We can and must turn this picture to reality. Right now, every country is working to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and to define a new global development plan. We must seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to position gender equality, women's rights and women's empowerment firmly at the center of the global agenda.
The last 20 years or so have been very difficult years for HIV-infected mothers and health-care workers because of the huge dilemma around infant feeding.
If all children were breastfed within an hour of birth and given only breast milk for the first six months with continued breastfeeding up to the age of two, up to 800,000 child lives would be saved annually.
Though we still have a long way to go, domestic spending increases among African Union nations demonstrate growing political will -- a sign that we are right on track. Most importantly, it sends a strong political message to international donors that their investments are working.
Bent over a wood-fired oven, drying the fish her husband caught yesterday, 29-year-old Leticia Sam blinks the smoke from her eyes, one hand stoking the fire, the other holding her swollen belly. Expecting her fourth baby, Leticia lives atop an old graveyard piled with trash, strewn with crumbling cinderblock homes.
The beauty of this education and what it ultimately provides can best be captured in one word: choices. When women get educated, they can decide what kind of birth they want and how they want to experience it, exercising our most fundamental human desire, our right to choose.
I don't like to use scare tactics to convince parents to vaccinate their children, but the experiences I have had working in a hospital are very real, and I have watched children suffer terribly because they weren't immunized.
The neglect of menstruation and its implications for the dignity, health and safety of women is increasingly well documented and urgently needs attention.
The global hunger issue can seem overwhelming. The fact that more people will die from hunger this year than AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and war combined is unbelievable. I've seen the emotional and physical toll hunger takes on the communities and families it impacts.
Too many girls around the world reach adolescence and find their future is already mapped out. They never have a chance to finish school or get a job, or an opportunity to travel and experience life. It's time to give these girls the chance to write their own future.
Born Free Founder/Chairman John Megrue, Anna Wintour and Diane Von Furstenberg agreed that the clear goal and momentum behind eradicating mother-to-child transmission of HIV by December 2015 was one that the general public could get behind and embrace.
In 1900 social theorist Ellen Key published her prescient manifesto on the future of childhood; Key recognized the importance of centering the child, not just privately but also publicly; within education, care provisions and society more broadly.
For girls in Nigeria and around the world, education can enable economic independence, pave the way for political participation, and empower both men and women with the necessary knowledge to actively and effectively oppose oppressive norms that perpetuate different forms of violence against women.
The situation in India reveals startling information about the link between waste pollution and stunted growth, even in a food-secure world. To help ensure a brighter future for India's youth, the nation requires an investment in waste-treatment infrastructure, including toilets and waste-water treatment.
The economic future of Africa is all about the well-being of children -- and with one in ten of our children dying every day, it would be a terrible missed opportunity for these most vulnerable children and their mothers to not be at the center of the conversation.
The BIG Project was established in 2011 to provide higher grade maternal care to combat the high maternal mortality rates in the Gambia through its motto: Educate, Empower and Enable.
Start with the schools. That's where the future is made.
These are not criminals. They are innocent children caught up in a situation beyond their control. Regardless of why and how they came, they are here now -- and they deserve to be treated with humanity.
Afghanistan has once again been labelled one of the worst places in the world to be a mother. According to UNICEF, a woman dies every two hours due to complications during pregnancy in Afghanistan.
In keeping with previous Global Citizen Festivals, the goal is to celebrate the achievements made toward ending extreme poverty by 2030. But this year, we're working to change the systems that keep people poor.