Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
1. End Hunger 2. Universal Education 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases 7. Environmental Sustainability 8. Global Partnership.

Learn more about what this weblog is trying to accomplish at the new PBworks Wiki.

Speaking Out for the Millennium Development Goals

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What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Monday, March 8, 2010

International Women's Day and Millennium Development Goal 3 Perfect Match

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What the Millennium Development Goal No. 3 Gender Equity is trying to achieve is made manifest in the celebration of International Women's Day. This post is in support of the International Women's Day online event being sponsored by BloggersUnite member BlogCatalog.

International Women's Day (8 March) is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.

The Internet provides numerous ways of getting involved. This is what I heard from fellow ONE Member Rochelle Gibbs providing means of social collaboration and engagement.

I joined ONE because I'm a mom. I saw what other mothers go through in developing countries, the difficult decisions they have to make and their incredible strength. I could only imagine how I'd feel in one of their places.

ONE is starting a new initiative called "Women ONE2ONE", and it's all about women taking action and connecting with each other to fight poverty. With every voice we add, we can help send another young girl to school, help an HIV-positive expecting mother keep from passing the virus on to her baby, and help another woman find the courage to speak out against oppression and corruption.

I'm asking you. Raise your voice today for a woman who can't.


One million women's voices. Imagine what we can get done.

Issues of economic sustainability impact women across the globe as demonstrated by this talk from the World Economic Forum India Economic Summit - New Delhi, India demonstrates.

Investing in Girls, Investing in Development means that empowering girls means breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty and helping to build sustainable economies.


The question is, "What needs to be done by business and government to ensure that girls are placed at the forefront of the regional development agenda?"

The folks at Care2.com share part of the answer and that is by Reaching Millions of Girls in the Developing World.

The UN Foundation and the Nike Foundation provided seed funding for a UN project to end child marriage in the Amhara region. The project, called Berhane Hewan, convenes community discussions, and girls’ clubs where girls get access to education, health and HIV education, and are encouraged to delay marriage. Families who keep their daughters in school and in the program are rewarded with an economic incentive that will contribute to the long-term well-being of the family, such as a sheep.

Kathy Calvin CEO of the UN Foundation, a public charity that connects people, ideas, and resources to the UN to solve global problems.

These are just some of the ways of getting involved.


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International Women's Day Message From AmnestyISOnline

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AmnestyISOnline is also holding an online event celebrating International Women's Day. Recently the sent me a message to my shoutbox at BloggersUnite:

"Thanks for joining AI-IS's IWD Event. Around March 8th AI's campaign Demand Dignity will launch a blog space. You are invited to blog on: 'Maternal Mortality; Women in Slum; Poverty and Women; MNC operations and its' affect on women.
Help us make IWD 2010 memorable! We will be checking in with you soon with updates and ways you can contribute on DD Blog. Please write online.communities@amnesty.org to know more. Until then, take action http://bit.ly/cwQXyb in supports of women's rights.
The other post I did on International Women's Day International Women's Day and Millennium Development Goal 3 Perfect Match looked at both domestic and international efforts to empower women and girls. This post will look at one of the reasons why this is needed and that is the lack of maternal health.

Sameer Dossani, the Director of Demand Dignity Campaign Amnesty International USA provided the story of Safiatou' tragic and needless lose of life which is only an example of what is repeated constantly around the world.

Information and transportation might have saved Safiatou's life But she was poor and pregnant in Burkina Faso, which put her life at risk. She had no prenatal care and suffered from anemia, didn't even know that iron supplements were important or that the local clinic gave the pills to pregnant women free of charge. Safiatou gave birth at home without the help of a trained birth attendant. After her delivery she hemorrhaged badly and required emergency care. With no way to get to the health center, her husband borrowed a motorcycle, but it had no fuel. He had to push the motorcycle 10 km to get gas. Safiatou died on the back of the motorcycle before she even got to the health center.
Safiatou's death was preventable and a violation of her human rights.
Their new report, Giving Life, Risking Death - Maternal Mortality in Burkina Faso1, exposes the persistent, harsh reality faced by Burkinabe women like Safiatou. Its findings fuel our calls on the government to make immediate changes to ensure the rights of women.

