Maternal Health Task Force

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Commission on the Status of Women: A Focus on Rural Women

The fifty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) began today and will continue through Friday, March 9th.  According to the CSW website, delegates from around the world have gathered at the United Nations headquarters in New York City where they aim to “evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide.”

The theme of the fifty-sixth session is: The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges.

On Friday, Sarah Costa, Executive Director of the Women’s Refugee Commission, shared a post, Prioritizing Reproductive Health, Empowering Women and Girls, on the Huffington Post’s Global Motherhood blog. In her post, Sarah Costa encouraged participants in the CSW to fully integrate the needs of displaced women and girls into their commitments to action for rural women–and to prioritize access to quality reproductive health services for all women.

Sarah Costa writes:

We will make the point that effective humanitarian assistance programs depend on the full inclusion of displaced women and girls in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of relief and recovery activities. We will argue that the international community must redouble its efforts to improve protection for refugee women and girls in rural areas, ensure they can go to school and acquire skills training and that they are able to safely earn a living. And we will press for a renewed commitment to quality reproductive health care.

Reproductive healthcare and women’s empowerment go hand in hand. Sometimes, especially in remote settings, access to reproductive healthcare is also a question of life and death. We know that maternal mortality rates are especially high in conflict-affected countries and that displaced women and girls are at very high risk of sexual violence.

Read the full post here.

Watch the webcast of the fifty-sixth session of the CSW here.

Learn more about the Women’s Refugee Commission here.

Categories: Maternal Health

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