Five years back something historic happened. The 2013 Rwandan Parliamentary elections ushered in a record-breaking 64 per cent of seats for women candidates, making Rwanda the top country for women in politics.
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Until last month, when a woman needed an emergency Caesarean section on the island of Bubaque, in Guinea-Bissau, she had to take a five-hour boat ride to the capital city. And the boat ran only once a week. Bubaque’s regional hospital – which serves 17 islands in the Bijagos archipelago – did not have any surgical ward at all. It also lacked the ability to provide emergency obstetric and neonatal care. A new surgical ward, supported by UNFPA and the government of Portugal, opened at the regional hospital on 25 July.
Escalating violence in Hodeidah, Yemen, threatens the city's estimated 90,000 pregnant women and girls, UNFPA has announced. Some 14,000 of these women and girls are likely to encounter pregnancy-related complications requiring emergency care, but access to health services has been severely limited by the ongoing crisis.
Refugee women and girls face extraordinary hardships. They endure grave risks and often brutal violence, and many are thrust into poverty. But they can also face another, more intimate, hardship, one that is seldom discussed - the effects of exile on their sexual and reproductive health.
Me Me, a women's protection & empowerment counsellor in a UNFPA-supported women’s and girls’ centre in a Rohingya camp in Myanmar, shares how their educational sessions on health & human rights are helping uplift girls in their community.
Girls living with disabilities often have fewer opportunities to engage with the broader world than boys. In April, UNFPA began working with the Special Olympics to create opportunities for adolescent girls to play and learn. The project will provide sports activities for both girls with disabilities and those without. The participants will also learn about their reproductive health and their human rights.
The number of AIDS-related deaths has fallen to its lowest point this century thanks to improved access to antiretroviral treatment, according to a newly released report. Yet prevention efforts are leaving the most vulnerable behind. UNFPA is working with governments and partners around the world to improve access to prevention measures, particularly for adolescents, women and key populations.
Fifty years ago, world leaders recognized family planning as a human right. Yet safe and reliable forms of contraception remain out of reach for hundreds of millions of people.
Around South Sudan, UNFPA supports programmes to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, including training social workers and health staff to sensitively and professionally meet the needs of violence survivors. At one facility, the Family Protection Centre, located in the Juba Teaching Hospital, these and other services are integrated together under one roof, helping to ensure survivors receive the full range of care available, including clinical treatment for rape, psychological first aid, counselling, legal support and other services.
While the number of child marriages occurring among Syrian refugees in Iraq is not available, research conducted among Syrian refugees elsewhere suggests a link between the poverty and instability facing displaced families like Aysheh’s, and rising pressure for girls to get married. Feeling helpless, Aysheh sought help from the UNFPA-supported Zahrat Al-Yasamin women’s social centre in the camp.