The Standard on 19 May reported that "adolescent girls aged between 15 and 19 constitute a quarter of the 960 women that die as a result of pregnancy-related complications in Zimbabwe, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has said. UNFPA country representative, Basile Tambashe said there is need to place a special focus on young people's sexual and reproductive health and rights." Read in English: The Standard
The Herald on 21 December published a story on female genital mutilation. After two decades of global efforts to end this practice, numerous communities are embracing a change. In 2011, according to a report by the Joint Programme for the Acceleration of the Abandonment of genital mutilation, almost two thousand communities in Africa abandoned the practice. The programme, set up in 2008 by UNFPA and UNICEF, “seeks to spur change through a culturally sensitive, human rights-based approach that promotes collective abandonment of the practice.”
The Herald on 26 November reported that Zimbabwe remains a leader in the production of statistical data. UNFPA Assistant Representative Ms. Abigail Msemburi is quoted saying, “the government of Zimbabwe through the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency has played a critical role in promoting data collection, analysis and utilization. There is no doubt that Zimbabwe is one of the best countries in Africa and even beyond in producing official statistics.”
The Herald on 31 August reported that the government is delaying paying its census workers. Population Census Director Washington Mapeta said payments have stalled because of inadequate funds. The US$12 million provided by UNFPA was not for salary but for, “material needed and other expenses that need to be covered for the process to be complete," he said.
The Herald on 30 August reported that UNFPA released US$12 million towards paying enumerators who aided in finishing up the census process.
The Herald on 28 August reported that according to Minister Biti, the United Nations Population Fund released US$12 million towards the completion of the census process. He urged donors to continue supporting the programme until its completion. The population census was marred by disturbances upon its launch when thousands of prospective enumerators wishing to take part in the process jostled at various centre’s countrywide. Read in English: The Herald
The Herald on 18 July 2012 reported that UNFPA Representative Dr. Basile Tambashe said family planning was a basic human right and efforts should be put in place to ensure that there is a wide range of family planning methods. “The focus, therefore is on the urgent need to re-energise family planning programmes including their integration within comprehensive reproductive health services” she said. Read in English: The Herald
ALGERIA: Le Soir d'Algerie, El Moudjahid and Horizons on 12 July reported on the country's World Population Day celebration which took place in the National Institute of Public Health with the participation of the Minister of Health Dr. Djamel Ould Abbes and the UNFPA Representative. According to UNFPA, family planning is a basic human right. However, it remains meaningless unless individuals and couples have access to contraceptives, information and services to enable them to exercise that right. We have to meet the needs of the 222 million women who want to delay or avoid pregnancy but have no access to modern contraceptives. Read in French: Le Soir d'Algerie, El Moudjahid and Horizons
ARMENIA: Multiple media outlets reported on 11 July on World Population Day and the event organized by UNFPA Armenia to mark it. Garik Hayrapetyan, UNFPA Armenia Assistant Representative, addressed the participants in his welcome notes. Following the introduction, Meri Khachikyan, Director of "For Family and Health" the Pan-Armenian Association NGO, made a presentation on "Key Factors Influencing Contraceptive Behavior in Eastern Europe and Central Asia." The presentation covered a 2011 study conducted in seven countries of the region, including Armenia, which was aimed at increasing the understanding of the low use of modern contraception and the key factors influencing contraceptive behavior in the region. Read in English: Public Radio of Armenia, Ankakh.com, A1plus News, Panorama.am, Lurer.com. Read in Russian: 7 Days News, Armenpress News Agency, Slaq.am, Panorama.am. Read in Armenian: 7 Days News, 7 Days News, Panorama.am, Panorama.am, Aysor.am, MediaLab, Henaran Press Club, Armenpress News Agency, Armenpress News Agency, Lurer.com, A1plus News, Ankakh.com, Hraparak Daily. Listen in Armenian: Radio Liberty
AZERBAIJAN: AzerTAc reported on 11 July that UNFPA and he Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Azerbaijan conducted a round table devoted to the “Role of Communication in Access to Reproductive Health Services.” The event was chaired by the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Elmira Suleymanova and the UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan, Fikret Akcura.
Mr. Akcura commended the economic advance and the high pace with which Azerbaijan was resolving poverty at the national level, hereby investing in human capital, as well as furthering gender equality and other MDG targets. As the UNFPA Representative in Azerbaijan, he reemphasized the importance of proper communication and dissemination of unbiased, evidence-based information on reproductive health and family planning services. The high-ranked representatives from the Ministry of Health, National Reproductive Health Office (NRHO), the State Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs, the Ministry of Youth and Sport, and other long-standing partners of UNFPA once again thanked the organization for its technical assistance in realization of the advanced programmes in the country targeting the unmet RH/FP needs of the population. Read in Azerbaijani: AzerTAc
BANGLADESH: The Daily Star on 11 July published an op-ed by UNFPA Representative Arthur Erken on World Population Day urging an increase in family planning. "So yes, Bangladesh has done remarkably well when it comes to reducing its population growth rate, and in reducing the number of children a woman has these days. But, providing universal access to quality family planning information and services to all those who want to plan their families remains the greatest unfinished agenda of Bangladesh! So, on this World Population Day, let us redouble our efforts to make family planning again our top priority" he said. Read in English: Daily Star
The Daily Star on 12 July reported that as a result of the government's move to control overpopulation, 60 percent of women across the country have access to family planning. However the Prime Minister's Adviser for Health and Family Welfare Affairs Syed Modasser Ali noted that, “Although we have brought sixty percent women under the family planning services in order to reduce birth rate, we can not claim it as a success because we have to ensure hundred percent success." He was the chief guest at a discussion to mark World Population Day. UNFPA Representative in Bangldesh Arthur Erken also addressed the programme. Read in English: Daily Star
Gulf Times, News Today, UNF Connect and The Daily Star on 8-13 July published stories on a parliamentary debate competition jointly organized by UNFPA Bangladesh and Debate for Democracy to mark World Population Day and foster discussion of population issues amongst youth. Eight renowned schools from Dhaka took part in the competition, while 800 students enjoyed the competition. UNFPA Bangladesh Representative Arthur Erken is quoted saying, “Over the period of three decades, the total fertility rate has come down from 7 to 2.3. But, as 1/4th of the populace is young, they should have sufficient knowledge and skills on adolescent sexual reproductive health." Read in English: Gulf Times, News Today, UNB Connect and The Daily Star
BELIZE: Channel 5 on 11 July broadcast a TV programme, Open Your Eyes, featuring Erika Goldson, Assistant Representative in Belize for UNFPA. She discussed the intricacies of World Population Day and the activities taking place in Belize. Read in English: Channel 5 and LoveFM
BENIN: Multiple media outlets on 11 and 12 July reported that the United Nations Population Fund, in cooperation with the Benin Government, celebrated World Population Day under the theme "Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services," at Djakotomey. This municipality has one of the lowest rates of contraception use (1.6 % according to the sanitary statistics of 2011).
BOLIVIA: Multiple media outlets reported on 11 July that UNFPA Bolivia celebrated World Population Day in close coordination with the Ministry of Health. A new plan to reduce maternal mortality was launched. The main event took place in La Paz, with similar local presentations in the cities of Cochabamba, Sucre and Potosi. Jaime Nadal, UNFPA Representative, highlighted the need for universal access to reproductive health in order to achieve MDG 5. Read in Spanish: Página Siete, La Razón, Los Tiempos, Los Tiempos, Opinión, Correo del Sur, Gaia Noticias, Jornada, ERBOL, ERBOL, PIEB, Radio FM Bolivia, Radio FM Bolivia, El Diario, El Deber, Bolivia.com, Infanciahoy.com, peopledaily.com, Opinion, La Razon
BRAZIL: Jornal do Brasil and other outlets reported on 11 July that the United Nations celebrated World Population Day by calling for more action in the area of reproductive health. UNFPA Executive, Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, stressed that 222 million women who do not want to become pregnant have no access to contraceptives. Lack of access to reproductive health continues to cause deaths for women of reproductive age. Dr. Osotimehin also said that 1.8 billion young people worldwide have no access to information and services while making decisions about reproductive health. Read in Portuguese: Jornal do Brasil and Sidneyrezende
BURKINA FASO: Observateur Paalga on 12 July reported on World Population Day celebrations in Burkina Faso. According to the newspaper, the acting representative of UNFPA, Pascal Karorero, who delivered the message of UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, said that, "it is time for leaders to renew their commitment to ensure universal access to services for reproductive health, especially to voluntary family planning." The newspaper said that the technical advisor to the Minister of Economy and Finance, who chaired the ceremony, called on all actors in society to work for the theme of the day, "Universal access to reproductive health services" a reality.
CHINA: Multiple media outlets reported on 11 July on World Population Day and its theme of "Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services." Read in Chinese: Xinhua Net
CNTV English Channel and CNTV Chinese reported on 11 July on the Asian Symposium on Building Sustainable Aging Society convened in Changchun of Jilin Province on 5 July. Mr Arie Hoekman, Representative of UNFPA China, attended the opening ceremony and selected sessions. He was interviewed by national media during the meeting and quoted saying, "China’s population is ageing more rapidly than most countries in the world. France has doubled its aged population, which is over 60 years old, to 14% from 7% within 115 years, in Sweden within 85 years. But China made it in only 27 years. It is estimated that there will be 332 million people over the age of 60 in China in 2050. Such severe ageing problems require improvement and diversity of community retirement services for the elderly."
