Barbara Kemigisa used to call herself an “HIV/AIDS campaigner”. These days she would rather be known as an “HIV/AIDS family planning campaigner”.
Beatrice Njeri had just come home from her job as a janitor at a primary school in Nairobi. It was August 2009.
In the rush to save babies from HIV infection and treat their mothers, experts warn that a key element of HIV prevention is being neglected in Africa – contraceptives for HIV positive women.
As the United Nations continues negotiations on a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for its post-2015 development agenda, population experts are hoping reproductive health will be given significant recognition in the final line-up of the goals later this year.
What does gorilla conservation have in common with the provision of contraceptives to women? How does rural-urban migration contribute to global warming? What does city planning in Kenya have to do with coastal erosion in the Philippines?
On Thursday, the international community recognises World Population Day, a time of assessment, discussion and projections for the future that necessarily gives great weight to the rights of women and girls and particularly their sexual and reproductive health.
“If I am thirsty and want a bottle of Coca-Cola I can get it, no matter where in the world I am. Why can’t I get contraceptives or sexual heathcare?” asked Carlos Jimmy Macazana Quispe, a youth representative from Peru currently in Kuala Lumpur for the third edition of the Women Deliver global conference on the "health and well-being of women and girls."
Every three years since 2007, a global advocacy organisation called Women Deliver
has convened an international conference to talk about issues relating to the health and well-being of girls and women.
Victoria J. married in 2009 at age 14, and became pregnant shortly after. “I started labour in the morning on a Friday …. The nurse kept checking and saying I would deliver safely. On Monday she said I was weak.
A 25-year-old mother of five hailing from Senegal’s eastern Tambacounda province believes that contraceptives damage the womb and cause health problems in the long term, such as a rise in blood pressure and chronic headaches.
Despite staggering advances in medical science and technology over the years, women around the world continue to suffer gravely as a result of inadequate access to basic reproductive health services.
At perhaps a critical turning point in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, the U.S. government, the single largest funder in that fight, on Thursday unveiled a major new strategy
for pushing towards achieving an “AIDS-free generation”, the stated U.S. goal.
Since the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the United Nations has consistently maintained that family planning is a basic human right to be exercised by all - not just the wealthy and otherwise privileged.
Thirty-year-old Shahida Saleem, who was not educated past the tenth grade, is a mother of two, living with her family in Karachi. Six months ago she suffered a miscarriage and her doctor, concerned about her anaemic condition, advised her to space out her next pregnancy by taking contraceptives.
Pressure from the Catholic Church, social stigma, a lack of information about sexuality and reproductive health and limited access to reproductive healthcare services are putting the lives of hundreds of thousands of women across Eastern Europe at risk.