Information by Topic and Country

Adolescent Girls and Young Women

The Promise and Challenge of PrEP for Adolescent Girls and Young Women (2020 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
November 2020

IIn this episode of AIDS 2021, we discuss pre-exposure prophylaxis — PrEP — a critical HIV prevention tool for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in countries with high HIV burdens. Janet Fleischman speaks with Mitchell Warren, the executive director of AVAC, and two women working with Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute in South Africa – Khanyi Kwatsha, a 26-year-old PrEP ambassador, and Elmari Briedenhann, a senior project manager. They discuss the importance of PrEP for AGYW and highlight innovative approaches to better reach this group and to address the inherent challenges of meeting the needs of this population.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, HIV/AIDS, prevention, South Africa

[collapse]
An Improbable Success: The Ouagadougou Partnership’s Advances in Family Planning Across Francophone West Africa (2020 report)

Janet Fleischman
Commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. In 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was virtually unimaginable at the outset, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was perceived to be taboo. Now, almost a decade later, the partnership’s impact and lessons for other regions warrant both celebration and reflection.

The nine Francophone countries of the subregion (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) united around an ambitious regional goalto reach one million additional voluntary users of modern family planning methods by 2015, and 2.2 million more by 2020. The results have been impressive, especially given the low starting point of approximately 2.7 million users: by 2019, over 3.1 million additional voluntary users have been reached, Francophone West Africa has one of the fastest increases in modern contraceptive rates among developing regions, and family planning funding from the core donors has more than doubled. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners.

The story of this partnership reflects a unique historical convergence: a group of bilateral and philanthropic donors willing to commit to the subregion, country-level champions from government and civil society, supported by implementing partners, prepared to advance family planning for health and development reasons, and a shared interest in doing business differently to address egregious gaps in women’s health and stalled indicators on family planning. By banding together, fueled by a shared commitment to achieving a regional goal, “friendly” competition among the countries, and grounded in data and evidence, the nine relatively small countries capitalized on their commonalities and made the region a more important geographic space and population size.

Janet was commissioned in 2019 by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to write this report documenting the history of the Ouagadougou Partnership. She completed her research in January 2020, before the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Francophone West Africa (in Senegal and Burkina Faso) in March 2020. Accordingly, this report does not address the impact of COVID-19 in Francophone West Africa or the challenges it presents to the Ouagadougou Partnership’s activities.

Click here to read the full report.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Burkina Faso, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
DREAMS and Covid-19 in Zambia (2020 video)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2020

Covid-19 is taking a heavy toll on adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa, exacerbating their risks of HIV, gender-based violence, and unintended pregnancy. To understand these intersecting crises, we spoke to women working with and benefiting from the U.S.-led DREAMS initiative in Lusaka, Zambia: Batuke Walusiku-Mwewa is the Zambia Country Director for Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB); Grace Njobvu and Grace Nachila are DREAMS participants. DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe) is a public-private partnership that aims to reduce new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 15 countries through a multisectoral package of services.

Click here to see the video.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), HIV/AIDS, Zambia

[collapse]
“Competing with a Monster”: Women, Girls, and Covid-19 in South Africa (2020 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
July 16, 2020

In this episode of AIDS 2020, Janet Fleischman speaks with Dr. Linda-Gail Bekker, the deputy director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Center at the University of Cape Town, CEO of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, and former president of the International AIDS Society. They discuss the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the lives of adolescent girls and young women and the potential impact on the momentum of HIV prevention programs designed for this vulnerable population.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]
Covid-19 and Young Women: Voices from Kenya (2020 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 9, 2020

In this episode of AIDS 2020, Janet Fleischman speaks with two women in Kenya about the impact of Covid-19: Maurine Murenga, who is executive director of Lean On Me Foundation, which supports adolescent mothers living with HIV, as well as a Global Fund board member; and Brenda Ochieng, a peer mentor for Pathfinder’s DREAMS project in Mombasa, Kenya. They discuss the progress in and challenges to HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women in Kenya, and the worsening impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on this population.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, reproductive health, violence against women and children

[collapse]
An Improbable Success in a Troubled Region (2020 article)

Janet Fleischman, consultant on a project for the Ouagadougou Partnership
Marie Ba, Director of Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit (OPCU)

Council on Foreign Relations, Think Global Health

March 18, 2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. At a time of increased extremism and insecurity in West Africa, the remarkable story of a partnership to advance women’s health and empowerment through family planning is worthy of global attention. By tackling such challenges, the partnership provides hope for women, girls, and their communities in a troubled region, with lessons for other parts of the world.

The story began in 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of landlocked Burkina Faso, when representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was unimaginable at its outset almost a decade ago, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was still perceived to be taboo. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners, with a special emphasis on engaging young people.

Click here to read the full article.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Janet is interviewed on crisis response and the prioritization of women and girls (2019 podcast)

Beverly Kirk, host, Smart Women, Smart Power Podcast

Smart Women, Smart Power (SWSP) Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies

December 04, 2019

Janet joins host Beverly Kirk or a conversation about Janet's latest report, which examines why women and girls’ health and protection should be a top priority in emergency and humanitarian crisis situations. It also looks at U.S. policy on global health security. This conversation is linked to the report and an October 31 conference on U.S. Action for Women’s and Girls’ Health Security, both under the auspices of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.

