All posts filed under: Live Coverage

Close Up: Gender Equality in My Community

This week Girls’ Globe is in New York City during the United Nations General Assembly to report on the Sustainable Development Goals and the rights and health of women and girls. We are here to amplify the voices of young women and raise our own voices on issues that are important to us. Today, outside of the Social Good Summit, we spoke with young women about the most pressing issues related to gender equality in their communities. “The biggest challenge in terms of gender equality is getting everyone to understand how important it is and how it impacts everyone. A lot of times we feel that these issues are for women only or girls only, so it becomes very unrelatable to men and boys. The biggest challenge is getting everyone, especially men and boys – fathers, uncles, brothers – to understand that it is actually in the interest of everyone, including themselves, to support gender equality.” – Christine Lu “To me, the most pressing issue in reaching gender equality today is the inability for many people …

What We Need to Know About HIV & Adolescent Girls

The term ‘adolescent girls’ encompasses, in theory, all those aged 10-24. In reality, the lower section of that age bracket – the 10-19 year olds specifically – receive the least attention and are therefore the least comprehensively catered for when it comes to HIV/AIDS information and services. So what do we know? There is no country in the world where we don’t have adolescents living with HIV, and adolescent girls remain disproportionately affected. There are 990,000 girls between 10-19 years old living with HIV globally. For boys of the same age, that figure drops to 770, 000. Every hour, 26 adolescents are infected with HIV – two thirds of these are girls. Adolescent AIDS-related deaths are increasing. Very young adolescents are generally overlooked, since at this age they face a relatively low burden of disease. However, 10-14 is a critical life phase for shaping future health and development. And what don’t we know? There are HUGE differences between 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 year old girls, but we don’t have data that represents those differences by being divided up into …

Youth Speak Out About HIV/AIDS!

Today, Girls’ Globe blogger, Eleanor met up with several young people at the 2016 International AIDS Conference. It’s the last full day of the conference and these inspiring young activists had a lot to say about the work they are accomplishing to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in their countries. They also shared key takeaways they have learned from the conference and their goals going forward in their work. Watch this Inspiring Video:   Girls’ Globe is present at the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa (17-22nd of July). Follow our team on social media @GirlsGlobe, @FHI360 & @JNJGlobalHealth and by using the hashtag #EndHIV4Her for inspiring blog posts, interviews and updates! To sign up for the daily In Focus Newsletter visit crowd360.org/aids2016/.

To #EndHIV4Her: Tackle Child Marriage

To say that child marriage and HIV among adolescents are linked feels a lot like stating the obvious. But I learned today, at Day 3 of the 2016 International AIDS Conference, there is very little formal knowledge to back that claim up. The overarching message from this morning’s discussion was a simple one; it is really difficult, if not totally impossible, to tackle HIV unless you tackle child marriage. On the one hand, girls and young women make up approximately two out of every 3 new HIV infections among people aged 10-24 years. On the other, 15 million girls per year are married before they turn 18. Two global problems of colossal scale with two sets of similar causes; gender inequality, poverty, rigid social norms, lack of education, inaccessible health information and services. And yet until recently, the relationship between the two has remained pretty much ignored. It was even suggested at one point that this session may well be a historic moment – recognition at last of their interwoven nature. Girls Not Brides, who hosted the panel, have created a fact …

Inspiring #EndHIV4Her Videos!

T he 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa on Monday of this week. The first few days have been a whirlwind of excited for the Girls’ Globe team! This week, Eleanor (UK ) and Zanele (South Africa) are sitting down with thought leaders, young people and organizations to learn what we know, do not know and need to know in regards to addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS among women and girls. Below are three inspiring video interviews exploring the progress made for women and girls as well as personal conversations with HIV-Positive mothers and their teens. Let’s Talk About HIV/AIDS Progress for Women and Girls! Candid Conversations with HIV-Positive Mothers and their Teens How Are You Working to #EndHIV4Her?   Girls’ Globe is present at the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa (17-22nd of July). Follow our team on social media @GirlsGlobe, @FHI360 & @JNJGlobalHealth and by using the hashtag #EndHIV4Her for inspiring blog posts, interviews and updates! To sign up for the daily In Focus Newsletter visit crowd360.org/aids2016/.

