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Posts Tagged ‘activism’

In honor of International Women’s Day (March 8th), Pathfinder International has launched an initiative called 200 Thousand for 200 Million. The goal is to reach 200,000 shares of the Girl2Woman videos–and for every video shared, $1 will be donated to improving access to reproductive health services for the 200 million women around the world who lack adequate access to modern contraceptives.

Pathfinder International

As 2010 International Women’s Day approaches with the theme, ‘Equal Rights, Equal Opportunity,’ Pathfinder International believes a crucial aspect of improving women’s lives is missing in the current development dialogue: reproductive health.

‘How can women have equal rights and equal opportunities to have healthy, productive lives if they do not have the ability to choose if, when, and how often to have children?’ Pathfinder President Dan Pellegrom said. ‘It is a fundamental and basic human right to have access to a range of reproductive health care services.’

Pathfinder wants to ensure every woman can exercise that right. Girl2Woman.org features six videos showcasing the importance of reproductive health care throughout life. Every time a video is shared through Girl2Woman.org, a generous donor will give $1 to improve reproductive health services.

‘This International Women’s Day we need to band together, raise our voices and insist that women around the world no longer be marginalized. It impacts the civil and economic success of communities—and to be effective, it must all begin with reproductive health care,’ President Pellegrom said.”

To help raise awareness and reach the 200,000 goal, Pathfinder is urging all supporters to take 60 seconds to spread the word:

  • Visit www.Girl2Woman.org and share the videos with 5 friends
  • Post the Girl2Woman video on your blog or website
  • Tweet “200K shares for 200M women. Share videos on www.Girl2Woman.org, support women worldwide.”
  • Update your Facebook status with “200K shares for 200M women. Support women by helping www.girl2woman.org reach 200K video shares by International Women’s Day, March 8.”

For more information about the challenge or to help, please contact Linda Suttenfield, Director of Communications at lsuttenfield@pathfind.org or by phone 617- 955-2422.

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Global health activist, member of the Maternal Health Task Force Editorial Committee and film-maker, Lisa Russell, has teamed up with Grammy-award winning singer, Maya Azucena, to launch a new media project called MDGFive.com. The project is a collaborative effort of international organizations and artists committed to bringing awareness to maternal health.

RH Reality Check

In a February 16th, 2010 post on RH Reality Check, Lisa described the new project:

“As a global health activist and filmmaker, I believe in the power of
 imagery, sound and the spoken word to inspire cultural exchange, unite
 international communities, and to promote social progress worldwide,
 yet I see a large disconnect between the humanitarian world and the
 creative communities who have an incredible impact on their societies
at the local level when it comes to global health advocacy.

I would like to see greater communication and partnerships between 
these two worlds to address issues of women/motherhood/maternal health.
 Therefore, I am developing – in collaboration with Grammy-award winning singer, Maya Azucena – a new media “mash up” project called MDGFive.com.  We are collaborating with international organizations and artists to bring awareness to maternal health.

MDGFive.com‘ is a new media site that solicits creative content
 from artists around the world (musicians, filmmakers, poets, djs, etc)
 who work at either the global or country level.  Activists can access 
these 30-60 second license free clips to download and create their own 
personalized PSA’s which can be forwarded to their networks,
 development institutions and policy makers.  It offers an opportunity 
for artists and activists from both the developed and developing world
 to work together, share resources and contribute their talents to help 
create a global, *artistic* movement for women’s health.”

Read the full piece on RH Reality Check here.

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For over two years, Amnesty International has been researching maternal health and investigating maternal death in Burkina Faso.

Amnesty International

In five days, the organization will release a report on the state of maternal health in Burkina Faso and launch a caravan campaign that will travel throughout the country raising awareness around the issue of maternal mortality.

“Amnesty International went to Burkina Faso four times to conduct research in several cities including the capital, Ouagadougou, as well as Bobo-Dioulasso, Ouahigouya and Kaya. Amnesty International also visited a dozen rural areas throughout the country. Researchers investigated over 50 cases of women who died during pregnancy and childbirth…”

Read the full story here.


Take a look at this video showing highlights of the 2009 Amnesty International maternal mortality caravan campaign in Sierra Leone:

As part of the countdown to the launch of the campaign, Amnesty International is sharing the stories of women who have died of pregnancy complications in Burkina Faso. See below for an excerpt from one of the stories:

“…Safiatou’s husband told Amnesty International: ‘The day of her delivery, she was in good health and worked all afternoon as usual without any problem. She prepared tô [a local dish made from maize flour] for her children and went to get the hay for the animals. In the evening, when her labour began, she left for her mother’s home. Her mother came to warn me that she was not well, that we had to take her to the clinic. I do not have a motorcycle, so I had to go and get one. That made us lose time.’ The husband added that he ‘did not know that she should have delivered at the clinic. When I came to fetch her at her mother’s house, she had lost consciousness.’ The husband borrowed a small motorcycle from his neighbour…”

Learn more about Safiatou here.

