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NGOs Call For Increased International Support For Women’s Health

Hundreds of non-governmental organizations from around the world gathered for a three-day conference in Berlin last week, where they emphasized the need for broader international support for improving women’s health worldwide – “15 years after the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, where a similar group set goals to improve the sexual health and rights for women, particularly in the developing world,” the Associated Press reports.

Gill Greer, a conference organizer and director general of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said, “Funding for the delivery of the programs that came out of (the Cairo conference) has not kept pace with the promises, but nevertheless there have been some dramatic changes and improvements and advances.” Greer added, “If we invest in women, they will drive development” (McGroarty, 8/5).

Speakers “called upon the 400 delegates from 131 countries to mount public demonstrations to command attention, to promote open discussion of sexual behaviour, and to insist upon scaling up successful programmes of voluntary family planning, comprehensive sex education and maternal and newborn health care,” afrol News reports.

The U.S. plans to increase its support in international programs for women, according to Scott Radloff of USAID, the AP reports. “‘We’re likely to be witnessing about a 50 percent increase in funding for both family planning, reproductive health and for maternal/child health over a two-year period,’ Radloff said, without specifying exactly how much money would be allocated,” the AP writes (8/5).

DAWN.com examines the goals that came from the Cairo conference and why international “successes in the arena of sexual and reproductive health” have been “slow coming” (Ebrahim, 9/4).

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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.