I’ve just returned from an inspiring and thought-provoking week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where leaders and advocates from 149 countries gathered for the Women Deliver 2013 conference. Read more >>
The women are about 25 to 30 years old. They’re married with two, or as many as nine, children. They’re tired. They may have miscarried, more than once. They want a break.
This is how community health workers in Senegal describe the women who visit village health huts for family planning. “Some are educated and some are not,” one health worker said, “but they are smart. They worry about the health consequences of multiple pregnancies.”
This week leaders and advocates from nearly 150 countries are gathering in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for Women Deliver 2013, one of the largest conferences of the decade focused on the health and wellbeing of girls and women. USAID is proud to participate in Women Deliver 2013 and highlight the Agency’s strong support and dedication to improving the health and status of women and girls across the globe.
Ten years ago today, the United States Congress, in a remarkable display of compassion and bipartisanship, passed overwhelmingly legislation that established an historic and transforming global health program now known as PEPFAR — the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
In Africa, HIV and AIDS affects women and mothers at a greater rate than men, creating a heavy disease burden among families. When parents die of the disease, children are left orphaned or given to the care of relatives who may not have the means to raise them. Pregnant and breastfeeding women who are infected with HIV also run the risk of transmitting the disease to their children.
It’s that time of the year when the world takes a moment to take stock of women who have made history fighting to improve the health and well-being of fellow women. Women achievers stand up to be counted and are celebrated. I salute them all, but this year I would like to shift the focus to the unknown, unsung heroines — and call on many more to come forth and follow their footsteps.