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"heart strings" | "fetal heart rate" | "traditional midwives" | Uganda birth cen
October 21, 2013

by Rachel Zaslow, Mother Health International

Two years ago the UNFPA issued a State of the World’s Midwifery report that called for investment in trained midwives as the single most important response to the global crisis in maternal health. “Every year approximately 350,000 women die while pregnant or giving birth — almost 1,000 a day,” states the report. “Of these women, 99 percent die in developing countries”. The World Health Organization reports estimate that close to 80% of babies born in these rural areas are received into the hands of traditional midwives; women who practice midwifery as it has been handed down to them from
generation to generation. An important question for those of us invested in international

#girl rising | #girldeclaration | "Girl Rising" | Girl Rising |
October 09, 2013

Why are we so thrilled about the Girl Declaration? Why should you sign the declaration too?

So often dry titles and updates abound in international development. Not so this year, in 2013.

This year sees the debut of the first, on-of-a-kind, truly novel and groundbreaking "Girl Declaration." This is a vibrant, almost singing, declaration of what is possible and what is demanded by girls who refuse to be left behind. 25 veteran international organizations talked with 508 girls living in poverty in 14 countries to create this unique declaration. For the first time, policymakers and girls worked together to put their 'hopes, dreams and needs' on the agenda in the form of the "Girl Declaration":

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September 25, 2013

If the price of freedom is selfless hyper -vigilance, 29 yr old Linkan Subudhi from India deserves the medal of valor.

Arranged marriages are a practice as old as many cultures, with global statistics indicating that up to 55% of all marriages are arranged in some fashion or another. The ‘divorce’ rates are equally as surprising with only a mere 6% ever ending their arranged marriages legally.

EWECprogress | UNGA | maternal health | Every Woman Every Child
September 24, 2013

As the Social Good Summit and the UN General Assembly meet in New York this week, we pause to reflect on this (precious) moment in time.

The good news? Maternal mortality is decreasing (by 50% since 1990), child mortality is decreasing, and newborn health is on the agenda. It is not just good news, it's amazing news: "the global average annual rate of reduction in under-five mortality accelerated from 1.2 per cent a year for the period 1990-1995 to 3.9 per cent for 2005-2012." (UNICEF, WHO, World Bank 2013). Child mortality is falling, at a faster and faster rate. Some countries, like Ethiopia, met the MDG target early.

India | Delhi rape | menstruation |
September 13, 2013

Today as the verdict in the trial of the 4 accused attackers in the infamous Delhi bus rape trial is handed down, we take a moment to think about the role of shame in holding women back. It was actually the words of the victim's mother that struck us. She said on the radio that this trial had moved India slightly, just slightly. Whereas before a family of a woman who had been raped might quickly hush her, worried about protecting the name of the family, worried about shame-- now families seem slightly more empowered to report the crimes. Shame around what HAPPENS to a girl, is a deeply held cultural issue in many many countries including our own. Shame prevents justice.

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