- Comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health
- Family Planning
- Women, Girls, and HIV
- Maternal Health
- U.S. Foreign Policy & Funding
- Watch: Making U.S. Foreign Assistance Work for Women and Girls in Ethiopia
- Female Condoms and U.S. Foreign Policy
- Family Planning Policy Restrictions and HIV
- U.S. Global Health Initiative
- Global Gag Rule
- Helms Amendment
- Foreign Assistance Budget
- Foreign Assistance Reform
- Kemp-Kasten Amendment
- Abstinence & Fidelity
- Anti-Prostitution Pledge
- Advocacy and Foreign Assistance
- Why Women and Girls?
Pregnancy continues to carry a high risk of death worldwide, despite numerous commitments to address the issues that fuel maternal mortality. An estimated 350,000 women die each year from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, most from preventable causes. Approximately 46,000 of these deaths are due to unsafe abortion. Millions of women experience serious, debilitating health conditions as a result of pregnancy and childbirth complications each year. Almost all (99 percent) of the world’s maternal deaths and injuries occur in developing countries.
Health systems often do not prioritize maternal health, making maternity care difficult to access. Also, because of women’s low status in many societies, maternal health services are often of poor quality and lack attention to human rights.
Young women are at heightened risk of complications and death during pregnancy and childbirth, particularly those whose bodies are not as developed due to chronic malnutrition. Early child marriage and taboos on adolescent sexuality contribute to teen pregnancies by denying girls the power, information, and tools to postpone childbearing.
Women are now the majority of people living with HIV worldwide. The HIV pandemic has changed--our responses have to change with it, or we'll never create an AIDS-free generation.Take Action
Tell your Senators that you support full funding for international family planning and a permanent repeal of the Global Gag Rule.Take Action
Congress is now considering a bill (H.R. 2829) that would effectively end our relationship with the United Nations. Act now and tell your Representative to oppose this harmful piece of legislation.Take Action
Ask your Representative to co-sponsor the Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act (H.R. 1319), newly introduced legislation that promotes a truly comprehensive and integrated approach to U.S. international reproductive health programs.Take Action
The House is currently debating a spending bill (H.R. 1) that, as it stands, would drastically decrease funding for international family planning and reproductive health, global HIV/AIDS, and maternal and child health programs and services. We need you to speak out for women's health and rights today!Take Action
Send a postcard to Ambassador Goosby, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, and urge him to make U.S. global AIDS programs and policies work harder and better for women and girls worldwide.Take Action
Source287,000 - Each year, 287,000 women die from pregnancy-related causes.
Source50% - Only 50% of women who give birth each year receive antenatal, delivery, and newborn care.
Source99% - More than 99% of the estimated 287,000 maternal deaths each year occur in developing countries.
Source15% - Worldwide, nearly 15% of adult women's deaths occur during maternity.
The seeds of success in every nation on earth are best planted in women and children. If we provide the young with a strong foundation, we can leave behind a legacy substantially greater than most are able to bequeath. As for the women, the old adage that you invest in a woman, you invest in a generation, still rings true today.
Zambia's permanent representative to the UN has urged the country's government to allocate more funding towards maternal and newborn health. According to the Times of Zambia, Mwaba Kasese-Bota said sexual and reproductive health services were "cardinal" to reducing maternal and infant mortality across Africa.
Gender equality and reproductive health are indispensable to sustainable development, and must be a key part of the post-2015 development agenda, participants said at a United Nations-organized regional conference in Thailand. After days of intense discussions, nearly 500 delegates, including ministers and senior officials from 47 countries, adopted a comprehensive Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development.
Last August, Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health together with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched Sudan's National Acceleration Plan for Maternal and Child Health. Sudan is the first of the 10 high-burden countries in the Region to launch an acceleration plan on maternal and child health, in line with the commitment expressed in the Dubai Declaration, adopted in January 2013.
H.e. Dr. Nkosazana C. Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission addresses attendees at the International Conference On Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Johannesburg, South Africa.
South Africa is an upper middle-income country that is achieving low-income country success when it comes to maternal health. With the UN's release of the 2013 Millennium Development Goals Annual Report, greater attention is being drawn to countries in which progress has fallen far short of expectations.
In Malawi, the lifetime risk of a woman dying in pregnancy or childbirth is one in 36, compared to one in 4,600 in the United Kingdom, according to the Malawi Safe Motherhood Programme, an initiative to reduce maternal mortality in this southern African nation.
It is close to midday and a group of patients wait outside the Mirwais regional hospital in southern Afghanistan’s Kandahar city. “There are no health clinics in our district so I have to come this long way for treatment. I have not met the doctor yet and have been waiting to see him for a long time,” one man, who had been waiting since sunrise and had driven four hours from neighbouring Helmand Province, told IRIN.
What Does Family Planning Have to do With HIV? Everything.
Voluntary family planning is an indispensible component of HIV prevention and treatment.Download this PDF
File Under: Fact Sheets
Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Ethiopia
On July 5-9, 2010, three U.S. state legislators traveled to Ethiopia to better understand the role of U.S. foreign assistance aimed at improving the quality of reproductive health care. This report documents that trip and makes recommendations for improving effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance to advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls in Ethiopia.Download this PDF
File Under: Research Documents
Fact Sheet: U.S. Global HEALTH Act of 2010
The U.S. Global HEALTH Act of 2010 (H.R. 4933) establishes a strategy to coordinate health-related U.S. foreign assistance and to assist developing countries in strengthening their indigenous health workforces and improving delivery of health services.Download this PDF
File Under: Fact Sheets
The Case for Comprehensive: Dominican Republic
Rising HIV prevalence for young women and high rates of teen pregnancy are strong indicators of the gaps in the Dominican Republic’s sexual and reproductive health care. Moreover, despite the fact that almost all births are attended by skilled providers, maternal mortality is alarmingly high.Download this PDF
File Under: Country Profiles
The Case for Comprehensive: Botswana
Botswana appears to be a series of contradictions. Although economically better off than its neighbors, with relatively good roads, solid communications network, and 24-hour hospitals fairly well distributed throughout the country, Botswana nevertheless has serious barriers to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care.Download this PDF
File Under: Country Profiles
Maternal Health Topics
The Dominican Republic has high rates of maternal mortality, yet almost all women technically have skilled attendants at birth.