Women's Health

The World Must Not Abandon the Mothers of Gaza

As millions of children and families celebrate their mothers, my thoughts turn to the pregnant women and new mothers our teams at UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, support in more than 130 countries around the world. And I hold in my heart all those who, tragically, will never live to see their newborns.

IPCI 2024: Technology as a Tool to Advance and Threaten Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights

Technology emerged as a core theme of IPCI Oslo for its relevance in advancing the objectives of the Cairo Programme of Action. When channeled for good, it is an effective tool that can fill accessibility gaps in the health sector and spread awareness of sexual and reproductive health rights. Yet, the way in which digital technology has been weaponized against SRHR is of great concern for parliamentarians, especially for women.

IPCI 2024: Oslo Conference Focuses on Parliamentary Power over Reproductive Rights

Gearing up for the 30th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the world’s parliamentarians and ministers are meeting in Oslo to determine the course of action needed to promote sexual and reproductive human rights (SRHR).

WHO Calls for More Data on Violence Against Older Women and Women With Disabilities

Older women and women with disabilities experience abuse that is unique to their demographics, yet they are underrepresented in national and global databases, according to findings shared by the World Health Organization (WHO).

International Women’s Day, 2024
Rural Tajik Woman’s Road to Empowering Women Living with HIV

Born and raised in a rural area in a traditional Tajik family, Takhmina Haidarova managed to finish high school with excellent grades and wanted to go to university. “[But] it was compulsory for my family to give higher education to boys, and girls were trained to be housewives,” she says. Her dream of higher education was instead replaced by an arranged marriage to a cousin.

New Anti-Rape Crisis Centre Brings Hope for Sexual Abuse Survivors in Pakistan

Medical experts and women's rights activists are pinning hopes on the establishment of an anti-rape crisis centre for the provision of medical and legal aid to victims of sexual assaults in a timely manner will ensure convictions. Currently, it takes years to bring the perpetrators of rape to justice due to a lack of evidence and more often than not, the accused get acquitted.

Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting in Asia Remain a Neglected Problem

Significant advances have been made in Africa towards ending female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Asia, where FGM/C occurs in at least ten countries, but governments across the region are failing to take effective action. Women’s rights organizations are calling for states to introduce much-needed laws to criminalize FGM, provide national data on the extent and nature of the practice, and adequately fund efforts to tackle this regionally neglected problem.

In Africa, Witch Branding Destroys Elderly Women’s Lives

One day in October 2020, Serah Akpan, 70, was seated in her house at Boki Local Government in Cross River, southern Nigeria, when she heard the murmurings of irate youth outside. Before she could grasp what was really happening, they had broken into her house, bundled her outside, and threatened to kill her for allegedly being a witch.

Hindu Woman Doctor Confident of Election In Pakistan Polls

A woman medical graduate from the Hindu community is making waves, as she is the first minority woman to contest the Pakistan Parliamentary election for a general seat, and she does so in the face of deep-rooted religious traditions and wealthy political opponents. Dr Saveera Parkash, a nominee of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) for the February 8 polls, is sure of her victory despite her religion.

South Asian Women, Girls Need Responsive Legal System to Gender Violence

Criminal justice systems in South Asia are failing women, despite stark statistics on the prevalence of violence. WHO estimates translate to one in every two women and girls in the region experiencing violence daily.

Saving Energy, Saving Forests: How Kindle Stoves Are Changing Women’s Lives

Five years ago, farmer Sehlisiwe Sibanda would walk into a nearby forested area to fill a scotch cart with huge wood logs for cooking and heating; a pile of firewood would last her a week during the summer. But now she does not need a cartful of huge logs. Small branches and twigs are enough to last for more than a month.

From Dancing ‘For a Living’ to Dancing For ‘Women’s Dignity’

At first, he danced for money, but later on, he realized the need to dance for sanitary pads in order to help poor girls and women. Now, 29-year-old Proud Mugunhu conducts dance tutorials that earn him 100 pads from each session.

This Doctor Helps Himalayan Women Ward off Cervical Cancer

While working as a doctor in the initial months of his medical career in southern India, a telephone call from his home in the Ladakh Himalayas convinced Nordan Otzer to involve himself with cervical cancer awareness.

ECW Interviews France’s Minister of State for Development and International Partnerships Chrysoula Zacharopoulou


 

Chrysoula Zacharopoulou is a medical doctor. Born in Sparta (Greece) in 1976, she holds both French and Greek nationalities and is a graduate of Sapienza University in Rome, as well as holding a PhD on endometriosis. She arrived in France in 2007, practicing as a gynaecological surgeon at Bégin Military Hospital.

High Prevalence of Undetected Hypertension Found in Bangladesh

Since her childhood, Parveen Begum, 52, has been adding extra salt while eating her meals. However, she did not know that this contributed to high blood pressure.

Commonwealth Civil Society Offers Ministers Crucial Recommendations for Gender Equality Advancement

On August 22, 2023, Women's Affairs Ministers from the Commonwealth huddled in a room at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, they were meeting in person.

Abortion, a Right Denied to Girls Raped in Brazil

A total of 17,456 babies were born to girls aged 10 to 14 in Brazil in 2021. The annual figures are falling, but still reflect the plight of ruined childhoods and the failures of judges and doctors when it comes to the issue of abortion rights.

South Asian Community Health Workers Say Their Work is Work

“Professionally, I am still where I was 23 years ago when I started working as a lady health worker (LHW),” said a disgruntled Yasmin Siddiq, 47, from Karachi. “I will probably retire in the same capacity, as a Grade 5 government servant, without any hope for upward mobility.”

Mexico on the Rights Path

Mexico’s Supreme Court recently declared abortion bans unconstitutional, effectively decriminalising abortion throughout the vast federal country, so far characterised by a legislative patchwork. The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by a civil society organisation, Information Group on Reproductive Choice. It forces the Federal Congress to repeal the Federal Penal Code articles that criminalise abortion. Effective immediately, those seeking abortions and those providing them can no longer be punished for doing so. The ruling also enshrines the right to access abortion procedures in all institutions of the federal health system network, even in states where the crime of abortion remains on the books.

Setting the Record Straight

This year, three of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) six regions elect new Regional Directors (RD). The South-East Asia Region (SEARO) is composed of only 11 Member States, yet is home to over a quarter of the world’s population. Two SEARO Member States, Nepal and Bangladesh, have nominated their candidates to contest for RD.

Kenya’s Population Growth Decreases as More Women Embrace Modern Family Planning

According to a family planning brief, more than 370 million women in middle and low-income countries were finally embracing modern contraception to help curb unintended pregnancies. This statistic suggests that one in every three women from middle and low-income countries use contraceptives today.

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