Amnesty International is calling for the government of Burkina Faso to:
  • allocate care equitably, prioritizing the poorest regions with the worst rates of maternal death
  • lift the obstacles – including financial, geographic and quality barriers – that block poor, rural women from accessing life-saving obstetric care
My take on the story is not however just to repeat what was said (though truth is I actually do that a lot with this blog). It is to first to show that efforts like this do make a difference.

UPI.com reports that the African nation Burkina Faso pledges more maternity aid.

The head of the West African nation of Burkina Faso will do more to help pregnant women receive adequate maternity care, Amnesty International says.
The London-based human rights group announced Friday President Blaise Compaore has agreed to lift financial barriers that prevent women in his country from receiving emergency obstetric care and access to family planning.

This doesn't mean that the work is over just that progress can me made but more can be done.

It is also to again tie it to the Millennium Development Goals which provides the widest collaborative umbrella under which to meet this challenge. In fact this issue can be addressed by three of the Millennium Development Goals 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health and 5. Maternal Health and multiple countries and regions.

The "PiGA DEBE FOR WOMEN’S RiGHTS" report from the African Campaign presents a review of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with particular attention being paid to gender equality, women’s empowerment and commitment to improving maternal health in 17 African countries namely: Burkina Faso, Congo DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The meaning of “PIGA DEBE” in Kiswahili is “make a big noise,” and draws its inspiration from millions of women’s voices in Africa who say “enough is enough. More people need to make noise about these issue and they can get their chance to make a difference on September 17 and 18, 2010 when the entire world will be Standing Up, taking Action, & Making a Noise for the MDGs!

When world leaders gather at the United Nations for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Review Summit in September, the voices of their citizens will follow them, telling them, loudly and clearly: “We will no longer stay seated or silent in the face of poverty and the broken promises to end it!’

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Plan to Make Some Noise for the MDGs this September

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A little while ago I got the news from StandAgainstPoverty.org that the next Stand Up Take Action event was beginning to be organized. This time though there was an opportunity to have a direct impact on our global policy makers.

When world leaders gather at the United Nations for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Review Summit in September, the voices of their citizens will follow them, telling them, loudly and clearly: "We will no longer stay seated or silent in the face of poverty and the broken promises to end it!'

This time the "Stand Up 2010" mobilization will take place over three days beginning Friday September 17th till Sunday 19th with a specific audience in mind.

The MDG Review Summit offers us as MDG Campaigners, a unique opportunity to leverage and even influence the political and media focus surrounding the lead up to the meeting and the meeting itself. Moving Stand Up forward to the weekend before the Summit will allow us to drive our activities throughout the year towards a high-profile Stand Up mobilization with a direct link to and with the specific intention of impacting on the proceedings at the Summit itself. It will also allow us to focus our activities and work in 2010 towards a specific policy moment and to articulate clear and relevant policy demands based on what we want our various governments and delegations to do leading up to the Summit and what we expect them to achieve at the Summit itself.

There will be One Day of Unified Global Action: Stand Up, Take Action, Make Noise for the MDGs!

That day will be September 18th, 2010 celebrating Stand Up, take Action, Make a Noise for the MDGs! This idea that came out of the Africa Campaigners Retreat held in Malawi.

We are encouraging people all over the world to take part in a common global action which is designed to grab public, political and media attention and to make sure that the global movement in support of the MDGs is seen and heard in every corner of the globe.
We hope to see widespread participation in this global action and are urging everybody to think of creative ways to generate a noise which is also relevant to their particular area or scope of work. Examples of noise- making ideas include citizens gathering in a public space to bang spoons on metal plates as a way of illustrating Hunger ; Church groups and temples could arrange for their church/temple bells to be rung at the same time on that date in cities across their country; local musicians could come together to play their instruments in innovative locations - African drummers on Mt. Kilimanjaro; the French National Orchestra from the top of the Eiffel Tower; football fans in South Africa blowing their local "Vuvuzelas(trumpets) at football matches that weekend. An online action allowing people to generate a noise through an online and mobile phone application will also be made available.

