Hats off to Jill Sheffield, founder of “Women Deliver’ for her dedicated efforts in the field of improving Maternal health of women across the world. Mission of Women Deliver itself speaks volume about their objective of concern about women-Invest in Girls and Women – it pays!
Women Deliver is a global advocacy organization working to generate political commitment and financial investment for fulfilling Millennium Development Goal5-to reduce maternal mortality and achieve universal access to reproductive health. Ms Sheffield, the founder of Women Deliver has achieved so many accolades that its not possible to introduce her in one line. Concerned majorly about women issues throughout Ms Sheffield is serving on the board of the Pangaea Global Aids foundation, she is also the founder of Family Care International(FCI).She founded FCI IN 1987 in response to call at the Women’s Decade Conference in Nairobi which identified the silent tragedy that one women dies each minute from pregnancy related causes.Ms Sheffield is also one of the few civil society representatives appointed to the UN Secretary Generals Commission of Information and accountability for women’s and children’s health.
Women Deliver is organizing Maternal and Reproductive Health Conference 2013 in Kaula Lampur on 28-30May.A number of influential leaders like Melinda Gates(Cochair Bill and Mellinda Foundation), Helen Clark(Administrator UNDP), Anuradha Gupta(Joint Secretary Ministry of Health , India), Michelle Bachelet(Under-Secretary-General and executive Director of United Nation Women) and many others are confirmed to participate in Women Deliver’s third global Conference. . Answers by Women Delivers to certain queries mentioned below itself proves the clarity of their purpose-
What are the critical issues that women face, especially in Southeast Asia?
Globally, more than 287,000 women die each year during pregnancy or child birth, and more than 200 million women want, but do not have access to, contraceptives. We have made progress for girls and women under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the pace of change is accelerating. Since 1990, fewer women are living in extreme poverty, more women have access to modern contraception, and maternal deaths have nearly halved. But challenges remain, and progress is uneven across regions and countries.
Southeast Asia in particular showcases the promise, progress and continued challenges facing women’s health and equality. The region has successfully reduced gender inequality in education, and has made remarkable progress in reducing maternal deaths. However, Asia and the Pacific continue to bear the brunt of maternal deaths — almost 40 percent of maternal deaths worldwide occur in the region.
Why is it that women still suffer from the above-mentioned problems nowadays?
Historically, women’s health issues have not been prioritized. In fact, progress toward MDG(Millennium Development Goal) 5 has been the slowest of all the MDGs – and it’s not for a lack of solutions that work. We know how to save women’s lives and increase access to contraceptives, but to do this successfully, we need both political will and financial commitments to deliver the services women want and need. For too long, maternal and reproductive health have been seen as “women’s issues,” but they are not. They are everyone’s issues. It is up to all leaders to ensure that these issues receive the attention and the funding they deserve
What this year’s conference will try to achieve ?
Taking place as discussions about the post-2015 development architecture are underway, Women Deliver 2013 will be a landmark opportunity to ensure that girls and women remain a development priority worldwide –and to hold leaders accountable for the impressive commitments they’ve made.We must move from promises to progress. With thousands of global influencers in the room, we can – and we will – generate the political will, financial investments and grassroots action needed to improve girls’ and women’s health and rights. -
How different is this year’s conference compared to previous years? For example, are there more participants than ever? Different themes being discussed?
This will be Women Deliver’s third global conference and we anticipate it will be our largest and most influential yet, with thousands of private and public sector leaders from 160 countries expected to attend.This will be the first time the conference is taking place in Asia, and as a result, progress and continued obstacles facing women’s health and equality in Asia will be a key focus. It’s also the first time the conference will be held in a predominantly-Muslim country, offering a unique opportunity to tackle pressing challenges in the broader Muslim world.
Womenlines wishes best of luck to Women Deliver for their future endeavours!