Sohu on 11 July a UNFPA China sponsored World Population Day event entitled, "Voices of Youth, Initiative of Cooperation” co-organized by the China Family Planning Association (CFPA) and China Youth Network in Shenzhen on 10 July. Mr. Arie Hoekman, Representative of UNFPA China attended the opening ceremony and gave a speech. Local media outlets were invited and a joint press release was prepared. Mr. Hoekman was quoted saying, “Every young person has the right to comprehensive sexuality education, and access to youth-friendly reproductive health services. With the right policies, investments and social support, young people can enjoy healthier lives free of poverty, violence and exploitation.” UNFPA-supported survey findings on youth access to sexual and reproductive health were provided to the media. Read in Chinese: Sohu, Oeee, and China.com
CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE: Tele-Congo reported on 12 July on the celebration of World Population Day on 11 July in Kinkala, in the Pool region, and specifically on a debate on Universal access to reproductive health. UNFPA Representative, David Lawson, and Health Minister Chief of Staff, Alexandre Alumba, were keynote speakers at this event. While outlining progress made in Congo on maternal mortality reduction over the past three years, Mr. Lawson called on the government for free family planning services in Congo. He said, "while free c-section has brought tremendous progress in maternal health, free family planning would enhance further this positive trend and help reach MDG5." Watch in French: Daily Motion
Tele-Congo and DRTV broadcast on 11 July the UNFPA Executive Director's message on World Population Day delivered by UNFPA Representative in Congo David Lawson. In line with the London Summit on Family Planning, the message focuses on this year's theme “Universal Access to Reproductive Health” and calls for greater action on family planning to reduce maternal mortality. Watch in French: Daily Motion
CUBA: Multiple media reported on 12 July on the celebrations of World Population Day in Cuba dedicated to universal access to reproductive health. The media published reports organized by the Scientific Scrub Cuban School of Public Health (ENSAP) and about the intervention of Jesus Robles, International Coordinator of the UNFPA Program in Cuba. Read in Spanish: Granma, Juventud Rebelde, CubaAhora, Radio Reloj, Revista Mujeres
Several media outlets on 11 July reported that the celebration of World Population Day in Cuba, promoted by UNFPA, was an opportunity to reflect on long-term population dynamics on the island and the challenges it poses to society. Cuba’s low fertility and rapid ageing process pose challenges to the island’s sustainable development. Read in Spanish: Revista Mujeres, Telecrentro Solvision, Tribuna de La Habana
Emisora CMHW reported on 10 July that Rolando Garcia Quiñones, Cuba's Assistant Representative of UNFPA, said youth participation is crucial to the success of the Greater Antilles in the field of sexual and reproductive health and protection of vulnerable demographic sectors. Read in Spanish: Emisora CMHW
DENMARK: Berlingske Tidende on 11 July published a joint op-ed by the Chief of UNFPA Nordic Office Pernille Fenger and Executive Director of the Danish Family Planning Association Bjarne B. Christensen. In the op-ed they discussed the realities of poor, young women not being able to decide when to have children. They point to the fact that with concerted efforts poor countries have obtained remarkable results in meeting women’s rights. The op-ed was a lead up to the London Summit on Family Planning. Read in Dutch: Berlingske Tidende
U-landsnyt.dk on 11 July published a joint press release by the UNFPA Nordic Office and the Danish FPA on the London Summit on Family Planning, with quotes from the Danish Minister for Development Corporation Christian Friis Bach, Chief of UNFPA Nordic Office, Pernille Fenger and Executive Director of the Danish FPA Bjarne B. Christensen. The release highlights the goal of meeting the needs of 120 million women and the renewed focus on family planning which the London Summit is an indication of. Read in Dutch: U-landsnyt.dk
Berlingske Tidende on 11 July, as well as several regional newspapers, published an article on a new large-scale initiative to give 120 million women access to contraception. The article quotes UNFPA's Executive Director stating that, “there is no excuse, neither cultural nor religious, that women should not be able to use contraception.” Read in Dutch: Berlingske Tidende, Berlingske Tidende, and JV.dk
Information on 11 July featured an article on the numbers from adding it up and the information – including a quote from the Chief of the UNFPA Nordic Office – on the London Summit. Read in Dutch: Information
Information on 11 July mentioned UNFPA and the London Summit in a human interest story. Read in Dutch: Information
Kristeligt Dagblad on 13 July reported on the outcome of the London Summit and quotes the Chief of the UNFPA Nordic Office (based on an interview conducted 12 July). In addition to telling about the commitments made at the conference, the article discusses how this renewed focus on family planning, the significant commitments by developing countries themselves and the involvement of a Catholic woman like Melinda Gates may serve to alleviate the controversy and add a more pragmatic approach to the subject.
EL SALVADOR: Multiple media outlets reported on World Population, and UNFPA-related activities around the theme of "Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services." Read in Spanish: La Prensa Gráfica, Equilibrium, Diario CoLatino (news 1), Diario CoLatino (news 2) and Website of the Institute of Youth in El Salvador - CONJUVE
Diario CoLatino on 12 July that this World Population Day, UNFPA stressed its speech on universal access to reproductive health services as an important goal for human development. Read in Spanish: Diario CoLatino and Diario CoLatino
La Prensa Grafica on 12 July reported that UNFPA celebrated World Population Day by remembering the day of 7 billion. Read in Spanish: La Prensa Grafica
La Palabra Universitaria on 13 July reported that UNFPA and the Ministry of Health celebrated World Population Day by focusing on the need for univeral access to reproductive health services. Read in Spanish: La Palabra Universitaria
ETHIOPIA: The Daily Monitor on 12 July reported that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for more to be done to help those who most need access to reproductive health care. “I call for urgent concerted action by member states to bridge the gap between demand and supply for reproductive health care,” Mr. Ban said.
“Reproductive health and rights are integral to sustainable development and poverty reduction. Investing in universal access to reproductive health is a crucial investment in healthy societies and a more sustainable future,” he added.
The theme for this year is ‘Universal access to Reproductive Health Services,’ aimed at highlighting the essential part that reproductive health plays in creating a just and equitable world. “Working for the survival and the well-being of women and girls is a human right imperative. And in order to take advantage of women’s full potential in the development of their nations, they must be able to plan their lives and families,” the Executive Director of the UN Population Fund Babatunde Osotimehin said.
GABON: Multiple media outlets reported on 11 July on the celebrations of World Population Day, held in Libreville. UNFPA Representative Nadir Hadj-Hammou, Vice Health Minister Alice Bikissa Nembe and Social Affairs Honorine Nzet Bitheghe made statements on the theme of the day "Universal access to reproductive health." The Vice Health Minister affirmed that this matter was among President Bongo's priorities. Mr. Hammou lamented that, despite its resources, the country had a maternal mortality (519 deaths for 100,000 live births) above the African average rate. He called for the need to strengthen efforts to address the family planning needs of 222 million women willing to avoid or delay pregnancy and reduce maternal mortality.
GEORGIA:Multiple media outlets reported on 11-13 July on World Population Day and published the message for World Population Day 2012 made by UNFPA's Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. Georgia Today interviewed Tamar Khomasuridze, UNFPA/Georgia assistant representative, focusing on the theme of universal access to reproductive health services in Georgia. According to her, in recent years, Georgia has made considerable progress with regard to improving capacity to provide reproductive health services and that universal access to reproductive health services, in some parts of Georgia, has now come close to reaching the Millendium Development Goals targets by 2015. The Assistant Representative also spoke about the major achievements, namely the results of the Georgia Reproductive Health Survey 2010, that showed the improvements in the reproductive health status of the population. In particular, for the first time since 1999, the birth-rate has surpassed the abortion rate in Georgia. Read in English: Georgia Today, Georgia Today and Inter Press News Read in Georgian: Radio Tavisupleba
GUATEMALA: Various national media on 11 July reported on public activities to commemorate World Population Day and that family planning is a key factor to achieving the objectives of the governmental program, "Zero Hunger," which fights chronic malnutrition among the poorest families in the country. The media also referred to the number of pregnancies in girls and adolescents, a reality that leads to malnutrition and the decreased development for adolescent girls. UNFPA Representative Leonor Calderón is mentioned in several pieces. Read in Spanish:Prensa Libre, Siglo 21,La Hora, La Hora, Diario de Centroamérica, CERIGUA, CERIGUA (Nota Babatunde Osotimehin), EDG Noticias
GUINEA: Goha Guinee on 10 July reported on a family planning advocacy day for religious authorities. Prior to World Population Day, the workshop brought together twenty imams, religious leaders and administrative authorities of Labe. On this occasion, verses from the Koran promoting family planning were identified. The participants proposed activities and committed themselves to promote family planning at meetings and during social ceremonies. Read in French: Goha Guinee
GUYANA: Stabroek News on 12 July published a story on the launch of a new report recommending the upgrade of government-run hospitals performing deliveries in order to boost maternal and newborn care. The report, lauch 11 July, under the theme “Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services,” at the Ocean View Convention Centre, East Coast Demerara, coincided with World Population Day. The report, which gives a detailed assessment of all maternity facilities in Guyana during the year 2010, was supported by non-governmental organisations such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Pan American Health Organisa-tion (PAHO) among others. Read in English: Stabroek News and Guyana Chronicle
INDONESIA: Mediaindonesia.com on 11 July reported that, “the level of maternal and infant mortality in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province is far higher than the average of national rate. In 2011, the MMR was reported at 306 per 100,000 live births, well above the national figure of 228. UNFPA Representative, Mr. Jose Ferraris, said that the high level of MMR and IMR have driven UNFPA to focus its programmes in NTT to address issues related to mother and child health. UNFPA works in three programmes of family planning revitalization, improving the universal access to reproductive health in general and implementing a model for friendly health service for youth and adolescents. “ Read in Indonesian: Mediaindonesia.com
The Jakarta Post on 12 July reported that “The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will assist the East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) administration to provide reproductive health services for teens, aged 15 to 19, following a recent report by the Indonesia Demographic and Health Survey (SDKI) that only 45.4 per cent of married teens had access to contraception. “There are many cases that young women who get married early still face discrimination. There are even women who get pregnant before marriage and do not have access to basic health services, as they are the black sheep of the family,” said Moudy Taopan of UNFPA’s Youth Advisory Panel (YAP), on Wednesday."
Mediaindonesia.com on 12 July reported “men’s participation in family planning through condom usage remains low in Indonesia, as the condom is still associated with a negative connotation (of having extra marital sex). This perception is just one of many other misperceptions in the area of reproductive sex such as that providing reproductive health service to young people will lead to increasing their sexual activities, said UNFPA Representative Jose Ferraris in a seminar on Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services held to commemorate World Population Day in Indonesia. The seminar took place in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara on Wednesday, 11 July. Read in Indonesian: Mediaindonesia.com
Timorexpress.com on 13 July reported that, “World Population Day is celebrated this day each year by UN member states around the world to focus attention on the urgency and importance of issues related to population. This year’s theme of “Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services” was selected to accelerate progress and reenergize commitments toward achievement of this goal. UNFPA Representative, Jose Ferraris, said in his speech for the opening ceremony in Ima Hotel in Kupang on Wednesday, 11 July, that based on the population structure in Indonesia, the number of people aged 15-29 accounted at 126 million people at the moment. This number means opportunity but also challenge for the country.” Read in Indonesian: Timorexpress.com
ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN: Multiple media outlets from 2 July on reported on World Population Day events including speeches by the Minister of Health and Medical Education, the Deputy Minister of Health and UNFPA's Ms. Soudabeh Ahmadzadeh. Read in Farsi: Ghatreh, Ghatreh, IRNA, Ghatreh, IRNA, Ghatreh, Ghatreh, Ghatreh, Salamat News, Salamat News, Salamat News
JAMAICA: Multiple media outlets from 10-15 July reported on World Population observance in Jamaica. In her opening remarks at a symposium celebrating the day, Director of the UNFPA Sub-regional Office for the Caribbean Ms. Geeta Sethi, urged governments to invest in reproductive health services. “People are the most important resource of a country and given the Caribbean’s large youth population, half of which is below 25 years old, special emphasis must be placed on meaningful investment in young people’s education, health, and in equipping them to make responsible choices,” she stated. Several print and electronic media covered the event including the Jamaica Observer, the Gleaner, and the Jamaica Information Service. Read in English: Jamaica Observer, Jamaica Information Service, Jamaica Information Service, Jamaica Observer and Jamaica Observer
JORDAN: Al Rai, Petra News Agency and multiple news agencies reported on 11 July that Jordan joined the world in celebrating World Population Day 2012. Media outlets talked about this year's theme and how UNFPA Jordan is working with the Government of Jordan to achieve greater access to reproductive health services.
The articles concluded with a quotation of Dr. Osotimehin, “Today, as we commemorate World Population Day, it is time to re-energize our commitment to universal access to reproductive health services, especially family planning services. This commitment is as relevant today as it was when world leaders made it at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo.” Read in Arabic: Al Rai, Petra News Agency, Ammon News, Almadenah News, Al Arabiya, Jordanzad.