Overmedicalization of Childbirth is a Breach of Women’s Human Rights

Professor Cecily Begley opened the second day of the Nordic Midwifery Congress with a challenging speech, asking the midwives in the audience what they will be criticized for when women and health professionals look back at them in 30 years time. Yet, Begley shared heartwarming research results showing the importance of evidence-based, natural, midwifery care during childbirth. Begley mentioned that medicalization in childbirth is a growing problem everywhere, and although the Nordic countries have lower levels of C-sections and instrumental vaginal deliveries, there is still a rising trend, which needs to be halted. She inspired the sea of midwives from Nordic countries and beyond to use the latest research in their work and to share it with their colleagues. She also mentioned the importance of informing and educating women, so that we, together, can improve childbirth practices for all women in our communities. I had the privilege to speak with Cecily Begley after her keynote address. After our interview she also asked me about my birth story and left me encouraged and told me that if I ever have …

“Young people are saying, don’t talk at us, don’t talk about us. Talk to us.”

As Girls’ Globe has trekked from event to event, seminar to seminar and reception to reception this week, we’ve heard two themes repeatedly crop up. The first is the pressing need for accountability; forcing governments to hold themselves responsible for the achievement—or failure—of set goals. The second theme, and more prominent one, is an emphasis on youth as integral to moving forward. The idea that youth are the real changemakers in the world sounds like a platitude, but is a growing reality. Youth are a big deal, both figuratively and literally. There are 1.8 billion people between ages 18 – 24 in the world today, and that population is growing fastest in the world’s poorest countries. As their numbers skyrocket, addressing the needs of young people is vital in the present. Just as importantly, young people are the world’s future, and involving them as early as possible is imperative for future success. Young people are about to inherit an enormous responsibility for resolving many long-standing complex problems, ranging from poverty to climate change, yet they …

“Countries Should Thrive, Not Just Survive.”

Opening up the panel, Greg Beck, FHI 360‘s Director of Integrated Development, told the story of one particular attempt to aid in relief efforts. After great effort, and amassing donations and supplies, they opened boxes to find stacks of things like inflateable toilets and acne cream. Asked Beck, “How is this going to help anybody rebuild their life?” Beck’s point was an extreme example of a nonetheless integral point: development and aid are not straightforward, not simple. They don’t consist of simply hurling donations and good intentions at a problem, and hoping something sticks. The term ‘integrated development’ means just that—that development is complex and requires coordinated, planned effort across sectors. It operates around the idea that development does not exist problem by problem, sector by sector. You can’t improve global health without improving education without improving women’s rights. Naturally, there are some specific efforts that require a concentrated approach, but overall, a holistic view is more effective, and organizations and governments need to address what people really lack in the complex, multilayered environments in which …

Access to Maternal Healthcare in the Horn of Africa

Today is Universal Health Coverage Day, a day to advocate for universal health coverage to be a cornerstone of the sustainable development agenda and a priority for all nations. Healthcare is a necessity everywhere, but it’s especially important to advocate for healthcare in developing countries. Maternal healthcare can present a lot of difficulties, especially when only one in three women in rural communities in developing countries receives necessary care. According to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Global Strategy for Women and Children’s Health from 2010, 350,000 women die every year during childbirth.  The WHO also said that the planet needs another 3.5 million health workers to improve women and children’s health in the 49 lowest income countries. The Edna Adan University Hospital specializes in training midwives in Somaliland*, using modern medical knowledge and techniques. Currently, most births in the country are aided by a traditional birthing attendant, a person who hasn’t gone through any sort of formal medical training. Births are often in unsanitary conditions, with no recourse if a complication arises. This takes a …