However imperfect our health system may be, we generally have the information and tools at our disposal to identify and select the best options for our individual needs. In the developing world, however, making these same informed decisions is actually an acutely-felt barrier, one that often prevents women and their families from enjoying good health.
At the height of the outbreak from October to December (2014) the epidemic was out of control. The situation for several reasons was starting to look hopeless. A nightmare was unfolding before our very eyes! Those of us who were living through this terror at Ebola ground zero were bracing ourselves for the worst.
As women break barriers and crack glass ceilings in countries like the U.S., in much of the developing world, women and girls still face staggering challenges to their health and well-being. This week seems like the right day to recognize three of them.
Education is important for everyone -- most of us agree. So why is it that in many countries girls do not walk alongside boys? Why do girls have to cover their books and risk their lives to learn? Books are our future, and we believe that education is a fundamental right.
While the data show that we are making progress in a number of important areas -- including health, education and legal protections -- it equally reveals that these gains have not been fully realized by all.
Mary Nanyonga is a 27 year old mother of 3 in Mubende, Uganda with big dreams for the future.
Today, on International Women's Day, Sweden is speaking out in support of every woman's right to a midwife. The midwifery profession and workforce have the power to save thousands of lives each year.
Women's equality -- as any woman anywhere will tell you -- will never be achieved as long as girls are subject to the threats, abuse and marginalization that still happens in many places around the world.
For more than 100 years, people around the globe have been acknowledging this day -- March 8 -- as International Women's Day. Many world leaders are now recognizing what we at the Mona Foundation have known for over 15 years: Strategically investing in women and girls transforms communities and can heal the world.
As we commemorate International Women's Day, it is crucial to take stock of progress and outstanding challenges that confront women and girls and rededicate ourselves to making a difference in their lives.
The dream of every child receiving school feeding is a step everyone can get involved with and support. This one action can improve the lives of girls everywhere by giving them a foundation for success: nutrition and education.
This International Women's Day, I dare you to join with me in thinking big, in picturing a world where all women have access to the health care education and services they need.
The truth is: inadequate access to water, sanitation and hygiene is a violation of fundamental human rights. If women realize these rights, it will make not just the 8th of March but every single day a day where women and girls can stand proud, and reach their fullest potential.
On a recent trip to Cuba I determined to find out how that country manages to have an infant mortality rate well below that of the U.S., with dramatically fewer resources than we have.
In November of 1987, I gave birth in the plains of Nepal. Soon after, members of the Brahman (high caste) family I'd married into began literacy classes for women.
Women have come a long way in developed and developing countries, but significant gaps remain. We believe that mobile technology will go a long way in helping us close those gaps, empowering women with information, services and ultimately, confidence, that will help them best care for themselves, and their families.
As I reflect on our successes this International Women's Day, I am truly excited to see what the future has in store for the women of today, and for the generations to come.
We are still not doing enough to close the gender gap; it is girls in rural areas who will be the last to go school. The harsh reality is we cannot talk about the prosperity of women and girls in Africa if we don't tackle the reasons girls are discriminated against and made vulnerable to exploitation in the first place.
There's more than enough evidence to show that educating girls is transformational not only to girls themselves but to everyone around them. With education, a girl will be better positioned over her lifetime to help herself and her family move out of poverty and avoid disease. That makes for stronger women and more resilient families, communities, nations and the world.
Women still face many health problems and we must re-commit to addressing them. Here are ten of the main issues that keep me awake at night.