KYRGYZSTAN: CentralAsia, KNEWS, 24KG, VB, Akipress reported on 11 July that UNFPA held a press conference with the participation of the Resident Coordinator and a representative of the Ministry of Health. “Availability of affordable life-saving medicines, contraceptives and other essential health supplies is a vital part of well-functioning health systems that can serve people in an equitable manner,” said Alexander Avanessov, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Kyrgyz Republic. “Access to voluntary family planning alone can also reduce unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and maternal deaths and disabilities, saving women's lives and those of their children,” added Mr. Avanessov.
In Kyrgyzstan, the young segment aged 14 to 28 represent 30.2% of the whole population. In this context, it is crucial to invest in young people’s health and education, improve access to sexual reproductive health services and age-appropriate, friendly services. “When young people can exercise their right to health and education, and have a decent job, they can contribute to improving their nations and escape poverty,” said Alexander Avanessov. Read in Russian: 24KG, Namba, 24KG, Namba, Centrasia, VB, KNEWS, KNEWS, 24KG, 24KG, Akipress
LIBERIA: The Daily Observer on 13 July reported that the Chairman of the Liberia Traditional Council, at a World Population Day celebration, has cautioned youth not to engage in risky sexual behaviour. UNFPA-Liberia’s Resident Representative, Esperance Fundira, read a message on behalf of UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin at the event. Read in English: Daily Observer
The Inquirer on 11 July reported that UNFPA has disclosed that teenage pregnancy in Liberia stands at 38 per cent; unmet needs for family planning stand at 36 per cent while conceptive prevalence is only 11 per cent. Read in English: The Inquirer
The Inquirer on 13 July reported that according to the United Nations 2012 report, Trends in maternal mortality, Liberia's maternal mortality ratio has reduced from 994 out of every 100,000 live births to 770 out of every 100,000 live births, down by 224. UNFPA UNFPA Representative, Esperance Fundira, speaking during the Observance of World Population Day said, “To make greater progress, every woman needs access to basic package of reproductive health services.” Read in English: The Inquirer
The News on 13 July reported that, while speaking at a one-day World Population Day seminar organized by the National Lutheran Church Women Fellowship in Monrovia, UNFPA representative Madam Fundira said the choice one makes in his/her life in the bearing of children determines their future and should not be blamed on the civil war in Liberia. Read in English: The News
The News reported on 12 July that more than 800 women died daily in pregnancy or childbirth from complications that are very often preventable, the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Babatunde Osotinmehin has revealed. Read in English: The News
The Informer on 12 July reported that UNFPA has lauded what it calls Liberia's progress in reducing maternal mortality in the country. UNFPA Liberia Resident Representative, Esperance Fundira, made the commendation yesterday at the program marking the 2012 World Population Day held at the SKD complex outside Monrovia. Read in English: The Informer
Front Page on 12 July reported that the Resident Representative of the United Nations Population Fund has expressed alarmed over the high level of unwanted pregnancies in Liberia. Read in English: Front Page
MEXICO: More than 50 media outlets such as Excelsior, La Jornada, Reforma, CNN México, El Universal, Milenio, Cronica, Pulsoslp, , Noticias Yahoo, Info7, El Arsenal, OEM, el Golfo, Síntesis, Informativo Chiapas, Chiapas Hoy, El Heraldo de Chiapas, Expreso Chiapas, El Pendulo de Chiapas, Cuarto Poder, Tabasco Hoy, Quadratin, Cambio de Michoacan, El mundo de Córdoba, Noticias Terra, Vocero Quintana Roo, Diario La Verdad, Rotativo, Pulso DF reported on the several activities, such as a press conference, journalist workshop and study tour to a project in Chiapas organized by UNFPA Mexico, on the occasion of the World Population Day. Diego Palacios Jaramillo, UNFPA Mexico Representative pointed out that access to reproductive health should be a priority for the next Mexican government and for the international community as a whole. During the press conference he also mentioned that today, pregnancy and childbirth-related complications are the major cause of death among girls 10 to 19 years old in most developing countries, while the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections are among young people aged 15 to 24. Read in Spanish: Excelsior, La Jornada, Reforma, CNN México, El Universal, Milenio, Cronica, Pulsoslp, Noticias Yahoo, Info7, El Arsenal, OEM, el Golfo, Síntesis, Informativo Chiapas, Chiapas Hoy, El Heraldo de Chiapas, Expreso Chiapas, El Pendulo de Chiapas, Cuarto Poder, Tabasco Hoy, Quadratin, Cambio de Michoacan, El mundo de Córdoba, Noticias Terra, Vocero Quintana Roo, Diario La Verdad, Rotativo, Pulso DF, OEM, Guerrero, Ciudad y Poder, Jornada, Cuarto poder, Chiapas Hoy, Jornada, El Herald o de Chiapas, Es Diario, OEM, Noticias de Chiapas, Imparcial Chiapas, Diario de Chiapas, OEM, El Cuarto Deguerra, Yucatan, Yucatan, Diario Portal, Omnia, e-Tlaxcala, El Mundo, Jornada, Milenio, Reforma, Cuarto Poder, NL, Jornada, Comunicacion Chiapas
MOLDOVA: Radio Chisinau on 11 July reported on the UNFPA press conference organized in celebration of the World Population Day. The article talked about the demographic situation in Moldova as well as about reproductive health issues, especially on universal access to reproductive health services. Read in Romanian: Radio Chisinau.
24h.md reported on 11 July on the importance of reproductive health education as well as universal access to RH services and quoted Mr. Boris Gilca, UNFPA Assistant Representative in Moldova and other speakers at the conference several times. Read in Romanian: 24h.md
Pro TV Moldova reported on 11 July on the flash mob, Informed and Protected, organized by Y-Peers to inform people on reproductive and sexual health to prevent sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. The demographic situation in the country was highlighted. Read in Romanian: Pro TV Moldova
Radio Free Europe on 11 July reported on the demographic crisis in Moldova, quoting Boris Gilca, UNFPA Assistant Representative in Moldova, on the issue. Read in Romanian: Radio Free Europe
Radio Free Europe on 11 July interviewed Mr. Mihai Moldovanu, deputy prime minister, Head of the National Commission for Population and Development, who participated in the UNFPA press conference on World Population Day, on the demographic situation in Moldova. Read in Romanian: Radio Free Europe
Teleradio Moldova on 11 July reported on WPD and the alarming statistics on the current issues presented by UNFPA Moldova. Read in Romanian: Teleradio Moldova
EuroTv on 11 July reported that the new priority of the Moldovan Government in population development is to provide access to reproductive health to the entire population. The Government wants to assure the access to reproductive Health Offices and Youth Friendly Service Clinics. Read in Romanian: EuroTV
Radio Free Europe on 12 July conducted an interview with Boris Gilca, UNFPA Assistant Representative in Moldova, on WPD and concerns about the demographic future of Moldova. Read in Romanian: Radio Free Europe
Privesc on 11 July broadcast a live transmission of the UNFPA World Population Day press conference. Watch in Romanian: Prevesc
MONGOLIA: The Mongol News on 4 July reported that the Ministry of Social Welfare and Labour, Ministry and Health and UNFPA in Mongolia jointly organized a press conference on World Population Day. The joint press release was printed in the UB Post on 9 July. The Mongolian version of the press release was published in the Unuudur Daily on 10 July.
MOROCCO: Le Soir on 11 July reported on UNFPA-supported activities for World Population Day.
MOZAMBIQUE: Radio Mocambique, TVM, STV, Lusa, and Angola Press reported on 11 and 12 July that the main commemoration of World Population Day in Mozambique was held in the district of Gongola, in the central province of Manica. All reports say that the event was led by UNFPA’s Representative, Bettina Maas, and Manica Governor, Ms. Ana Comoane. Ms. Maas is quoted by Lusa (Portuguese news agency) saying that there is a need (in Mozambique) to scale up reproductive health services, in particular family planning. “Everyone wishes to live in a world were delivering a baby is a sign of happiness for women, parents and family. We cannot continue living in a world were delivering a baby is a sign of uncertainty or something a family remembers sadly.” Read in Portugese: Noticias, and Portalangop
MYANMAR: The Myanmar Times on 9 July reported on a family planning conference convened in honor of World Population Day as part of a global push to improve access to family planning in developing countries. and the New Light of Myanmar on 12 July reported on World Population Day celebrations. UNFPA Representative Mohamed Abdel-Ahad is quoted saying, "By enabling young women to delay childbearing until they have achieved education and training, reproductive health services contribute toward improving women's social position and increasing their community and political participation."
The New Light of Myanmar on 12 July published an article on the commemorative ceremony held at Thingaha Hotel in honour of World Population Day. Mohamed Abdel Ahad, UNFPA representative spoke about UNFPA's activities in the country.
The New Light of Myanmar on 12 July published an article annoucing UNFPA is part of a coalition of organizations dedicated to improving maternal and child health globally and in Myanmar.
