Canada to host global conference on women and girls health

New York – Denmark has symbolically passed the baton to Canada to serve as host country for the next Women Deliver Conference, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women in 2019.

Denmark’s Minister of Development Cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs (Left), symbolically passed the baton – a Women Deliver ceramic arrow – to Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau (Right). The ministers were joined by Gender Equality Advocate and Deliver for Good Influencer Ms. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Women Deliver’s President/CEO Katja Iversen in New York, US on 19 September 2017. Photo/COURTESY.
Denmark’s Minister of Development Cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs (Left), symbolically passed the baton – a Women Deliver ceramic arrow – to Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau (Right) with Gender Equality Advocate and Deliver for Good Influencer Ms. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Women Deliver’s President/CEO Katja Iversen in New York, US on 19 September 2017. Photo/COURTESY.

This was announced during the 72nd annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) where Denmark’s Minister of Development Cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs, symbolically passed the baton – a Women Deliver ceramic arrow – to Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau.

The ministers were joined by Gender Equality Advocate and Deliver for Good Influencer Ms. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Women Deliver’s President/CEO Katja Iversen, and Women Deliver Young Leaders Olaoluwa Abagun and Dakshitha Wickremarathne.

The conference will bring over 6,000 world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists, and journalists from more than 160 countries to Vancouver from 3-6 June 2019. Women Deliver – a leading, global advocate for girls and women – has been hosting the Women Deliver Conference every three years, since 2007.

“Both Canada and Denmark are some of the world’s leaders when it comes to investing in and empowering girls and women,” said Katja Iversen, President/CEO of Women Deliver.

“Today doesn’t just mark the passing of host country duties, but also serves as an important moment to double down on their commitment to women’s rights, gender equality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights – at home and in their foreign policy and development assistant.”

The Women Deliver 2019 Conference will present new knowledge, promote world class solutions, and serve as a fueling station for action, energy, investment and policy change. It will continue the momentum generated at the Women Deliver 2016 Conference, held in Copenhagen, Denmark – one of the first major global conferences following the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During Women Deliver 2016 – more than 100 solutions were presented to improve the lives of girls and women, and spur action across the globe.

“Denmark is already looking forward to WD2019 in Vancouver. We will play our part in making it a success. We will be there to continue the fight for women’s health, rights and wellbeing. We will continue to deliver!” – Denmark’s Minister of Development Cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs

The Women Deliver 2019 Conference will engage a broad spectrum of voices, including indigenous populations, youth, and those impacted by conflict, with an additional 100,000 participants anticipated to be joining virtually or in satellite events.

“Women Deliver 2019 is not just a one-off conference. It is a movement to empower women and girls and build a better world. It is an honour and an opportunity for Canada to be the next host!” – Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau

Patrick Robison of Elkhart Lake, WI and Marilyn Windau of Sheboygan Falls, WI collaborated to design and create the golden ceramic arrow for Women Deliver that the two ministers exchanged. Robison has over 40 years of teaching experience in ceramics with middle school, college, and adult students. He creates garden sculptures and owns a gallery and sculpture garden in Elkhart Lake. Windau taught elementary and middle school art for 25 years, makes books ceramic covers and other ceramic functional pieces, and is a published poet of three manuscripts, one self-illustrated.

Women Deliver is seeking suggestions on topics to be covered and speakers to be featured at the conference. People can submit their ideas or learn more about Women Deliver 2019 at wd2019.org.

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About Women Deliver: As a leading, global advocate for the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women, Women Deliver brings together diverse voices and interests to drive progress for gender equality, with a particular focus on maternal, sexual, and reproductive health and rights. We build capacity, share solutions, and forge partnerships, together creating coalitions, communication, and action that spark political commitment and investment in girls and women.

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Where will she go?

Fatuma Ibrahim before January 6, 2016 was a mother of four in Korof Harar, deep inside Wajir on the north eastern side of Kenya.

However, her husband changed this narrative on that sixth day of the year.

He stabbed her.

On her thigh.

On her leg.

On her chin.

On her right cheek and when he tried to pull out the 10-inch knife, but it was stuck.

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Ms Fatuma Ibrahim at Wajir Airport, shortly before her medical evacuation on January 7, 2016. Photo/Eunice Kilonzo

The rusty knife with a rugged handle went through her head on her right cheek and almost popped out a short distance from her left eye.

But it didn’t.

It stayed there from 5.30pm that Wednesday when he attacked her, was still there when she was taken to hospital at 2am.

Wajir Referral Hospital would not move it either otherwise, she would have “bled internally and suffocated in her own blood.”

That’s what her attending doctor said.

Our paths crossed on Thursday at around 5pm. I was part of three other journalists who had gone to airlift her to Nairobi where she would get the Intensive Care treatment she required. Nearly two hours away from her home, away from her children and away from the man, who had put her in this place. With a knife sticking out of her now swollen face.

She was very still during the flight.

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Ms Fatuma Ibrahim airborne heading to Nairobi aboard the Amref Flying Doctors plane. On her right is nurse Charles Atemba from Amref. Photo/Eunice Kilonzo

She did not move.

She did not cry.

Only half-way in the flight did she say her legs were paining.

The in-flight doctor raised her legs, dressed her wounds and gave her something for the pain.

