KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

High-Level U.N. Meeting On Gender Equality Opens, Adopts Declaration Reaffirming 1995 Beijing Women's Conference Outcomes

U.N. News Centre: Adopting political declaration, U.N. urges world to ‘step it up’ to ensure gender equality by 2030
“As women thrive, so will humanity but if girls are held back, the whole world will feel the pain, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned the high-level opening of the United Nations body tasked with the promotion of gender quality and the empowerment of women, which also saw the adoption of a political declaration reaffirming commitment to the outcome of the historic 1995 Beijing women’s conference…” (3/9).

U.N. News Centre: World must ‘never relent’ until gender equality becomes reality, U.N. women’s commission told
“…Global leaders and activists are expected to take stock of progress and remaining challenges for implementing this landmark Beijing Declaration. And to that end, the first half of the day-long session [of the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women] wrapped up with the adoption of a new Political Declaration on actions to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment by 2030, including through significantly increased investment to close existing wide shortfalls…” (3/9).

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U.N. Women Official Discusses Progress, Challenges In Achieving Global Gender Equality In PBS NewsHour Interview

PBS NewsHour: Can we achieve global gender equality by 2030?
“Twenty years since the U.N. announced a major effort to reduce global gender inequality, women and girls today are far from getting equal treatment and participation in society, while violence against females is commonplace. Lakshmi Puri of U.N. Women joins Judy Woodruff to discuss the findings of a pair of reports looking at the status of women and girls, plus opportunity for further progress…” (Woodruff, 3/9).

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'No Ceilings' Report On Women Shows Progress Made On Gender Equality, Health Access But More Remains To Be Done

News outlets discuss the release of the “No Ceilings” report from the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other partners.

Agence France-Presse: Hillary Clinton says ‘not there yet’ on women’s equality
“Two women with global clout — Hillary Clinton and Melinda Gates — released a sweeping report on Monday showing that women are still far from winning equality in leadership positions…” (3/9).

Associated Press: Hillary Clinton urges action to achieve women’s equality
“…The report entitled ‘No Ceilings,’ being released Monday, assesses the gains and gaps for women and girls since the 1995 conference and concludes that ‘there has never been a better time to be born female.’ But it says change has been far too slow when it comes to women’s security, economic opportunity, and leadership…” (Lederer, 3/9).

Christian Science Monitor: Gender equality report: an example of how big data can address big problems
“…[R]esearchers collected 850,000 gender-related data points over a 20-year period from the United Nations, the World Bank, and other research and nonprofit organizations. Given that scope, the report’s release marks a turning point for nonprofits and development organizations, as they increasingly use big-data analysis to solve problems, measure progress, and provide comprehensive information to others…” (Maza, 3/9).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Gains and gaps in women’s fight for gender equality since 1995 — report
“…Among the most positive findings were those in health, education, and legal rights. Due to improvements in access to health care services, girls born today can expect to live an average of almost 73 years, about four more years than in 1995, the report said…” (Anderson, 3/9).

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Inequalities In Legal Rights For Women, Girls Exist In 170 Nations, Report Shows

News outlets discuss “Closing the Gender Gap,” a new report by UCLA’s WORLD Policy Analysis Center (WORLD) on inequalities in legal rights among women and girls worldwide.

The Guardian: Legal barriers prevent women’s empowerment in more than 170 countries
“Twenty years after the historic Beijing conference on women’s empowerment, more than 170 countries still have legal barriers in place preventing women from experiencing the same rights, protections, and liberties as men and boys, according to a new report on trends in gender equality around the world…” (Chonghaile, 3/9).

Los Angeles Times: Roadmap to equality: Are women better off than 20 years ago?
“…The UCLA study looked at how individual countries had fared on some of the major legal and policy recommendations included in the road map. There were some encouraging findings…” (Zavis, 3/9).

Newsweek: Child Marriages, Less Pay: The World for Women Is Still Unequal
“…[T]he study shows issues like child marriage and barriers to education for girls mean many countries have a long way to go. ‘It’s frankly staggering that in 2015 there still is inequality embedded in the law,’ said the study’s author, Jody Heymann, dean of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and founding director of the WORLD Policy Analysis Center…” (Westcott, 3/9).

PBS NewsHour: Twitter chat: What are the barriers to global gender equality?
“…Join us on Twitter on Thursday, March 12th, to discuss how women’s rights have advanced in the last 20 years, where they have stagnated, and what can be done to promote increased gender equality worldwide. Dr. Jody Heymann (@WPolicyForum), dean of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and founding director of the WORLD Policy Analysis Center, will share her insights based on the findings of the new report. Follow along and chime in using #NewsHourChats…” (Daly, 3/9).

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Violence Against Women Reaches 'Alarmingly High Levels' Globally, U.N. Report Says

News outlets describe findings from a U.N. report on global and regional estimates of violence against women.