A man holding a picture of his wife who died in childbirth, Burkina Faso. Copyright Anna Kari

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UNFPA is asking for help as they try to establish emergency obstetric services for the estimated 37,000 pregnant women affected by Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti.

ReliefWeb

“…To meet the urgent maternal health and other needs of women, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is seeking about $4.6 million as part of the coordinated United Nations Flash Appeal that will be launched today. The funding would supplement the supplies UNFPA is already providing in Haiti and address the specific needs of women, girls and other vulnerable populations for the next six months.”

Read the full story here.

Here is a list of what UNFPA will use the additional funds for:

– Refurbish maternity wards to handle emergency obstetric care and other life-saving health services

– Deploy skilled health professionals, such as midwives, obstetricians and nurses, to affected areas to provide maternal health and emergency obstetric care

– Provide emergency safe delivery and reproductive health medicines and supplies to temporary clinics and health facilities being set up

– Help safeguard the personal hygiene and dignity of women and girls by providing related sanitary supplies

– Facilitate access of affected populations, especially young people, to psychosocial counseling and other services

– Carry out interventions to prevent gender based violence.

UNFPA offers this contact information if you are looking for more info:

In Santo Domingo: Trygve Olfarnes, Tel: +507 301 7362, Satellite:

+ 898 8169 3160 0057 1740, olfarnes@unfpa.org.

In New York: Jessica Malter, Tel: + 1 212 297 5190, malter@unpfa.org

Omar Gharzeddine, Tel: + 1 212 297 5028 gharzeddine@unfpa.org

To donate directly to UNFPA, click here.

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Haiti has the highest maternal mortality ratio in the western hemisphere (670 maternal deaths/100,000 live births)—and UNFPA warns that this number will likely sky-rocket following the massive earthquake on Tuesday.

UN News Center

“WHO is helping to collect data on the health impact of the earthquake and is also deploying a 12-member team comprising experts in mass casualty management, coordination of emergency health response and the management of dead bodies.

UNICEF, whose offices have been badly damaged, said it will help children continue their schooling and provide safe play areas while their caretakers rebuild their lives.

Meanwhile, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) cautioned that thousands of women at risk from complications and death related to pregnancy and childbirth are in danger due to the earthquake.

Haiti has the highest maternal mortality rates in the region, with 670 deaths per 100,000 live births, and this figure is set to skyrocket due to yesterday’s powerful tremors…”

Read the full story here.

For a list of organizations you can contribute to who are helping in Haiti, click here.

Make a donation now via text message:

Text “Haiti” to 90999 – donates $10 to the Red Cross

Text “Yele” to 501501 – donates $5 to YELE HAITI

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Watch and share Pathfinder’s video, Girl2Woman, that outlines the challenges related to sexual and reproductive health that girls face throughout their lives.

Every video shared raises $1 for Pathfinder International programs—-up to $1 million. Visit the Girl2Woman site to see more information about the initiative and an interactive time line that outlines stages of life and highlights the work that Pathfinder International does to help women at each stage. At the Girl2Woman site, you can also fill out a form to share the video with your contacts.

To learn more about Pathfinder International, click here.

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Planned Parenthood Federation of America and CEMOPLAF, an Ecuadorian reproductive health organization, are working together to train Ecuadorian teens to become community health workers in the Chimborazo region of central Ecuador.

Global Health Magazine

“Ecuador has the highest adolescent fertility rate in Latin America, and this skyrockets when we’re talking about rural or indigenous youth. Among community members in the region here, just 6 percent of women and 12 percent of men reported contraceptive use, while less than half of all women reported any knowledge of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

This program meets the needs of a particularly underserved and hard-to-reach group, with a new contraceptive method, in a new way. The peer promoters hail from 15 different small communities within the region and are providing a brand new range of services to their peers. They meet weekly at a central clinic location to discuss challenges and attend trainings. There, CEMOPLAF also provides lunch, transportation costs and job-skills training.

All promoters attend a four-part extensive training, including an introduction to injections in general; training on Depo Provera in particular; and training in bio-safety procedures. They also learn about other contraceptive options, like the pill and condoms…”

Read the full story here.

