“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on the international community to give rural women the same access to productive resources as men, noting the huge benefits that would ensue, from increased food production to a drop of 150 million in the number of the world’s hungry people,” the U.N. News Centre reports (10/14).
The New York Times reports on a growing movement in Senegal to end female genital cutting, which was officially banned in the nation more than a decade ago. “The change is happening without the billions of dollars that have poured into other global health priorities throughout the developing world in recent years,” the newspaper writes, adding, “Over the past 15 years, the drive to end the practice has gained such momentum that a majority of Senegalese villages where genital cutting was commonplace have committed to stop it.”
“Women, girls and HIV were the focus of a panel discussion on the final day of the International Forum on [Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6] in Eastern Europe and Central Asia,” UNAIDS reports. “In Russia, HIV prevalence among young women aged 15-24 is two times higher than among men of the same age, according to government figures,” UNAIDS notes, adding women’s health advocates in Russia say, “Stigma and discrimination â€¦ continue to hamper access to HIV services” (10/13).
In this post in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog, women’s issues author and speaker Tabby Biddle writes, “There are over 150 million instances each year of sexual violence against girls. … One major factor that perpetuates this cycle of violence is that the girls who have been raped can’t speak up for themselves (because they are babies or very young children) and those who are old enough to speak up, are afraid to — for many good reasons.”
U.N. Secretary-General Calls For Continued Support Of Women's, Children's Health In Developing Countries
“Developing countries are making efforts to improve the health of women and children but more needs to be done, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said” at an awards ceremony in New York, United Press International reports. “‘As of today, more than 60 countries have committed to step up efforts to improve women and children’s health,’ Ban said,” the news agency writes (10/14).
Pollution from indoor cooking stoves, typically open fires that that burn solid fuels such as wood, charcoal or dung, kills two million globally each year, scientists at NIH said in a study published in the journal Science on Thursday, Agence France-Presse reports. Smoke emitted from the stoves, used by three billion people worldwide, “causes pneumonia and chronic lung disease that particularly affects women and children who tend to spend more time in the home while men are outside working,” AFP writes, adding that “little public awareness surrounds what the World Health Organization describes as the globe’s top environmental killer” (Sheridan, 10/13).
Young Women In India 'Fare Much Worse' Than Those In Many Developing Countries, World Bank Report Says
“Young women in India are much better off than their mothers, but they fare much worse than their counterparts in many developing countries when it comes to the physical survival rate of women and participation in labor force, says a report by the World Bank … titled ‘Gender Equality and Development,'” Business Standard reports (10/13). The report “said that while life expectancy had increased in low- and middle-income countries by 20 years since 1960 … almost 4 million women died too early in the developing world compared to rich countries,” with almost one million of these excess deaths occurring in India, according to the Times of India (Dhawan, 10/13).
The African Medical and Research Foundation [AMREF] has selected Esther Madudu, a midwife at the Tiriri health center in northeast Uganda, to lead its global campaign, Stand Up for African Mothers, the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog” reports. The goal of the project is to reduce maternal deaths worldwide by 25 percent and train an additional 30,000 midwives, “including 10,000 in Uganda,” according to the blog. Madudu will travel to France this week, “where she will address delegates at the Women’s Forum Global meeting, alongside Uganda’s minister of health, Christine Ondoa,” the blog notes (Ford, 10/12).
VOA News Examines How A Public-Private Partnership Will Combat Cancer Among Women In The Developing World
This VOA News editorial examines how a public-private partnership between PEPFAR, the George W. Bush Institute, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, as well as private sector partners will launch a program called Pink Ribbon, Red Ribbon to “combat cervical and breast cancer for women in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.” “In the developing world, women’s cancers are often neglected and associated with stigma that discourages women from seeing a doctor,” VOA writes. The editorial quotes Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton who said, “If we want to make progress on some of the toughest challenges we face in global health — fighting HIV, preventing childhood deaths, improving nutrition, stopping malaria, and more — then investing in women must be at the top of the agenda” (10/11).
In this Guardian opinion piece, Lisa Shannon, founder of A Thousand Sisters, Run for Congo Women, and co-founder of Sister Somalia, examines how, in the context of famine, sexual violence in the Horn of Africa, and particularly in Somalia, “is being de-prioritized as primarily a psychosocial issue,” and asserts that grassroots international organizations offer a solution “outside the traditional big-aid model.”