The Heroes of International Women’s Day

PSI works to make it easier for women in the developing world to live healthier lives and plan the families they desire. Now more than ever, our commitment to women is unwavering. On International Women’s Day, we’re featuring three heroes of their own stories. In keeping themselves and their families healthy, they’re creating a better

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How to Save a Life? Help Women Put a Ring on it!

By Nina Hasen, Director of HIV and TB Programs, PSI The Washington Post recently published an article assessing the potential of a new product – a vaginal ring that secretes the antiretroviral drug dapivirine – to protect women from the HIV virus. PSI’s Director of HIV and Tuberculosis Programs, Nina Hasen responds: We applaud the Washington Post and other news

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4 Stories not to Miss from International Women’s Day

By Noha Zeitoun, Content Intern, PSI We’re sure you have noticed, but in case you’ve been stuck in meetings all week, this past Tuesday, March 8th, was the International Day of the Women. The day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women around the world. While we have come a long way,

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Gestational Diabetes

PSI Short Film to be Featured in Women Deliver’s Cinema Corner

By Noha Zeitoun, Content Intern, PSI On International Women’s Day 2016, Women Deliver announced the films that have been invited to screen at the 2016 Arts and Cinema Corner, a special feature of the Women Deliver 2016 Global Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Supporting Women Deliver’s message of improving the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women, the selected

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12 Women (and One Man) Who are Inspiring Change

To mark International Women’s Day this year, our partners at Marie Stopes compiled a list of 12 women and one man who’ve inspired change and helped to improve the lives of women either in their community or at a global level. Each day this week, they’ve revealed two names on the list, in the build up to International Women’s Day, which is coming up on Saturday, March 8.

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Empowering Girls and Women to Shape the World

Fifteen years ago, I was the first woman elected governor of New Hampshire. Times have certainly changed since then and now I am a proud member of America’s first all-female state delegation – New Hampshire boasting a female governor, both senators and all members of the House of Representatives – as well as a part

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Philanthropy That Delivers for Women

By Kate Roberts, Vice President of Corporate Marketing, Communications and Advocacy, PSI

There are some global challenges that we do not yet know how to solve. Improving the health of girls and women worldwide is not one of them.

On the contrary, we already have the necessary tools in our possession. Reliable health data allows us to pinpoint and develop solutions for the greatest threats to their health. We have modern diagnostic technologies capable of identifying disease. We have vaccines and health products that offer safe and effective disease prevention barriers. We also have medicines to treat the majority of the leading causes of death among girls and women.

But these advances are worth little unless we are able to deliver them to women living in the furthest regions of the developing world that need them most. When people ask me what is needed, I explain that we need to find new ways to deliver and create demand for health solutions that already exist so they reach the developing world. When someone asks me how they can help, I let them know that donations and private investments are often the only sources of funding that allow us to test and develop promising health solutions that governments and businesses can’t afford to advance on their own.

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Aggie’s Fight

A health worker’s crusade for reproductive rights in Zambia

Every day, Agnes Phiri Kornika wakes up at 5:00 in the morning to pray for the rural women of Zambia. She prays for women who have 16 children, for women struggling with unwanted pregnancies, for women who have no access to family planning.

Then, she puts on her dancing shoes and does something about it.

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10 Social Entrepreneurs Who are Improving the Wellbeing of Girls

10 organizations were announced as the finalists of a competition hosted by the advocacy organization Women Deliver. The the girl-focused organizations will receive scholarships to the upcoming  Women Deliver 2013 Conference in Malaysia. There, they will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges who will determine the 2013 “Global Solution Award.” The semi-finalists for the competition came from around with world with eight based in Asia, four in sub-Saharan Africa, three in the Middle East and North Africa, two in Europe and North America, and one in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“All around the world, inspiring social entrepreneurs and small business owners are taking new and creative approaches to making the world a better a place,” said Jill Sheffield, Women Deliver Founder and President in a press release. “On International Women’s Day, it is important to remember that individuals worldwide and organizations, in every sector and of every size, all have a role to play to improve the health, education and welfare of girls and women.”

Meet the finalists:

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Real Voices: Preventing HIV in Women

Check out this video from the International Partnership for Microbicides which is a part of its new series Real Voices Here is a bit more about the series: “Real Voices features interviews with stakeholders in Africa, who offer their views on the need for female-controlled HIV prevention tools to reduce women’s risk of infection. This video highlights researchers and partners on the ground, sharing their reflections on the challenges women in their communities face and their hopes for the future.”

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How the UK is Advancing Women and Girls

An event held in advance on Friday’s International Women’s Day saw the head of the UK’s Department for Intentional Development (DfID), Justine Greening, unveil new ways that the body will prioritize women and girls. “Investing in girls and women works  it’s becoming increasingly a core business strategy yielding real investor returns,” she said. “Locking out women isn’t just bad for an economy, it’s bad for a society. It seems common sense, but it’s still happening. From the very start girls lose out.”

Greening discussed how the UK sees Afghanistan as strategic priority for advancing the protection of women and girls in order to build upon the nation building efforts over the past decade.  She also unveiled a list of ways that DfID will support women. Devex lists:

– An 11.5 million pounds ($17.3 million) support for the World Bank’s Gender Innovation Lab project, which will focus on research highlighting “what works in terms of giving girls and women control over their economic lives in sub-Saharan Africa.”
– More funding to provide 3 million contraceptive implants and 17 million female condoms, and for a so-called Leadership for Change program, which will help promote and enhance women’s leadership skills.
– A high-level conference sometime in September whose aim is to galvanize action on violence against women and girls in humanitarian emergencies. The event will be participated by donors, aid agencies and gender advocates, among others.
– The establishment of an expert advisory group, which, according to Greening, will include leaders from human rights groups, the private sector and civil society.

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5 Policy Initiatives that Support Women

Alanna Shaikh is a global health professional currently based in Tajikistan, (where March 8th is a national holiday celebrated on par with New Year’s Eve.)

The first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911, to promote equal rights and suffrage for women. In other words, to improve law and policy that affected women’s lives. Those early activists were right. Individual efforts are essential, but they don’t succeed without effective policy.

You need ground-level interventions to support women and improve their quality of life. Things like training doctors in women’s health care, improving the accessibility of contraception, and supporting women’s access to credit and employment can change lives. But they don’t work in a vacuum. You need good policy to make grass roots change possible. You can’t run a good project if the government doesn’t give it room to succeed.

In honor of International Women’s Day, and the visionaries who created it, here are five policy initiatives that support women:

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