August 2013

Improving women's lives through microfinance

For many women, all that stands between them and their dreams are start-up funds.  Kiva and Grameen Bank are two micro lenders who are helping women across the world secure funds for school or business ventures. Learn about Kiva's business model, success stories and how you can get involved here. Learn more about Grameen Bank's presence in Bangladesh, their Nobel Peace Prize, and their impact on women's lives here.  
Mama: Together for Safe Births in Crises
Mama: Together for Safe Births in Crises is an initiative designed by the Women's Refugee Commission and social media and development company M4ID to improve maternal health care and reduce maternal death and disability.  They use social networking to open up new channels of communication to connect front line providers to one another and  give them access to training and advice from experts.  Click here for more information about Mama.

Spotlight on Health Equity: 

Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere

 In honor of world breastfeeding week, we would like to recognize the great work of Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE). Based in Georgia, ROSE is a non-profit committed to strengthening supports for breastfeeding in the African American community. To learn more about their mission, initiatives and resources, click here.

World Health Organization study finds violence against women 'shockingly common'
Young women listen to a talk on domestic violence in Lome, Togo
Young women in Lome, Togo listen to a talk on domestic violence and HIV prevention
A new WHO study finds that 35% of women around the world have been raped or physically abused. About 80% of the time this violence occurs in the home, at the hands of a partner or spouse. This finding leads to discussion of prevention efforts worldwide. To read the whole story, click here.


 Inspiring movies about women all over the world
If you're in the mood for a powerful story, check out these movies about inspirational women 
Half the Sky: The Series
A great companion piece to the incredible book, this selection is available to steam on Netflix! Filmed in 10 countries, this series introduces women who are struggling with some of the most difficult and oppressive circumstances imaginable.
Pray the Devil Back to Hell
This movie tells the uplifting story of the Liberian women who joined together and peacefully protested, helping end the civil war ravaging their country. Their activism should inspire us all to realize we can each create change.
Iron Ladies of Liberia
 This is an independently produced documentary film that gives behind-the-scenes access to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's first year in government. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was first female president anywhere in Africa.
What great and inspiring movies have you found? Let us know!
This Month: 
International Women's Health
This month's newsletter focuses on efforts to empower women and improve health internationally. While many of us work exclusively in the U.S., there is much to learn from inspiring programs all over the world. Find out how technical assistance, financial empowerment, and even a box full of baby goodies are helping women worldwide. Before you get started, however, we would like to showcase our 8th pilot project to highlight some great work underway here at home. 
Pilot Project Spotlight: Following the Life Course in South Central Kentucky


This project is a collaboration between BabyNet coalition members and the Barren River District Health Department (BRDHD). Following the Life Course is introducing over 400 health care providers to the Life Course perspective, working to facilitate a community strategic planning process through a Life Course lens to strengthen the local health care delivery system, and providing new educational resources on life course, preconception health, and reproductive life planning for patients and high school students in Barren, Logan, and Warren Counties.


Leadership Blog: This month we're featuring Korana Durham, Project Manager for Following the Life Course in South Central Kentucky.  Please read her interview here.  Additionally, check out a local international connection when Sarah Verbiest visited rural Nicaragua with Senior Girl Scout Troop 514. Her blog is posted just after the interview with Korana Durham.

World Breastfeeding Week

Malian woman breastfeeding
World breastfeeding week is August 1-7.  While we have our own challenges to breastfeeding in the United States, breastfeeding faces many unique barriers abroad.  A July op-ed from the New York Times reminds us that babies in developing countries die of malnutrition simply because the mother was not taught how to correctly breastfeed.  Read the inspiring story of proper breastfeeding saving a baby's life in rural Mali here.

Why Finnish babies sleep in

cardboard boxes


In a now 80-year-old tradition, Finland sends every new mother home with a box full of things new babies need including diapers and clothes for baby and condoms and bra pads for mom. The box itself has a small mattress in the bottom so that it doubles as a bed.  Many Finnish babies of all socioeconomic status take their first nap in the box. While all new mothers are offered either the box or a 140 Euro cash grant, 95% of moms choose the box. To learn more about the history of the initiative and to hear what Finnish families think of the baby boxes, click here



Reproductive Health for adolescents girls in crisis settings


The Women's Refugee Commission and Save the Children, along with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Population Fund, have released a new report highlighting good practices, as well as gaps and recommendations for reproductive health services for adolescents in crisis settings.  The need for action on reproductive health care for adolescents could not be more urgent or obvious: two million girls under the age of 15 give birth every year, and adolescent girls have a higher risk of maternal mortality than any other age group.  Half of all sexual assaults are committed against girls younger than 15. While the research and recommendations focused on the needs of adolescents in crises, the lessons learned, particularly about what works well, are easily applicable in the Southeast. Read the report "Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs in Humanitarian Settings: An In-depth Look at Family Planning Services" here, and an article written by Sarah Costa, Executive Director of Women's Refugee Commission, about the report in the Huffington Post here


The Girl Effect 
Check out this amazing movement called The Girl Effect. Created by the Nike Foundation in collaboration with other smaller foundations the girl effect is fueled by hundreds of thousands of girl champions who recognize the untapped potential of adolescent girls living in poverty.  The argument for investing in adolescents is made beautifully in this video explaining the power of girls.  Check out their website here.
The girl effect: The clock is ticking
The girl effect: The clock is ticking



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Every Woman Southeast Coalition |
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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