September 2010's Edition of
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Family Planning Receives Boost at MDG Summit
Support for international family planning received a big boost at the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goal summit in New York City. On September 22, Ban Ki-moon, the U.N.'s Secretary General, unveiled a "Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health." The Secretary General announced a $40 billion package of support for programs aimed at improving the health of women and children in the developing world. The U.N. strategy document outlines the commitments and interventions needed to save over 16 million children's lives, prevent 33 million unwanted pregnancies, and 74,000 deaths of women from pregnancy and childbirth complications.
Clinton Announces Global Alliance on Family Planning and Reproductive Health
On September 22, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.K. Deputy Prime Minister, the Australian Foreign Minister, and Melinda Gates unveiled a five-year public/private global alliance to contribute to the goal of reducing the unmet need for family planning by 100 million women. Secretary Clinton was joined by U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nicholas Clegg, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, and Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill
Reproductive Supplies Coalition Launches HANDtoHAND Campaign
The Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition has set a new ambitious goal: 100 million new users of modern contraception by 2015. The Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition is a global partnership of public, private, and non-governmental organizations dedicated to ensuring that all people in low- and middle-income countries can access and use affordable, high-quality supplies to ensure their better reproductive health. Noting that millions of women in the developing world are finding the strength to take their reproductive health into their own hand, the coalition has launched its HANDtoHAND campaign.
Child Marriage Bill Moves Forward in the Senate
September 21st the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted unanimously to send the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Bill (S. 987) to the full Senate for consideration. The bill, sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), would authorize the President to provide assistance to prevent the incidence of child marriage and promote the educational, health, economic, social, and legal empowerment of girls. The State Department is required to come up with a multi-year strategy to prevent child marriage and promote the empowerment of young girls who are at risk of child marriage.
New Maternal Mortality Numbers Show Progress is Being Made
On September 10th, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the World Bank released their new maternal mortality numbers in the report "Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2008". The number of women who are dying from childbirth and pregnancy related causes has fallen 34% from 546,000 women per year in 1990 to 358,000 per year in 2008. This is great news, but with 1,000 women dying every day there is still a lot of work to be done.
World Contraception Day Observed
Each September 26 on World Contraception Day, people from around the world organize events to show their commitment to raising contraceptive awareness and improving sexual and reproductive health education. This year's WCD also marked the launch of a new multi-national survey, "Contraception: Whose responsibility is it anyway?" The survey interviewed young people from across the globe and its findings showed that a large number of pregnancies continue to be unplanned. Many young people know that contraception is their responsibility, but they are not taking the necessary precautions. Showcasing this survey, WCD's theme for 2010 was "Take Responsibility."