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What do Ban Ki-moon, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Pamela Barnes have in common? They were all featured in USA TODAY’s special report, Investing in Women and Girls. Also in this issue:


Global Perspectives

  Investing in Women & Girls

A USA TODAY Special Report: Investing in Women and Girls
On March 23, USA TODAY launched a special report, Investing in Women and Girls, featuring the voices of global leaders on health, gender equality, violence, and other pressing challenges facing women and girls today. The report included EngenderHealth President Pamela Barnes in a “Panel of Experts,” where she discussed reducing maternal death and increasing access to family planning and other critical reproductive health services.

UN Launches New Commission on Lifesaving Commodities for Women and Girls
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) jointly launched a high-level commission dedicated to improving access to essential but overlooked medicines and health supplies for women and girls, including affordable contraception. The commission will help identify strategies for improving delivery of supplies by boosting local production, promoting new technologies and products, and encouraging innovative financing mechanisms.


Policy Updates

What’s the Word on Family Planning? What U.S. Leaders Are Saying…
As the budget debate ramps up for fiscal year 2013, officials from the U.S. Department of State are promoting priorities for global health, including for reproductive health. Read excerpts from recent public statements made by Secretary of State Clinton, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, and Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer on the critical importance of family planning.

Obstacles on the Road to Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act
Following initial opposition from Senate Republicans, support for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) (S.1925) reached critical mass in the U.S. Senate last month, putting the bill in an exclusive group of legislation that has amassed 60 or more cosponsors during this Congress. VAWA seeks to strengthen law enforcement capacity to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Republicans in the Senate Judiciary Committee voted against reauthorizing the law, which has historically enjoyed bipartisan support. The Senate will debate the bill later this month.


Global Perspectives

A Community of Practice: Fistula Surgeons, Nurses, Practitioners

On March 8-9, a community of fistula surgeons, nurses, and providers met for the third year in a row to review progress in providing fistula services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Hosted by EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care project and Panzi Hospital, the meeting involved discussions among participants on ways to expand fistula prevention, improve training for fistula providers, and advance a national strategy for addressing fistula services. U.S. Secretary of State Clinton sent a letter to the participants, commending them for their work and for being “true heroes of the Congo.” Surgeons at the meeting delivered a short video message in response.


In the News

  EngenderHealth received a special award from the Manhattan Young Democrats for our work to improve health care for women and girls around the world.

On March 23, HumanitarianNews.org republished an EngenderHealth blog article on winning a spot in Women Deliver’s Top 50 most inspiring ideas and solutions for women and girls.

In a March 20 blog article on obstetric fistula, Girls' Globe posted EngenderHealth’s story of Sifa, a Ugandan woman whose fistula was repaired because of our work.

A March 19 feature by Al Jazeera on maternal health quotes President Pamela W. Barnes on solutions for reducing maternal death and increasing access to family planning.

In its March 16 weekly newsletter, the Eastern Congo Initiative highlighted EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care project and its work to engage fistula surgeons, nurses, and providers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Publications and Resources

The Fistula Care project issued a technical brief describing how Ad-din Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh, uses mobile phones and global positioning system (GPS) tracking to manage a fleet of 66 ambulances and extend access to emergency obstetric care for women across the city. Download the brief in English (PDF, 736 KB) and French (PDF, 781 KB).

The Fistula Care project also produced a technical brief on two programs in Bangladesh intended to make community-level services available to women in rural, underserved areas. Download the brief in English (PDF, 1.1 MB) or French (PDF, 1.2 MB).


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