Nelson Mandela once said: "Whenever I am with young people, I feel like a recharged battery." I couldn't agree more, after having spent the last couple of days with a good bunch of the Women Deliver Young Leaders at the Partners' Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.
When young people tell me what motivated them to advocate for girls' and women's health and rights, their stories are at once heartbreaking and inspiring.
The young reporters from the Children’s Radio Foundation interviewed Graça Machel on Tuesday. Ms. Machel told them to use radio because “it is a powerful tool to get our message down to the people on the ground, including those living in remote communities.” She added that “we need radio to take up issues affecting young people, not just child marriage but also early pregnancy.”
The MDG Advocates called for the new sustainable development agenda to be rights-based, equity focused and to place healthy women, children and adolescents at its core. Leaders called for the new framework to focus on ending preventable maternal, newborn and child mortality, and to ensure sexual and reproductive rights, including universal access to quality sexual and reproductive services.
UNFPA and partners produced the 2014 edition of The State of the World's Midwifery report to shed light on the important role of these healthcare professionals. The report shines a light on the vast shortage of midwives across low- and middle-income countries, and on the progress made since the inaugural report in 2011.
Youth Voices at the Partners' Forum 2014 by Julia Wiklander - We have been present at the PMNCH Partners’ Forum 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa this week, where close to 200 youth delegates participated and advocated to include youth priorities in the post-2015 agenda. We had the opportunity to be inspired by their leadership and hear their views and recommendations. .
Why Mothers Need More Than a Hospital by Possible - Rupa nearly lost the gamble. She was born in her own home, but her mother warned her of the dangers of home births. Rupa, like so many other pregnant women, wanted to give birth in a safe healthcare facility near her home.
Commit to Deliver for Young Girls & Women in the Post-2015 Agenda By: Felogene Anumo, Advocacy Programme Associate. The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) - Though the world has made progress towards achieving the MDGs, more can and must be done, especially with regards to addressing the needs of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young women and girls.
It’s All Possible: We Have the Solution in Our Hands!
By: Wanzala E. Martin, Uganda
As deliberations on the post-2015 development agenda at the 3rd PMNCH Partners’ Forum here in Johannesburg, South Africa gain momentum, it is a great opportunity for young people to ensure that their voices are heard when and where it matters most.
Partnership and Accountability: Not Just Buzz Words for Young People
By: Samuel Kissi
I joined close to a hundred young people from around the globe and hundreds more in Johannesburg at what was, by every measure, an important milestone in the drive towards improved maternal, newborn and child health. If there are two words I heard the most over the course of the forum they were “partnership and accountability” and it is easy to see why this was the case.
Girls, adolescents and youth: Heard. Involved. Engaged.
By: Cecilia Garcia Ruiz, Espolea and Sumaya Saluja, Global Education First Initiative
The 3rd PMNCH Partners' Forum is over, yet the commitments that have been made prevail. Young people present at the forum were critical, active, and brought attention to key issues affecting adolescents and youth around the world. During the youth pre-meeting, we worked collectively to shape an outcome document, which clearly outlines specific priorities for adolescents and young people in the definition of the post-2015 agenda. During the two days that followed, we advocated to leverage political commitment and accountability.
Reflections and reactions on social media to key conversations on July 1st t including the Plenary 3, "Equity – leave no one behind, Plenary 4, "Leveraging investments for health and sustainable development" and Plenary 5, "Our common vision: Delivering health and development for women and children beyond 2015."
"Education is the Most Powerful Weapon Which You Can Use to Change the World." by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg
With less than 550 days to meet the Millennium Development Goals, we have to pick up speed if we are to provide schooling for those 57 million children not yet in school and save the lives of more children and their mothers.
This week, USAID is joining a global movement to give newborns a fighting chance to survive and thrive during the most perilous period of life -- during delivery and the post-natal period when prematurity, asphyxia and infection pose grave threats to their survival. Action to prevent newborn deaths is a vital element in all we are doing to end preventable child and maternal deaths -- and helping to save newborns helps us to save moms, and can enable these fragile beings to become healthy children.
I hope with the #Commit2Deliver platform we can make strong plans so we engage people we haven’t engaged with before, that we think creatively about how we exemplify the change we want to see – and above all, that we make the space and give the opportunities for the voices of the people who know what it is like to lose a loved one or a patient from a preventable death to speak to their leaders and world leaders on our issues. We have made great progress, but the pressure is not enough. I believe that so much can happen in 500 days - let us unite under #Commit2Deliver so that the most that can happen is achieved.