The Smart Women, Smart Power (SWSP) Initiative convenes top-level women leaders in foreign policy, national security, international business, and international development to amplify their voices, spotlight their expertise, and discuss critical and timely issues. The Smart Women, Smart Power biweekly podcast features powerful, in-depth conversations with women leaders from around the globe who are experts in foreign policy, national security, international business, and international development. SWSP Director Beverly Kirk moderates the podcast series.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, gender-based violence, humanitarian response, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, violence against women and children

[collapse]
Janet interviews Melissa Dalton and Fatima Imam on gender-based violence as a weapon of war (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host

Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
December 17, 2019

This episode of the Global Health Policy Center's Take as Directed podcast examines the changing nature of war and conflict and why gender-based violence (GBV) has become a central feature in crises around the world. GHPC Senior Associate Janet Fleischman sits down with Melissa Dalton, senior fellow and deputy director of the CSIS International Security Program and Director of the Cooperative Defense Project (CDP); and Fatima Imam, executive director of Rehabilitation, Empowerment, and Better Health Initiative and Network of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria.

Janet and the guests discuss how GBV impacts women and girls in crises, focused especially on the Middle East and northern Nigeria, and how these ubiquitous and traumatizing realities undermine global health security and community resilience. This conversation is linked to a new CSIS report, How Can We Better Reach Women and Girls in Crises? and an October 31 conference on U.S. Action for Women’s and Girls’ Health Security, both under the auspices of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, gender-based violence, Humanitarian response, maternal-child health, Nigeria, reproductive health, violence against women and children

[collapse]
Accelerating Action to Address Violence Against Women and Children: Key Lessons from the Together for Girls Partnership in Tanzania (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Together for Girls
2019

Violence against children (VAC) and violence against women (VAW) are public health and human rights crises of global proportions, with damaging consequences to the health and well-being of individuals and their communities. Fueled by gender inequality, social norms condoning violence and harmful traditional practices,1 and exacerbated by lack of commitment to take preventive and protective action and weak protection systems, violence against women and children (VAWC) as well as the magnitude, human toll and societal cost of this violence is increasingly acknowledged by the global community.

Together for Girls (TfG) is a partnership among national governments, UN entities and private sector organizations working at the intersection of VAW and VAC, with special attention to ending sexual violence against girls. Now being implemented in more than 22 countries, the TfG model supports governments to conduct a national household Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) and to use the data to mobilize action through policies and programs that embed violence prevention and response across multiple sectors.

In 2009, the Government of Tanzania, with support from TfG partners, most notably UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), undertook the VACS. Tanzania was the first country to implement a full VACS, surveying both girls and boys (ages 13-24) nationally to assess the prevalence of emotional, physical and sexual violence. It was also the first country to introduce a government-led, multi-sector task force to oversee the implementation of the survey and the ensuing violence prevention and response work catalyzed by the data, which led to the establishment of a multi-sectoral, costed National Plan of Action. Ten years after Tanzania’s landmark research, this case study seeks to consolidate learnings from the national experience of implementing the TfG model.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, family planning, gender-based violence, PEPFAR, reproductive health, Tanzania, U.S. policy, violence against women and children

[collapse]
Janet interviews Geeta Rao Gupta on gender equality and health (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
March 2019

In this episode of Take as Directed, host Janet Fleischman sits down with Geeta Rao Gupta, executive director of the 3D Program for Girls and Women, former president of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), and former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF. They discuss the new series of The Lancet, of which Geeta was a principal author, that outlines the impact of gender norms and inequalities on health, describes persistent barriers to progress, and provides an agenda for action. They also discuss the recent Women Deliver conference in Vancouver and how to maintain optimism for the future.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, gender equality

[collapse]
Realizing Kakenya’s Dream: Educating Girls and Ending Female Genital Mutilation (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
March 2019

February 6th marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a United Nations-sponsored awareness day meant to highlight efforts to eradicate FGM. An estimated 200 million women and girls today have undergone some form of FGM, a practice that can cause irreversible physical and mental health challenges. In this episode of Take as Directed, CSIS Global Health Policy Center Senior Associate Janet Fleischman speaks with Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya, a Kenyan educator, activist, and founder of “Kakenya’s Dream”, a leading nongovernmental organization for girls’ education, health, and empowerment, which also works to end FGM and child marriage. Dr. Ntaiya discusses the personal journey that led her to form “Kakenya’s Dream”, and how her work is helping to develop the next generation of women leaders in her community.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, female genital mutilation, Kenya

[collapse]
Janet interviews Quarraisha Abdool Karim about HIV in South Africa (2018 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Alex Bush, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
July 2018

Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim is one of the world’s leading AIDS researchers and has made pioneering contributions to understanding the HIV epidemic in young people, especially among young women. She joined us for a two-part series to explain her latest research into epidemic hot spots in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, focusing on both the structural and biological risk factors that facilitate the spread of HIV in young women. In Part 1, she discusses the social and economic factors that contribute to the dramatic differences in HIV rates in women and men at different ages.In Part 2, she describes her recent findings about biological factors that can simultaneously increase a woman’s risk of HIV acquisition and decrease the efficacy of HIV prevention tools.

