Marking the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day on Tuesday, U.N. Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet reflected on the progress made on women’s rights issues over the past century while noting the barriers yet to be overcome, the Canadian Press reports. “The last century has seen an unprecedented expansion of women’s legal rights and entitlements,” Bachelet said, noting the progress made in voting rights for women, laws against domestic and sexual violence, and women in the workplace, the news service writes (Lederer, 3/8).
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Investing In WomenÂ Worldwide Promotes DevelopmentÂ Government and business leaders worldwide should “see investing in women as a strategy for job creation and economic growth,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton writes inÂ a Bloomberg Businessweek opinion piece, supporting her statement by noting “there are more than 200 million women entrepreneurs worldwide,”…
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday announced the launch of a global partnership between USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the non-profit Grand Challenges Canada, the World Bank, and the government of Norway to reduce the number of deaths among mothers and infants in developing countries, the Globe and Mail reports.
Canadian House Of Commons Passes Bill That Could Ease Access To Generic Drugs In Developing Countries
Canadian lawmakers in the country’s House of Commons on Wednesday “approved a bill aiming to ease the process that lets generic drug manufacturers produce patented medicines for export to poor nations at cheaper prices in a move the pharmaceutical industry says could undermine intellectual property rights,” Bloomberg reports (Argitis, 3/10).
“The Indonesian government hopes to implement one of the largest ever examples of ‘compulsory licensing,’ which will enable the generic manufacture of drugs still under patent,” IRIN reports. “Under the World Trade Organization’s Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), countries can override patents for public health purposes by…
Swaziland “is struggling to overcome twin epidemics of HIV and tuberculosis (TB),” UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé writes in the Huffington Post “Healthy Living” blog. “Here in Swaziland, more than three-quarters of TB patients are also living with HIV, and TB is the leading cause of death among people with…
In “an effort to advance highly lauded efforts to combat AIDS,” Brazil will require physicians to report cases of HIV, not just AIDS, to state and federal authorities, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. Brazil’s national treatment program currently “reaches 223,000 people and costs the nation nearly $700 million a year,” but health authorities said they believe another 250,000 people are living with HIV and could benefit from early therapy, according to the news agency (12/27).
The Wall Street Journal examines efforts to fight tuberculosis (TB) in Europe, writing, “All along the edges of Western Europe, new and hard-to-defeat strains of tuberculosis are gaining a foothold, often moving beyond traditional victims — alcoholics, drug users, HIV patients — and into the wider population.” The article focuses on the efforts of Estonia to turn the tide against multidrug-resistant TB, saying the country’s success “offers one of the few bright spots globally as the ancient plague mutates into new and more deadly forms.” The newspaper continues, “Indeed, experts say the country, with half the population of Chicago, could be a model for others. But there is one catch: It takes years and some pricey treatments just to gain the upper hand” (Naik, 12/31).
The New York Times profiles the Safe Abortion Hot Line in Chile, where abortion has been entirely illegal since 1989. Thirty volunteers throughout Chile operate the telephone hotline, which takes “tense calls from women seeking information about abortion every evening from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.,” the newspaper writes, adding the volunteers have taken “more than 12,000 calls so far, and they continue rolling in at a steady clip.” The newspaper examines the history of abortion laws in Chile and several other countries in South America; says the country’s Ministry of Women began its own hotline to “answer calls from men or women looking for information or support when facing what the ministry calls an ‘abortion situation’ or ‘post-abortion syndrome'”; describes how the drug misoprostol, which “was taken off pharmacy shelves in Chile under Michelle Bachelet, the former president,” who now heads U.N. Women, is used for safe medical abortions; and discusses the establishment of abortion hotlines in Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela by the group Women on Waves (Nelsen, 1/3).
On average, 200 people are diagnosed with HIV every day in Russia, Al Jazeera reports. “Vadim Pokrovsky, the head of Russia’s AIDS research center, has said that instead of recognizing a crisis — the government is indifferent to the problem,” the news service writes, adding, “‘If we had 200 cases of diarrhea at a children’s pioneer camp, the country’s head sanitation doctor would fly out immediately to save them,’ Pokrovsky said.” Pokrovsky continued, “It would be frightening. Governors would run, helicopters would fly, the police would search for the source of infection, prosecutors would get to work. But here we are seeing that there is complete indifference to this situation,” according to the news service.