Mizzima on 11 July reported that the country will focus on women's health, family planning and contraceptives following a funding intiative by the UK’s development agency, the Department for International Development (DFID), Marie Stopes International, and UNFPA. A press briefing was organized in Naypyitaw to announce the commitment. Read in English: Mizzima
PARAGUAY: ABC Color on 7 July reported that on 10 July, to celebrate World Population Day, which this year has the theme "Universal access to reproductive health services," the initiative Presencia Joven, boys and girls working towards peer education, will organize an event in the Plaza de Armas. The event, also hosted by the NGO Kuna Roga, with support from UNFPA, will be held from 9:00 to 11:30 and 13:00 to 17:00. Read in Spanish: ABC Color
La Nación reported on 9 July that through theater, graffiti and various activities, adolescents and youth of the Presencia Joven will celebrate World Population Day. The event, held in the Plaza de Armas is driven by NGO Kuna Roga and has the support of UNFPA. Read in Spanish: La Nación
Radio Ñanduti on 13 July reported on the activity organized by Presencia Joven as part of the World Population Day in the city of Encarnación. The Advocacy and Communication Advisor for UNFPA Carolina Ravera, said on behalf of the Assistant Representative of this agency, Manuela Escobar, that "UNFPA would like to emphasize the theme before us today and really make everyone realize their right to information, services and supplies in sexual and reproductive health.” Read in Spanish: Radio Ñanduti
Portal Paraguayo de Noticias reported on 13 July that Sergio Gonzalez (16), a member of Presencia Joven, an organization of teens working in peer education and supported by UNFPA, organized a fun activity to celebrate World Population Day. Boys and girls were invited to come to the Plaza de Armas "so that together we reflect on our rights, especially when it comes to sexual and reproductive health.” Read more in Spanish: PPN
Itapúa en Noticias broadcast on 11 July, an interview with Sara González, a member of Presencia Joven, which, for World Population Day, organized with support from UNFPA, an event in the Plaza de Armas. During the day, adolescents, through activities such as games, theater and graffiti, shared information on sexual and reproductive health and promoting friendly health services in the city's hospital. Watch in Spanish: Itapúa en Noticias
PHILIPPINES: The Philippine Star on 13 July printed an editorial saying, “the theme of this year’s observance of World Population Day cannot be any more direct: “universal access to reproductive health care.” United Nations statistics show that every day around the world, nearly 800 women die of complications from pregnancy or childbirth. For every death, according to the UN Population Fund, 20 more women suffer debilitating childbirth injuries. UNFPA reported that in most developing countries, pregnancy and complications from childbirth are the leading causes of death of girls aged 10 to 19. The highest rates of sexually transmitted infections are recorded among youths aged 15 to 24 in developing countries, according to the UNFPA." Read in English: Philippine Star
The Inquirer on 12 July printed an opinion piece by Rina Jimenez-David. “In her statement issued on World Population Day last Wednesday, Senator Pia Cayetano appealed to everyone to “prioritize the plight and burden of Filipino mothers. They are the ones who risk their life to bear new life, carry the primary burden of ensuring the health, education and welfare of their children, and balance the family’s meager resources to survive from day to day.” Saying “the situation of our mothers has gone from bad to worse” with rising maternal death statistics, the senator said “any fair-minded legislator [should] support the enactment of the RH bill, which would allow mothers universal access to reproductive health services of the government.”” Read in English: The Inquirer
The Philippine Information Agency reported on 13 July that “the Department of Health (DOH) and the Commission on Population (PopCom) has pushed for universal access to Reproductive Health (RH) services and the utilization of family planning. RH problems remain as the leading cause of illnesses and death for women of childbearing age locally and globally. Maternal mortality rate in Cordillera based on the 2009 data, is 79 per 100,000 live births. PopCom, in partnership with DOH, spearheaded July 11’s Kapihan Media Forum in observance of the World Population Day 2012, which adopts the theme “Universal Access to Reproductive Health.”” Read in English: Philippine Information Agency
The Philippine Star on 11 July printed an editorial saying, “the World Bank has joined the International Monetary Fund and rating agencies in projecting an economic contraction this year for the Philippines. As the global economic crisis deepens, the United Nations is expecting women and children in developing countries to bear the brunt of the impact. The crisis gives more urgency to the implementation of measures that will promote education and health care for women and children. This is the message of the United Nations Population Fund as the 20th World Population Day is marked today. The UNFPA points out that investments in education and health of women and girls have been linked to higher national productivity, agricultural yield and income, all of which contribute to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals.” Read in English: Philippine Star
The Manila Bulletin on 10 July printed an editorial, “Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services” is the theme of this year’s celebration of World Population Day, in support of the attainment of the 5th Millennium Development Goal (MDG) which is to improve maternal health. Despite progress in this area, there is still much to be done to realize the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) vision of “a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.”” Read in English: Manila Bulletin
The Gulf Times on 12 July published that, “Jonalyn Corpuz struggled to hold on to her three-month-old son throwing a tantrum as she waited in line for free contraceptive implants in Manila’s slum district of Tondo. Corpuz was among hundreds of mothers who signed up for free implants and injections, ligation, birth control pills and other reproductive health services at a family planning fair in Baseco, the largest slum village in Tondo. The fair was organised by the Manila-based Likhaan Centre for Women’s Health in partnership with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the European Union and other local groups to mark World Population Day yesterday.” Read in English: Gulf Times
Negros Daily Bulletin on 12 July reported that, “Dr. Eden Divinagracia, Executive Director of the Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare, Inc. (PNGOC) cited the recent statistics, that the unmet needs for Family Planning increased from 15.7% in 2006 to 19.3% in 2011 at the World Population Day event with the theme, Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services. The objective of the celebration was to raise awareness among stakeholders the importance of addressing population issues and their relationship to health and development.” Read in English: Negros Daily Bulletin
The Inquirer on 11 July reported that, “Senator Pia Cayetano on Wednesday renewed her call for the passing of the Reproductive Health Bill in time with the commemoration of World Population Day. “On World Population Day, let’s prioritize the plight and burden of Filipino mothers. They are the ones who risk their life to bear new life, carry the primary burden of ensuring the health, education and welfare of their children, and balance the family’s meager resources to survive from day-to-day,” said Cayetano.” Read in English: The Inquirer and InterAksyon.com
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SIERRA LEONE: AWOKO and New Vision reported on 12 July that at a press conference to commemorate World Population Day in Freetown on 11 July, the Acting Director of UNFPA sub-regional office in Dakar, Idrissa Ouedraogo, said that family planning is a basic human right. Giving birth, he said, is typically the most joyful moment in a woman’s life, yet this very process takes the life of so many women worldwide.
Mr. Ouedraogo further stated that for every woman who dies, around 20 more suffer debilitating childbirth conditions such as fistula, and that working for the survival and the well-being of women and girls is a human rights imperative. He said that as we commemorate World Population Day, it is time to re-energize our commitment to universal access to reproductive health services, especially voluntary family planning.
The Component Manager for Population and Development at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Mohamed Lebbie, observed that the theme for this year’s celebration: Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services, is clearly an important one and the timing is opportune particularly when government is now committed to formulating a comprehensive national population policy within socio-economic planning.
SRI LANKA: The Daily Mirror, Daily News, Sinhala 'Ada', Daily Lankadeepa Sinhala and Veerakesari Tamil on 11 July reported on World Population Day and UNFPA. The Daily Mirror did a three-page spread on the topic.
SUDAN: Sudan Vision Daily published on 12 July the message by Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, on World Population Day 2012. In the message Dr. Osotimehin reaffirmed UNFPA’s human rights approach to reproductive health by affirming that working for the survival and well-being of women and girls is a human rights imperative. In order to take advantage of women’s full potential in the development of their nations, they must be able to plan their lives and families. This is why the international community is determined to making universal access to reproductive health a priority. Read in English: Sudan Vision Daily
Al Sahafa Daily reported on 10 July about the planned celebrations of World Population Day on 16 July at Genaina, West Darfur. The events are organized by the Reproductive Health Directorate of the Federal Ministry of Health, West Darfur Ministry of Health and UNFPA Sudan. Dr. Sawsan Eltahir of the Federal Ministry of Health was quoted as saying this year’s celebrations advocate for efforts to provide quality integrated reproductive health services that include midwifery, emergency maternal services in addition to information and services on spacing children. Read in Arabic: Al Sahafa Daily
TAJIKISTAN: Khovar reported on 13 July on the UNFPA-conducted press conference on World Population Day. Mr. Alexander Zuev, UNFPA Representative in Tajikistan spoke on the occasion. Read in Russian: Khovar
TIMOR-LESTE: The Timor-Post on 11 July reported that UNFPA celebrated World Population Day with government representatives, development partners, and students at Canossa School in Dili. UNFPA has been working the Ministry of Health and International Agencies in Timor-Leste for the past 10 years to strengthen education and capacity on reproductive health and progress is being made. This year’s global theme ‘Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services’ is of particular relevance to Timor-Leste, a country with a high fertility rate and a high maternal mortality ratio. A Timorese woman will have, on average, 5.7 births during her lifetime with one in 44 women likely to die as a result of complications during pregnancy or childbirth, according to the Demographic Health Survey 2009-2010. Through the celebration of World Population Day, UNFPA hopes to raise awareness among young people on key reproductive health issues, so they can make informed decisions concerning their health and their future. UNFPA Representative Pornchai Suchitta pledged UNFPA’s commitment to work with all of its partners to ensure that universal access to reproductive health, especially voluntary family planning, is a key element of the international development agenda and poverty reduction policies. Mr. Pornchai said that, “only then would countries be able to reduce poverty and social and economic inequality, improve the well-being of their people and safeguard the health and rights of women, men, and young people.”
The Independente on 12 July reported that the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon called on United Nations member states to highlight the key role of access to reproductive health care. “I call for urgent concerted action by the member states to bridge the gap between demand and supply for reproductive health care,” said Ban. The paper also quoted the Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, who stated that reproductive health problems remain the leading cause of ill health and death for women of childbearing age worldwide.
The Timor Post on 12 July published a photo of the First Lady of Timor-Leste, Mrs. Isabel Ferreira, ribbon cutting at the UNFPA exhibition on the celebration of World Population Day with UNFPA Representative Mr. Pornchai at Canossa Community School.
TOGO: Multiple media outlets reported on 11 and 12 July on the country’s World Population Day celebrations. The Minister in Charge of the Planning of Development and Regional Planning, Dédé Ahouéfa EKOUE, launched World Population Day on 10 July in the Medico-social Center of Tokoin Doumasséssé at Lome. She had by her side, the Ministers of Health, Security and Civil Protection, the representative of the Office of the UNFPA in Togo, Cécile MUKARUBUGA, the representatives of other agencies such as the United Nations’ representative Khardiata Lo Ndiaye, the resident Coordinator of the United Nations System and resident Representative of the UNDP in Togo, members of the diplomatic corps, high personalities in charge of the engineering departments and a crowd made up of women who came to listen.
The celebration was also an opportunity for the UNFPA Togo to offer five motorbikes to the medical districts of the maritime area through the Ministry of Health. In collaboration with the Management of Family Health, services for family planning were offered free on the site of the demonstration to surrounding populations. Parallel to the celebration, the media diffused and published the message of the Executive Director in their columns and on the airwaves.
A day before this celebration, a press conference, hosted by the Togolese Government and the Office of the UNFPA in Togo, enlightened journalists on World Population Day, the current efforts of the government regarding reproductive health, and the importance of demography and development. Read in French: Togo En Vogue, Togo En Vogue, Pa-L'Union, Pa-L'Union, Savoir News, Sante Education and Afriscoop
TURKMENISTAN: Neutral Turkmenistan reported on 11 July on the celebration by the international community of World Population Day. In the article, the author shared the history of World Population Day and extensively described the cooperation between Turkmenistan and UNFPA since 1992, particularly in the area of reproductive health, given the theme of the 2012 World Population Day. Quoting the Secretary-General’s World Population Day message on the importance of mainstreaming reproductive health and rights into all development plans, the article highlights the achievements of Turkmenistan in the area of reproductive health with the support of UNFPA, including the adoption, among the first in the region to do so, of national development programmes and strategies on reproductive health, safe motherhood and others.
Neutral Turkmenistan, Dashoguz Habarlary, and Maru-Shahu-Jahan newspapers reported on 12, 13 and 14 July that UNFPA jointly with the National Clinical Center for Mother and Child Health (NCCMC) held a series of roundtables dedicated to the World Population Day theme in the capital city and in two cities in the regions. The roundtables served as a platform to recognize the medical specialists working in the field of reproductive health, and to create a dialogue between the service providers and users on the existing reproductive health services, safe motherhood, adolescent reproductive health and reproductive rights of women, including those living with disabilities, and young people. Medical specialists, representatives of the non-governmental organizations and mass media, as well as couples, women of fertile age and young people participated at the round-tables.