Click here to link to Part 1 and here to link to Part 2.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]
Addressing HIV in Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Malawi: The DREAMS Partnership (2017 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2017

In many ways, Malawi exemplifies the success of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Over the last 14 years, new HIV infections have declined by 34 percent. Despite being among the poorest countries in the world, Malawi is approaching its HIV treatment targets. The possibility of controlling the epidemic is within reach.

But Malawi also lays bare major challenges and gaps facing the HIV response, notably how to prevent HIV and address HIV risk for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in low-resource settings.

Malawi is 1 of 10 focus countries in east and southern Africa under DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), a public-private partnership led by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that aims to reduce the number of new HIV infections among 15- to 24-year-old women by 40 percent in geographic “hot spots.” As a prevention program, it is attempting to reach young women and their male partners, populations that have proven very difficult to reach thus far.

This is a moment of heightened focus on the urgency of addressing HIV in adolescent girls and young women by the United States, other international partners, and the government of Malawi. To learn more about the status of DREAMS implementation and lessons for other country programs, CSIS conducted a research trip to Malawi in April 2017.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), HIV-AIDS, Malawi, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The Next Frontier: Stop New HIV Infections in Adolescent Girls and Young Women (2017 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2017

U.S. leadership through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS1 Relief (PEPFAR) has driven remarkable progress in curbing the global AIDS epidemic, raising the possibility of epidemic control in 10 African countries by 2020. But this success masks areas of urgent unfinished business that could derail this momentum, notably preventing HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women ages 15-24 in East and Southern Africa.  Addressing the acute risks that these young women face presents unique challenges, especially in the current U.S. budgetary environment, but continued progress against HIV requires that this be a consistent and sustained U.S. priority. The benefits are clear and compelling: empowering these young women and providing access to services to protect themselves from HIV enables them to be healthy and to thrive, which contributes to healthier, more stable and prosperous families, communities, and societies.

Adolescent girls and young women face significantly higher HIV risk than males their age. That, combined with a youth population that has doubled since the start of the epidemic, leads to an inescapable conclusion: if new HIV infections among girls and young women are not greatly reduced, PEPFAR’s enormous investments to achieve an AIDS-free generation are at risk, as is the global response. Focusing on adolescent girls and young women, while also systematically engaging their male partners, provides a critical opportunity to interrupt the cycle of HIV transmission.

In response to these stark realities, in late 2014 PEPFAR launched DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe), a public-private partnership to reduce HIV in adolescent girls and young women in 10 countries. DREAMS holds notable promise in confronting this critical next frontier in fighting HIV, but faces challenges in demonstrating short-term impact on social and economic realities that directly or indirectly contribute to HIV risk for these young women.

Download the PDF.

Topics: DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), HIV-AIDS, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Janet interviews Amb. Virginia Palmer about why preventing HIV in adolescent girls and young women Is critical for Malawi (2017 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Cathryn Streifel, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
July 2017

Amb. Virginia Palmer, U.S. Ambassador to Malawi, is a powerful champion for addressing the needs of adolescent girls and young women as the fulcrum for all development goals. We asked her to reflect on efforts in Malawi to control the AIDS epidemic through DREAMS, a public-private partnership designed to prevent new infections in this population. She emphasized the importance of empowering them with education, health and community interventions. Such an approach is necessary to curb the HIV crisis in Malawi, which in turn impacts all other U.S. development programs, and ultimately global health security.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud. 

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), HIV-AIDS, Malawi, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Public-Private Partnerships for Women's Health in Zambia (2016 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
The CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
July 2016

Zambia is a lower-middle-income country struggling with critical health challenges, including high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality, malnutrition, cervical cancer, and a severe HIV/AIDS epidemic that disproportionately affects adolescent girls and young women. The United States is the largest donor to the health sector in Zambia, largely through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Over the past five years, the U.S. has also helped establish several public-private partnerships (PPPs) aimed at advancing the health of women and families. These PPPs provide lessons about the potential impact of these approaches, the challenges inherent in such partnerships, and the importance of PEPFAR support. With future U.S. global health funding likely to be flat-lined, this is an important moment to assess how partnerships with the private sector can amplify the impact of U.S. investments in women’s and family health.

A delegation from the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health visited Zambia in April 2016 to examine U.S. investments through three partnerships: Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL), Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR), and DREAMS. The delegation sought to understand these partnerships in Zambia within the context of U.S. support for women’s and family health, which represent the core of functional health systems.

Click here to read the report. You can link to the Zambia page of the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Cervical cancer, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, public-private partnerships, reproductive health, Saving Mothers-Giving Life, U.S. policyZambia

[collapse]
Family Planning and Women's Health in Kenya (2015 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katherine Peck
CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
December 2015

Voluntary family planning is one of the most transformative interventions in global health, critical to improving women’s health and to saving the lives of women and children in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Beyond the direct health benefits, family planning is essential for women’s empowerment and sustainable development, contributing to improvements in education, economic growth, and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. As the global leader in supporting family planning, the United States has a vital role to play in helping countries improve the lives of women and families.

To understand the impact of U.S. investments, this report examines U.S. support for family planning in Kenya at a pivotal moment for these issues globally. As a regional leader in family planning and a priority country for U.S. family planning and maternal-child health assistance, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Kenya provides a lens through which to assess the opportunities and challenges in expanding access and transitioning to greater sustainability.

Kenya has made significant progress in family planning, with one of the highest contraceptive prevalence rates in the region at 58 percent, yet faces important challenges in maintaining momentum.