Then I saw the scars on her thighs.

Shiny patches of skin that had once been smooth but now held reminders of previous attacks.

I began to reason maybe, just maybe, they are tribal or beauty marks or large birthmarks.

Maybe?

She would not talk to confirm or allay my fears, so I let it pass.

We got to Nairobi at 8pm, into a waiting ambulance where she was rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital.

About four hours later, she was wheeled to theater and the lodged knife removed.

By morning, she was up and talking to visitors.

Her husband was arraigned in court and he said his wife, Fatuma, wanted to commit suicide and “he was trying to help her.”

Nine days later with several trauma counseling sessions in-between, Fatuma was fit to be discharged from Kenyatta National Hospital.

I was fortunate to meet her before she left ward 5A.

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A few minutes before being discharged. Photo/Eunice Kilonzo

Then she smiled.

And I saw the missing front teeth. Probably four or three.

“He knocked them out in a previous fight,” she said through a translator.

“He has beaten me not ten or twenty times, several times: I don’t know how many.”

She smiled some more when she walked into the waiting ambulance that would take her out of the hospital.

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The husband Mohammed Deq on the other hand was still in police custody.

I called my mother and we discussed about Fatuma and she asked me: But where will she go?

My friend and editor, Zipporah Musau, asked: “But where will she go? Back to the same home where she was stabbed? Where she had endured so much violence? Is she safe there?

These questions stung me: Where will she go?

Those who came to discharge her said they would take her to relatives, away from her home but back to her children.

Where will Ms Fatuma Ibrahim (really) go? She has no Identification Card, she has no skills and she is unemployed.

Where will she go?

 

For more information read here, here and here.

My 25 years as a prostitute – BBC News

Right from the start life was handing me lemons, but I’ve always tried to make the best lemonade I can.

I grew up in the 1960s on the West Side of Chicago. My mother died when I was six months old. She was only 16 and I never learned what it was that she died from – my grandmother, who drank more than most, couldn’t tell me later on. The official explanation is that it was “natural causes”.

I don’t believe that. Who dies at 16 from natural causes? I like to think that God was just ready for her. I heard stories that she was beautiful and had a great sense of humour. I know that’s true because I have one also.

It was my grandmother that took care of me. And she wasn’t a bad person – in fact she had a side to her that was so wonderful. She read to me, baked me stuff and cooked the best sweet potatoes. She just had this drinking problem. She would bring drinking partners home from the bar and after she got intoxicated and passed out these men would do things to me. It started when I was four or five years old and it became a regular occurrence. I’m certain my grandmother didn’t know anything about it.

She worked as a domestic in the suburbs. It took her two hours to get to work and two hours to get home. So I was a latch-key kid – I wore a key around my neck and I would take myself to kindergarten and let myself back in at the end of the day. And the molesters knew about that, and they took advantage of it.

via My 25 years as a prostitute – BBC News.

A Life Revealed – National Geographic Magazine

A Life Revealed

Her eyes have captivated the world since she appeared on our cover in 1985. Now we can tell her story.

By Cathy Newman

Photograph by Steve McCurry

She remembers the moment. The photographer took her picture. She remembers her anger. The man was a stranger. She had never been photographed before. Until they met again 17 years later, she had not been photographed since.

The photographer remembers the moment too. The light was soft. The refugee camp in Pakistan was a sea of tents. Inside the school tent he noticed her first. Sensing her shyness, he approached her last. She told him he could take her picture. “I didn’t think the photograph of the girl would be different from anything else I shot that day,” he recalls of that morning in 1984 spent documenting the ordeal of Afghanistan’s refugees.

The portrait by Steve McCurry turned out to be one of those images that sears the heart, and in June 1985 it ran on the cover of this magazine. Her eyes are sea green. They are haunted and haunting, and in them you can read the tragedy of a land drained by war. She became known around National Geographic as the “Afghan girl,” and for 17 years no one knew her name.

In January a team from National Geographic Television & Film’s EXPLORER brought McCurry to Pakistan to search for the girl with green eyes. They showed her picture around Nasir Bagh, the still standing refugee camp near Peshawar where the photograph had been made. A teacher from the school claimed to know her name. A young woman named Alam Bibi was located in a village nearby, but McCurry decided it wasn’t her.

via A Life Revealed – National Geographic Magazine.

Why is my period late? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Rose George | The Guardian

Modern women spend 3,000 days of their life menstruating, on average. For something that takes up that much time, menstruation is still enticingly mysterious.

Here is the biological bit: your period may be late for all sorts of reasons. Periods, like many bodily functions, are governed by the hormone-emitting pituitary gland in the brain. Oestrogen, progesterone, FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone): our endocrine system sends hormones around the body to regulate all sorts of processes, procedures and activities, including the monthly act of preparing for a possible foetus by having your ovaries release an egg. Your uterus prepares by making a thick, comfortable, nutrient-rich extra lining called an endometrium that a foetus – which is after all a kind of parasite – can grow in and feed from. The endometrium is filled with blood vessels to feed a growing human. Think of it as a nutrient mattress-topper. No foetus, no topper needed, and the endometrium will be discarded as your period: up to 90ml of bloody discharge released over, usually, up to seven days.

via Why is my period late? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Rose George | Comment is free | The Guardian.