When 14-year-old Nomcebo Mkhaliphi first noticed the blood discharged from her vagina, she was shocked. Confused, she turned to her older sisters for advice.
“My sisters told me that they were experiencing the same every month and that they used fabric, toilet paper and newspapers as sanitary wear,” recalls the now 45-year-old Mkhaliphi. She had to follow suit and use these materials because she had no money to buy sanitary pads.
The United States and 18 other UN member states have come under fire for denying a woman’s legitimate right to “bodily autonomy”—the right to self-governance over one’s own body without coercion or external pressure.
To live in a home with family, to have a safe environment, food and basic human necessities, are some of the essentials that most people expect to have without giving it all much thought. When a child is born, parents or caregivers are likely to provide these things. These expectations get renewed whenever someone gets married and moves to a new home, a different neighborhood, or a city. We can hardly find someone who will say that they were not expecting happiness and safety when stepping into a new relationship, or starting a new chapter of life. But these expectations of a better life turn disastrous for millions of people when they step into another country as a dependent.
Parliamentarians from India and Japan have hit the ground running by acting soon after the recent Nairobi Summit on International Conference on Population Development (ICPD25).
“Right now, I don’t want to get married. I have a long life and a dream in front of me”, a 14-year-old young girl from Bangladesh told her parents as she was just not ready to get married.
"I refused to marry off my daughter for a simple, good reason: I want my daughter to be empowered,” said Lemeima mint El Hadrami, 49. "I don't want her to go through the same difficulties I did when I was young." El Hadrami was married when she was only 13.
Nearly seven years ago, garment workers in Bangladesh were victims of one of the gravest man-made disasters in history -- a factory collapse that left more than 1,100 workers dead, and rendered thousands with injuries -- in many cases lifelong ones.
For many of the workers from Rana Plaza, the trauma remains real even to this day.
Malnutrition remains a formidable challenge in most societies, with less than a tenth of countries in the world not experiencing at least one major malnutrition problem.
In relatively more food secure countries, where almost everyone has enough to eat, and few live in fear of a sudden loss of access to food, micronutrient deficiencies and diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) often still loom large.
Chairman of The Nippon Foundation, Yohei Sasakawa, has assured Bangladesh of continuing support for the Zero Leprosy Initiative announced by the country's Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, aimed at eliminating leprosy by 2030.
Leprosy is not a curse but should be detected and treated early, Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, has told delegates at a gathering in her country's capital to discuss the elimination of the disease.
Filomena (15), a fisherman’s daughter from a village in Nampula Province, Mozambique was married to a 21-year-old from the same village.
Despite having remarkable success in leprosy control in the last decades, the Bangladesh government is now moving forward with a vision to build a leprosy- free country.
More than 2 billion people in the world are suffering from malnutrition. This is the result of diets lacking essential micronutrients such as vitamins, iron and zinc, which are vital for the body to function, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Great strides have been taken to empower women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing adopted an ambitious global agenda to achieve gender equality twenty-five years ago. Gender parity has been achieved in primary education. Maternal mortality has been halved. Today, the region’s governments are committed to overcoming the persistent challenges of discrimination, gender-based violence and women’s unequal access to resources and decision-making.
-- I am Generation Equality because…
I didn’t want other girls to go through the same struggles I experienced. I got married when I was 14 years old. I had no idea what marriage was.
Q: At ICPD25 we heard that women and girls are still waiting for the unmet promises to be met? DO you think this time around there is a commitment to ensure that these promises are met?
The Nairobi Summit is about the Future of Humanity and Human Prosperity.
While women find it hard to talk about their painful experiences, some have found a way of expressing themselves through art. Women, trained as artists, from Nairobi’s informal settlements Kibera and Kangemi, have produced a beautiful quilt that tells stories about their daily challenges.
The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA Ethiopia country representative, Bettina Maas speaks to IPS at the ICPD25 Nairobi Summit and she says she is optimistic that this time around that the three critical commitments; bringing preventable maternal deaths, gender based violence and harmful practices, as well as unmet need for family planning to zero will be realized.
Every day in developing countries it is estimated that 20,000 girls under the age of 18 give birth. This amounts to 7.3 million births a year.
One in five women globally lives with a disability even as they have same needs and interests as women without disabilities, their access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights remains severely limited.