The day of birth is potentially the most dangerous time for mothers and babies. Every year, worldwide, 303,000 women die during pregnancy and childbirth, 2.7 million babies die during the first 28 days of life and 2.6 million babies are stillborn. Most stillbirths and neonatal deaths are preventable with quality health care during pregnancy and childbirth.
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BEIRUT, Lebanon - As a transgender woman, Nadia* long struggled to find acceptance in her native Iraq, where years of abuse culminated in her abduction by an extremist militia targeting transgender people. "They tortured us and beat us severely," she says, recalling how some of her peers had their orifices sealed up with glue.
KAMPALA, Uganda - Talking about sexual and reproductive health is not easy, especially in the conservative corners of Uganda. But the girls of Buddo Secondary School found a powerful way to address the issue: poetry.
Vowing to "fight" to the end to see that all perpetrators of rape and violence against women and girls in crisis-torn South Sudan are held to account, the United Nations envoy on sexual violence in conflict today said it is extremely important for the Government to take all necessary action to put an end to such crimes.
KHANKE, Iraq - "Do not blame me for repeating my story, as what happened to me is the unforgettable story of my life," Golleh*, a Yazidi woman, said. She had been abducted by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS or Da'esh), and enslaved for eight months.
Funk music stars from Brazil's favela communities are calling for people to "get together for more rights, less zika" in their newest single. The band, Dream Team do Passinho, partnered with UNFPA to produce the song, which has been a hit among concert-goers and on Brazilian radio.
Yangon, Myanmar - Midwife Daw Aye Myint is the first health professional to ever be based in Htamakaut, a remote village in the rural Magway region. She arrived there only 11 months ago. Risks are high for mothers and infants in the area, where reproductive health care is sorely lacking.
The announcement that the United States might have discovered its first cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus, and concerns raised by some of the athletes headed to the Olympic Games in Rio, are renewing fears about the disease, which the United Nations' health agency declared a 'public health emergency of international concern' in February 2016.
The international community must do more to end the inhumane practice of human trafficking and protect migrants and refugees - particularly young people, women and children - from those who attempt to exploit their opportunity for a better future, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, urging all nations to recognize their responsibility in combating the global scourge.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned today that some 77 million of the world's newborns - or 1 in 2 - are not breastfed within the first hour of birth, depriving them of essential nutrients and antibodies and thus exposing them to an increased risk of death.
Human trafficking is a parasitic crime that feeds on vulnerability, thrives in times of uncertainty and profits from inaction. While the international community struggles with what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called the biggest refugee and migration crisis since World War Two, human traffickers and migrant smugglers are taking advantage of misery to turn a profit.
The World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is an important moment to show solidarity with the many victims of human trafficking around the world and this year we can keep the issue in the spotlight when World leaders gather on 19 September in New York for the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants, writes IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.
Expressing serious concern over the proposed penal code amendment that would criminalize abortions, United Nations human rights experts today urged the Dominican Republic's President and legislators to protect women's rights to sexual and reproductive health in the Caribbean country.
The United Nations department providing logistical support to field missions announced today the launch of a new mandatory online programme for all uniformed and civilian personnel to strengthen training on the standards of conduct, with a special focus on sexual exploitation and abuse.
SALVADOR, Brazil - When 30-year-old Greicy Alves was diagnosed with Zika in her first trimester, it did not seem like a big deal. The disease was widely considered to be mild. But by the time her son, Gabriel, was born, Zika had been declared global health emergency.
A key adviser to the United Nations children's agency today decried the culture of impunity surrounding sexual violence against women and girls around the world, following a recent case of gang rape in India. "Outrage is not enough," said Anju Malhotra, UNICEF's Principal Gender Advisor.
SAVANAKHET PROVINCE, Lao PDR - "The village was full of kids before," said Agnod, 56, in a remote community in the Lao People's Democratic Republic. Nestled in a forest near the border with Viet Nam, the village of Labangkhok is one of the poorest places in the country.
In a new joint report, the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have called for strengthening rape prevention efforts and to improve the fight against impunity for sexual violence in the West African nation.
The first High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, themed "Ensuring no one is left behind," will take place at the UN Headquarters in New York, from 11 to 20 July.
The men at the factory would stare at me and tell me that I was old enough 'to be eaten. I was the newcomer. Walking the small distance from my sewing machine to the toilet used to be very uncomfortable.' New women coming to work at the factory often experienced harassment.
Jackie knows about heartbreak. She became pregnant in the ninth grade and was forced to leave school. Then, when her baby was nearly two years old, she suddenly fell sick. "I took her to the clinic. But when I came back, she was dead," Jackie told UNFPA.
PHNOM-PENH, Cambodia - "My engine is still working!" a young man in a clinic yelled gleefully, having just testing negative for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Patients in the waiting room turned to gawk at him.
Safe and child-friendly, Georgia's domestic violence shelters, set up with UN Women support, give women job training and medical, psychosocial and legal assistance to help them rebuild their lives.
Tunisia's Parliament has approved an amendment ensuring that women have greater representation in local politics. This amendment, which applies to both municipal and regional elections, includes a proposal for "horizontal and vertical" gender parity in Article 49 of the electoral law.
Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee south-eastern Niger following an attack by Boko Haram militants in early June. UNFPA estimates some 3,000 pregnant girls and women are among the displaced, putting them in urgent need of antenatal, maternal and post-partum care.
The World Health Organization congratulates Thailand and Belarus for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of both HIV and syphilis. WHO also applauds Armenia and the Republic of Moldova for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and syphilis, respectively. "To ensure children are born healthy is to give them the best possible start in life..."
I thank the University for having us today, and I thank the women in the room for inspiring us to do the things that we do. Today is an all-around win, win, win day. I want to also acknowledge the presence of my Deputy Executive Director, Mrs.
Thailand today received validation from WHO for having eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, becoming the first country in Asia and the Pacific region and also the first with a large HIV epidemic to ensure an AIDS-free generation.
KABUL, Afghanistan - For 49 years, a traumatic childbirth injury left Noorjahan living in the shadows. A prolonged, obstructed labour, and lack of emergency maternal health care, left her with an obstetric fistula - a hole in the birth canal that leaks urine or faeces.