Al Jazeera America: Sexual violence against women a ‘global epidemic,’ study finds
“Violence against women and girls ‘persists at alarmingly high levels’ despite significant progress in gender equality for health, education, and legal rights, according to an expansive global report released Monday…” (3/9).

New York Times: U.N. Reveals ‘Alarmingly High’ Levels of Violence Against Women
“…About 35 percent of women worldwide — more than one in three — said they had experienced physical violence in their lifetime, the report finds. One in 10 girls under the age of 18 was forced to have sex, it says. The subject is under sharp focus as delegates from around the world gather [in New York] starting on Monday to assess how well governments have done since they promised to ensure women’s equality at a landmark conference in Beijing 20 years ago — and what to do next…” (Sengupta, 3/9).

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Brazil's President Rousseff Signs Law Codifying Penalties For Violence Against Women

BBC News: Brazil femicide law signed by President Rousseff
“Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has signed a new law which sets tough new penalties for the killing of women and girls. Murders linked to domestic violence will carry sentences of between 12 and 30 years. … The new legislation alters the criminal code to describe femicide as any crime that involves domestic violence, contempt, or discrimination against women…” (3/9).

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U.K. Commits To Spending 0.7% Of GNI On Foreign Aid Annually

The Guardian: U.K. passes bill to honor pledge of 0.7% foreign aid target
“The U.K. has passed a bill that enshrines in law its commitment to spend 0.7 percent of its gross national income (GNI) on aid every year, making it the first G7 country to meet the U.N.’s 45-year-old aid spending target…” (Anderson, 3/9).

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Ban Appoints Advocate Stephen O'Brien As New U.N. Humanitarian Aid Chief

Reuters: British lawmaker Stephen O’Brien named new U.N. aid chief
“British lawmaker and former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, Stephen O’Brien, will replace Valerie Amos as the United Nations aid chief, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on Monday…” (Nichols, 3/9).

U.N. News Centre: Ban appoints seasoned British humanitarian advocate to head up U.N. relief wing
“…In a statement, the secretary general’s spokesperson said that Mr. O’Brien brings extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy and advocacy to the post, together with international leadership and management. Much of that, it noted, came in the coordination of collective action within the humanitarian community, notably in the fight against malaria and neglected tropical diseases, as well as in his significant contribution to the United Kingdom’s efforts to achieve the United Nations-endorsed target of contributing 0.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to official development assistance (ODA)…” (3/9).

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WHO Representative To China Says Nation's Leadership Must Take Actions Against Tobacco Use

Deutsche Welle: WHO: China needs to act against smoking
“At the ongoing annual national legislative session, Chinese lawmakers should adopt a raft of measures such as smoke-free public places to curb smoking, the WHO’s country representative Bernhard Schwartlaender tells DW…” (Domínguez, 3/9).

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NPR Examines How AFRIPads Sanitary Products Helping More African Girls Stay In School

NPR: Proper Sanitary Pads Are Keeping Girls In School
“…Through donations and partnerships with organizations, AFRIpads are now sold and distributed in other parts of Africa. The pads are packaged and sold in kits that include holders and a carrying bag as well as the pads themselves. And they have ‘transformed girls’ lives,’ says Jinny St. Goar, the U.S. project director for Mali Nyeta, a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to improving education and building stronger community in a rural area of Mali that has distributed 300 AFRIpad menstrual kits…” (Cole, 3/9).

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Clinic In Manila, Philippines Helps Women, Men Access Affordable Contraceptives

PRI: How this clinic has changed a nation’s view of family planning
“Along a busy street in the heart of Manila’s largest slum is a hard-to-find doorway. It’s tucked away between a few nondescript shops. But it opens into a hidden world. Women in the Philippines have been coming here for years to get affordable birth control, something frowned upon in this largely conservative Catholic country. This is the Likhaan Family Clinic, and it’s packed — not just with women these days, but men as well…” (Narang, 3/10).

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Cholera Outbreaks In Southern Africa Due To Heavy Rains, Poor Sanitation

VOA News: Poor Sanitation Spawns Southern Africa Cholera Outbreak
“Cholera has again reared its ugly head in Southern Africa, infecting nearly 6,000 people in Mozambique, Malawi, and now Zimbabwe. Heavy rains have been cited as the main culprit of this outbreak, but poor sanitation continues to plague this region, and human rights advocates say that is a failure of leadership…” (Powell, 3/9).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Food Aid Reform Could Save Millions More Lives

Roll Call: Cooking Up Food Aid Reform
Tom Colicchio, chef and food activist

“…[U.S.] food aid law actually ties the hands of humanitarians responding to crises from buying food locally or regionally. They have to put an order into Washington and wait. And wait. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Leading members of Congress from both parties — including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., and ranking member Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y. — have worked to modernize the system. Simple common sense reforms, such as the ones proposed in a bipartisan bill recently introduced in the Senate by Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Chris Coons, D-Del., can make the necessary reforms that would help save millions more lives with no additional costs to taxpayers…” (3/9).

