Author: felogene

Unity is Strength: Co-creating a Future for Women and Girls

A journey of thousand miles begins with one step! This month, September 2016, marks one year since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by Heads of States. While global policy agreements are key, they are no longer enough in today’s world. And sure enough, all critical actors and development partners descended in New York this week to ensure that the first step of this 15-year journey not only marks the beginning but is a sure and steady step towards changing lives lives of women and girls. The Girls’ Globe team kicked off the week by attending the Social Good Summit, which is a two-day conference examining the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world. The summit which is held every year creates a platform to bring together a dynamic community of global leaders and grassroots activist to discuss practical solutions facing the global community. This year’s theme was aptly titled: “Connecting Today, Creating Tomorrow”, acknowledging that it is through everyday people and most importantly their networks, who …

Girl Up Teen Advisors on the World in 2030

When we think about young people in relation to the Agenda 2030, what often comes to mind is that they will be beneficiaries of the development goals. However, young people are proving time and time again that they are not just recipients of change but are driving change in their own right. They are active decision makers in the development process and are making huge contributions to co-create the world they want and need. Girls’ Globe bloggers had the opportunity to meet with and speak to Girl Up Teen Advisors from who are committed to girls’ and women’s empowerment and working to support the empowerment of girls BY girls. Some of the questions we explored with them include: How old they would be in 2030? How they hope the world would change by then? What do they think girls really need? Which of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) do they feel mostly strongly about? What will they be doing to advance the particular goal they feel strongly about? We hope they will not only inspire you but give you hope in the …

ALUTA CONTINUA: Securing a Healthy Future for Girls and Women

Women’s health news continues to dominate, inform, and affect our lives and imaginations. Ahead of the Women Deliver Conference, I highlight some of the most influential advances in young women’s sexual and reproductive health of this past few decades and their potential to promote women’s sexual and reproductive rights in multiple ways. As I boarded my flight on Saturday to from Nairobi destined for Denmark to attend the Women Deliver Conference, I reflected on the journey ahead: security checks, somewhat long layover at Doha airport, change in temperature and eventual time difference from my own country. Up to this point, I had done the due diligence preparation for travel processes which include visa application and logistical arrangements. Upon further reflection, this process lay particular significance and meaning to the Conference ahead and the journey to secure girls’ and women’s rights in health. A Moment in History When it comes to contraception, life today has meant a variety of choices available for the young woman. It is difficult to imagine that about sixty years ago, the …

About FP: Future Planning for Young People

On November 7, 2015 I will have had my current contraceptive implant for exactly two years. I love my implant, to say the least!  I got my implant put in after I gave birth to my lovely daughter, who is now 2 years old. What this has meant for me and my partner is that we now live our lives with self-determination and bodily autonomy. More importantly, I do not take it for granted that I am able to access contraceptives. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 225 million women in developing countries would like to delay or stop childbearing but are not using any method of contraception. Young people are busy planning for brighter futures and not necessarily for families. Contraception provides us with the security and stability to enjoy a satisfying life. By Definition Contraception refers to the prevention of pregnancy as a consequence of sexual intercourse through the use of artificial methods or other techniques. When used correctly and persistently, contraceptive use in developing countries have been shown to decrease …

SDG 5: An Invitation to Co-Create An Equal World for Women and Girls

In the month of September, world leaders, private sector leaders, civil society organizations, religious groups and young people gathered at the United Nations to adopt a new sustainable development agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 global goals that provide renewed hope and a road map that will guide the international community on a path towards shared prosperity, improved lives and a better planet for all. Specifically on women and girls, the 2030 agenda seeks to realize the human rights of all, to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women as outlined in Goal 5. As the dust settles on the streets of New York, let us take a moment to reflect on what lies at stake for women and girls in the years to come. An Agenda for Every Woman and Girl: A stand-alone goal on gender with gender-sensitive targets is the first step in the right direction as far as women and girls are concerned. However, having learned from missed opportunities in the implementation of the Millenium …

Want to Break the Cycle of Poverty? Put a Brake on Unsafe Abortions!