UGANDA: New Vision on 11 July reported on a dialogue organized by the UNFPA country office in preparation for World Population Day. With the theme: “Make Access to Reproductive Health Services a Priority: Address Key Challenges,” the dialogue attracted youths from across Kampala city and beyond. Read in English: New Vision
New Vision on 11 July published an interview with UNFPA Country Representative Janet Jackson about World Population, family planning and other key issues affecting the population. Read in English: New Vision
The Daily Monitor on 12 July published an article about the London Family Planning Summit. UNFPA Country Representative Janet Jackson is mentioned in the article saying, making access to reproductive health services shoul dbe a priority. Read in English: Daily Monitor
URUGUAY: Several media outlets reported from 11-14 July on different aspects of the celebration of World Population Day. El País reported that Uruguayan authorities were to announce that the country would host the first meeting of the Regional Conference on Population in August 2013. That Conference would focus on the Programme of Action of the International Conference for Population and Development (ICPD) advancements. La diaria and Radio Uruguay highlighted that the Uruguayan model to eliminate maternal mortality for unsafe abortions, which follows the commitments signed in the ICPD, will be shared with other Latin American countries. La Republica focused on growing inequalities as the world population rises. Trends on sexual and reproductive health, including maternal mortality, were presented and debated by several media. Read more in Spanish: El País, La Diaria, La República, UNI Radio, Radio Uruguay, Radio Universal, Montevideo.com, Presidencia, Fray Bentina Digital, El Pueblo de Salto, El País de los Niños, Prensa Latina
UZBEKISTAN: UzDaily, Gazeta.uz and numerous other outlets reported on 12 July that on 11 July, the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan and UNFPA (UN Population Fund) together celebrated World Population Day 2012. The day, which was held under the motto “Healthy Families – Healthy Societies,” was celebrated with an open-air event at Gofur Gulom Park in Tashkent. The celebration featured a family marathon, as well as a kids’ chalk drawing contest on the theme of “Healthy Families.” Winners and participants of the contest were awarded with souvenirs. Participants of the event and guests also enjoyed the performance of amateur folk dance and song groups. Read in Russian: UzDaily, Gazeta.uz, and ca-news Read in English: UzDaily
e-Tashkent reported on 12 July that on 13 July, the UN Information Centre (UNIC) and UN Population Fund (UNFPA) planned to co-host a traditional UN Friday to highlight one of UN’s flagship observances, World Population Day. The programme featured Feruza Fazilova, National Programme Officer on Reproductive Health at UNFPA, Diloram Melikova, family physician at Tashkent International Clinic, Davron Mirsagatov, and representative of the youth education network Y-PEER, Vojtech Hledik, UNAIDS Country Office in Uzbekistan. Read in Russian: e-Tashkent
The Standard from 18 to 24 September reported that, “This is the second year running that the Shangani community has partnered with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to incorporate safe medical male circumcision in their traditional rite of passage. The National Aids Council, United Nations Population Fund, World Health Organisation and Population Services International have also rallied behind this initiative through providing technical and financial support. This year alone, more than 2 000 Shangani men in Chiredzi were circumcised through the programme which also includes voluntary HIV-testing and counselling, information on safer sex and screening for STIs as well as attention to other male reproductive health issues.” Read in English: The Standard
The Chronicle reported on 26 July on an event in which the government expressed appreciation for UN agencies’ contributions in Zimbabwe. UN Resident Coordinator and UNFPA Representative Basile Tambashe also delivered remarks, noting the critical role that the media plays in supporting UNFPA and other UN agencies’ work.
The Herald reported on 20 July that the government has pledged to support initiatives by the private sector and other service providers involved in HIV and AIDS-related issues as well as sexual and reproductive health as part of efforts to make health services readily available, a Government official has said. Ministry of Health and Child Welfare permanent secretary, Dr Gerald Gwinji, said this recently while speaking at the signing ceremony of a project linking HIV and sexual SRHR programmes, signed by the Government, United Nations Population Fund and European Union in Harare. Speaking at the same occasion, UNFPA country representative, Dr. Basile Tambashe, said linking the two was key to attaining HIV-related MDGs
IRIN reported on 12 May on the consequences of the country’s ongoing shortage of midwives, noting that a recent report on Zimbabwe's progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals, compiled by UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO, said about 80 per cent of the posts for midwives were vacant in the public sector. "The shortage of skilled and competent midwives can avert 80 to 90 per cent of maternal deaths. The shortage of skilled and competent midwives can result in women and their newborns dying from the complications that could be prevented by a health worker with the right skills, the right equipment and the right support," the report pointed out. Read: IRIN
UN News Centre reported on 5 May that United Nations officials hailed the significant impact of midwives on the health of women and newborns, and called for greater investments to ensure their life-saving services are available to all who need them around the world. “Midwives deliver – and not only babies,” said Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA. “They save lives and promote good health in societies as a whole. They are an essential workforce in an effective health-care system.”
In a statement to mark the day, Dr. Osotimehin noted that more than one in three women in developing countries give birth alone, and in some of the poorest countries, as few as 13 per cent of all deliveries are assisted by a midwife or a health worker with midwifery skills. Read: UN News Centre
AFGHANISTAN: Xinhua reported on 5 May on the International Day of the Midwife in a story focusing on midwifery in Afghanistan. "Nearly 70 per cent of women dying from pregnancy related problems in my province due to the limited access to health centres and professional midwives," Afghan midwife Fatima Hamdard said. The article continued to cover UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin’s statement marking the day. "More than one in three women in developing countries give birth alone -- or with only relatives to oversee what is one of the most dangerous passage they will ever undergo," said Babatunde Osotimehin. Read: Xinhua
BANGLADESH: BDNews24 reported on 5 and 7 May on an effort to increase the number of trained midwives in the country. UNFPA Bangladesh representative Arthur Erken said midwives were an essential workforce in an effectively functioning health care system and the best way forward to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths. UNFPA is supporting the pilot programme in three districts – Munshiganj, Mymensingh and Chittagong – in the country. Read: BDNews24 and BDNews24
The Daily Star reported on 5 May that Bangladesh observed International Day of the Midwife and that Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, gave a statement marking the day. The statement said more than one in three women in developing countries gives birth alone or with only relatives. Read: The Daily Star
The New Age reported on 5 May that, with the country still heavily relying on community skilled birth attendants who lack the skill and the authority to perform complicated deliveries, and with one in 500 women dying during childbirth, Bangladesh, like other countries of the world, will today observe International Day of the Midwife. In Bangladesh, where more than 75 per cent of deliveries take place at home, it is imperative to improve the situation through the training of more midwives, according to UNFPA.
Although the number of women giving birth in medical facilities in Bangladesh has more than doubled, from 9 per cent in 2001 to 23 per cent in 2010, more than 75 per cent of deliveries still take place at home. Read: The New Age
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: Multiple media outlets published on 4 and 5 May the full statement by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, on the occasion of the International Day of the Midwife. Read in Bosnian: Sutra and Ljiljan
CHAD: Radio Chad reported on 5 May on a conference panel organized by the Chadian Association of Midwives, with the support of UNFPA, to mark the International Day of the Midwife and on UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotomehin’s statement on the day. During the conference, presentations followed by discussions were made on the role of midwives in reducing maternal death, the analysis of their situation in Chad and the need for their redeployment in the light of their uneven distribution in the territory.
CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Tele-Congo, les Depeches de Brazzaville and Radio Pointe Noire reported on 7 May on the celebration of the International Day of the Midwife in Pointe Noire, which was organized jointly by the Inter-provincial Midwives Order and UNFPA. UNFPA Representative David Lawson called on the government to take the necessary measures and budget to enhance the professional standards and training for midwifery. He also indicated that UNFPA would support the participation of Congolese midwives at the upcoming Durban Conference of midwives. Read in French: Les Depeches de Brazzaville
Congo-site, DRTV, TV-Congo, Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 6 May on the celebration in Brazzaville of the International Midwives Day by the National Midwives Order, the Health Ministry, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO on the role of midwives in achieving MDG 4, 5 and 6. CARMMA Ambassador Senator Philomene Fouty-Soungou and UNFPA Representative David Lawson led a march of midwives. Read in French: Congo-Site and Les Depeches de Brazzaville
DRTV, TV Congo, Radio Congo, TV+, Canal Benediction broadcasted on 5 May the message of UNFPA Executive Director, Babatunde Osotimehin, delivered by UNFPA Resident Representative, David Lawson, on the occasion of International Midwife Day.
COSTA RICA: La Teja reported on May 5 on a celebration held to mark the International Day of the Midwife. UNFPA recognized the work of the midwives as it noted that many women continue to give birth without the skilled assistance they provide.
GUINEA-CONAKRY: Guinee24 reported on 5 May that UNFPA-Guinea, through the foundation of the First Lady of the Republic, Conde Djen, offered over 30 million Guinean francs worth of medical equipment for delivery to the Health Centre Yimbaya and the premium midwives who have contributed more to save lives of women and babies. Read in French: Guinee 24
GUYANA: Kaieteur News reported on 5 May that, with a firm commitment to ensure the safety of both women and children during pregnancy and delivery, midwives drawn from across the country gathered at the Umana Yana in Kingston, Georgetown, on 4 May to celebrate International Day of the Midwife, one day ahead of the designated day. The event was held under the theme, “The world needs midwives now…more than ever.” The local observance was preceded by a march which commenced at the Ministry of Health’s Brickdam Office and culminated at the Umana Yana where the health workers gathered to reflect on the work of midwives. Yesterday’s event also featured addresses by Director of Maternal and Child Health within the Ministry of Health, Dr. Janice Woolford, and UNFPA Technical Specialist, Derven Patrick. The commemorative activities were later taken to the Aracari Resort at Versailles, West Bank Demerara, for a forum which saw the role of the midwife being highlighted in-depth by UNFPA Midwife Adviser Mandy La Fleur. Read: Kaieteur News
IRAN: Tehran Times featured an interview on 7 May with Mehmet Hulki Uz, the UNFPA representative in Tehran, who said that Iran has succeeded in reducing maternal death by 80 per cent within 18 years. In addition, “Now in Iran 97 per cent of deliveries are being achieved safely,” he said. The interview was published as the Iranian Health Ministry marked the International Day of the Midwife. Read: Tehran Times
Etelaat News, Salamat and Fars reported on 4 and 5 May on International Day of the Midwife, noting that reducing maternal mortality and boosting maternal health are among the chief concerns of the country’s health system today. Iran succeeded in reducing its maternal mortality rate by 80 per cent over the course of 18 years, from 1990-2008. According to Mehmet Hulki Uz, UNFPA Representative in Iran, the country has made some momentous progress in maternal health, but 420 women still die each year because of pregnancy related causes – that’s more than one Iranian woman a day. UNFPA is working with the Ministry of Health to help reduce the country’s maternal mortality rate further: 80-90 per cent of maternal deaths can be avoided by strengthening the role of midwives. Midwives help make the health system more efficient because they can consult at a community level and detect possible complications arising from pregnancy – at a third (on average) of the cost for a physician to do so, generating significant savings for the government. UNFPA advocates for doctors and midwives to form part of a “family practice” team in which midwives can offer community-level family planning and maternal health services and refer any issue beyond their sphere of competency to a doctor.