For more information on Planned Parenthood Federation of America, click here.

To learn more about CEMOPLAF, click here.

Click here to see a previous post on this blog about a policy discussion at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC on health workers and task-shifting.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech comes in time for the 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and marks a renewed  support for and dedication to reaching the goals of ICPD and other related UN agreements, including the Millennium Development Goals, by 2015.

ICPD called on governments and development agencies to place human beings—specifically young people and women—at the very heart of the development process. The conference also called for family planning, reproductive health, basic health and education needs to be met.

Millennium Development Goal 5 aims to improve international maternal health by reducing maternal mortality by 2/3 and achieving universal access to reproductive health services by 2015.

“On Jan. 8, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will address hundreds of health and development leaders at the State Department to reaffirm the U.S. government’s commitment to achieving universal access to reproductive health for individual health, family well-being, broader economic development and a healthy planet.”

The speech is scheduled for 2:30 pm Friday, January 8, 2010.

The Secretary’s speech will be livestreamed at www.icpd2015.org.

For more information on the goals of ICPD and events marking the 15th anniversary, click here.

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Too Young , Too Late and Too Far recently premiered in Lagos, Nigeria

The films, produced by Communicating for Change (CFC), were shot in the ‘Nollywood’ style which involves a combination of suspense and drama—but the project team also included health expert script consultants, Dr Boniface Oye Adeniran, Obstetrician/Gynecologist of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Dr Babatunde Ahonsi, formerly of the Ford Foundation.

“The films: Too Young, Too Far, and Too Late, take a provocative look at the life-threatening conditions that pregnant women face in Nigeria while also revealing their struggles with matters of bias against gender, abortion and childbirth as well as the corresponding challenges faced by husbands, boyfriends and families, who have to deal with their own hopes, frustrations and fears.”

Read the full story about Too Young, Too Far, and Too Late here.

For more information about Communicating for Change, click here.

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The International Women’s Health Coalition lists and describes what they see as the top ten wins for women’s health and rights in 2009–and comment on next steps and challenges for each win.

RH Reality Check

The IWHC’s picks for the top ten women’s health and rights wins span topics ranging from the new Bolivian constitution that guarantees sexual and reproductive rights and the striking down of sex work criminalization in India to a new law that combats child marriage in Yemen and the upholding of the right to abortion in England.

To see the complete list with descriptions of the wins, potential next steps and challenges, click here.

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Voice of America

Click here to read this report on Margaret Chan’s speech regarding the current state of health in Africa. She sites progress in tackling Malaria and HIV and improvements in child health, but she expresses sadness at the lack of success in reducing maternal mortality and addressing gender-based violence.

Read the full article.

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Today, December 10th, is International Human Rights day. Organizations are talking about maternal health in the context of human rights and calling for action on the global epidemic of maternal morbidity and mortality.

Last day to join the 10,000 in 10 Campaign!
Today is the last day of the 10,000 in 10 Campaign to support women’s rights–including health. The campaign, organized by Physicians for Human Rights, ran from December 1st, World AIDS Day through today, International Human Rights Day. The goal of the campaign is to mobilize 10,000 Americans to advocate for US ratification of the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 2010.


Click here to sign the petition. TODAY is the last day of the campaign!

The International Initiative on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights (IIMMHR) is calling on individuals to join their movement

IIMMHR is asking individuals to join them today in a commitment to end maternal mortality, so that women everywhere can enjoy their right to life, health, equality and non-discrimination.

Click here to see their fact sheet on the UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Maternal Mortality, the press release announcing the resolution and the full text of the resolution.

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In Silence: Maternal Mortality in India traces the steps of one woman in India who died after giving birth

This 5-minute multimedia piece, produced by Human Rights Watch in collaboration with Magnum Photos, highlights many of the factors that led to the death of this woman—and raises the issues within the context of human rights. The video was released in October of this year. Take a look!

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PERU
Global Call to Action Against Poverty
www.whiteband.org

Maternal mortality is a key area of the Amnesty International Demand Dignity campaign and so on Saturday 17 October Amnesty International decided to draw attention to the situation of maternal mortality in Peru. 100 activists, dressed in black and white masks, paraded with coffins decorated with flowers along the way to the sea under the Bridge of Sighs of Barranco in Lima.

In Peru, a woman dies every 8 hours due to complications in pregnancy, childbirth and post natal care. This is one of the highest maternal mortality rates in Latin America(180 deaths per 100,000 live births according to the government, 240 deaths according to the UN), only surpassed by Bolivia and Haiti.

More information on maternal mortality in Peru–including a short video–can be accessed here.

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