The risk of maternal mortality is highest for adolescent girls under 15 years old and complications in pregnancy and childbirth are among the leading causes of death among adolescent girls in developing countries. Today, September 28 is the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion. At the very same time, Heads of States have just passed what is said to be the most ambitious development agenda. Well, I would like appeal to governments to raise the bar for women and girls when it comes to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). I am sure you will to, once you hear Wanjiku’s story: Wanjiku became pregnant at age 14 after a man from her village coerced her into sex. With no access to safe abortion, she turned to a “quack” to end her pregnancy—and now her health is in danger. She now relies on dialysis to stay alive. This is beyond what her family can afford.  Wanjiku had to drop out of school after being diagnosed with a kidney disease and is …

Planet 50-50 by 2030: Making Gender Equality a Reality

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. The world just began a new 15-year journey yesterday, Friday 25 September 2015, when leaders from across the globe adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.  The SDGs have emerged from three years of negotiations to address the three interconnected elements of economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. It is envisaged that the SDGs will be implemented at global, regional and national levels which is different from the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) which posited a donor-recipient model of rich countries “helping” poor countries. This week, the Girls Globe team attended various side events organized on the margins of this historical moment in view of seeking answers to a question on very many young women and girls lips, “What next?” Feminist Visions One of the side events I attended was organized by the Women’s Major Group for Sustainable Development. The Women’s Major Group was created at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992, where …

Data Revolution in Post 2015: Who, What and How!

The important role of data in making informed decisions has been articulated in the Post-2015 development discussions. However, too often data is usually released after a long time at best and is inaccurate (missing marginalized groups in the society) or driven by donor priorities at worst. The unfortunate result of this is that governments end up using inaccurate data to come up with incorrect policies.  While the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) only tracked eight goals and eighteen targets, the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require governments to report national progress against a whooping seventeen goals and one hundred and sixty nine targets. At an event, organized by Johnson & Johnson and partners dubbed “Data for Decision Making: Post -2015 Health Measurement and Accountability,” panelists were able to unpackage what it will take to realize the data revolution. Below are some of the highlights. The Politics of Measurement: Who, What and How! The amount of data being generated daily has grown immensely. According to one study, the world’s data produced in the last two years has increased …

From MDGs to SDGs: Stepping into the World We Want

In Africa, there is a common phrase that says, “When the drummers change their beat, the dancers must change their steps.” In September, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are set to be adopted by Heads of States at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This meeting will bring together developed and developing countries, politicians, private sector leaders, civil society organizations, faith groups and others to adopt a set of 17 goals that aim to  take forward the job that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set in motion by intensifying action to empower the poorest and the hardest to reach. Will the global community be dancing to a new beat that will truly be transformative and have a positive impact on the lives of women and girls or will the new development agenda play out like a broken record? The following are a few reflections of the proposed 2030 agenda: Looking Back – What Worked The MDGs have been praised for being useful tool in providing benchmarks for the achievement of special development gains, for priority …

If You Treasure It, Measure It: #Commit2Deliver for Women and Girls

No country sends its soldiers to war to protect their country without seeing to it that they will return safely, and yet mankind for centuries has been sending women to battle to renew the human resource without protecting them. -Fred Sai, former President of the International Planned Parenthood Federation Pregnancy is the one of the leading causes of death for girls aged 15-19 in developing countries. Maternal and child mortality remains a big problem for many countries in Africa with young women even more vulnerable. However, almost all maternal deaths can be prevented, as evidenced by the huge disparities found between the richest and poorest countries. The lifetime risk of maternal death in industrialized countries is 1 in 4,000 in comparison to 1 in 51 in countries classified as ‘least developed.’ Why We Cannot Wait Mothers are the cornerstones of healthy societies. Not only do they give physical birth to new life, they give moral and intellectual guidance to children who will become productive members of society. A society where mothers are not valued and protected is is one …