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Investing In Women, Girls Critical To Economic Development, Global Health

Huffington Post: Igniting Change by Investing in Girls and Women
Tedros Adhanom, minister of foreign affairs for Ethiopia

“…Securing the health and rights of girls and women is a necessary condition if we are to [achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)]. We need advocates from all branches of government and every corner of civil society to work collaboratively in leading the charge. We must acknowledge the inherent linkages between human rights, gender equity, and health. And national governments and global donors must commit to providing equal access to education, health care, employment, and representation in political and economic decision-making circles. … [G]irls and women are the keys that will unlock sustainable development. They are also at the center of the healthier and more resilient societies we desire. The onus is now on us to ignite change by putting them first” (5/16).

Devex: Taking care of business
Priya Agrawal, executive director of Merck for Mothers, and Gina Lagomarsino, co-founder, chief operating officer, and managing director at Results for Development Institute

“…[T]he private sector already plays a prominent role in maternal health across the developing world. … Yet the private sector is often overlooked as part of the ‘formal system,’ leaving it largely unregulated and of variable quality. To address these issues, the global health community must find ways to help governments more effectively engage with private providers and link them to quality of care improvement initiatives. … Governments and partners can change the landscape of maternity care by integrating more small-scale providers … into the broader health system through payment and quality initiatives that help them provide affordable, quality care to lower-income patients and create sustainable small businesses” (5/16).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Better lives for girls are coming, but we must speed up
Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of Plan International

“…Now is the time to galvanize the movement for girls’ rights that has emerged in recent years, to become ever more impatient for change. … Progress remains stubbornly slow in part because we lack the numbers to track it. … That’s why we’re launching a new partnership to fill the data gaps. Real data, relevant to girls, will enable us to see how fast progress is being made to end early and forced marriage, to achieve gender parity in secondary education, to abolish female genital mutilation, and to ensure girls have the same job opportunities as boys. We also need to see the reality of [girls’] lives, so often overlooked. We need to hear the voice of girls …: girls with insight into the barriers, with experience of overcoming them. Because the people who are really going to change things are girls themselves” (5/16).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Delivering for women and girls
David Nabarro, special adviser of the U.N. secretary general

“…[T]he 16-19 May 2016 Women Deliver conference … will be an important moment to discuss how to best implement [the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health and the 2030 Agenda] and to measure our success. The Global Strategy envisions a world in which women, children, and adolescents realize their rights to physical and mental health and well-being, benefit from social and economic opportunities, and are fully able to participate in shaping prosperous and sustainable societies. … Achieving the Global Strategy requires well-targeted investment in research and smart innovation, yielding up-to-date and relevant knowledge that is made freely available in response to the local needs and national priorities within all nations. … Great things have been done to help increase the potential of every women and every child. But there is so much more to be done…” (5/16).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: The First 1000 Days: delivering for mothers, children, and societies
Rachel Toku Appiah, nutrition program manager at Graça Machel Trust

“…Traditionally, nutrition has been a neglected area, and there is an urgent need to not just use the existing funds more efficiently and effectively, but also increase the overall domestic financial envelope to fund key nutrition strategies and interventions. From saving lives to ending poverty to fueling economic growth, proper nutrition, especially in the first 1,000 days, can be a significant game-changer for governments as they finalize their investment-cases to help achieve their [Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)] targets. It’s a fortuitous window of opportunity that our policymakers must fully leverage if they want to build healthy, thriving, and happy societies. The cost of not doing so, in lives lost and in dollars, is far too high” (5/17).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.