Women will Change the World, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin

When Babatunde Osotimehin last year became the head of UNFPA -- the international development agency promoting female rights -- the news didn't go down too well with many women working in the field. After his appointment Osotimehin was told that some female ambassadors at the UN were upset that a man had been made head of the agency. But he was determined to put their minds at ease. "We had lunch with them [female ambassadors] and they asked me, 'so, justify this position,'" remembers … [Read more...]

Women, family planning summit mobilized an unprecedented $2.6 billion

According to Richard Kollodge, the Editor of the report launched on Wednesday, there are many barriers to accessing family planning, not only in developing countries, but throughout the world. Mr. Kollodge says that new statistics that came out earlier this year show that 222 million women in developing countries would like to use family planning but have no access to it. "So that's one of the reasons why UNFPA has focused on family planning for this year's report. Another big reason … [Read more...]

Gender Equality; Empowering Women through Education

Countries have made progress in promoting and protecting women's rights but important challenges remain in achieving equality, according to a member of a UN expert body that monitors discrimination against women. Nicole Ameline, vice chair of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, says access to education is one area for improvement. She spoke to journalists in New York on Monday following her address to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly. "Women … [Read more...]

UNFPA: Trends in Maternal Mortality

Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2010 New maternal mortality estimates confirm that the number of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth is declining. Along with other indicators, this joint U.N. report validates the fact that we are making progress in saving mothers’ lives, even if progress is slower than what is called for by the Millennium Development Goals. Rapid progress in some countries demonstrates that when governments take a strategic approach to the safe motherhood … [Read more...]

ZAMBIA, actions to meet the Millennium Development Goals

Identifying good practices that lead to greater equity in reproductive health The UN agencies known as the H4+ support priority countries that take concerted actions to meet the Millennium Development Goals on maternal and child health. UNFPA has identified Zambia as one such country. The following feature shows some of the "Good Practices" the country has undertaken to expand access to reproductive health. When Mabvuto Zulu returned to Zambia after studying medicine in Cuba, he worked … [Read more...]

Columbia, Bogota – Progress for Women and Young People

BOGOTA — UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin visited Colombia, for the first time, to review the country's progress in reducing maternal deaths and teen pregnancy, two of the indicators for the Millennium Development Goal on improving maternal health. Day One: Dr. Osotimehin began his visit touring two health centres in Bogota, where UNFPA has been supporting the work of the city's Health Secretariat. In Bosa, one of Bogota's most populous neighbourhoods— with one of the … [Read more...]

Ethiopian Fistula Surgeons Train Physicians in Mozambique, Women’s Maternal Health

BEIRA, Mozambique — Following a successful fistula repair surgery, 25-year-old Esther Joakim Chimoio envisions a better life. Although her husband abandoned her because of her condition, she now has ambitious plans that will allow her to take care of her children on her own. "I want to go back and start my own banana and orange business to support my children. Before I was working in the fields for a woman in my area due to my limited strength because of fistula," she says, beaming. Esther … [Read more...]

Real change, lasting solutions empowering women involve engaging men ..

Empowering women through access to family planning means that mothers and infants are healthier, families are more financially stable, and communities are stronger. Although family planning has traditionally been a gender-based issue, it’s not too hard to realize why improving access to women’s health care, especially reproductive health care, is in everyone’s interest. That is why UNFPA has become a strong proponent of engaging males in the family planning process. “Real change and … [Read more...]

Papua New Guinea’s newest parliamentarians, a time for women

... a time for Women in Papua New Guinea   Since Papua New Guinea’s independence in 1975, none of its parliaments have comprised more than 2 per cent of women. Efforts to address traditional attitudes in the country and support women candidates and voters have shown signs of impact, yet the political landscape for women remains a tough one. In an interview with UN Women, two of the three women members of parliament (MPs) elected in the July 2012 polls detail the challenges they … [Read more...]

UNFPA is Taking Action in Shaanxi, China!

ONE-CHILD POLICY Shaanxi, China—Governmentofficials forced Feng Jianmei, who was 7 months pregnant with her second daughter, to undergo an abortion ten days ago. Five family planning officials abducted Ms. Feng on June 2nd while her husband, Deng Jiyuan, was away at work. When she could not pay the fine of 40,000 RMB ($6,270), they forcibly aborted her daughter. “Feng Jianmei’s story demonstrates how the One-Child Policy continues to sanction violence against women every day,” said … [Read more...]

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