gov-info
gov-info:

UN Doc: Handbook for International and Regional Legislation on Violence against Women

The Handbook (and supplement) serves as a useful tool in supporting efforts to provide justice, support, protection and remedies to victims and to hold perpetrators accountable.
The Handbook first outlines the international and regional legal and policy frameworks which mandate States to enact and implement comprehensive and effective laws to address violence against women. It then presents a model framework for legislation on violence against women, divided into fourteen chapters. Finally, the Handbook provides users with a checklist of considerations to be kept in mind when drafting legislation on violence against women.
This Handbook intends to provide all stakeholders with detailed guidance to support the adoption and effective implementation of legislation which prevents violence against women, punishes perpetrators, and ensures the rights of survivors everywhere.

gov-info:

UN Doc: Handbook for International and Regional Legislation on Violence against Women

The Handbook (and supplement) serves as a useful tool in supporting efforts to provide justice, support, protection and remedies to victims and to hold perpetrators accountable.

The Handbook first outlines the international and regional legal and policy frameworks which mandate States to enact and implement comprehensive and effective laws to address violence against women. It then presents a model framework for legislation on violence against women, divided into fourteen chapters. Finally, the Handbook provides users with a checklist of considerations to be kept in mind when drafting legislation on violence against women.

This Handbook intends to provide all stakeholders with detailed guidance to support the adoption and effective implementation of legislation which prevents violence against women, punishes perpetrators, and ensures the rights of survivors everywhere.

unicef
unicef:

"I wasn’t scared until they blindfolded me." Fatou, 12, describes how she underwent female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in Guinea where an estimated 96% of females aged 15-49 have been victims of this damaging, sometimes deadly practice.
Read Fatou’s story: http://uni.cf/1jKomF8

unicef:

"I wasn’t scared until they blindfolded me." Fatou, 12, describes how she underwent female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in Guinea where an estimated 96% of females aged 15-49 have been victims of this damaging, sometimes deadly practice.

Read Fatou’s story: http://uni.cf/1jKomF8

nprglobalhealth

nprglobalhealth:

Americans Favor Age Restrictions On Morning-After Pill

Emergency contraception has been embroiled in controversy pretty much from the start.

But this year the legal wrangling over who can buy the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill without a prescription came to an end. A federal judge in New York ruled in April that the morning-after pill also had to be made available over the counter to girls 16 and under.

The ruling effectively quashed the Obama administration’s position on age minimums and paved the way for the pill to be moved out from behind drugstore counters. In June, the Food and Drug Administration approved over-the-counter sale of Plan B One-Step without any age restrictions.

We wondered how Americans feel about how the morning-after pill should be handled and what restrictions, if any, there should be on its sale.

So we asked in them in the NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health who should be allowed to get the pill without a prescription.

Eighteen percent said there should be no age minimum. Around the same proportion — 17 percent — said a prescription should always be required, regardless of the buyer’s age.

Overall, the opinions were mixed, though the current legal status only jibes with the view of a minority that holds age shouldn’t be a factor.

About two-thirds of respondents believe that parents should have to give their permission before anyone under 18 buys the morning-after pill without a prescription. That’s not a requirement now.

Finally, most Americans believe insurers should pay for the morning-after pill. About 61 percent say it should be covered compared with 39 percent who said it shouldn’t.

"I think one of the things that’s necessary is an education effort," said Dr. Michael Taylor, chief medical officer at Truven Health Analytics, after reviewing the results. “There’s probably some misconception in this country about how the morning-after pill works. It’s not an abortion; it’s a type of contraception. It really serves the same role as a birth-control pill.”

Continue reading.

Illustration by Katherine Streeter for NPR. Chart by Danny DeBelius with data from NPR-Truven Health

nprglobalhealth
nprglobalhealth:

Can Child Marriages Be Stopped?
Christina Asima seems tired for a 13-year-old. I meet the shy-mannered girl in the remote farming village of Chitera, in the southern African nation of Malawi. She wears a bright pink zip-up shirt and a blue print cloth wrapped up to her chest. Snuggled in that, hugging her side, is a chubby-cheeked baby boy.
My gut assumption is that the infant must be Christina’s little brother. I know 8-month-old Praise is actually her son. Still, it’s startling when, as we speak, she shifts him around front to nurse.
"I was 12 years old when I got married to my husband," she explains softly. "My mom had run away, so I was forced to get married to help my other siblings."
Despite decades of international and local efforts to curb child marriage, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 girls still marries before age 18 in developing countries; 1 in 9 marries before age 15. And the numbers are even worse in Malawi.
In fact, pregnancy and childbirth are the leading causes of death worldwide for girls ages 15 to 19.
Malawi law permits marriage at 15 with parental consent and merely “discourages” it at younger ages. But last summer Chitera passed its own legal age of marriage — 21 — with the ambitious goal that every girl attend college.
Parents in the village now face a steep penalty if parents marry off a daughter before age 21.
"They have to give five goats to the chief," says another local official, Roben Ndrama, "and eight chickens to the village headmen."
In a more humiliating measure, some parents have been made to scrub clean the local health center. Ndrama laughs when I ask if parents get mad about that.
"It’s worked!" he says. "This year there’ve been no early marriages."
Continue reading.
Photograph: Christina Asima says she had no choice but to marry last year at age 12 to help care for younger siblings after her mother abandoned the family. But she says her husband was abusive, so she left him, and now must look after her 8-month-old son, Praise, alone. (Jennifer Ludden/NPR)

nprglobalhealth:

Can Child Marriages Be Stopped?

