TOPIC: WOMEN

Abortion, Fertility and Women’s Rights: Where the UN & US Diverge

If it had not been for the disruption of Donald Trump’s appearances in the United Nations the last week of September, more attention might have been devoted to an international day of advocacy for safe abortion, on Sept. 28, arranged by more than 1,200 organizations. A woman’s right to choose has few more powerful political … Read more

TAKE A LOOK

Two Health Alerts: Resurgent Polio and Antibiotic Resistance

Recent research reports published by The Lancet could make a lot of people rethink the assumption that once a disease has been declared eradicated, that’s it. Done. A recent resurge in cases of polio in several countries and concern in Europe that antibiotic resistance is being bought there by refugees and migrants are becoming global … Read more

With Trump’s Human-Rights Policies, Religious ‘Values’ Take Priority

Cubans waiting to be served food during the country's annual celebration of its revolution.

For almost three centuries, through street protests, court battles and a civil war, the United States has sporadically but steadily advanced and expanded human-rights protections and commitments in domestic and foreign policies. Now Donald Trump and the most conservative, ideologically driven officials on his team want to turn back this record in fundamental ways, as … Read more

Lost in the War on Malaria, a Chance to Create Local Jobs

It is playoff season for the NBA, and each time the basketball star Stephen Curry hits a three-point shot, he donates three mosquito nets to Nothing But Nets, a United Nations Foundation campaign that fights malaria one bed at a time. Last season, Curry sank 402 three-pointers and helped deliver 1,206 nets. With the Golden … Read more

In Nunavut, Poor Health Care Shortens Indigenous People’s Lives

Canada’s national health system, the envy of many people in other countries, including in the United States, is being more scrutinized from Canadians as reports reveal serious health-service gaps in the territory of Nunavut, a self-governing province populated by mostly Inuit people. Critical reports of deprivation and neglect emerging from Nunavut paint a picture of … Read more

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TAKE A LOOK

Europe’s Contraception Gaps: They May Be Wider Than You Think

It is a continent where almost half of the pregnancies are unplanned, where government agencies do not provide enough information on available contraception, where geography is destiny for those needing reliable family planning advice. This is not a developing region, but 21st-century Europe, according to the recently published 2018 Contraception Atlas. The atlas, presented in … Read more

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Trump Team Wants to Slash Funds for Global Women’s Health by Half

There has yet to be a decision in United States Congress on what funds for global women’s health, if any, will survive in the current 2018 national budget, a decision that is nearly six months overdue. But Donald Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence, a hard-line social conservative who is playing a larger role … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Blessed Are the Peace-Builders in Ukraine: Female Activists Repair a Broken Country

KYIV, Ukraine — There is no escaping that Ukraine is at war — although it is not totally apparent who the Ukrainian military and volunteer vigilantes are fighting in the east: Russian “separatists” or Russians themselves? No one can definitively say who is who or decide up from down, one of the living puzzles of … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Michelle Bachelet, Outgoing President of Chile, Gets a WHO Post

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has agreed to chair the board of the World Health Organization’s Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health after she finishes her government role on March 11. The announcement came after a Jan. 10 meeting at the presidential palace in Santiago, during which the WHO leadership offered Bachelet the position. “This … Read more

A Novel Idea: Putting Refugee Health Care Experts to Work

With a record 65.6 million people displaced from their homes around the world — 22.5 million of them classified as refugees who have fled across borders — alarms are sounding about the health risks in overcrowded refugee settlements. Sanitation is soon overwhelmed, hygienic conditions rapidly deteriorate and malnutrition rises, contributing to the spread of contagious … Read more

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TOPIC: INDIA

TB in India: Drug-Resistant Strains Are ‘Out of Control,’ New Report Says

Stephen Lewis is an outspoken and often impassioned Canadian diplomat and former United Nations official with a lot of experience in tracking health crises in Africa. Now he has turned his attention to tuberculosis in India, where he made a fact-finding trip in early October. He was shocked and disheartened by what he saw and … Read more

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A Guide to Trump’s Global Edicts on Women’s Reproductive Health

The Trump administration, which announced early this year that it would curtail American-funded women’s health services around the world that may be involved in any way in abortion, has turned its attention to curbing family planning in the United States. Rules have been issued with immediate effect that American women can no longer obtain contraceptives … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

When Deaths Exceed Births, Countries Can Turn to Immigration

The demography is clear: when deaths outnumber births — excluding for zero immigration — populations decline. That simple yet powerful demographic relationship is irrefutable, regardless of geography, era, economics, political ideology or religious belief. Yet many politicians around the world, who typically have short-term perspectives, particularly those living in countries facing population decline and large … Read more

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With US Funds Gone, UN Population Fund Faces Brutal Choices in Helping Women

It will soon be two years since the United Nations adopted a new 15-year development policy encapsulated in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This sprawling, ambitious agenda was designed partly to address the shortcomings of the Millennium Goals, the most disheartening of which for women was the failure to meet promises of improved maternal health … Read more

Slow but Steady Gains Achieved in Tobacco Control, Says New WHO Report

More than half the world’s population — 63 percent — is covered by one or more comprehensive tobacco control measures. In the past 10 years alone, that number has more than doubled, says a new report from the World Health Organization on the “global tobacco epidemic.” An international push for policies, like strong graphic warnings, … Read more

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Paris Pact Staying Alive: Christiana Figueres’s New Role and More Data on Climate Change

Christiana Figueres, who piloted the Paris Agreement on Climate Change through years of negotiations to success in December 2015, will become chair of The Lancet Countdown’s high-level advisory board, the British medical publication announced recently. The Countdown project was established in November 2016 to monitor the effects of climate change on health and track progress … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Females Exposed to Nuclear Radiation Are Far Likelier Than Males to Suffer Harm

The new nuclear weapons ban treaty, to be most likely adopted by the United Nations General Assembly this week, arises from hope for our future. The negotiations for the treaty have elevated new information about the damage from ionizing radiation to the world stage. That is exactly where it needs to be heard. More cancers … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

One Advantage Women Have Over Men: They Live Longer

A male hang glider, above, takes off from a cliff in eastern San Diego County, California

With few exceptions, women across the world live longer than men. Globally, life expectancies of women at birth exceed men by more than four years. At age 60, women live longer than men by nearly three years. Globally, average life expectancy at birth stands at 72 years, with some 50 countries attaining levels above 80 … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Head Since 2011, Dies Suddenly at 68

The death on June 4 of Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, and a Nigerian, was not only a personal tragedy and a shock to the staff of the fund but also another blow for an agency that had recently lost all its United States financial support. Osotimehin, a physician, … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The Debate on Trump’s Budget Ignores Serious Global Cuts

When the White House sent its proposed 2018 budget to the United States Congress on May 23, it was apparent that not only would a hawkish, nationalistic focus on military expenditures come at the cost of international aid and support for the United Nations. Worse, the Trump plan would also sideline discussions on global issues, … Read more

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