In the polarized U.S. political environment, funding for family planning programs faces persistent challenges. There is a risk that without clear U.S. commitment, these critical interventions could be derailed. Strong, bipartisan leadership is required to depoliticize these issues and to highlight the importance of voluntary family planning and healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies to improve women’s health, prevent unintended pregnancies, increase child survival, avert millions of abortions, and improve economic and social development. U.S. policy toward Kenya is in many ways a laboratory for the region with lessons for other countries.

You can find the full report here, and you can link to the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe)family planning, family planning-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, Kenyamaternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive healthU.S. policy

[collapse]
New Action to Address HIV Risk in Adolescent Girls and Young Women (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Population Council
December 1, 2015

The data are stark and incontrovertible: In eastern and southern Africa, 7,000 girls and young women aged 15–24 are infected with HIV every week. A global convergence is finally emerging around the urgency of going beyond biomedical interventions to address the social and economic factors driving HIV risk for this population. Unprecedented high-level attention is highlighting this crisis – in July 2015 in Addis Ababa, President Obama emphasized the need “to keep teenage girls safe and AIDS free,” and in September the U.S. announced significant additional resources for this effort. Yet addressing HIV risk in adolescent girls and young women remains a fundamental challenge for controlling the AIDS epidemic.

On World AIDS Day 2014, a new initiative was launched by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nike Foundation (now spun off to Girl Effect). With an accumulated $500 million in resources and highly ambitious goals, the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe) Partnership aims to address HIV risks for adolescent girls and young women in high-burden “hot spots” in 10 countries in southern and eastern Africa.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS, HIV/AIDS

[collapse]
Addressing HIV Risk in Adolescent Girls and Young Women (2015 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katherine Peck
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
April 2015

[captionpix imgsrc="https://janetfleischman.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Cover-addressing-hiv-risk.jpg" width="85" height="126" align="left"]

The data are stark and incontrovertible: In eastern and southern Africa, girls account for 80 percent of all new HIV infections among adolescents, and HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for girls aged 15-19. With 7,000 girls and young women aged 15-24 infected every week, the goal of an AIDS-free generation cannot be achieved without a dramatic new approach to this population. After years of neglect, a global convergence is emerging around the urgency of going beyond biomedical interventions to address the social and economic factors driving HIV risk for adolescent girls and young women. Whether this new attention can catalyze reductions in new HIV infections represents a fundamental challenge for controlling the AIDS epidemic.

In a major shift, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) launched a new initiative on World AIDS Day in December 2014, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nike Foundation, to significantly reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women. With $210 million and highly ambitious goals, the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe) Partnership aims to address HIV risks for adolescent girls and young women in high-burden "hot spots" in 10 countries in eastern and southern Africa by identifying where these young women are being infected, what is putting them at risk, and how to target programs accordingly. The partnership's goal is to reduce incidence in high-burden areas by 25 percent in two years, and by 40 percent in three years. Whether these targets are attainable or simply aspirational remains to be seen, but they represent a determined effort to do things differently.

DREAMS and other international partnerships focused on HIV in adolescent girls and young women represent an ambitious effort to go beyond biomedical interventions to address the social and economic factors that put this population at risk of infection. It remains to be seen, however, if these initiatives can demonstrate impact in a short timeframe, and build toward sustainable programs. This is a critical moment to transform a growing global interest in women and girls in a range of sectors into effective HIV programing, and to highlight the results at the July 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.

Download the report here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), funders, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
An Emergency that Requires Taking Risk (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
April 21, 2015

“The very progress we’ve made in HIV/AIDS over the last 20 years is at risk right now because of our lack of engagement with young women.” That was the stark message delivered by Ambassador Deborah Birx, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, at a dynamic, high-level panel at CSIS on April 17, which also featured Ambassador Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Geeta Rao Gupta, deputy executive director of UNICEF; and Judith Bruce, senior associate and policy analyst at the Population Council. Ambassador Dybul echoed the urgency of new initiatives working to address this population: “This opportunity is one we just can’t miss.”

At the event, CSIS released a new report, Addressing HIV Risk in Adolescent Girls and Young Women. The report examines how adolescent girls and young women have become a priority focus in the fight against global HIV/AIDS, the approaches that have proven effective, and the gaps and challenges that remain. In particular, the report highlights the new DREAMS Partnership, launched by PEPFAR in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nike Foundation, to significantly reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women. With $210 million and highly ambitious goals, the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe) Partnership aims to address HIV risks for adolescent girls and young women in high-burden “hot spots” in 10 countries throughout eastern and southern Africa. The partnership’s goal is to reduce HIV incidence in this population by 25 percent in two years, and by 40 percent in three years. Whether these targets are attainable or simply aspirational remains to be seen, but they represent a determined effort to do things differently.

The panel discussed new ways to increase the empowerment, security, and agency of adolescent girls and young women, including looking at the impact of gender-based violence, cash transfers/incentives, education for girls, safe spaces for girls, and reproductive health/family planning. Although little research has evaluated the combined impact of putting all these interventions together, the panelists agreed that this is the moment to move forward in pursuit of a multisectoral approach. The panelists also expressed the hope that new funding would continue to emerge from multilateral institutions, government partners, and the private sector.  These different funders can leverage each other’s investments.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), funders, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]

[collapse]
Burkina Faso

An Improbable Success: The Ouagadougou Partnership’s Advances in Family Planning Across Francophone West Africa (2020 report)

Janet Fleischman
Commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. In 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was virtually unimaginable at the outset, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was perceived to be taboo. Now, almost a decade later, the partnership’s impact and lessons for other regions warrant both celebration and reflection.