Christina Asima seems tired for a 13-year-old. I meet the shy-mannered girl in the remote farming village of Chitera, in the southern African nation of Malawi. She wears a bright pink zip-up shirt and a blue print cloth wrapped up to her chest. Snuggled in that, hugging her side, is a chubby-cheeked baby boy.

My gut assumption is that the infant must be Christina’s little brother. I know 8-month-old Praise is actually her son. Still, it’s startling when, as we speak, she shifts him around front to nurse.

"I was 12 years old when I got married to my husband," she explains softly. "My mom had run away, so I was forced to get married to help my other siblings."

Despite decades of international and local efforts to curb child marriage, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 girls still marries before age 18 in developing countries; 1 in 9 marries before age 15. And the numbers are even worse in Malawi.

In fact, pregnancy and childbirth are the leading causes of death worldwide for girls ages 15 to 19.

Malawi law permits marriage at 15 with parental consent and merely “discourages” it at younger ages. But last summer Chitera passed its own legal age of marriage — 21 — with the ambitious goal that every girl attend college.

Parents in the village now face a steep penalty if parents marry off a daughter before age 21.

"They have to give five goats to the chief," says another local official, Roben Ndrama, "and eight chickens to the village headmen."

In a more humiliating measure, some parents have been made to scrub clean the local health center. Ndrama laughs when I ask if parents get mad about that.

"It’s worked!" he says. "This year there’ve been no early marriages."

Continue reading.

Photograph: Christina Asima says she had no choice but to marry last year at age 12 to help care for younger siblings after her mother abandoned the family. But she says her husband was abusive, so she left him, and now must look after her 8-month-old son, Praise, alone. (Jennifer Ludden/NPR)

nprglobalhealth
nprglobalhealth:

It’s Time To Rediscover The IUD, Women’s Health Advocates Say
What will it take to make intrauterine devices sexy?
IUDs are highly effective forms of contraception, but fear of side effects, lack of training for doctors and costs can keep women away. Health organizations and private companies are trying to change that by breaking down misconceptions and broadening access.
The contraceptives are inserted into the uterus and can prevent pregnancy for years. And they’re reversible. Shortly after they’re taken out, a woman can become pregnant.
IUDs are more than 99 percent effective. The World Health Organization reports they are “the most widely used reversible contraceptive method globally.” But few women in the U.S. use them; the percentage is only in the single digits, in part because IUDs have a checkered past. The Dalkon Shield IUD, marketed nationwide beginning in 1971, was found to raise the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease. Medical complications and deaths sparked lawsuits with thousands of claimants.
"So we had a whole generation in the ’70s and ’80s … where doctors and clinicians weren’t trained and women didn’t have that option," says Dr. Jeffrey Peipert, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis.
The two common intrauterine devices in the U.S. are ParaGard, which releases copper to interfere with sperm, and Mirena, which prevents pregnancy with the hormone progesterone. There is still a slight risk of pelvic inflammatory disease. But Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Mirena, says fewer than 1 percent of users of its device get the infection. More common side effects for women using IUDs are irregular bleeding or cramping.
Upfront costs also limit access; the price of the device and getting it inserted can cost hundreds of dollars.
But Mirena works for up to five years, and the copper IUD up to 10. So over time, they can actually be cheaper than monthly payments for, say, the pill. And IUDs, like other contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration, are expected to be covered for most users under the Affordable Care Act.
Continue reading.
Image: An IUD is seen on pelvic X ray (© Nevit Dilmen found at Wikimedia commons)

nprglobalhealth:

It’s Time To Rediscover The IUD, Women’s Health Advocates Say

What will it take to make intrauterine devices sexy?

IUDs are highly effective forms of contraception, but fear of side effects, lack of training for doctors and costs can keep women away. Health organizations and private companies are trying to change that by breaking down misconceptions and broadening access.

The contraceptives are inserted into the uterus and can prevent pregnancy for years. And they’re reversible. Shortly after they’re taken out, a woman can become pregnant.

IUDs are more than 99 percent effective. The World Health Organization reports they are “the most widely used reversible contraceptive method globally.” But few women in the U.S. use them; the percentage is only in the single digits, in part because IUDs have a checkered past. The Dalkon Shield IUD, marketed nationwide beginning in 1971, was found to raise the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease. Medical complications and deaths sparked lawsuits with thousands of claimants.

"So we had a whole generation in the ’70s and ’80s … where doctors and clinicians weren’t trained and women didn’t have that option," says Dr. Jeffrey Peipert, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis.

The two common intrauterine devices in the U.S. are ParaGard, which releases copper to interfere with sperm, and Mirena, which prevents pregnancy with the hormone progesterone. There is still a slight risk of pelvic inflammatory disease. But Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Mirena, says fewer than 1 percent of users of its device get the infection. More common side effects for women using IUDs are irregular bleeding or cramping.

Upfront costs also limit access; the price of the device and getting it inserted can cost hundreds of dollars.

But Mirena works for up to five years, and the copper IUD up to 10. So over time, they can actually be cheaper than monthly payments for, say, the pill. And IUDs, like other contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration, are expected to be covered for most users under the Affordable Care Act.

Continue reading.

Image: An IUD is seen on pelvic X ray (© Nevit Dilmen found at Wikimedia commons)