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Learning From PEPFAR's Investment In HIV Treatment

New York Times: Letters to the Editor: Strategies to Fight HIV
Eran Bendavid, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University

“The article ‘U.S. Push for Abstinence in Africa Is Seen as Failure Against HIV’ (Feb. 27) suggests that the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) dismissed invitations to perform evaluations of its investments in abstinence and faithfulness programs. This was speculation on my part and misrepresents PEPFAR’s commitment to using evidence in designing its strategy. … American investments in HIV treatments have been a positive outlier in the global health world in terms of scale and dedication. I hope that greater emphasis could be placed on learning from this experience so this scale and dedication would be accompanied by success in reaching the people who would benefit the most” (3/9).

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Opinion Pieces Address Various Issues Surrounding International Women's Day, Gender Equality

Huffington Post: Picture It. I Dare You.
Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder and chair of global strategy at Susan G. Komen

Huffington Post: Let’s ‘Make It Happen’: No Woman Should Die Giving Life
Siddharth Chatterjee, representative at UNFPA Kenya, and Ruth Kagia, senior adviser in the Office of the President of Kenya

Huffington Post: A Simple Step Toward Gender Equality
William Lambers, author and blogger

Project Syndicate: Gender Equality and Earth’s Future
Mary Robinson, president of the Mary Robinson Foundation and the U.N. secretary general’s special envoy on climate change; Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); and Amina J. Mohammed, U.N. secretary general’s special adviser and the assistant secretary general on post-2015 development planning

Huffington Post: Celebrate Women: Don’t WASH Away Their Rights
Sanjay Wijesekera, chief of water, sanitation and hygiene, and associate director of programs at UNICEF

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Middle East's Gulf States, Donors Well-Positioned To Help Improve Global Health

Arabian Business: Bill Gates: Why I’m betting on the Gulf to help fight extreme poverty and disease
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…I saw the Middle East’s role in global health first-hand in late January, at a conference in Berlin dedicated to providing life-saving vaccines to children in low-income countries around the world. … [W]e must work to improve health and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia — regions that include large Muslim populations. [Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)] donors are well positioned to assist these populations with generosity, credibility, and understanding. … [T]his region is qualified to play a unique and deeply meaningful part in fighting extreme poverty and disease. In fact, I’m willing to bet on it” (3/6).

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Better Coordination, Adequate Resources Needed To Accelerate Progress Against Malnutrition

Inter Press Service: Opinion: The World Sees Progress Against Undernutrition, but it’s Uneven
Jomo Kwame Sundaram, coordinator for economic and social development at the Food and Agriculture Organization

“…Overall progress [against malnutrition] has been highly uneven. … In countries where low undernourishment coexists with high malnutrition, specially designed nutrition-enhancing interventions may be crucial to address early childhood stunting. Improvements in nutrition generally require complementary policies, including improving health conditions, hygiene, water, sanitation, and education. More sophisticated and creative approaches to coordination as well as adequate resources are needed…” (3/9).

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Aid Organizations Must Heed Mental Health Of Their Workers

New York Times: A Crisis of Anxiety Among Aid Workers
Rosalie Hughes, freelance journalist and former employee of the U.N. refugee agency and other relief organizations

“…Rates of clinical depression among aid workers are double those of American adults. … Yet mental health support for the estimated 250,000 humanitarian workers in the trenches is woefully lacking. … This must change, and not just for high-minded humanitarian reasons. Depressed and anxious aid workers perform poorly. … Aid organizations exist to alleviate suffering and maintain and protect human dignity. They should do better at applying these principles to their own staff” (3/8).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Second Blog Post In Series Examines China's History Of Artemisinin Drug Development

Council on Foreign Relation’s “Asia Unbound”: Artemisinin’s Rocky Road to Globalization: Part II
In part two of his series on anti-malarial artemisinin drugs, Yanzhong Huang, CFR senior fellow for global health, explores the challenges China faced in marketing its artemisinin-based combination therapies worldwide. “…The 2004-2006 artemisinin bubble nevertheless has not deterred Chinese pharmaceutical firms from pursuing its globalization strategy. Supported by the state, Chinese pharmaceutical firms since 2007 have become even more aggressive in promoting their anti-malarial products globally. But how successful are their efforts? This will be the subject of my next blog post” (3/9).

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New Issue Of 'Global Health: Science And Practice' Journal Available Online

Global Health: Science and Practice Journal: March 2015
The new issue of the “Global Health: Science and Practice Journal” features articles on various topics, including antiretroviral therapies, contraception, and family planning services, among others (March 2015).

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