KENYA: The Nation reported on 4 May on the International Day of the Midwife, noting that UNFPA in its latest statistics notes that every day, 1,000 women die and 5,500 newborns die in the first week of life for lack of adequate medical care. Thirteen per cent of all deliveries are attended by a health worker with midwifery skills in poor countries, and UNFPA and the Kenya Medical Association say there is need to invest in building these skills. Read: The Nation
The Nairobi Star reported on 2 May that there is a global shortage of some 350,000 professional midwives, according to UNFPA. UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin said as a result of the shortage, women and their newborn babies die from complications that would be prevented by a health worker with skills, the right equipment and support. He noted that more than one in three women in developing countries give birth alone or with the help of relatives. This, he said, is dangerous for women. Dr. Osotimehin said that in the poorest countries, as few as 13 per cent of all deliveries are assisted by a midwife or a health worker with skills. "Midwives are the unsung heroes of maternal and newborn health," said Dr. Osotimehin in a statement released ahead of the International Day of the Midwife to be marked on 5 May. He underscored the need for countries to invest in human resources for health. He added that 1,000 women die daily and 5,500 newborns die in the first week of life for lack of adequate medical care. Read: The Nairobi Star
PAKISTAN: The Nation reported on 6 May that Parliamentary Health Secretary Saeed Elahi has said that the uplifting of the health sector and welfare of the people associated with it was the top priority of the government. Addressing a seminar arranged with the cooperation of the Punjab Health Department, UNICEF and UNFPA on the occasion of International Midwives Day, he said that the government was paying special attention to the health of women and children. Read: The Nation
PARAGUAY: Multiple media outlets reported on 4-6 May on International Day of the Midwife. Articles highlighted the fact that, in Paraguay three out of ten births are attended by midwives. They also reported on the message from the Executive Director of UNFPA, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, who said, “Midwives, not only offer services, but are also who attend births, save lives and promote the health of women and societies as a whole. They are an essential part of any personal health system.” Read in Spanish: ABC, Vanguardia and La Nacion
SRI LANKA: Ceylon Daily News reported on 5 May on International Day of the Midwife, noting that in Sri Lanka, public health midwives have been a cornerstone in reducing maternal deaths and improving the health of mothers and their newborns. "Sri Lanka's investments in improving maternal health are exemplary. By applying the right policies and making the right investments to increase skilled attendance at birth along with increased access to family planning and emergency obstetric care, Sri Lanka has shown that maternal deaths can be reduced even prior to attaining high levels of economic development. UNFPA is also proud to be part of these achievements" said UNFPA Representative Lene Christiansen. Read: Ceylon Daily News
SUDAN: Sudan Vision and Al Sahafa reported on 5 May on the International Day of the Midwife. In a fullpage of coverage, Sudan Vision included the message of UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA messages on the event and an article on midwifery and maternal health highlighting the support of UNFPA to the national efforts of reducing maternal mortalities and improving women’s health. Read: Al Sahafa, Sudan Vision Daily (a) and Sudan Vision Daily (b)
Multiple media outlets also reported on 3-7 May on events marking the International Day of the Midwife in Juba, beginning with the establishment of the first Nurses and Midwives Association of Southern Sudan, which brought together nurses and midwives from all ten states in South Sudan. Coverage also marked the launch of the Month of the Midwife, which began on the day. Events included a march and rally in support of midwives on 5 May, the broadcast of a UNFPA-produced documentary on midwifery in Southern Sudan and interviews, panel discussions and statements featuring multiple UNFPA officials. A South Sudan TV talkshow featured UNFPA Head of Office Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov, along with Janet Michael of the Ministry of Health of GOSS and Petronella Wawa, Principal of the UNFPA-supported Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery. Read: Gurtong and Sudan Tribune
SWAZILAND: The Swazi Observer reported on 6 May that UNFPA Country Director Dr. Hassan Mohtashami said the current number of midwives in the country should be increased in each local hospital. Currently there are slightly over 1,200 midwives in Swaziland, disclosed chief nursing officer Thembsile Khumalo. Dr. Mohtashami said midwives were a critical attribute of human resources for maternal health because they simply could make a difference between life and death. “Even though recent reports by the UN show a decline in deaths during pregnancy and childbirth of 34 per cent, the annual rate of decline is less than half of what is required to achieve the MDGs,” he said. Read: The Swazi Observer
The Swazi Observer reported on 6 May on the International Day of the Midwife, as UNFPA country Director Dr. Hassan Mohtashami said the current number of midwives in the country should be increased in each local hospital. Currently there are slightly over 1,200 midwives in Swaziland, disclosed chief nursing officer Thembsile Khumalo. Read: The Swazi Observer
The Times of Swaziland reported on 6 May that the frequency of pregnancy within a short space of time is a major concern to midwives in the country. According to the midwives, this has greatly contributed to the high maternal mortality rate. They attributed this to the lack of access to family planning services, as the level of contraceptive use for married women in the country currently stands at 51 per cent. The midwives revealed this during the commemoration of the International Day of the Midwife, which was held at the Royal Villas on 5 May. They said there was a need to consider health education as a key for behaviour change. UNFPA Representative Hassan Mohtashami said midwives were a critical human resource for maternal health because they are skilled birth attendants. He said the country needs to train skilled attendants who can make a substantive contribution to the reduction of maternal mortality. "Rural women may be illiterate, but can be trained as skilled attendants," Dr. Mohtashami said. Read: The Times of Swaziland
The Swazi Observer reported on 4 May that Swaziland, with the support of UNFPA, was to join the world in the celebration of International Day of the Midwife. One of the critical elements for the attainment of the health outcomes, especially the MDG 5 target of 75 per cent reduction of maternal mortality, is human resources for health. That is why there has been increasing attention accorded to this component as part of the effort to strengthen health systems in developing countries. Sexual Reproductive Health Programme Manager Phumzile Mabuza said that improving maternal health calls for the expansion of the specific functions and or categories of midwifery personnel. “Midwives need to be equipped with knowledge and skills to improve the quality of care rendered to clients. This would ensure joyful childbirth prospect rather than misery for millions of women in the world,” she said. Read: The Swazi Observer
TANZANIA: The Citizen reported on 4 and 5 May on events commemorating International Day of the Midwife, including a march to celebrate the work of midwives, a statement by UNFPA on the day, profiles of UNFPA officials and midwives in the country, and calls for improved training for midwives in the country. “The World Health Organisation and other UN agencies as well as some global partners recognize the fact that midwives are key to achieving the goal to reduce in maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities globally,” said Rita Noronha, UNFPA health system programme specialist. Read: The Citizen
TIMOR-LESTE: Timor Post and Suara Timor Lorosae reported on 5- 6 May on the two-day, UNFPA-led celebration of the International Day of the Midwife. The event opened with an address from the President of Timor-Leste, Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta, who spoke on the important work of midwives in saving women’s and children’s lives, and called on men to be more engaged in family planning in order to preserve women’s health.
UGANDA: The Monitor reported on 6 May and published a statement by UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Ostomehin marking the International Day of the Midwife. The growing shortage of midwives is contributing to Uganda's failure to end maternal and child deaths, the government has said. At least 2,000 additional midwives are required to provide skilled care during antenatal, delivery and postnatal care including providing family planning and immunisation services. Addressing journalists as part of yesterday's International Day of the Midwife, Health Minister Stephen Mallinga in a statement read for him by Assistant Commissioner for Health Promotion Paul Kagwa, explained that the shortage of midwives is affecting the quality of maternal and newborn care. Read: The Monitor and The Monitor
URUGUAY: Sociedad Uruguaya reported on 5 May on the celebration of the International Day of the Midwife. Read in Spanish: Sociedad Uruguaya
VIET NAM: Gia Dinh va Xa Hoi (Family and Society) reported on 5 May that on the occasion of the International Day of Midwife, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Executive Director, commended the important work of midwives. “Midwives deliver – and not only babies. They save lives and promote good health in societies as a whole. They are an essential workforce in an effective healthcare system,” said Dr. Osotimehin. Read in Vietnamese: Gia Dinh va Xa Hoi
YEMEN: Naba news, Sahafanews and Bawabat al-Yemen published on 4 May the statement by Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of UNFPA, on the occasion of theInternational Day of the Midwife. Read in Arabic: Naba News, Sahafa News and Bawabat al-Yemen
ZIMBABWE: The Standard reported on 8 May on statements by the International Confederation of Midwives marking the International Day of the Midwife, as well as calls by UNFPA and others to improve training and availability of midwives around the world.
The Herald published a column on 28 April on a recent interdenominational dialogue organised by Africare to reduce stigma around HIV/AIDS. The column noted that a representative from UNFPA urged members to have unity of purpose, to be united by challenges of HIV and Aids, and not divided by church doctrines. He urged the church to seek knowledge beyond biblical mandate. He also admonished some churches not to look down upon donors as people who are spiritually unrighteous in the sight of God.
