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News & Blogs2019-09-24T06:57:57+00:00
1110, 2019

International Day of the Girl Child 2019 Theme: GirlForce: Unscripted and unstoppable

By Helen John, Gender, Social Inclusion, and Community Engagement Advisor, Bauchi-Nigeria “You were meant to be a queen Even though you are hidden behind the curtain, your majesty, the world awaits your ascension oh do not fear, grab your rod, your symbol of authority with a smile and rule Because you are unscripted, unstoppable!” Okwy Obu is a writer Girls enjoy camp activities. Photo Credit: Kelly Dale who resides in Enugu, Nigeria […]

1110, 2019

International Day of the Girl Child 2019

Theme: GirlForce: Unscripted and unstoppable By Helen John, Gender, Social Inclusion, and Community Engagement Advisor, Bauchi-Nigeria “You were meant to be a queen Even though you are hidden behind the curtain, your majesty, the world awaits your ascension oh do not fear, grab your rod, your symbol of authority with a smile and rule Because you are unscripted, unstoppable!” -Okwy Obu is a writer who resides in Enugu, Nigeria For many young and adolescent girls around the world, childhood is a time of oppression and abuse instead of education and play. Especially in developing countries. In Nigeria, 44% of girls are married before their 18th birthday and 18% are married before the age of 15 (UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2017). Girls enjoy camp activities. Photo Credit: Kelly Dale Further, a girl child faces unique challenges that limit her otherwise expansive potential. In many countries, culture and harmful traditional practices deny girls and women the right to attend school and be educated, make decisions freely, own land, inherit property, and get into gainful employment. Our world seems to limit girls at every turn. All over the world, but especially in developing countries, girls are also exposed to gender-based violence. In Nigeria for instance, the abduction of 276 Chibok girls in 2014 was just one instance of a disturbing tactic used by Boko Haram – child marriage as a weapon of war.By empowering girls, we give them the key to economic growth, political stability and social transformation. This is because girls, who will a few years down the road become women, know what is good for their families. Also, increasing girls’ enrollment, promoting meaningful employability skills and empowering girls to develop essential life skills such as self-confidence, assertiveness, and the ability to participate effectively in society are essential ingredients in her journey to maximizing her potentials. If a generation of girls in the developing world could focus their energy on learning the social and technical skills to pursue lucrative careers, finding innovative ways to support themselves and their societies, and making decisions about their own lives and bodies, their entire communities would benefit from their potential. As we focus on an empowered girl by 2030, girl child empowerment and gender equality will become a mirage if the progressive forces don’t rise up to arrest the challenges that can mar the development of the girl child and deny her, as well as the nation, of benefiting from her active participation in the development of their communities, regions, and country. Therefore, government at all levels, local council leaders, clan leaders and families should find means of doing away with disempowering social-cultural beliefs, such as that the woman’s place is in the kitchen; women are not supposed to say anything during  social gatherings; and certain jobs are not meant for women. Additionally, all stakeholders need to work hand-in-hand to get rid of structural barriers in the economic, social, and political spheres that reinforce inequality among girls and women. This is because [...]

910, 2019

A Ray of Hope for a Fistula-free Society

A Ray of Hope for a Fistula-free Society By Morgan Mickle and Allison Annette Foster Gesse VVF Center, Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State, Nigeria. Photo Credit: Morgan Mickle Dr. Abubakar met us at the door dressed in traditional Kebbi dress and a warm smile that says ‘Sannun ku’ or ‘welcome’ in Kebbi’s Hausa language. Immediately, we noticed the nicely painted walls, the clean floors, and the organized well-equipped rooms. Dr. Abubakar is the Chief Medical Director of the Gesse VVF (Vesico-Vaginal Fistula) Center, located in Birnin-Kebbi, the capital of Kebbi State, Nigeria. Dr. Abubakar has a vision of a society where there is no fistula. More importantly, he sees a world where all people have access to quality care is the norm, and each individual is treated with honor and respect. His commitment is to those most vulnerable – Women. Marginalized. Poor. […]

