Blogs Address Issues Discussed At Women Deliver Conference

The following is a summary of blog posts addressing the Women Deliver 2013 conference taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this week.

  • Jaime-Alexis Fowler, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog: “We are facing huge, often seemingly intractable challenges to improving the lives of women around the world: from maternal mortality and access to family planning to girls’ education and gender inequity. We cannot let perfect be the enemy of improvement,” Fowler, the associate director of public relations and online communications at Pathfinder International, writes. “Gains have been made for women and girls around the world because we haven’t waited for perfect. Yet we need to push for more, particularly in access to family planning,” she continues, adding, “We have to be imperfect, impatient optimists, with better solutions, to ensure we deliver for women and girls — particularly in improving access to family planning” (5/28).
  • Helene Gayle and Julia Newton-Howes, Development Policy Centre’s Development Policy Blog: “Conferences like these play a critical role in keeping global attention focused on the issues that are core to empowering women — which is the key to fighting poverty,” Newton-Howes, CEO of CARE Australia, and Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA, write. “But women’s empowerment cannot be achieved unless women’s sexual and reproductive health rights are protected,” they continue, adding, “Real change requires addressing underlying and systemic factors, including the pervasive gender inequality and violence that undermines the health of women and girls throughout their lives” (5/29).
  • Karen Grepin, Karen Grepin’s Global Health Blog: “The main reason I am here … was to present the findings from a new report [.pdf] that I co-authored with Jeni Klugman, the director of gender and development at the World Bank,” Grepin, a researcher and blogger writes, noting, “In it, we attempted to summarize the evidence on what is known about the economics [of] maternal health in developing countries.” She continues, “Yesterday I attended a panel where every panelist presented an overview of their work where they were trying out nearly identical ‘new approaches.’ Sadly, this conference has also convinced me that there is too little research underway to test the many innovative approaches underway around the world” (5/28).
  • Emily Ross, United Nations Foundation Blog: “While not everyone could make it to Malaysia for the conference, they could add their voice to the conversation through ‘WomenDeliver+SocialGood,’ an in-person and online event that brought together media experts, social entrepreneurs, and policy leaders to discuss how digital media and technology can address challenges facing women and girls around the world,” Ross, deputy director of U.N. relations and special initiatives, writes. “The event highlighted how technology can help empower women and address urgent health challenges,” she adds (5/28).
  • Jane Silcock, USAID’s IMPACTblog: “Coinciding with the Women Deliver conference, USAID is highlighting our work in family planning this week on IMPACT as part of our Global Health blog series this month,” Silcock, a communications analyst with the Office of Population and Reproductive Health, writes. “Family planning plays a critical role in meeting our goals of ending preventable child and maternal deaths and creating an AIDS-Free Generation, and is crucial to improving people’s lives across the globe,” she continues, adding, “We know that family planning enables women and couples to choose the timing and spacing of their pregnancies, resulting in incredible health and economic benefits for families” (5/28).
  • Camaro West, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog: “What a conference like Women Deliver does is offer the opportunity for actors at all levels to engage with one another and the issue at hand. It provides a platform for knowledge sharing and perhaps most importantly, the formation of linkages within and across sectors,” West, a blogger with Girls’ Globe, writes. “As a collective of individuals, organizations and governments gathering together at Women Deliver and mobilizing all of this non-traditional currency, we can work to ensure that when money is thrown at a problem, it is thrown in a direction that will best get at the root causes and lead to lasting changes,” she adds (5/28).
  • Edward Wilson, USAID’s IMPACTblog: “On the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT we work alongside USAID and other partners every day to strengthen health programs by improving the supply chains in-country,” Wilson, project director for USAID’s DELIVER Project with John Snow, Inc., writes. “In our work we often say ‘No Product. No Program,'” he notes, adding, “What we mean by that is ensuring an adequate supply of contraceptives is critical to the success of family planning programs.” He continues, “While meeting the family planning needs of women around the world happens one woman at a time, making contraceptives available to each of those women requires the concerted and coordinated efforts of individuals and organizations around the world” (5/29).

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