The Financial Gazette reported on 1 April that according to UNFPA, at least eight mothers die giving birth everyday translating to over 2,500 women dying every year due to pregnancy-related complications. “Giving birth should not be a matter of life and death because today every minute, a woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth; this adds up to more than 10 million over a generation,” the UNFPA reported. Read: The Financial Gazette
IPS reported on 7 March that in a statement marking the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, said the international community must promote the rights of women "to unleash the full potential of half the world’s population." Read: IPS
BANGLADESH: BDNews24 reported on 7 March that UNFPA has renewed its commitment to work with governments and civil society to achieve universal access to education and reproductive health by 2015. On the occasion of International Women's Day, UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin said, "As the world approaches a population of seven billion, it's high time to unleash the full potential of half the world's population — women.” Read: BDNews24
The News Today reported on 9 March that speakers at a discussion in Dhaka have urged civil society, NGOs and the government to help provide equal opportunity to women in the interest of national progress and development. They also called upon the government to put women and children’s rights and health issues high on its agenda. The local NGO “Amra Kuri,” in collaboration with UNFPA, organized the programme on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2011 at the Shishu Academy. Read: The News Today
BELARUS: Naviny.by and Open.by reported on 8 March on International Women’s Day. To mark the day, the National Statistic Committee compiled a portrait of a modern Belarusian Woman, and famous people shared their image of that figure. Census data and other statistical information were used to prepare the portrait. According to the Statistical Committee, the modern Belarusian woman is 42 years old, married with children, has higher or specialized secondary education, Belarusian nationality, considers Belarusian her native language and uses Russian in her everyday life. UNFPA Progamme Analyst Tatyana Haplichnik said, “The modern Belarusian woman is a mother and wife, and is an expert in her profession. Regardless of this working load, she manages to look so perfect that even women’s, not only men’s, heads are spinning from the number of beautiful women outside. By 21 she knows several foreign languages, has a higher education degree and a profession, and after 60 she starts mastering her computer skills and yoga, often combining this with work and grandchildren.” Read in Russian: Naviny.by and Open.by
CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Congo-site reported on 13 March on a donation made by the UN female workers in Congo to midwives in two major hospitals in Brazzaville on the occasion of International Women's Day. Led by the UNICEF Representative, a UN delegation donated medical equipment to facilitate the midwives work. A member of the delegation, UNFPA’s Dr. Jeannette Biboussi, said, "Midwives are central to our fight against maternal mortality and we hope that this donation will enhance their work in our collective goal to achieve MDG5." Read in French: Congo-site
DRTV and Canal Benediction broadcast on 8 March the UNFPA Executive Director's message delivered by Congo Resident Representative David Lawson on the occasion of International Women's Day. Les Depeches de Brazzaville also reported on the celebrations of World Women's Day in Brazzaville. While most celebrations were decentralized to the countryside, the capital city hosted a number of festivities focused on women, where the message by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Executive Director for the occasion was delivered. Read in French: Les Depeches de Brazzaville
Tele-Congo, DRTV and Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 8 March on the annual march by Congolese women in support of women's rights in Ewo, the capital city of the Cuvette Ouest Province in Western Congo. The march was led by First Lady Antoinette Sassou Nguesso, Women's Affairs Minister Jeanne Leckoumba Loumeto Pombo, and UNFPA Representative David Lawson. The theme of the march was "Investing in women and girls" Watch in French: Tele-Congo
EL SALVADOR: Diario Co-Latino reported on 8 March on the message of UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin on International Women's Day 2011. Read in Spanish: Diario Co-Latino
ETHIOPIA: Multiple media outlets reported on 8 March on events marking International Women’s Day in Ethiopia and around the world, noting that Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, reaffirmed UNFPA’s commitment to work with governments and civil society organizations to achieve universal access to education and reproductive health by 2015. Read: Walta Information Centre
GHANA: GNA reported on 9 March that UNFPA Gender Officer Miriam R. Iddrisu called for an end to inhuman cultural practices such as female genital mutilation, widowhood rites and forceful marriages in Ghana. She said the country's laws did not favour such practices and that there is a need to prosecute those who engage in such acts to serve as a deterrent. Ms. Iddrisu said this in Tamale during the International Women's Day celebration. Read: GNA
GUINEA: Guinee 24 reported on 9 March that UNFPA and other development partners contributed to the festivities on International Women's Day. The Ministry of Social Affairs organized, in collaboration with UNFPA, an awareness day on defense forces and security on resolutions 1325 and 1820. In Guinea, UNFPA works alongside the Government for the right to health and equal opportunity for every man, woman and child. It conducts advocacy and technical support to the Guinean Government to ensure that all girls and all Guinean women are treated with dignity and respect. Watch in French: Guinee 24
JORDAN: Al–Rai featured an interview on 10 March with Muna Idris, UNFPA Jordan Assistant Representative. She reinforced the continuous commitment of UNFPA to support women’s rights in general and reproductive rights and health in particular. Ms. Idris stated that Jordan is one of the few countries which showed fundamental progress on reproductive health indicators, and on achieving a balance between population growth and natural and economic resources. Despite the tangible achievements in women’s reproductive health, there remain a number of areas that require increased attention like post-natal care, enhancing the role of health workers in addressing gender-based violence, focusing on the unmet needs for family planning, and improving the quality of services and existing system for reporting on maternal mortalities. All of these issues are highlighted in UNFPA Jordan’s current and future programmes of cooperation. Read in Arabic: Al-Rai
IRAN: IRNA reported on 7 March that UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin called for the use of women’s full potential in his message on International Women’s Day. “While the world approaches a population of seven billion, it’s high time to unleash the full potential of half the world’s population,” Dr. Osotimehin said in a press release. Read: IRNA
MADAGASCAR: La Verite, Madatimes, Midi-Madagasikara and Les Nouvelles reported on 8-10 March that to celebrate International Women’s Day, public debates were organized in Madagascar on the following issues: girls’ access to education; sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights; and equal rights for women and men. The reports quoted the Executive Director’s message on IWD and mentioned some data collected from UNFPA reports.
MALDIVES: Minivan News and Haveeru reported on 8 March that the Maldives celebrated the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. Celebrations included a function jointly organized by UNFPA and the NGO Thirees Nuvaeh. Speakers included the country’s first female MP and former Health Minister Aneesa Ahmed, serving MP Eva Abdulla, Sheikh Mohamed Qubadh Abubakru and Savithri Goonesekara, Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka. Read: Minivan News and Haveeru
MOZAMBIQUE: Rádio Cidade reported on 12 March that UNFPA supported an event led by peer educators to celebrate International Women’s Day, in the suburb of Laulane, in Maputo. The event, named “Show Biz” consisted of a public lecture on the importance of promoting access to education for girls, sensitization to HIV testing and live music performances by local popular artists such as Band Soweto and Mr. Bow. Jossias Chitive, a member of the Núcleo de Mavalane contra Drogras e HIV (youth association against drugs and HIV), who coordinated the event, said that live music helped to attract youngsters to participate.
NIGERIA: The Nigerian Tribune published a letter on 8 March from Zonta International on highlighting its service programme for this biennium (2010 - 2012) valued at $1,500,000; $500,000 to the prevention of Mother-to-Child transmission of HIV and gender-based violence in Rwanda, a project in collaboration with UNICEF; $500,000 to the elimination of Obstetric Fistula and the reduction of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity in Liberia, a project in co-operation with UNFPA; $500,000 to the Safe Cities For Women project in Guatemala City, Guatemala and San Salvador, El Salvador, a project in cooperation with UNIFEM.
OMAN: The Times of Oman reported on 8 March on the commemoration of International Women’s Day, noting that since the launch of the UNFPA GCC office in 2006, collaboration began with the Ministry of Social Development in all aspects of concern to women’s issues and gender. Read: The Times of Oman
PAKISTAN: The News reported on 9 March that recent trends in the health sector indicate that Pakistan has begun to significantly lag behind many regional countries in South Asia in terms of obtaining a reduction in the child and maternal mortality rates. This concern was flagged during the course of a recent focus group discussion on “Overcoming barriers in Reproductive Health.” The event was arranged by Leadership for Environment and Development (Lead) Pakistan in connection with International Women’s Day. The event was attended by a group of senior government officials, media personnel, civil society representatives, health experts, corporate figures and academic professionals. These included the Lady Health Worker Program, Ministry of Health, UNFPA, Rutgers World Population Foundation, Marie Stopes Society, National Trust for Population Welfare, Rozan, Sachet, Shifa College of Medicine and Heartfile. Read: The News
PARAGUAY: Multiple media outlets reported on 7-8 March that International Women’s Day was marked in Paraguay and around the world. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, called for fundamental human rights, the equal rights of men and women, and noted that as the world approaches a population of seven billion, it’s high time to unleash the full potential of half the world’s population. Read in Spanish: Agencia Jakueke, La Nacion, La Nacion
SUDAN: Sudan Vision Daily reported on 9 March that the United Nations and African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) celebrated International Women's Day in al Naqa'a Square in El Fashir under slogan of equality, training and education for women. The celebration was organized by UNAMID in cooperation with the Government of North Darfur, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNDP. Read: Sudan Vision Daily
Al Sahafa, Khartoum Monitor and Sudan Vision Daily published UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin’s statement marking International Women’s Day on 8 March. He said, “Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day and once again declare our faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, and in the equal rights of men and women. As the world approaches a population of seven billion, it’s high time to unleash the full potential of half the world’s population.” Read: Sudan Vision Daily and in Arabic: Al Sahafa
Dagens Nyheter (Sweden) marke International Women’s Day on 8 March with a story that focused in particular on Ulrika Rehnström, a Swedish midwife who works for UNFPA training local midwifes with the Health Department in Juba in Southern Sudan. There are currently only about 110 midwives in the whole region. According to Ms. Rehnström, one of the biggest challenges is to get the Health Department to employ the newly trained midwives. In Southern Sudan, only 10 per cent of all pregnant women deliver in hospitals due to the lack of trained midwives and high cost of medical equipment. The maternal mortality ratio in Sudan is one of the highest in the world: 2,054 of 100,000 Sudanese women die from pregnancy-related causes. Read in Swedish: Dagens Nyheter
TURKEY: Multiple media outlets reported on 7-8 March on events marking International Women’s Day in Turkey and around the world, including UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin’s statement on the day. Coverage focusing on Turkey noted that every day, a woman is killed in the country in the name of “honour,” something that should be stopped immediately, UNFPA said in a statement for International Women’s Day. “Four out of 10 women are facing violence ... and this should be stopped urgently,” said the statement, which was issued by Zahidul Huque, the UNFPA Representative in Turkey. In addition, UNFPA sponsored a photography exhibit to raise awareness of gender-based violence in Turkey. Read: Hurriyet and Today’s Zaman. Read in Turkish: Birgun, CNN-Turkish, DHA, Milliyet, NTVMSNBC, Sabah, Super Online,
UGANDA: New Vision reported on 10 March that First Lady Janet Museveni has said the struggle to save the lives of women and newborns must continue. She noted that the maternal mortality ratio in Uganda had changed minimally over the last 10 years and that 16 women still lost their lives daily and 45,000 newborns die every year as a result of preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. “We must resolve to act now and change this unacceptable situation,” she said. Mrs. Museveni was officiating at the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood Uganda Chapter dinner in celebration of the 100th International Women’s Day. UNFPA Assistant Representative Dr. Ochan Wilfred called upon the Government to make maternal health a priority by increasing investment in midwifery training and health infrastructure.
