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Global Leaders Discuss Progress, Announce New Commitments At Women Deliver Conference

“On the second day of Women Deliver 2013, the largest conference on girls and women of the decade, global leaders announced progress and new commitments toward expanding contraceptive access for women in developing countries,” a Global Health Strategies press release/AllAfrica.com reports. “The day’s events built on commitments and energy generated at the landmark July 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, where global leaders pledged more than $2.6 billion to provide 120 million more women and girls in the world’s poorest countries with voluntary access to contraceptive services, information and supplies by 2020,” the press release states (5/29). “Melinda Gates, co-founder of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke at the panel … on Wednesday and said that a year after the transformational London Family Planning Summit, she had seen so much progress in many countries, including in Senegal, Zambia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines in terms of scaling up health care and education access for women and girls,” the Jakarta Post notes (Widiadana, 5/30).

However, “[d]espite tremendous momentum for health and empowerment [of] women worldwide, many countries, particularly developing countries, are yet to show their commitment and implement policies and programs,” the newspaper writes in a separate article (Widiadana, 5/29). “Women and girls who have been displaced by conflict or disaster need to be offered the same sexual and reproductive health care available in other settings, [Lakshmi Puri,] the acting head of U.N. Women, said on Wednesday,” adding that “women’s right to access health care needed to be upheld ‘in all circumstances, in all settings, including for refugee[s],'” according to The Guardian (Ford, 5/30). In an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, “Babatunde Osotimehin — a trained doctor, former health minister of Nigeria and now head of the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) — describes the importance of reproductive rights and how UNFPA convinces governments and communities that family planning is the right thing to do” (Win, 5/29). Digital News Asia examines the use of live-streaming and social media to join “tens of thousands from all over the world” for the conference (Asohan, 5/19).