Advocacy Update: Aug 2012

Dear Friend,

Welcome to Women and Children First's latest Advocacy Update!

Apologies for sending it a little later than expected and this is because we have been very busy with the London Family Planning Summit and the follow-up activities.  We have written to all key people who have taken pledges at the Family Planning Summit and are closely following their progress in promoting the family planning for women around the world.

We are also currently working with the Manifesto for Motherhood Coalition on a submission to the International Development Committee on POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT GOALS. This is a great opportunity for Women and Children First make sure that Sexual, Reproductive and Health Rights of mothers, young women and adolescents are included in the post 2015 development agenda. We shall keep you posted on this. In the mean time please visit for more information.

Women and Children First Granted UN Special Consultative Status

Women and Children First has been granted Special Consultative Status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) – the UN platform on economic and social issues. Special Consultative Status entitles Women and Children First to engage actively with ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the United Nations Secretariat, programmes, funds and agencies. Read more.

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Post-2015 High-Level Panel Announced

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the 26 civil society, private sector and government leaders which will serve on a High-Level Panel to advise on the global development agenda beyond 2015.  President Yudoyono of Indonesia, President Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom will serve as co-chairs. The panel’s first meeting will be at the end of September, and it will submit a report to the Secretary-General in the first half of 2013. Read more.

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AIDS 2012 conference issues renewed calls to end the AIDS epidemic

The Washington, D.C. Declaration calls for renewed global urgency to end the AIDS epidemic and is the official declaration of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), the biennial meeting of some 25,000 delegates, which brings together HIV professionals, activists, global and community leaders and people living with HIV.   Read more.

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Not Without Women: Combination Prevention is Essential for an AIDS-Free Generation

Women’s advocates heralded Women’s Day at the XIX International AIDS Conference -July 25, 2012 - with a warning that current policies and programs must be targeted more at women if the goal of an AIDS-free generation is ever to be achieved. “We can’t turn the tide on HIV without women,” said Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) at a news conference before the opening plenary session. “Women are slightly more than half of all people living with HIV, but more than half of all countries (54 per cent) still do not allocate any HIV program funds for the specific needs of women and girls.” Read more.

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New Lancet series demonstrates the impact of family planning services

A new Family Planning series by the Lancet has been published, which reviews evidence of the impact of family planning on population health and the environment. The Series amalgamates the latest thinking underpinning these crucial deliberations, showing how lack of access to family planning carries a huge price, not only in terms of women's and children's health and survival but also in economic terms.  Articles in the series cover family planning from the perspective of mortality, economics, country development, human rights, and the environment.  Read more.

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World leaders pledged $2 billion+ to support healthy futures for women and girls
  • A woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth every 2 minutes.  Ninety-nice percent of these deaths are in the developing world
  • Up to 1/3 of these pregnancies were unintended
  • Millions of these mothers-to-be are still children themselves
  • More than 200 million women and girls in developing countries lack access to contraceptives
The London Summit on Family Planning, co-hosted by the UK Department for International Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aimed to address the above issues and halve the number of girls and women in developing countries who want, but lack access to, modern contraception. Read more.

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Rio Conference disappoints women’s health advocates
The Women’s Major Group (WMG) at the United Nations’ Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20, representing 200 civil society women’s organizations from all around the world, is greatly disappointed and seriously outraged by the results of the “official” deliberations at Rio+20, believing that the governments of the world have “failed women, future generations and our beautiful but fragile planet earth”. Read more
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Save the Children report shows global health funding often ignores newborn babies

Save the Children has released a report on newborn survival over the last decade that shows the world has greatly overlooked a key area for reducing child deaths—newborn care.  The report, "A Decade of Change for Newborn Survival," was published in Washington, DC on 12th June 2012.  Read more 

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Guttmacher Institute updates landmark “Adding it up” publication on the costs, impact and benefits of family planning.

The Guttmacher Institute has released an updated report which presents new estimates of the numbers and proportions of women in the developing world using modern methods and in need of modern contraception, as well as the cost and impact of meeting this need.  Read more 

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With three MDGs achieved, global partnership for development is key to 2015 success

Three important targets on poverty, slums and water have been met three years ahead of 2015, says this year’s Report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  Meeting the remaining targets, while challenging, is possible ─ but only if Governments do not waiver from their commitments made over a decade ago. Read more 

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For more news from Women and Children First and our partners including our Good Practice Guide Community Mobilisation through Women's Groups to Improve the Health of Mothers and Babies, visit the Women and Children First website.

We would be happy to hear any feedback you may have on this newsletter.  

Best wishes

Ros Davies
Chief Executive

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