The nine Francophone countries of the subregion (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) united around an ambitious regional goalto reach one million additional voluntary users of modern family planning methods by 2015, and 2.2 million more by 2020. The results have been impressive, especially given the low starting point of approximately 2.7 million users: by 2019, over 3.1 million additional voluntary users have been reached, Francophone West Africa has one of the fastest increases in modern contraceptive rates among developing regions, and family planning funding from the core donors has more than doubled. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners.

The story of this partnership reflects a unique historical convergence: a group of bilateral and philanthropic donors willing to commit to the subregion, country-level champions from government and civil society, supported by implementing partners, prepared to advance family planning for health and development reasons, and a shared interest in doing business differently to address egregious gaps in women’s health and stalled indicators on family planning. By banding together, fueled by a shared commitment to achieving a regional goal, “friendly” competition among the countries, and grounded in data and evidence, the nine relatively small countries capitalized on their commonalities and made the region a more important geographic space and population size.

Janet was commissioned in 2019 by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to write this report documenting the history of the Ouagadougou Partnership. She completed her research in January 2020, before the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Francophone West Africa (in Senegal and Burkina Faso) in March 2020. Accordingly, this report does not address the impact of COVID-19 in Francophone West Africa or the challenges it presents to the Ouagadougou Partnership’s activities.

Click here to read the full report.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Burkina Faso, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]

[collapse]
Cervical Cancer

Janet interviews Celina Schocken of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon on the Fight Against Cervical Cancer (2017 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Katey Peck, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
May 16, 2017

Celina Schocken is CEO of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, an independent affiliate of the George W. Bush Institute that focuses on cervical and breast cancer prevention and treatment. We asked her to speak about the organization’s work, including why cervical cancer screening should be part of HIV and reproductive health, new innovative technologies, and an April delegation led by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush to Botswana and Namibia.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud.

Topics: Cervical cancer, HIV-AIDS, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Public-Private Partnerships for Women's Health in Zambia (2016 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
The CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
July 2016

Zambia is a lower-middle-income country struggling with critical health challenges, including high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality, malnutrition, cervical cancer, and a severe HIV/AIDS epidemic that disproportionately affects adolescent girls and young women. The United States is the largest donor to the health sector in Zambia, largely through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Over the past five years, the U.S. has also helped establish several public-private partnerships (PPPs) aimed at advancing the health of women and families. These PPPs provide lessons about the potential impact of these approaches, the challenges inherent in such partnerships, and the importance of PEPFAR support. With future U.S. global health funding likely to be flat-lined, this is an important moment to assess how partnerships with the private sector can amplify the impact of U.S. investments in women’s and family health.

A delegation from the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health visited Zambia in April 2016 to examine U.S. investments through three partnerships: Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL), Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR), and DREAMS. The delegation sought to understand these partnerships in Zambia within the context of U.S. support for women’s and family health, which represent the core of functional health systems.

Click here to read the report. You can link to the Zambia page of the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Cervical cancer, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, public-private partnerships, reproductive health, Saving Mothers-Giving Life, U.S. policyZambia

[collapse]
Cervical Cancer and HIV in Women (2013 video)

Janet Fleischman and Julia Nagel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
January 2013

Cervical cancer kills an estimated 275,000 women every year, 85 percent of whom are in developing countries. The link between HIV and cervical cancer is direct and deadly; HIV-infected women who are also infected with specific types of human papilloma virus (HPV) are 4-5 times more susceptible to cervical cancer than HIV-negative women. This has important implications for HIV programs, especially in countries with significant HIV epidemics. To understand the opportunities and challenges of integrating cervical cancer screening and treatment into HIV services for women, the Center for Strategic and International Studies traveled to Zambia, which has been at the forefront of integrating these services.

Click here to see the video. 

Topics: Cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS, Zambia

[collapse]
Cervical Cancer and HIV in Women (2013 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Julia Nagel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
February 10, 2013

Cervical cancer kills an estimated 275,000 women every year, 85 percent of whom are in developing countries. The link between HIV and cervical cancer is direct and deadly; HIV-infected women who are also infected with specific types of human papilloma virus (HPV) are 4-5 times more susceptible to cervical cancer than HIV-negative women. This has important implications for HIV programs, especially in countries with significant HIV epidemics. 

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS, Zambia

[collapse]

[collapse]
Covid-19

The Promise and Challenge of PrEP for Adolescent Girls and Young Women (2020 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
November 2020

IIn this episode of AIDS 2021, we discuss pre-exposure prophylaxis — PrEP — a critical HIV prevention tool for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in countries with high HIV burdens. Janet Fleischman speaks with Mitchell Warren, the executive director of AVAC, and two women working with Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute in South Africa – Khanyi Kwatsha, a 26-year-old PrEP ambassador, and Elmari Briedenhann, a senior project manager. They discuss the importance of PrEP for AGYW and highlight innovative approaches to better reach this group and to address the inherent challenges of meeting the needs of this population.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, HIV/AIDS, prevention, South Africa

[collapse]
DREAMS and Covid-19 in Zambia (2020 video)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2020

Covid-19 is taking a heavy toll on adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa, exacerbating their risks of HIV, gender-based violence, and unintended pregnancy. To understand these intersecting crises, we spoke to women working with and benefiting from the U.S.-led DREAMS initiative in Lusaka, Zambia: Batuke Walusiku-Mwewa is the Zambia Country Director for Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB); Grace Njobvu and Grace Nachila are DREAMS participants. DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe) is a public-private partnership that aims to reduce new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 15 countries through a multisectoral package of services.