The possibilities for creative noise-making are vast and this action is accessible to all and easily adaptable to make it relevant and resonant.

This year they are not trying for the the Guinness World record a decision which I support because it become more about the numbers and less about the message.

What they are trying to achieve is having an "MDG Breakthrough Plan" delivered to the Summit by each country. This effort will be ongoing throughout 2010.

We will be demanding that regions and countries produce "Breakthrough Action Plans" and that these plans be presented, discussed and adopted as part of the outcomes at the Summit in September. The process of feeding into and shaping these "Breakthrough" plans will take place throughout the year, from January to June. Each national Campaign will define key moments throughout the year which can be leveraged at regional and national level to intervene and influence the process as well as to get the message out.

Rich country governments should deliver to the Summit ambitious plans with concrete timetables and deadlines to scale up aid efforts and improve its effectiveness according to the Accra Agenda of Action framework.


  • Breakthrough Action plans: We expect Heads of State of every country, rich and poor, to come to the MDG Review Summit with clear MDG Breakthrough Action Plans. These "Breakthrough Plans" should include approaches for scaling up and sustaining successful small scale strategies and approaches, explore innovative approaches to reaching the targets and design appropriate, relevant and specific strategies and interventions based on specific needs and circumstances. No more "business as usual" it's time for "business unusual".
  • Localising the MDGS: MDGs must be mainstreamed and integrated into local development plans; capacities of local authorities must be enhanced to prioritise MDGs and increase access to information and engagement between citizens and local authorities.
  • Accountability: These plans must incorporate a strong focus on addressing accountability of rich countries to poor countries (at the global level) and from governments to citizens (at the national and local levels), on the issue of MDGs for all. In turn, we should have a clear message and plan for holding them to this commitment and we should articulate this loudly and often. Citizens will be watching their governments and holding them accountable for their commitments over the next five years.
  • Goal 8: Rich countries should deliver to the Summit ambitious plans with concrete timetables and deadlines to scale up aid efforts. Rich countries must fulfill their existing aid commitments, deliver the 0.7 percent they have pledged and make sure it is in line with oft-agreed aid effectiveness principles, such as the Accra Agenda.
    These plans should respect the policy space of poor countries and include accountability mechanisms for aid delivery including tracking and mechanisms for corrective action. In addition, the Summit outcome should include a pro-poor breakthrough on the Doha trade talks.
  • Inequality: The MDGs are for everybody. We will not accept inequality in any area be it gender, spatial, ethnic (including the rights of indigenous people and lower castes) or in relation to persons with disability.
  • MDGs Are Achievable: Much progress has been made in the last decade even in the poorest countries and most MDGs are still achievable in most countries, as long as policies and implementation mechanisms that are accountable to the poor are in place. In countries where governments have done the right thing, success has followed. If this expands and continues there is no reason why these successes cannot be repeated over the next five years.
  • 2010 is not the beginning of a "new and uncertain" voyage towards the MDGS: Rather, it is the "refueling' point on a voyage that has been ongoing for ten years - more than long enough to have seen that the MDGs work. The next five years are the final leg on that journey, what is needed is not a new set of plans, but implementation of clear plans to reach the originally agreed destination by 2015, building on the learning's of the first decade.
  • Power of the People: We as individuals acting together have the power to influence this process, but we must engage early and decisively to make this happen.

Click here to join the Facebook debate


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GROWTH in Empowerment means Economic Growth for Developing Countries

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This coming Monday is Women's International Day which is being celebrated by two BloggerUnite events International Women's Day with BlogCatalog and International Women's Day with AmnestyISOnline. There is a natural connection with this blog through the United Nations' Millennium Campaign Goal 3. Gender Equity.

I am finally getting around to writing the posts and there has been a tremendous amount of information available on the web. Somethings shouldn't wait until Monday.