UNITED STATES: Associated Press reported on 8 March on the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, noting that Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, said equal rights are advanced when girls can avoid child marriage and enjoy equal access to education, both men and women can plan their families, and pregnant women no longer fear losing their jobs. Read: Associated Press
The Huffington Post published a blog on 8 March on coordinated efforts by NGOs, along with larger organizations like the WHO, to help combat this massive public health issue. Fistula is not a disease, stressed Dr. Gert Morren, of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), but a "handicap" that is "perfectly preventable," through skilled OB care, which the UNFPA says is not an option for many women because their husbands or mothers-in-law force them to stay home to give birth. (The UNFPA reports that another kind of fistula can be caused when the vaginal canal is ruptured in a violent rape, which happened so often in Congo in 2003 that doctors considered it a crime of combat.) Treatment for fistula is done via surgery and subsequent physiological work. Read: The Huffington Post
ZIMBABWE: The Herald reported on 7 March on the status of women in the country, noting that in a statement, UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin said that as the world approaches a population of seven billion, it's high time to unleash the full potential of half the world's population. International Women's Day is the platform to declare women's faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, and in the equal rights of men and women. Read: The Herald
The Herald reported on 16 February that in an effort to have its maternity polyclinic reopened, the Ruwa Local Board has recruited two midwives to boost its staff complement, noting that according to UNFPA, about 2,500 women die every year due to pregnancy complications. Read: The Herald
The Herald reported on 15 February on a national blood drive, noting UNFPA’s role in ensuring that pregnant and women in labour have access to free blood. Read: The Herald
VOA News reported on 10 February that heightened awareness and fear of infection with the virus that causes AIDS was a key driving force in the steep decline in new HIV infections in Zimbabwe between 1997 and 2007, says a study published this week by the U.S. journal PLoS Medicine. The examination of why HIV prevalence in the country fell from 29 percent in 1997 to 16 percent in 2007 was carried out by epidemiologists at Imperial College, London, and Harvard University School of Public Health, Cambridge, in partnership with Zimbabwe's Ministry of Health, the UN Population Fund and UNAIDS. Though HIV prevalence remains high by African standards, the fall in HIV prevalence in Zimbabwe is the largest seen anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa, researchers said. The study shows HIV incidence – the number of new infections taking place each year - declined markedly, especially after 2000, falling from 5 infections per 100 persons per year to less than 2 infections per person per year in 2010. Read: VOA News
The Standard reported on 30 January on a European Union effort to improve the country’s blood supply, noting that last year, UNFPA introduced a coupon system, whereby each coupon was redeemed for a pint of blood. The UNFPA's coupon system was also targeted at pregnant women who seek services from public institutions. Read: The Standard
IPS reported on 9 December that ushering in Human Rights Day, Harvard University's School of Public Health, together with UNFPA, released a comprehensive new manual on applying and promoting a human rights-based approach to all developmental agendas. The manual, which has been in the works for over three years, is in fact a highly detailed guidebook on how to apply a "culturally sensitive, gender-responsive, human rights-based approach to programming," in UNFPA's key focus-areas: gender justice, population and development issues and reproductive health. "The purpose of this manual was to translate standards and norms that already exist into direct action and tangible programmes that actually touch people," said Aminata Toure, chief of Gender, Culture and Human Rights at the UNFPA. Read: IPS
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reported on 8 December reported on the situation fifteen years after the Dayton Accords peace agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina. UNFPA warned of the danger of failing to protect women from war crimes and urged that they be included much more in efforts to avert conflict and rebuild countries after conflicts in its annual State of the World Population report, published in October. The scale of the atrocities committed in Bosnia and then in Rwanda in the 1990’s led to the UN passing a resolution in 2000 urging governments to protect women from rape and work much more with women to heal trauma after a conflict. But UNFPA observed that the resolution has achieved little. Rape is widespread in Sudan and eastern Congo now. And Bosnia has failed to heal the wounds of the war and continues to be paralyzed by ethnic division. But Bosnia is not high on the priorities of the international community. UNFPA has spent “close to nothing” on this problem since the war, according to an official, largely because it has hoped the state would tackle it. It now plans to invest more in this area. According to the Federal Health Ministry, the Swiss government has recently provided three years of funding for a mental health reform project. “Bosnia for us has been really a pilot. It was the first time the UN was faced with a situation of mass rape being used as a weapon of war,” said Upala Devi, an expert on the implementation of the UN resolution at UNFPA headquarters in New York. “Based on our achievements—or lack of—in the past 10 years (since the resolution came into force) we are now making more efforts to address the issues of women, peace, and security,” she says. Read: BMJ
CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Tele-Congo and Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 7 and 9 December on a conference organized by the Gender Affairs Ministry, UNFPA and the UN system to sensitize young people and children from various schools of Brazzaville to violence against women. The event took place in the framework of the 16-Days Campaign to Eliminate Violence Against Women. Children were sensitized by experts from the Gender Affairs Ministry and participated in an event meant to inspire them to reject violence against women in all its forms. Watch in French: Tele-Congo
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Gender Links (South Africa) reported on 6 December on the stories of rape survivors in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which made up continuing coverage on the 16 Days Campaign. “As soon as an armed group considers that the civilian population it is confronted with is against its presence, it will commit crimes against it, including sexual violence. It is a form of terrorism that is employed by armed groups, specifically in areas where there is no authority,” said Aziza Aziz-Suleimani of UNFPA. Read: Gender Links
GEORGIA: Multiple media outlets reported on 9-12 December that UNFPA Georgia marked the International Human Rights Day by conducting the South Caucasus Regional Photo Exhibition on Women’s Rights. The exhibition brought together artworks from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia and was held simultaneously in the three countries of the South Caucasus. The exhibition coincided with the closing of the ongoing global 16 days campaign against Gender-Based Violence and the International Human Rights day to emphasize that violence against women is a violation of human rights and that women’s rights is part of the human rights agenda. Vice Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia George Tsereteli, Ambassador of the United States of America to Georgia John Bass, Ambassador of Norway to Azerbaijan and Georgia, Erling Skjønsberg and Assistant Representative a.i. of UNFPA in Georgia Lela Bakradze made opening speeches at the event summarizing the 16 days of activism and declaring their commitment to work around women’s rights and violence against women. Other invitees include representatives of parliament, government, and diplomatic corps, international and nongovernmental organizations. Read: GINSC and 24 Saati Read in Georgian: Media News
INDONESIA: The Jakarta Post reported on 10 December that an online competition aiming at eradicating violence against women will end today but it continues to receive responses especially on its Facebook account composed of 1,258 members so far. The Dimulai dari Saya! (It Starts with Me) competition is conducted by United Nations Indonesia and urges all participants, especially men, to post comments, short essays, pictures, videos, designs or sketches related to the issue from 25 November (the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women) to 10 December through its Facebook and Twitter accounts. UNFPA national program officer for media and communications, Nugroho Nurdikiawan Sunjoyo noted that the winner will be announced in January. Read: The Jakarta Post
NIGERIA: Daily Trust reported on 10 December that women worldwide commenced the commemoration of this year's 16 days Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) on 25 November. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence is an International campaign that was started by the Centre for Global Leadership in 1991. The 16 Days campaign runs from November 25 which is the International Day of Violence against Women to 10 December, International Human Rights Day annually. According to the Minister of Women Affairs and Social development, Iyom Josephine Anenih, the 16 Days ends on the International Human Rights Day to symbolically link Violence Against Women and Human Rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights. Iyom Anenih said the public and government officials are encouraged to wear a white ribbon during the 16 day period, adding “a white ribbon is a symbol of peace and is meant to demonstrate the commitment of the wearer to never commit or condone violence against women and children.” She said the ministry in collaboration with relevant government agencies, development partners, CSOs, and NGOs key among them UNIFEM,UNFPA, ACTION AID, WRAPA, NTA and FRCN is planning to embark on a campaign to mark this year's 16 Days Activism on Violence Against Women.
PAKISTAN: Pakistan Tribune and The Daily Times reported on 11 December that, underscoring the role that media could play effective role in creating public awareness around gender-based violence (GBV), MNA Sherry Rehman said that youth, human rights activists, member of civil society, media and with Pakistani woman should come forward to eliminate GBV in the country. Ms. Rehman was speaking as a chief guest on the launch of a report on Youth, Media and Gender-based Violence titled “Through The Gender Lens” by UKs research, resource and publication centre to mark the International Human Rights Day. The report launch was organized by UKs in collaboration with UNFPA. Read: Pakistan Tribune and Daily Times
ZIMBABWE: Africa News published an op-ed on 10 December by Congressman Donald Payne and Dr. Helene Gayle, President and CEO of CARE marking the 16 Days of Activism with a call for government action, and specifically for the U.S. Congress to pass the International Violence Against Women Act. They wrote, “Although violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread human rights abuses in the world, it is severely under-reported. In countries such as the DRC, where according to a recent United Nations Population Fund report, 7,700 acts of sexual violence were reported during the first six months of 2010, social attitudes often condone violence against women, and stigmatize and blame the survivor . . . But even as we shine a spotlight on the plight of so many women and girls in the DRC and beyond, a stronger global response is needed. Governments must implement global commitments to protect women's rights during conflict, including U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 which calls for increased participation of women in peacebuilding efforts.” Read: Africa News
The Herald published a column by Tafataona P. Mahoso on 8 December arguing that “There is a problem with the way the oppression of women and girls is explained which, if not challenged, will mean that gender will become a racket, an industry, without even reducing, let alone stopping, the degradation of the majority of women. For those who believe that clear thinking, accurate and scientific explanation and research are important steps in the pursuit of freedom, this problem is the use of so-called "African tradition" or "African culture" as a catch-all explanation for the suffering of women.” The column claimed “In 2004 UNFPA and the University of Zimbabwe published a booklet called The Zimbabwe Male Psyche with Respect to Reproductive Health, HIV, Aids and Gender Issues. The publication signalled three significant developments: The neoliberal conversion of UN agencies into mere conduits for Northern donor funds and donor policies; The donor-funded prostitution of academic work, whereby it became difficult to separate academic research from donor propaganda; and the donor manipulation and interpretation of the real existing suffering and oppression of women in pursuit of what the US government and Usaid call "transformational diplomacy goals. Indeed, although both men and women, boys and girls were experiencing similar oppression and suffering as a result of the same macro-economic and social and political factors, the booklet focused on women against men.” Read: The Herald
Sunday News reported on 7 December on maternal mortality in Zimbabwe. UNFPA, in partnership with the University of Zimbabwe and other UN agencies compiled a comprehensive report of deaths resulting from pregnancy or childbirth, which revealed that 725 Zimbabwean women out of every 100,000 who deliver, die due to complications. Read: Sunday News
The Herald reported on 11 November that the government and UNFPA have initiated a system to provide pregnanat women with coupons to access blood during and after childbirth at hospitals. UNFPA Reproductive Health Manager Edwin Mpeta said the project was necessitated by the high cost of blood and blood products, which is often prohibitive for both hospitals and women. Bleeding during labor and after childbirth contribute to a large number of maternal deaths. Under the new project, hospitals can provide blood to patients for free and then trade coupons for reimbursements from UNFPA.
The Zimbabwean reported on 30 October on the testimony of fistula patients. Many women suffer fistula in solitude and shame, and UNFPA estimates that more than 2 million women live with it in the developing world, with more than 50,000 new cases each year. Fistula is common in communities where women are married at a young age and give birth before their bodies are ready. Read: The Zimbabwean
ZBC reported on 28 October that the government of Zimbabwe is implementing a series of policies and interventions aimed at containing the disease burden amongst Zimbabweans. This came out at the opening of the 52nd Eastern, Central and Southern Africa Health Ministers’ Conference that is currently underway in Harare. UNFPA Representative Basile Tambashe was among the speakers at the conference. Read: ZBC
The Standard reported on 24 October that married women who dabble in commercial sex work are emerging as the biggest threat to efforts to reduce the spread of HIV in Zimbabwe, experts said recently. Participants at a workshop organized by UNFPA were told that most of the prostitutes these days were married, a development that complicated conventional AIDS prevention methods. “We have discovered in our behavior change programming that some married women are engaging in unprotected sex work, which is a serious threat to the achievements made to date in terms of declining HIV prevalence rates,” said Samson Chidiya, a UNFPA representative. Read: The Standard
The Standard reported on 10 October that married couples are now the group with the highest risk of HIV infection because of the widespread prevalence of extramarital affairs, according to a recent regional study. Samson Chideya, of UNFPA, said the only way to deal with multiple concurrent partnerships was to intensify behaviour change initiatives. Read: The Standard
The Standard reported on 2 October that over 3,500 men were circumcised throughout the country last month alone as Zimbabweans begin to embrace the latest tool in the fight against the AIDS pandemic. Karin Hatzold, director of HIV services at Population Services International (PSI), told a report-back meeting on the recently held International Aids Conference in Vienna, Austria that the figures were obtained from circumcision centres around the country. The feedback meeting in Harare was organized by UNFPA and the National AIDS Council. Read: The Standard
The Standard reported on 2 October that the success of tests into the effectiveness of anti-HIV gels to be used by women before engaging in sex has presented Zimbabwe with another chance of further reducing the rapid transmission of the virus. According to various presentations made at a feedback workshop organized by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and the National Aids Council, the research on the gels has brought a lot of hope. One of the gels is based on the anti-retroviral drug Tenofovir and recent research carried out in South Africa showed that it reduces transmission of HIV/AIDS to women if used before sex. Read: The Standard