Tag Archives: Women Deliver 2013

Family Planning Conversations During Women Deliver #WD2013

The second day of the Women Deliver conference was led by robust conversations and discussions about family planning. Wednesday’s events began with the plenary session: Global Progress on Family Planning—Putting Women at the Heart of the Global Health Agenda which was opened by Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Increased momentum has quickly developed worldwide for a global family planning effort to ensure more women have voluntary access to contraceptives since last year’s London Family Planning Summit.

The consensus throughout all of the family planning discussions (you can watch via Livestream) is that several important, systematic steps must first be achieved in order to ensure women and girls have access to adequate reproductive health including:

  • bringing on more financial commitments in order to fund family planning commodities and services to reach an additional 120 million women
  • ensuring that commitments are being honored
  • creating iron-tight distribution channels in order to make sure women in even the most remote areas have access to family planning services, contraceptives
  • engaging men and boys in the process in order to make sure that access to family planning does not become stalled in local areas or even on country or regional bases

During the Plenary Lunch: Developing Countries’ Strategies Towards Reaching the FP2020 Goals – Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu, Minister of Health, Ethiopia, Matia Kasaija, Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Uganda and Dr. Mojisola Odeku, Director, Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative had a robust discussion about their respective countries’ work toward increased access to contraceptives.

ETHIOPIA

I have to agree with Dr. Admasu, Ethiopia’s Health Minister. On a recent trip to Ethiopia I saw adequate supplies and information about contraceptives and family planning at every health post I visited.

Family Planning - Ethiopia

UGANDA

NIGERIA

DATA

  • If you want to know individual country’s family planning coverage and unmet need visit the World Health Organization’s recently released World Health Statistics 2013.
  • If you want to know all of the commitments from the London Summit on Family Planning visit Family Planning 2020.

Photo: UN Photo

The Importance of Education for Girls

Much of yesterday’s Women Deliver 2013 conversation centered around education for girls. Without at least a primary education girls in poor and middle income countries cannot properly contribute to their country’s economy nor to their household.

Girls who are fortunate to prolong marriage are able to attend school longer than if they are married away by their family. Being married off instead of staying in school poses a huge challenge because once girls are married off it becomes increasingly difficult for them to become educated. And, girls face the often insurmountable challenge of having children even though they are not properly equipped to deliver a baby causing many to die during childbirth. In fact, the number one cause of death for girls between the ages of 15 – 19 is childbirth says the World Health Organization.

Pratham School
A Pratham school in east Delhi where girls and boys attend an English class. Photo: Jennifer James

According to UNESCO 66 million girls are out of school globally. Just last week I was in Delhi and time and time again we heard that while boys are often allowed to go to school and encouraged to do so (unless they are street children) girls are often discouraged from going to school and instead are needed for domestic duties or to help their families scratch out a living in the family business whether that is selling vegetables on the side of the road or being hired out as domestic help. Girls as young at 14 can work as domestics in India.

When girls are not educated everyone suffers. Countries suffer from an inadequate workforce. It also leads to a continuum of poverty for many families where girls grow into women who are illiterate with little to no skills. A girl’s education provides a 20% increase in income for them over their lifetime per the World Bank. Additionally, educated mothers are twice as likely to send their children to school.

Protsahan School
The Protsahan school of the arts for at-risk girls who live in the slums and red light areas of Delhi. Photo: Jennifer James

When we were in India last week we saw many girls in the schools we visited. It is my hope that those girls are able to continue their education and graduate. Education is one of the silver bullets for a better future for them.

15 of Our Tweets from Investing in Women’s Reproductive Health Plenary Session #WD2013


Expectant mothers in South Delhi at a Save the Children’s Mothers Group. May 24, 2013 Photos: Jennifer James

Key Tweets from Investing in Women’s Reproductive Health Session #WD2013

(Above) Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO , Global Fund for Women

Key Tweets from Investing in Women’s Reproductive Health Session

On the first day of the Women Deliver 2013 conference, here are key tweets we read during the plenary session: Investing in Women’s Reproductive Health Equals Investing in Economic and Social Progress for Everyone

  1. UN Women’s Puri: political empowerment leads to better health outcomes. Rwanda has 56 pct female parliamentarians. Has met MDGs. #WD2013
  2. Countries with higher female participation and education have better health outcomes #WD2013 @WomenDeliver
  3. “@UNFPA: “Gender equality and reproductive health are inextricably linked.” Jeni Klugman, @WorldBank #WDLive #WD2013“<<is true!
  4. Actual progress has been way to slow! says Jeni Klugman on gender equality and women’s health worldwide. #WD2013 #WDLive
  5. Change comes when scale and consistency are applied. Musimbi Kanyoro, President Global Fund for Women. #wd2013
  6. “Globally more than 1 in 3 girls are married before their 18th birthday” Jeni Klugman, @WorldBank #WD2013
  7. Every where we can find coca cola, why not family planning 🙂 @WomenDeliver #WD2013
  8. “Change comes when excellent programs are taken to scale to truly benefit communities.” @MKanyoro @GlobalFundWomen #WDLive #WD2013
  9. To ensure health and rights of #womenandgirls — ensure “all systems go”! -Lakshmi Puri @UNWomen #WDlive #WD2013 #gender
  10. Kanyoro: the first step us to affirm the human rights of women and girls as the other half of humanity #WD2013
  11. “We must provide the highest standards of health including sexual & #reprohealth for women & girls.” Lakshmi Puri @UNWomen #WDLive #WD2013

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