Change.org and Accion International
are Fighting poverty by supporting the economic empowerment of women worldwide by drumming up support for the Global Resources and Opportunities for Women to Thrive (GROWTH) Act (S. 1425) through encouraging co-sponsorships in the United States Senate. I just wrote my to two Senators becoming one of 1,807 people who signed so far. They are looking for 2,500 but considering what day Monday is you would think that they could go far beyond that. What everyone participating is telling their Senators is:

This innovative, bi-partisan piece of legislation would improve the effectiveness of U.S. international assistance and trade policy by focusing on economic opportunities for marginalized women in developing countries. The GROWTH Act would help millions of women lift themselves and their families out of poverty through access to microfinance. It would also empower women in poor countries in the following areas: small business ownership, land and property rights, equal wages and working conditions, and global trade opportunities.
Microfinance efforts have shown again and again that economically empowered women invest in the nutritional, health and educational needs of their children, helping to lift their families and communities out of poverty.
Unfortunately, women face unequal barriers and hardships in many underdeveloped regions. The GROWTH Act would work to address those obstacles.
I urge you to make moving the GROWTH Act (S. 1425) forward one of your top priorities this year.

Thank you for your attention. I look forward to your response on this important issue.
My two cents were: This coming Monday, March 8, 2010 is International Women's Day. There would be no better recognition of the importance of women to the betterment of the world than passing the Growth Act. It will also be an important milestone in addressing the 3rd Millennium Development Goal Gender Equity.

This is the second time I have supported the GROWTH Act. Back in January Women Thrive Worldwide saw my profile on Change.org and sought my support for their organization which I am more than happy to give.
We advocate on behalf of women and girls living in poverty around the world.

As you may know, we develop bills aimed at ensuring that international development projects and programs take into account the needs of vulnerable populations. One bill, the GROWTH Act, is currently in the Senate and, if passed, would give women in poor countries access to land and property rights, small loans to start their own businesses, and improve wage and working conditions. We need your help in reaching out to US Senators to urge the to pass this bill. I hope that you get a chance to sign our petition and join our community! Thanks for your support!
Others supporting GROWTH
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Monday, March 1, 2010

Women make a difference in Haiti and will make a difference in the new millennium

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Bloggers Unite for Haiti is still actively sharing information about this disaster and how people around the world can provide aid to ongoing relief efforts. Today is their next date for a joint effort from bloggers across the globe.

Next week is another Bloggers Unite Event and that is International Women's Day, so I decided to examine the role of women in the crisis in Haiti and how they are being incorporated into the relief efforts.

Robin Marty from Care2 writing on Women's Rights provided an UPDATE: Disaster Aid in Haiti Focuses on Women

One of the hardest aspects of dealing with a disaster is always the dispersement of aid, especially trying to get it to those who need it most. To help faciliate this in post-earthquake Haiti, relief workers are beginning to hand out women-only aid coupons. Those providing aid see it as the easiest way to be certain food will make it to those who are the most vulnerable.
Aid agencies have launched a new food distribution program focusing primarily on women.
"Our experience around the world is that food is more likely to be equitably shared in the household if it is given to women," Marcus Prior, a spokesman for the United Nations' World Food Program, told The Associated Press.
This was accomplished through a major Haiti food distribution plan launched by the UN a new UN food coupons, which has become as good as money in Haiti
The United Nations launched a large-scale distribution program to provide food aid to 2 million Haitians. Under the program, only women will be able to collect food by trading in vouchers at distribution centers in a bid to prevent the repeat of recent incidents of violence and looting. The New York Times (1/30)

With hunger still a mounting problem for many in Haiti, the UN has introduced a new food-distribution program to replace the haphazard and Darwinian giveaways that have until now marked aid efforts. A coupon redeemable for 55 pounds of rice has become more valuable than money -- the effective currency of a country whose capital and government were destroyed in the earthquake. By emphasizing women as the recipients and installing the coupons in 16 stable locations, food distribution has improved, though disorientation remains a significant obstacle to providing aid. More at The New York Times (2/2)

As I said before, Progress in Haiti are Lessons for the Millennium Development Goals that can be applied to the Millennium Development Goals. This should demonstrate the importance of Millennium Development Goal No. 3. Gender Equity, because addressing this goal actually helps to address all 8 of the Millennium Development Goals and the 15 Millennium Challenges that make them up.


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