Elida Almeida is Cape Verde’s newest star, with thousands of fans in Africa and Europe. She sings, dances, plays the guitar, tells jokes, and makes her audiences laugh as well as groove. But behind it all, her music carries a serious message, about the importance of overcoming setbacks, avoiding unplanned pregnancy and following one’s dreams.
Twelve-year-old Bienvienue Taguieke was expected to obey her parents and marry a man 40 years her senior, but an association of women in Cameroon’s Far North Region, where child marriages are rife, put a stop to it in a sign that women are starting to speaking out against the practice.
With little fanfare, the German IFO Institute for Economic Research recently published a report on population projections for Germany which states simply that the country’s population is shrinking fast.
At the largest refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan, young Syrian mothers and pregnant women are considered relatively lucky.
"The smell of faeces and urine isolates them completely. Their husbands abandon them and they become stigmatised forever” – Dr Pashtoon Kohistani barely needs two lines to sum up the drama of those women affected by obstetric fistula.
Heightening their campaign to eradicate violence against women and girls, United Nations agencies and civil groups have called for increased action to end child marriage and female genital mutilation.
For policy makers and activists working for sexual and reproductive health and rights, it’s been a long road since the landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994.