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Women Deliver

Jessica Reed
19 October 2007

I am currently at "Women Deliver" in London's docklands, a strange setting for this, the first global conference in 20 years which aims to combat maternal mortality. So far Douglas Alexander, the UK's Secretary of State for International Development, has pledged to give $200 million over five years to the United Nations Population Fund to tackle the health of women and mothers worldwide. You can read the press release here. [more...]

During the midday press conference Jill Sheffield from Family Care International (and organising partner of Women Deliver) highlighted two key figures: 40 percent of all global pregnancies will have complications, and 15 percent will be life threatening - every minute of everyday a woman dies in labour, mostly in developing countries. Most of the discrepancies can be explained by the gap in medical resources between rich and poor countries. (In New York, where she lives, the highest mortality rate is in South Bronx; the equation works both regionally and internationally).

All participants underlined the need to have a strong political will to back up the resolutions proposed by the conference: the challenge is to meet the United Nations target of access to reproductive health for all women by 2015 and to create a broad-based movement involving more people than the "usual suspects" (namely reproductive rights advocates, AIDS doctors and human rights activists).

More from the "Women Deliver" conference soon.

Related links: attend the conference virtually through the broadcast on demand service, plus click here for fast facts (pdf)

Is gesture politics hindering progress against racism?

We have all seen a huge explosion around the debate on structural racism in recent weeks.

But that has been accompanied by corporate statements that many activists say are meaningless and will lead to little change.

How true is that? How can the movement against racism deliver long-lasting change instead?

Join us on Thursday 9 July at 5pm UK time/12pm EDT for a free live discussion.

Hear from:

Sayeeda Warsi Member of the House of Lords, pro-vice chancellor at Bolton University and author of ‘The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain’.

Sunder Katwala Director of British Future, a think-tank on identity and integration

Other speakers to be confirmed.

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