August 2010's Edition of
Brings you stories on...
Kenya’s Population Reaches 36.8 Million
A decade ago, family planning practitioners touted Kenya as a success story. Its total fertility rate (TFR) had declined from 8 children in the late 1970's to 4.7 by 1999. But as a result of dwindling international donor support for family planning, Kenya's fertility rate and contraceptive prevalence rate began creeping back up shortly after the Millennium. As a consequence, concerns about population growth, particularly in light of increasing drought and water scarcity, are on the rise again. In August Kenya announced that its population in the last decade had risen to 36.8 million, an increase of 10 million.
Congress Debates Child Marriage
Momentum is building in Congress for passage of legislation aimed at curbing the practice of child marriage in developing countries. The Human Rights Commission held a hearing on child marriage in July and sponsors of the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act (H.R. 2103 S. 987) are pushing for House and Senate approval before Congress adjourns later this year. The bills 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.
Congress to consider International Violence against Women Act (IVAWA)
The Senate is poised to consider the International Violence against Women Act (IVAWA). IVAWA would establish an Office for Global Women's Issues in the State Department to coordinate efforts regarding gender integration and empowerment of women in U.S. foreign policy. An estimated one out of three women in the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. In some developing countries, the rate of domestic violence reaches or exceeds 70 percent.
Secretary Clinton’s Speech About the Global Health Initiative
Eighteen months ago, the Obama administration unveiled a $63 billion Global Health Initiative (GHI) to save millions of lives by expanding current programs and improving health systems in developing countries. The GHI, which has become a centerpiece of the Administration's foreign policy, provides increased funding for HIV/AIDS, malaria, maternal and child health, family planning, neglected tropical diseases, and other critical health areas. On October 16th Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies outlining what the GHI hopes to accomplish.
Reproductive Health in Emergencies
This year there been two highly publicized humanitarian emergencies, the earthquake in Haiti and the ongoing flooding in Pakistan. The focus around emergencies like these is often on food and shelter; however the people affected by these disasters have needs much greater than that. One area that often gets neglected is reproductive health. Women do not stop having babies or needing reproductive health care during times of emergency. During the earthquake in Haiti groups helping people affected by the disaster worked to implement the Minimal Initial Service Package (MISP) for reproductive health services making sure that people had access to at least basic levels of reproductive health care. A recent evaluation of the implantation of the MISP has shown that in Haiti reproductive health was treated as a priority, but that challenges remain particularly with sexual violence, coverage of the services, and people's knowledge of the availability of the services