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The latest in global sexual and reproductive health news

Mothers Against Malnutrition

In Burundi, most of the population is affected by acute food insecurity, climate hazards and limited access to land. Pathfinder is one organization working to address the resulting malnutrition.

In recognition of the crucial role of mothers in reducing Burundi's shocking malnutrition rates, Pathfinder International has launched the Mamans Lumières programme in June 2011, to empower mothers to improve the health of their children.

See How Condoms Reach the Most Remote Villages in Africa

Condoms remain some of the most effective and affordable tools for combating unintended pregnancy. But how do condoms get to people who live in some of the hardest-to-reach corners of the world?

Tanzania-based photographer Sala Lewis traveled with global health organization Pathfinder International to document the Tuungane program in Tanzania, which brings condoms from the urban center of Kigoma to the small villages around the Mahale National Park. Project staff travel to the field at least once every two weeks, delivering what ever supplies are needed — contraception, anti-malaria drugs or even a new radio.

Leading Change Beyond the United Nations

Empowering women and girls doesn't require deep pockets or a podium. Pathfinder President Purnima Mane explores empowering women and girls beyond the United Nations.

Women, be good to one another. Ask the younger women in your life to tell you about their aspirations, and help those aspirations grow. When their voice is silenced, elevate it by speaking up yourself. Don't be afraid to tell the truth about women's lives, their power and their potential. "Feminist" isn't a four-letter word and we can't keep treating it like one. Say "yes" to opportunity and "get out of my way" to the social, economic and cultural barriers that try to hold you back.

Spacing: The Key to Sustainability

On Bussi Island, health and environment are intrinsically linked. Pathfinder's Health of People and Environment project teaches communities about how best to keep their families and the environment they depend on healthy.

The clinic teaches women the importance of “spacing”  and offers a variety of options including cycle beads, condoms, pills, intrauterine devices and implants. Family planning methods, such as delaying and spacing out children, are among the most effective ways to better the lives of families and directly contribute to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals of reducing infant mortality and improving maternal health.

Legislators Seek Rightful Place at U.N. Talkfests

When the United Nations hosts a conference there is always a demand for full and active participation of often-marginalized groups, but some of the world’s parliamentarians are also battling to find their rightful place at international conferences.

Purnima Mane, president and chief executive officer of Pathfinder International, told IPS “it is incredibly important we involve parliamentarians in development work, empowering them to appreciate and raise issues of population and development with their constituents, and gaining their support to champion global development in national policies, programmes, and budgets.”

Entrepreneurs in Africa Find Opportunity in Scarcity

A visitor to Pathfinder's Health of People and Environment project discusses the project's unique approach to tying education on family planning in with lessons on sustainability an economic dependence.

Annet Samaya leads a cluster of five model households on Bussi Island. HoPE has taught them sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry, sanitation and hygiene, and family planning. With income from her small farm, she has earned enough to send two of her children to boarding school on the mainland. She teaches other residents how to be similarly entrepreneurial.

Strength, Resilience and Selflessness: A Mother's Love is Universal

Haroon Mokhtarzada writes about his recent visit to Pathfinder's Health of People and Environment project in the Lake Victoria Basin, Uganda.

With assistance and training from the Hope Project, Annet had learned sustainable agricultural practices and developed her land to such a point that it now yields more than enough to support her family. When I asked how she spends her surplus she replied that she sends her two oldest children to a good boarding school so that they may have more opportunities in the future.

Feminism for Goddesses: Does Kumari Worship Empower Girls?

While goddess worship is meaningful in areas of the predominantly Hindu country of India, is it a practice that empowers girls? The Guardian explores.

Pathfinder International recognises the importance of engaging with the wider community, including opening dialogues with religious leaders from different faiths as well as Hinduism. Encouraging them to advocate projects in their communities, such as Prachar which focuses on girls' reproductive health and empowerment in Haryana, they have found a shift in negative perceptions and reductions in early marriages and pregnancies.

From Victoria to Chilwa: Integrated Development in Two African Lake Basins

In the Lake Victoria Basin, growing populations, shrinking resource bases, and persistent human health concerns demonstrate the need for integrated development approaches that combine population, health, and environmental (PHE) interventions.

The Lake Victoria Basin Commission’s work has garnered political buy-in from key actors at multiple levels, resulting in projects like the Health of People and Environment Lake Victoria Basin (HoPE-LBV) project, led by Pathfinder International. HoPE-LBV has been successful in a number of ways, said Othero, including helping to shift prevailing gender roles by encouraging men to engage in family planning and reproductive health and by encouraging women to engage in sustainable livelihoods and natural resource management.

