Opinion Pieces Discuss Maternal, Child Health, Reproductive Rights, Family Planning

Devex: Let’s support national actions to end preventable maternal and newborn deaths
Mariam Claeson, director of maternal, newborn and child health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…As we move into 2015 and beyond, we find ourselves at the dawn of the Sustainable Development Goals. As we move forward, we need to do better for the world’s mothers and newborns, starting by keeping them at the heart of our post-2015 health efforts. … [A]s a global community, we must support government, local communities, and civil society to seize critical opportunities, implement evidence-based plans, take action, and ensure that the resources are available to deliver on commitments…” (12/11).

The Lancet: Offline: Making it happen for women and girls
Richard Horton, editor in chief of The Lancet

“…There are reasons for concern. Women’s and children’s health is almost invisible in the 17 draft Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), produced by an Open Working Group of the United Nations during the summer. … Substantial progress for women and girls has been made. But large gaps remain. … WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, U.N. Women, and the secretary general himself should use the next three months to devise a strategy, advocacy, and communication plan to ensure that the health of women and children is put at the center of sustainable development. Don’t repeat the mistakes that tarnished the MDG era” (12/13).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: The rights way forward for international family planning programs
Elizabeth Schlachter, director of Family Planning 2020, and Poonam Muttreja, executive director, Population Foundation of India

“…On Human Rights Day this week, and over the course of the days ahead, we shall celebrate the achievements of partners throughout the world in advancing women’s and girls’ rights and empowerment through expanding access to family planning. It is the work of governments, donors, civil society, and advocates that has brought the advances we have seen in the past years. Our work is far from over, but we have seen the ways that collaboration and commitment can make a difference for individual women and girls…” (12/11).

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