710, 2019

A Reflection of my summer internship experience at WI-HER

By Mitali Dahanukar, Intern Summer 2019 Mitali Dahanukar My internship at WI-HER, LLC has been an incredible and enlightening journey. As a Georgetown University Master’s student, I was applying for various summer internship positions to gain experience in the field of global health. What caught my eye at that time was that WI-HER is a woman-owned organization for social good. I also wanted to learn more about business development at international development consultancies. I remember walking in on my first day for the WI-HER orientation, the same way I remember my first day of grad school: exhilarated and nervous, but the entire team was extremely welcoming and supportive. Professionally, I never imagined I’d learn so much in just a period of two months! Allison Foster, the Vice President of WI-HER, taught me how I can judge business forecasts based on the requirements of the organization. […]

2509, 2019

Obstetric Fistula in Nigeria: WI-HER joins the states of Bauchi and Kebbi in fighting fistula

Obstetric Fistula in Nigeria: WI-HER joins the states of Bauchi and Kebbi in fighting fistula September / October 2019 BACKGROUND WI-HER, LLC  is leading gender integration and social inclusion efforts within the USAID-funded Integrated Health Project (IHP) in the Nigerian states of Bauchi, Kebbi, and Sokoto. IHP seeks to contribute to state-level reductions in child and maternal morbidity and mortality and increase the capacity of public and private health systems to sustainably support quality Primary Health Care (PHC) services. According to WHO, approximately 800 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications around the world every day, and almost all of these deaths occur in developing countries.  According to the African Population and Health Research Center (2017), ‘One Nigerian woman dies every 13 minutes – that is 109 women dying each day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.  For each death, there are an estimated 30 to 50 women who will experience life-long conditions and disabilities such as obstetric fistula.’[2]  WI-HER will support the IHP states in Obstetric Fistula prevention and treatment in collaboration with UNICEF and private sector actors. […]

2509, 2019

Working for Home, from Home: My Summer 2019 Internship Reflection

By Oloruntobi Dare, Intern Summer 2019 Oloruntobi Dare I greatly valued my time this past summer as a gender integration intern with WI-HER, LLC. I was assigned to work on the USAID-funded Integrated Health Project (IHP) supporting Nigeria, which was dear to me, because I am originally from there. Though I had some previous knowledge of the health challenges facing the country, I was able to take a deep dive into the health landscape of Nigeria, particularly, obstetric fistula (OF) in Bauchi state. Obstetric fistula is a condition that affects hundreds and thousands of women worldwide and is a result of prolonged obstructed labor. The condition can lead to continuous and involuntary discharge of urine and/or feces from the body. In Nigeria, this condition is estimated to affect 150,000 women and girls, with 12,000 new cases of OF occurring every year [1]. […]

409, 2019

The Road Ahead – Socio-Cultural Shifts in Antigua and the Impact on Health

Image Credit: peopleimages.com By Morgan Mickle and Kelly Dale, Gender Specialists, WI-HER, LLC “As the role of the community is decreasing or changing, the role of the health center is increasing.” (Male Registered Nurse, Antiguan Health Facility) There are generational, cultural, social shifts – and perceptions of shifts – happening in Antigua that are affecting the connectedness of people across the island. Findings from a recent (soon-to-be published) gender analysis in Antigua – conducted by WI-HER and Women Against Rape, Antigua and Barbuda under the USAID ASSIST Project – revealed that socio-cultural relationships greatly impact child raising, caretaking, and support systems. This shift in connectedness has implications for the role of health institutions, and we must be cognizant of these factors and their growing role as new policies and programs are developed. […]

1408, 2019

Reflecting on my Internship with WI-HER

By Lour Harb, Intern Summer 2019 Pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Virginia, I’ve had a great interest in the global health field. Consequently, during the summer of my sophomore year, I undertook an internship at WI-HER, LLC. WI-HER provides many learning aspects and benefits. I was most excited and interested in exploring the application of clinical knowledge to the field of public health. While there are so many qualities of working at WI-HER, my favorite part was the staff. Dr. Taroub Faramand is the Founder and President of WI-HER. Dr. Faramand gave me a better look into public health by letting me accompany her during conferences and meetings. Allison Foster, the Vice President of WI-HER, directed me with all the research and data synthesis needed for proposals. […]

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