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Twenty-five years ago, at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, 179 governments adopted a visionary Programme of Action that aimed to safeguard the health and rights of women and girls and to promote their empowerment. Although important gains have been made, many of the goals laid out in that document have not been met.  (Read three reasons why the ICPD matters to you here.) Below is...
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“I have met many women who have suffered tremendously during labour,” said Dr. Kenza Aden, a general practitioner in Djibouti. This is because most of her patients – like about 78 per cent of girls and women aged 15-49 in Djibouti – have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM).  “I’ve even seen women bleeding to death,” she continued. “And that’s why I’m scared of getting married and having children.”  Dr. Aden is...
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Over a woman’s lifetime, she could easily spend three to eight years menstruating. Misconceptions and mismanagement of menstruation can hamper women’s ability to exercise some of their basic human rights, and to contribute to their communities. Gender inequality, extreme poverty, humanitarian crises and harmful traditions can all turn menstruation into a time of deprivation and stigma. In such cases of heightened vu...