The Garb of Leadership Through the Eyes of Dr. Purnima Mane

To get a holistic insight about leadership, we need to delve into experiences of leaders, how they react to emergent problems, and seek their advice on experiences that young aspiring leaders need to pursue to strengthen and prepare themselves.

I would also say that most leaders should have some charisma. The other trait a leader needs to have is to be sensitive especially in terms of whom do you expect to follow and who are these followers that you are looking for. Most leaders’ people skills are very well developed like their communication skills. I think this is important because being able to connect to people is critical for a leader.

Type: Pathfinder in the News
Focus Area: Advocacy

Balancing Idealism and Pragmatism—CEO Purnima Mane speaks at USC

Pathfinder President and CEO Purnima Mane speaks at University of Southern California about the challenges of balancing idealism and pragmatism.

"One of the perennial challenges we face in the field of global public health is balancing our passion for what we call universal well-being for all by working frequently with the most marginalized communities and understanding the reality that we live in a world with finite resources for which there is constant competition."

One Step to Saving a Million Lives

Pathfinder's m4Change project contributes to the government of Nigeria's goal to save one million lives in three years using a mobile phone application.

Pathfinder International embarked on a project designed to help Nigeria get to that goal. It began equipping community health extension workers with CommCare, a mobile phone app that collects information needed to determine the kind of antenatal health services provided to mothers.

Progress Review: Contraception Use Among Adolescent Girls

Giving young women access to birth control is a global public health priority. Find out about the challenges that remain and the projects changing the odds for girls.

An outstanding example of overcoming the barriers that adolescents face accessing contraception is Pathfinder International's PRACHAR project. Intended to promote change in reproductive behaviour of adolescents project in Bihar, India, events were held for newly married couples to celebrate their marriage and emphasise the benefits of delaying having children and provided couples with a small supply of oral contraceptive pills and condoms.

Pathfinder Joins Newly-Established Cancer Committee in Ethiopia

Cervical Cancer release
This week, Pathfinder International was honored to become a part of the newly-formed National Cancer Committee in Ethiopia.

India’s Golden Chance

Meera Subramanian explores the challenges related to sexual and reproductive health and rights that face women and girls in India as well as Jagriti, a Pathfinder campaign about the harms of early marriage.

Behind the headlines of sexual violence is a culture where girls are forced into marriage and early motherhood. How will India's next generation break the cycle?

Get Angry: 41 Years After ‘Roe,’ Thousands of Women Are Dying From Unsafe Abortions

41 years after Roe v. Wade, women continue to lose their lives to unsafe abortion because of regressive policies here in the US and abroad. Enough is enough

Policy makers in the United States continue to dictate “what’s best” for women’s health with zero regard for the women themselves. Meanwhile, the world’s women pay the price with their freedom and their lives.

Forty-one years after Roe v. Wade, we’re losing ground on the right to abortion, and what’s more, we’re exporting our regressive policies elsewhere.

Type: Pathfinder in the News
Focus Area: Abortion

Use of Contraceptives on the Rise in Bihar, India

Pathfinder President Purnima Mane discusses reproductive health issues affecting Bihar, India and how Pathfinder programs like PRACHAR and JAGRITI are making a difference.

Panel Examines What Drives Health Advancements in Bangladesh

Pathfinder's Dr. Halida Akhter reports on a recent panel's discussion around what has driven health advancements in Bangladesh and how those findings can be applied elsewhere.

Ethiopia's Model Families Hailed as Agents of Social Transformation

The Guardian's Claire Provost recently visited Pathfinder's Integrated Family Health Project in Ethiopia to explore the root of the country's success in family planning throughout the past decade.

Wudinesh Demisse raises her hand above her head, showing off the matchstick-sized birth-control implant embedded just beneath the skin of her upper arm.

Wudinesh, 28, is a farmer in rural West Arsi, in Ethiopia's central Oromia region. With three children already, Wudinesh says it is time to stop. "For me, three is enough," she says, through a translator. "If they are too many, they are too expensive."

How Mad Would You Be If Your Doctor Acted Like This?

222 million women worldwide lack access to contraception. Together, we can change that. Pathfinder's "No Joke. Choice Matters" video is a snapshot of the issues women face in accessing sexual and reproductive health services every day.

Making patients walk 18 miles to a clinic with a UTI? Requiring their husband's permission to get birth control? Women deserve better health care than this.

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