Click here to see the video.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), HIV/AIDS, Zambia

[collapse]
“Competing with a Monster”: Women, Girls, and Covid-19 in South Africa (2020 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
July 16, 2020

In this episode of AIDS 2020, Janet Fleischman speaks with Dr. Linda-Gail Bekker, the deputy director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Center at the University of Cape Town, CEO of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, and former president of the International AIDS Society. They discuss the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the lives of adolescent girls and young women and the potential impact on the momentum of HIV prevention programs designed for this vulnerable population.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]
Covid-19 and Young Women: Voices from Kenya (2020 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 9, 2020

In this episode of AIDS 2020, Janet Fleischman speaks with two women in Kenya about the impact of Covid-19: Maurine Murenga, who is executive director of Lean On Me Foundation, which supports adolescent mothers living with HIV, as well as a Global Fund board member; and Brenda Ochieng, a peer mentor for Pathfinder’s DREAMS project in Mombasa, Kenya. They discuss the progress in and challenges to HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women in Kenya, and the worsening impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on this population.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, reproductive health, violence against women and children

[collapse]
Parallel Epidemics: Covid-19 and Gender-Based Violence in South Africa (2020 video)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
July 2020

South Africa, which has the largest HIV epidemic in the world and one of the highest rates of gender-based violence, is now experiencing a worsening COVID-19 epidemic. Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Associate Scientific Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and a leading global expert on HIV/AIDS, spoke to CSIS about the particularly negative impact of Covid-19 on adolescent girls and young women, and how it is fueling a parallel epidemic of gender-based violence. At a time when even the President of South Africa has condemned the violence against women during the COVID-19 crisis, Professor Abdool Karim calls for a proactive response to these twin crises.

Click here to link to see the video.

Topics: Covid-19, gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]

[collapse]
Demographic Trends

Janet interviews Amb. Mark Dybul on why demographic trends matter for global health (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host

Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
September 3, 2019

The population of Africa is expected to double over the next 20 years, which means that many countries are facing either a demographic dividend or potentially a disaster, with critical implications for global health and development. In this episode of Take as Directed, Janet Fleischman sits down with Amb. Mark Dybul, Director of the Center for Global Health and Quality, and Professor in the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, and formerly head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. They discuss why these demographic trends matter and how U.S. programs can better engage young people, especially adolescent girls and young women, to address their needs and support local innovation.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud.

Topics: Demographic trends, family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Demographic Trends and Youth Empowerment in Africa: Opportunities for U.S. Engagement (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
June 2019

Many of the fastest growing populations are in the world’s poorest countries, putting them at a critical threshold: either they will accelerate economic growth and innovation by investing in their burgeoning youth population or the rapid population growth coupled with a shortage of opportunities for young people will undermine advances in health, development, and ultimately security. These demographic trends, most notable in sub-Saharan Africa, are often referred to as a “youth boom” or a “youth bulge.” Given the enormous implications of these demographic shifts, U.S. assistance should promote young people’s health and development, with particular emphasis on empowering young women. Investments in human capital and gender equality would yield enormous benefits in improving health, reducing poverty, and increasing economic and political stability. Given that these goals align so strongly with U.S. national interests, they benefit from strong bipartisan support.

This agenda constitutes an urgent priority. The magnitude of this demographic transition is evident in sub-Saharan Africa; sixty percent of the population is under the age of 25 and is projected to dramatically increase in the coming years due to decreased under-five child mortality and to continued high fertility, which is often driven by early and closely spaced childbearing. In many of these countries, notably in the Sahel region of West Africa, the population may double as soon as 2030—the year the world community pledged to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals—and possibly quadruple by the end of the century. Overall, the population in sub-Saharan Africa could increase from 1 billion to 4 billion before the end of the century.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Demographic trends, family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]

[collapse]
DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe)

DREAMS and Covid-19 in Zambia (2020 video)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2020

Covid-19 is taking a heavy toll on adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa, exacerbating their risks of HIV, gender-based violence, and unintended pregnancy. To understand these intersecting crises, we spoke to women working with and benefiting from the U.S.-led DREAMS initiative in Lusaka, Zambia: Batuke Walusiku-Mwewa is the Zambia Country Director for Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB); Grace Njobvu and Grace Nachila are DREAMS participants. DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe) is a public-private partnership that aims to reduce new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 15 countries through a multisectoral package of services.

