Women's Health

Abortion Remains an Unresolved Issue: ICPD25 Meeting next Month

Currently, the topic of abortion as human rights leaves the world bustling. When the state of Alabama1 in the United States enacted a very strict ban on abortion, it shocked the world. This prompted so-called conservative movements, led by female business owners, to make a full-scale advertisement in the New York Times claiming abortion is a human right2 ; hence the global debate between pro-life and pro-choice.

No to Ageism, Yes to Intergenerational Equality

As we are celebrating the International Day of Older Persons today, we recognize that population ageing is a human success story, a story of longer and often healthier lives of the world’s people. The many faces of older persons that we see in Asia and in the Pacific, and, indeed, all over the world, attest to this fact. Still, however, ageing is considered a threat. There is talk about the “burden of ageing”, exploding healthcare costs, and concerns about plummeting economic growth due to the shrinking labour force. In many cities of Asia-Pacific, we see advertisement for “anti-ageing cosmetics” and surgeries. The current ideal is that we must be young, dynamic and without wrinkles or grey hair, especially older women.

Women In Leadership: A Q&A with President Sahle-Work Zewde

Women Deliver President/CEO Katja Iversen discusses women in leadership and links between sexual and reproductive health and rights and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to advance gender equality with the first female President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde.

Do Women Suffer Greater Loss of Employment than Men in Morbidity?

In a life peppered with tragedy, Mary Shelley wrote in 1818, “Have I not suffered enough, that you seek to increase my misery?” That this accurately sums up the fate of many women in South Asia who suffer a major health shock such as a serious illness or a disability or both, is hard to dispute.

Is There Discrimination Against Women in Healthcare in India?

In an inaugural lecture at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, Amartya Sen began with a swipe at Queen Victoria who complained to Sir Theodore Martin in 1870 about & quote: this mad, wicked folly of 'Woman's Rights’ ", as in her rarefied world nobody could trample upon her rights. The world has of course changed dramatically and women’s rights are widely acknowledged but injustices persist. Our concern here is with health injustices that are widely prevalent in India. These take multiple forms: female foeticide, widespread morbidity and denial of access to good quality healthcare until a critical condition develops. Our focus here is on vulnerability of women to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their limited access to good quality healthcare in India.

The Nairobi Summit – Towards a Watershed Moment

In 2019 a female scientist created an algorithm that gave the world the first ever images of a black hole. Working with a team of astronomers, physicists, mathematicians and engineers, a young woman led the development of a computer program that in her own words enabled them to “achieve something once thought impossible.”

On Brutality of Violence Against Women

On a cold night in December 2012, a ghastly crime was committed in New Delhi which stunned the world. Six men dragged helpless Nirbhaya-a 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern- to the back of the bus and raped her one by one. As she kept fighting off her assailants by biting them, one of the attackers inserted a rusted rod in her private part, ripping her genital organs and insides apart. She died a few days later. One of the accused died in police custody in the Tihar Jail. The juvenile was convicted of rape and murder and given the maximum sentence of three years' imprisonment in a reform facility, and subsequently released. The Supreme Court awarded the death penalty but legal complications have prevented its execution.

US Leads Donor Funding to Fight HIV/AIDS Amidst Overall Decline

Since 2010, donor funding to fight HIV/AIDS in low-and middle-income countries has dropped significantly, according to a new report released here.

Let’s Talk About Sex – and Why Power Matters

Every year on World Population Day (July 11), UNFPA receives queries from journalists about the total number of people around the world. Numbers are indeed important because they help governments develop policies that respond to evolving needs for services such as education and health.

Poor Outlook for HIV-positive Children in Pakistan

Over 785 people have been diagnosed with HIV in Larkana, Pakistan. 82% of those individuals are children, and only half are receiving the treatment they need.

U. S. Backing for Heated Tobacco Products Triggers Misrepresentation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision authorizing the sale of Philip Morris International (PMI)’s heated tobacco system, IQOS, in the United States inadvertently puts a foot in the door to increase sales of new tobacco products in the developing world.

Dignity & Strength for Venezuelan Refugees & Migrants in Colombia

Not long ago, 15-year-old Nelsmar attended a middle-class school in central Venezuela. That was before her family was uprooted by the economic and humanitarian crisis in her country, which has pushed nearly 3.9 million persons to migrate or flee, according to recent estimates of the Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela.

Mothers in the US Are Dying: What Are We Doing to Save Them?

The maternal mortality rate in the United States is the highest of any developed country – and the rate is rising. The US is currently the most dangerous place to give birth in the developed world.

An Escalating War on Reproductive Rights

Abortion has long been a contentious issue across the world, and the debate is only heating up, prompting women to stand up and speak out for their reproductive rights.

Educating Girls about Menstruation and Menstrual Hygiene

The organisers of Menstrual Hygiene Day say that although there has been a lot of good work on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) either currently underway or already completed, we are a long way off from achieving an even playing field for girls and women worldwide.

The World Made Promises to Women and Girls, We Must Fulfil Them

In 1994 the International Conference and Population and Development (ICPD) was hosted in Cairo by the Government of Egypt. Twenty-five years later, Kenya is ready to convene the ICPD “Nairobi Summit” in November 2019.

Global Hunger Is Threatening Families Because of Climate Change

There is barely a corner of human life that will not be affected by climate change, and some of its impacts are already being felt. Consider this, 821 million people are now hungry and over 150 million children stunted, putting the hunger eradication goal, SDG 2, at risk. Today 15 May, is the United Nations International Day of Families and the theme for this year is, ‘Families and Climate Action’.

Revealed — A Roadmap to Defeat Tobacco Tax & Keep Indonesians Addicted

The image of a smoking toddler from Indonesia horrified the world but did little to motivate local policy makers to enact measures to protect children and youth from the harms of tobacco use. Indonesia has one of the world’s highest smoking rates where two out of three men and about 40 percent of adolescent boys smoke.

Safe Menstrual Practices Important for Progress

As menstruation continues to be shamed in many communities, one organisation is rising up to the challenge to ensure “safe menstruation for all women of Bangladesh.”

“Don’t Tell My Husband I Have Leprosy”: Social Stigma Silences Marshall Islands’ Women

Meretha Pierson has been a nurse for the past seven years, working in the government-run leprosy clinic in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands. Her patients come in all ages, from different economic backgrounds and different professions. But, aside from their diagnosis, they all have something else in common: everyone wants to keep their illness a secret.

NHIF Reform Critical to Affordable Health For All in Kenya

Consider this. One million Kenyans fall into poverty every year due to catastrophic out of pocket health expenditures. For the almost four in every five Kenyans who lack access to medical insurance, the fear that they are just an accident or serious illness away from destitution.

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