As the global health community prepares for the Women Deliver 2013 conference, taking place next week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and recognized the first International Day to End Obstetric Fistula on May 23, several news outlets published opinion pieces addressing different aspects of the health and well-being of women and girls. Some of those opinion pieces are summarized below.
- Kate Grant, Huffington Post's "Global Motherhood: "We have a long way to go to provide treatment to the enormous backlog of women with untreated fistula, let alone provide the emergency obstetric care needed to prevent the injury," Grant, CEO of the Fistula Foundation, writes, adding, "But while there is no silver bullet to solving this global problem, our coordinated response is making headway" (5/23).
- Babatunde Osotimehin, Inter Press Service: "At the Women Deliver conference, UNFPA will launch a new partnership with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) to increase access to family planning in some of the world's most hard-to-reach areas," UNFPA Executive Director Osotimehin writes, noting the U.N. agency also "will co-host a symposium on the crucial, frontline role midwives play in lowering maternal deaths, reducing disabilities related to childbirth, and improving overall national health indicators" (5/23).
- Lakshmi Puri, Inter Press Service: "World leaders recognized the pervasiveness of discrimination and violence against women and girls when they signed onto the visionary Millennium Declaration in 2000. Amongst the eight Millennium Development Goals, they included a goal to promote gender equality and women's empowerment," Puri, acting head of U.N. Women, writes, adding, "The discussions to shape the post-2015 global development agenda offer a real opportunity to drive lasting change for women's rights and equality" (5/23).
- John Seager, Huffington Post's "World: Seager, president of Population Connection, discusses "climate change resilience, or the real survival benefits family planning offers people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by our changing world." He concludes, "Helping families have children only when they choose won't eliminate the hardships of climate change. But it would give them a little more power over their futures. And that can mean the difference between barely surviving and thriving" (5/23).
- Serra Sippel and Zeda Rosenberg, Huffington Post's "Global Motherhood: "As the President of the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) and the CEO of the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), we believe that building on progress [on the health and well-being of women and girls] requires our global health and policy discussions to embrace a central truth: maternal health, family planning and HIV are inherently linked and must be addressed collectively," Sippel and Rosenberg write (5/23).
- Lakshmi Sundaram, Guardian's "Global Development Professionals Network: Through partnerships -- "by building a sense of solidarity, pairing community-level efforts with national and international advocacy and encouraging a growing global movement on the issue" -- the secretariat organization Girls Not Brides "[is] convinced it will be possible to provide parents with a viable alternative to child marriage for their daughters," Sundaram, global coordinator for the group, writes (5/24).
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