Click here to see the video.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), HIV/AIDS, Zambia

[collapse]
Covid-19 and Young Women: Voices from Kenya (2020 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 9, 2020

In this episode of AIDS 2020, Janet Fleischman speaks with two women in Kenya about the impact of Covid-19: Maurine Murenga, who is executive director of Lean On Me Foundation, which supports adolescent mothers living with HIV, as well as a Global Fund board member; and Brenda Ochieng, a peer mentor for Pathfinder’s DREAMS project in Mombasa, Kenya. They discuss the progress in and challenges to HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women in Kenya, and the worsening impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on this population.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, reproductive health, violence against women and children

[collapse]
Addressing HIV in Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Malawi: The DREAMS Partnership (2017 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2017

In many ways, Malawi exemplifies the success of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Over the last 14 years, new HIV infections have declined by 34 percent. Despite being among the poorest countries in the world, Malawi is approaching its HIV treatment targets. The possibility of controlling the epidemic is within reach.

But Malawi also lays bare major challenges and gaps facing the HIV response, notably how to prevent HIV and address HIV risk for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in low-resource settings.

Malawi is 1 of 10 focus countries in east and southern Africa under DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), a public-private partnership led by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that aims to reduce the number of new HIV infections among 15- to 24-year-old women by 40 percent in geographic “hot spots.” As a prevention program, it is attempting to reach young women and their male partners, populations that have proven very difficult to reach thus far.

This is a moment of heightened focus on the urgency of addressing HIV in adolescent girls and young women by the United States, other international partners, and the government of Malawi. To learn more about the status of DREAMS implementation and lessons for other country programs, CSIS conducted a research trip to Malawi in April 2017.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), HIV-AIDS, Malawi, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The Next Frontier: Stop New HIV Infections in Adolescent Girls and Young Women (2017 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2017

U.S. leadership through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS1 Relief (PEPFAR) has driven remarkable progress in curbing the global AIDS epidemic, raising the possibility of epidemic control in 10 African countries by 2020. But this success masks areas of urgent unfinished business that could derail this momentum, notably preventing HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women ages 15-24 in East and Southern Africa.  Addressing the acute risks that these young women face presents unique challenges, especially in the current U.S. budgetary environment, but continued progress against HIV requires that this be a consistent and sustained U.S. priority. The benefits are clear and compelling: empowering these young women and providing access to services to protect themselves from HIV enables them to be healthy and to thrive, which contributes to healthier, more stable and prosperous families, communities, and societies.

Adolescent girls and young women face significantly higher HIV risk than males their age. That, combined with a youth population that has doubled since the start of the epidemic, leads to an inescapable conclusion: if new HIV infections among girls and young women are not greatly reduced, PEPFAR’s enormous investments to achieve an AIDS-free generation are at risk, as is the global response. Focusing on adolescent girls and young women, while also systematically engaging their male partners, provides a critical opportunity to interrupt the cycle of HIV transmission.

In response to these stark realities, in late 2014 PEPFAR launched DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe), a public-private partnership to reduce HIV in adolescent girls and young women in 10 countries. DREAMS holds notable promise in confronting this critical next frontier in fighting HIV, but faces challenges in demonstrating short-term impact on social and economic realities that directly or indirectly contribute to HIV risk for these young women.

Download the PDF.

Topics: DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), HIV-AIDS, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Janet interviews Amb. Virginia Palmer about why preventing HIV in adolescent girls and young women Is critical for Malawi (2017 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Cathryn Streifel, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
July 2017

Amb. Virginia Palmer, U.S. Ambassador to Malawi, is a powerful champion for addressing the needs of adolescent girls and young women as the fulcrum for all development goals. We asked her to reflect on efforts in Malawi to control the AIDS epidemic through DREAMS, a public-private partnership designed to prevent new infections in this population. She emphasized the importance of empowering them with education, health and community interventions. Such an approach is necessary to curb the HIV crisis in Malawi, which in turn impacts all other U.S. development programs, and ultimately global health security.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud. 

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), HIV-AIDS, Malawi, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Public-Private Partnerships for Women's Health in Zambia (2016 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
The CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
July 2016

Zambia is a lower-middle-income country struggling with critical health challenges, including high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality, malnutrition, cervical cancer, and a severe HIV/AIDS epidemic that disproportionately affects adolescent girls and young women. The United States is the largest donor to the health sector in Zambia, largely through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Over the past five years, the U.S. has also helped establish several public-private partnerships (PPPs) aimed at advancing the health of women and families. These PPPs provide lessons about the potential impact of these approaches, the challenges inherent in such partnerships, and the importance of PEPFAR support. With future U.S. global health funding likely to be flat-lined, this is an important moment to assess how partnerships with the private sector can amplify the impact of U.S. investments in women’s and family health.

A delegation from the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health visited Zambia in April 2016 to examine U.S. investments through three partnerships: Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL), Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR), and DREAMS. The delegation sought to understand these partnerships in Zambia within the context of U.S. support for women’s and family health, which represent the core of functional health systems.

Click here to read the report. You can link to the Zambia page of the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Cervical cancer, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, public-private partnerships, reproductive health, Saving Mothers-Giving Life, U.S. policyZambia

[collapse]
Family Planning and Women's Health in Kenya (2015 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katherine Peck
CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
December 2015

Voluntary family planning is one of the most transformative interventions in global health, critical to improving women’s health and to saving the lives of women and children in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Beyond the direct health benefits, family planning is essential for women’s empowerment and sustainable development, contributing to improvements in education, economic growth, and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. As the global leader in supporting family planning, the United States has a vital role to play in helping countries improve the lives of women and families.

