It was a sunny afternoon as most days are in Ethiopia in April. I was taking an individual tour of a large hospital in the middle of Addis Ababa where I got to talk to doctors, nurses, and see waiting rooms and even patients who were recovering from care.
I distinctly remember the room of women who had recently had abortions or were awaiting one. The room was eerily silent despite the number of patients in the large recovery room with few windows and no air conditioning. Personal effects were on all of the beds: blankets, purses, food, extra clothes . Some of the women had female visitors, others did not. While the Ethiopian abortion law on the books is considered “semi-liberal” by African standards, there is some pushback on abortion services although in practice if a woman wants an abortion she can most likely get one. This is mostly to help decrease maternal mortality rates and to curb the rates of unsafe abortions.
As I concluded my tour, the last room I saw was where the abortions took place with all of its machines and lone hospital bed. At that moment I was glad that despite the law, these Ethiopian medical professionals along with the hospital’s policy allowed women to have a choice about their own bodies and reproductive rights.
Continue reading “The Global HER Act Explained #ReproductiveHealth #GlobalHERAct”
Nepal, while being a hotbed for adventure seekers, trekkers, tourists, and mountaineers, faces many economic struggles that heavily plague low-and-middle income countries. The vast majority of Nepal’s economy is based on remittances with 25 percent of its working population living outside of the country. Additionally, with an average population age of 23, Nepal has a dismal 50 percent unemployment rate. These systemic economic struggles, of course, disproportionately affect women and subsequently their children and families. Couple that with a stringent caste system and some Nepali women remain inherently stuck on the lowest rung of the class ladder and are subject to some of the basest forms of work available to them.
The Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI), a youth-driven environmental NGO based in Kathmandu, is working with some of these women whose only other economically viable life option may be selling themselves sexually to the nearest customer, working in the illegal scrap waste trade, or going abroad to find work and then enduring whatever fate awaits them. HCI employs socially discriminated women waste workers at its PET Bottle Recollection Social Enterprise (Nagar Mitra) allowing them to create a livelihood beyond what might traditionally befall them.
Continue reading “5 Ways This NGO is Helping Nepal’s Women Waste Workers”
Thesla Palanee-Phillips, University of the Witwatersrand
The results of the two studies showing that a vaginal ring can help reduce the risk HIV infection among women is being hailed as an important HIV prevention breakthrough.
Launched four years ago, the two clinical trials, known as ASPIRE and The Ring Study, set out to determine how safe and effective the ring was in prevention of HIV infection in women. The ring, which is used for a month at a time, contains an antiretroviral drug called dapivirine that acts by blocking HIV from multiplying.
The studies enrolled close to 4500 women aged 18 to 45 in South Africa, Uganda, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Each study found that the ring helps reduce the risk of HIV infection in women. In ASPIRE, the ring reduced the risk of HIV infection by 27% overall. In The Ring Study, infections were reduced by 31% overall.
Continue reading “Why a new vaginal ring could be a game-changer in HIV prevention”
Yesterday World Toilet Day was recognized to bring global awareness about the millions of people worldwide who do not have access to a toilet. In fact, 40% of the world’s population has to use the bathroom in the open and spends billions of hours searching for a place to relieve themselves. WaterAid, along with the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council recently published a new … Continue reading [Photos] Communal Toilets + New Study About Women, Girls and Sanitation
Never underestimate the power of a woman who can earn her own money and provide for her family. This statement is true everywhere in Africa and other parts of the developing world. One trait that is perpetually apparent when you travel abroad and visit areas in need is people want to work; they want to be able to buy food and pay for their children’s … Continue reading Ugandan Women Craft for Economic Stability
I am consistently amazed by how doing simple things can make a lifetime of difference. This is especially true in areas where poverty is rife and endemic and where disease and death are common. For example, by simply sleeping under a bed net, people can severely lessen their chance of getting malaria. Or, by simply using a toilet, feces-related diseases can be minimalized. The same … Continue reading New Initiative Shines Spotlight on Tropical Foot Disease
Our partner Water.org will celebrate World Water Day on March 22 along with concerned global citizens of the world who care about access to clean water for everyone on earth. If you would like to get involved, Water.org has a robust list detailing how you can help spread the word about World Water Day. You can do everything from change your Twitter background to donate … Continue reading World Water Day 2012 – March 22
I am always amazed by how powerful and brave women are around the world. I like to think of myself as someone who believes in the power of social good and the influence that collective digital voices of mothers can impart upon society, but I do all of this from the comfort of my home and from the security that the developed world provides. There … Continue reading Watch “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” at Care.org Tonight
Over the next few weeks the United Nations Commission of the Status of Women is holding high level talks about rural women. I tweeted during the opening session and general discussion. I have included some of my tweets along with pertinent tweets of others who shared information from Day 1. I have a great interest in the plight of rural women as I was able … Continue reading The Plight of Rural Women Discussed at the UN + Tweets from Day 1