Conference on Family Planning, I remembered one particular encounter in Ethiopia. I was with a team of researchers conducting interviews at a rural health post in the Amhara Region, where 50% of girls are married by age 15 and 80% by 18. Mid-day an adolescent girl who couldn’t have been older than 15 arrived. She was carrying a large clay jug of water on her back. She wasn’t part of our group, but she talked to my Ethiopian colleagues and eventually came over and sat on the grass next to me. It turns out that this girl was looking for contraception. The previous month she was forced to marry an adult man and, since her best friend died in childbirth, she was terrified of becoming pregnant. But her husband expected children and so she …


Zika Virus: The hypocrisy of telling women to delay pregnancy

Featured image: Marcos Freitas/Flickr, Creative Commons If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ve probably seen headlines about the Zika virus outbreak which began in Brazil and is now spreading to other countries in Latin America. The virus is spread through mosquito bites, and common symptoms of the disease include rash and joint pain. The disease is usually mild, and rarely requires hospital treatment. That is, unless you’re a pregnant woman. After the outbreak in Brazil, authorities have reported numerous cases where the virus has caused severe malformalities in babies whose mothers were infected while pregnant, including microcephaly, which is a condition where the baby is born with an abnormally small head and severe brain damage. As a result several countries in the region, including Brazil, El Salvador, Jamaica, Colombia and Honduras, have urged women not to get pregnant and advised foreign pregnant women against traveling to the region until further notice. El Salvador’s Deputy Health Minister has taken the most extreme stance so far – urging women in El Salvador to postpone pregnancy until 2018. Advising …

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Youth Voices on Family Planning: Networking, Memes, and the Internet

Stories and Photos by: Luke Nozicka and Jennifer Gonzalez, The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Women Should be Able to Choose When and How They Want to Start a Family If Sarah McKee could speak to the world’s leaders about family planning, she would let them know that women should be able to choose when and how they want to start a family. McKee, 24, of Charlottesville, Virginia, a project associate at Management Sciences for Health who works with the Leadership, Management and Governance Project, said involving people that interventions are created for is crucial. “Having everyone at the table and making sure it’s not tokenism, ya know?” she said at the fourth International Conference on Family Planning in Bali, Indonesia. When asked what she wants to come from this year’s conference, McKee said she hopes “policy makers and grassroots delegates” network to help provide more comprehensive education and access to family planning. One of the Best Ways to Connect Teenagers to Family Planning is Through Internet Memes and Videos Judith Gomez, who has been a …


What is The Girl Child Platform?

Our first blog post here at Girls’ Globe calls for a proper presentation of us and our work! The Girl Child Platform (Flickaplattformen in Swedish) is a meeting point for all organizations and initiatives working to improve and strengthen the position of young girls in society. We are located in Sweden, which is also where we work to help create an equal society for all. Our vision is freedom from power relations around gender and age that restrict and discriminate girls and young women today. Together we can make a greater difference and create change to achieve a society free of oppression and discrimination. The Girl Child Platform aims to create a long-term and sustainable cooperation between all of these stakeholders, in order to raise issues of girls’ rights on the Swedish political agenda. The Girl Child Platform currently has 32 different members who are working with these issues in different ways in Sweden. We, at The Girl Child Platform, work with a girl perspective, which refers to the recognition that people who identify as girls have limited opportunities to live …


A Space for a Voice – Stories about Family Planning

“When people see the headscarf,” Zahra Aziz explains, “they are thinking, ‘what’s a conservative Muslim girl doing with sex and family planning? I’m out there to break that mold.” This week at the International Conference on Family Planning in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, Zahra is breaking the mold by standing inside of a large white booth with a high-tech digital camera. As a consultant working for FPVoices, she’s greeting person after person, excitedly explaining that they can pose next to one of the four large wall prompts. The prompts, shaped like conversation bubbles, ask questions leading to why people are involved in family planning. Zahra snaps a picture of the posing participants and then prints two copies. Below their picture, the participants handwrite their personal response. One copy goes on the wall of the booth and the participants keep the other. Zahra is one of about half of a dozen young people helping others tell their stories. “My parents have no idea what I do,” she explained. “We always talk about the clients. Now it’s time …


ICFP 2016: Family planning as a human right

Featured image: UN Photo/Kibae Park On the shuttle bus from the airport I sat between a young woman from India and a young woman from Zimbabwe. Having traveled from three different corners of world, we all arrived ready to share our family planning knowledge and experiences while learning from others at the Fourth International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP). The United Nations recognizes family planning as a human right and this week activists, advocates, humanitarians, health practitioners, private sector representatives and scholars from across the globe are together in Nusa Dua, Indonesia to discuss how this human right can go from being a lofty goal to a global norm. At the heart of family planning is a woman’s right to choose whether or not  and with whom she will have children, as well as her right to control the timing, spacing and number of children she chooses to have. At this conference, we are reflecting on the challenges and opportunities in providing girls and women with access to this human right. As part of looking at and …

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Why We Can’t Fully Empower Girls and Women Without Engaging Boys and Men

By Stephanie Vizi Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that affects us all – women and girls, men and boys. Everyone benefits socially, politically and economically from gender equality. When women are empowered, the whole of humanity benefits. Gender equality liberates not only women but also men, from prescribed social roles and gender stereotypes. The Harsh Reality of Gender Inequity in Lesotho: Lesotho has the world’s 2nd highest rate of AIDS Women are more vulnerable to contracting HIV—in the 15-24 age bracket, 1/4 of men and HALF of young women have HIV or AIDS. Based on GDP, Lesotho’s poverty level ranks #149 out of 184 countries Women are disproportionately affected by poverty, leading to: lack of education … human trafficking … prostitution …  depression … hopelessness 61% of women in Lesotho have experienced some form of sexual violence Powerlessness and vulnerability lead to sexual violence and abuse Patriarchal values and norms create power imbalances and limit women’s rights Stereotyping of girls and women as ‘lesser’ leads to: …