Women's Health

OPINION: All Family Planning Should Be Voluntary, Safe and Fully Informed

The tragic deaths and injuries of women following sterilisation in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh have sparked global media coverage and public concern and outrage.

Survivors of Sexual Violence Face Increased Risks

“A recurring nightmare for me is I’m trying to tell someone something and they are not listening. I’m yelling at the top of my lungs and it feels like there is a glass wall between us.”

Pakistan’s Paraplegics Learning to Stand on their Own Feet

When a stray bullet fired by Taliban militants became lodged in her spine last August, 22-year-old Shakira Bibi gave up all hopes of ever leading a normal life.

AIDS Is No. 1 Killer of African Teenagers

Two years ago, Shola* was kicked out of the family house in Abeokuta, in southwestern Nigeria, after testing HIV-positive at age 13. He was living with his father, his stepmother and their seven children.

Depression Casts Cloak of Infertility Over Kashmir Valley

It was almost midnight when Mushtaq Margoob woke up to the incessant ringing of his phone. It was his patient, a young woman whom Margoob, a renowned Kashmiri psychiatrist and head of the department of psychiatry at the only psychiatric hospital in Kashmir, had been treating for depression for many years.

The Young, Female Face of HIV in East and Southern Africa

Experts are raising alarm that years of HIV interventions throughout Africa have failed to stop infection among young women 15 to 24 years old.

Mozambique Tackles its Twin Burden of Cervical Cancer and HIV

The woman on bed 27 in Maputo Central Hospital’s oncology ward has no idea how lucky she is. In January, when abdominal pains racked her, a pharmacist suggested pain killers. For months, “the pain would go and return,” she told IPS. 

Fighting the “Neighbour’s Disease” in Mozambique

Mozambique is reeling under the twin burden of HIV and cervical cancer. Eleven women die of cervical cancer every day, or 4,000 a year. Yet this cancer is preventable and treatable, if caught early.

OPINION: The Survivors

Oct. 18 is the EU’s Anti-Trafficking Day, as well as the United Kingdom’s Anti-Slavery Day. These events offer a good opportunity to talk about human trafficking within Europe’s borders, but we should not forget that there are victims and survivors all over the world.

Displacement Spells Danger for Pregnant Women in Pakistan

Imagine traveling for almost an entire day in the blistering sun, carrying all your possessions with you. Imagine fleeing in the middle of the night as airstrikes reduce your village to rubble. Imagine arriving in a makeshift refugee camp where there is no running water, no bathrooms and hardly any food. Now imagine making that journey as a pregnant woman.

Floods Wash Away India’s MDG Progress

The northeastern Indian state of Assam is no stranger to devastating floods. Located just south of the eastern Himalayas, the lush, 30,000-square-km region comprises the Brahmaputra and Barak river valleys, and is accustomed to annual bouts of rain that swell the mighty rivers and spill over into villages and towns, inundating agricultural lands and washing homes, possessions and livestock away.

Q&A: “The Battle Continues”

The Programme of Action adopted at the landmark 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) included chapters that defined concrete actions covering some 44 dimensions of population and development, including the need to provide for women and girls during times of conflict, the urgency of investments in young people’s capabilities, and the importance of women’s political participation and representation.

OPINION: On Reproductive Rights, Progress with Concerns

For most of human history, reproductive rights essentially meant men and women accepting the number, timing and spacing of their children, as well as possible childlessness. All this changed radically in the second half of the 20th century with the introduction of new medical technologies aimed at both preventing and assisting human reproduction.

Zimbabwe’s Family Planning Dilemma

Pregnant at 15, Samantha Yakubu* is in a fix. The 16-year-old boy she claims was responsible for her pregnancy has refused to accept her version of events, insisting that he was “not the only one who slept with her”.

Lack of Accountability Fuels Gender-Based Violence in India

On a bright March morning, a 17-year old tribal girl woke as usual, and went to catch fish in the village river in the Chirang district of India’s northeastern Assam state.

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