The United Nations population agency today urged governments and development partners to expand midwifery programmes and promote an environment where midwives can effectively serve the needs of women and their families.
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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Elizabeth was exhausted after four hours of contractions at the Petite Place Cazeau clinic, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Finally, with gentle guidance from the midwife, she gave one last push. Stifled cries filled the delivery room. The nurse presented a baby girl to the new mother.
LUSAKA, Zambia - "I have seen girls become pregnant, become victims of violence and become HIV-positive, and I don't want to become one of those girls," said 13-year-old Lydia Mwelwa, a student at Kabulonga Basic School in Lusaka, Zambia's capital. "I'm happy they have taught us in school how we girls can protect ourselves," she added.
SANA'A, Yemen - On 26 March 2015, the conflict in Yemen dramatically escalated. Two years later, it has become one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. An estimated 18.8 million people - two thirds of the population - are in need of some kind of assistance or protection, according to the United Nations Humanitarian Needs Overview.
New York/ASSIUT, Egypt - "I will soon be the happy mother of a baby girl," Shaimaa Ahmed Ali told UNFPA in Egypt last summer. "I will definitely not have her circumcised. My husband and I agree on that. She will grow up to be a strong and healthy girl!"
Although a decline in cases of Zika virus infection has been reported in some countries, there is still a need for heightened vigilance, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today, issuing fresh guidance on the virus that has been linked to birth defects and neurological complications.
DORNOD/KHENTII, Mongolia - Mongolia was struck by harsh conditions this winter, raising risks for pastoral and nomadic communities. An estimated 165,000 people were affected, according to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Mongolia. The situation has caused particular concern for women and girls, who are experiencing limited access to sexual and reproductive health supplies and care and increased vulnerability to gender-based violence.
Cameroon's Northwest region has some of the worst health and poverty outcomes in the country. Since 2011, with financing from the Government, IDA - the World Bank's Fund for the poorest countries, and others, Cameroon has been improving those outcomes with a program called Performance Based Financing (PBF).
Nearly 1 million women are becoming infected with HIV every year and only half of all women living with HIV have access to lifesaving treatment-making AIDS now the leading cause of death worldwide among women between the ages of 30 and 49.
Gender equality is a human right. Women are entitled to live in dignity and in freedom from want and fear, without discrimination. Gender equality is also vital to sustainable development, peace and security.