To understand the impact of U.S. investments, this report examines U.S. support for family planning in Kenya at a pivotal moment for these issues globally. As a regional leader in family planning and a priority country for U.S. family planning and maternal-child health assistance, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Kenya provides a lens through which to assess the opportunities and challenges in expanding access and transitioning to greater sustainability.

Kenya has made significant progress in family planning, with one of the highest contraceptive prevalence rates in the region at 58 percent, yet faces important challenges in maintaining momentum.

In the polarized U.S. political environment, funding for family planning programs faces persistent challenges. There is a risk that without clear U.S. commitment, these critical interventions could be derailed. Strong, bipartisan leadership is required to depoliticize these issues and to highlight the importance of voluntary family planning and healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies to improve women’s health, prevent unintended pregnancies, increase child survival, avert millions of abortions, and improve economic and social development. U.S. policy toward Kenya is in many ways a laboratory for the region with lessons for other countries.

You can find the full report here, and you can link to the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe)family planning, family planning-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, Kenyamaternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive healthU.S. policy

[collapse]
New Action to Address HIV Risk in Adolescent Girls and Young Women (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Population Council
December 1, 2015

The data are stark and incontrovertible: In eastern and southern Africa, 7,000 girls and young women aged 15–24 are infected with HIV every week. A global convergence is finally emerging around the urgency of going beyond biomedical interventions to address the social and economic factors driving HIV risk for this population. Unprecedented high-level attention is highlighting this crisis – in July 2015 in Addis Ababa, President Obama emphasized the need “to keep teenage girls safe and AIDS free,” and in September the U.S. announced significant additional resources for this effort. Yet addressing HIV risk in adolescent girls and young women remains a fundamental challenge for controlling the AIDS epidemic.

On World AIDS Day 2014, a new initiative was launched by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nike Foundation (now spun off to Girl Effect). With an accumulated $500 million in resources and highly ambitious goals, the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe) Partnership aims to address HIV risks for adolescent girls and young women in high-burden “hot spots” in 10 countries in southern and eastern Africa.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS, HIV/AIDS

[collapse]
Addressing HIV Risk in Adolescent Girls and Young Women (2015 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katherine Peck
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
April 2015

[captionpix imgsrc="https://janetfleischman.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Cover-addressing-hiv-risk.jpg" width="85" height="126" align="left"]

The data are stark and incontrovertible: In eastern and southern Africa, girls account for 80 percent of all new HIV infections among adolescents, and HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for girls aged 15-19. With 7,000 girls and young women aged 15-24 infected every week, the goal of an AIDS-free generation cannot be achieved without a dramatic new approach to this population. After years of neglect, a global convergence is emerging around the urgency of going beyond biomedical interventions to address the social and economic factors driving HIV risk for adolescent girls and young women. Whether this new attention can catalyze reductions in new HIV infections represents a fundamental challenge for controlling the AIDS epidemic.

In a major shift, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) launched a new initiative on World AIDS Day in December 2014, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nike Foundation, to significantly reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women. With $210 million and highly ambitious goals, the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe) Partnership aims to address HIV risks for adolescent girls and young women in high-burden "hot spots" in 10 countries in eastern and southern Africa by identifying where these young women are being infected, what is putting them at risk, and how to target programs accordingly. The partnership's goal is to reduce incidence in high-burden areas by 25 percent in two years, and by 40 percent in three years. Whether these targets are attainable or simply aspirational remains to be seen, but they represent a determined effort to do things differently.

DREAMS and other international partnerships focused on HIV in adolescent girls and young women represent an ambitious effort to go beyond biomedical interventions to address the social and economic factors that put this population at risk of infection. It remains to be seen, however, if these initiatives can demonstrate impact in a short timeframe, and build toward sustainable programs. This is a critical moment to transform a growing global interest in women and girls in a range of sectors into effective HIV programing, and to highlight the results at the July 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.

Download the report here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), funders, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
An Emergency that Requires Taking Risk (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
April 21, 2015

“The very progress we’ve made in HIV/AIDS over the last 20 years is at risk right now because of our lack of engagement with young women.” That was the stark message delivered by Ambassador Deborah Birx, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, at a dynamic, high-level panel at CSIS on April 17, which also featured Ambassador Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Geeta Rao Gupta, deputy executive director of UNICEF; and Judith Bruce, senior associate and policy analyst at the Population Council. Ambassador Dybul echoed the urgency of new initiatives working to address this population: “This opportunity is one we just can’t miss.”

At the event, CSIS released a new report, Addressing HIV Risk in Adolescent Girls and Young Women. The report examines how adolescent girls and young women have become a priority focus in the fight against global HIV/AIDS, the approaches that have proven effective, and the gaps and challenges that remain. In particular, the report highlights the new DREAMS Partnership, launched by PEPFAR in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nike Foundation, to significantly reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women. With $210 million and highly ambitious goals, the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe) Partnership aims to address HIV risks for adolescent girls and young women in high-burden “hot spots” in 10 countries throughout eastern and southern Africa. The partnership’s goal is to reduce HIV incidence in this population by 25 percent in two years, and by 40 percent in three years. Whether these targets are attainable or simply aspirational remains to be seen, but they represent a determined effort to do things differently.

The panel discussed new ways to increase the empowerment, security, and agency of adolescent girls and young women, including looking at the impact of gender-based violence, cash transfers/incentives, education for girls, safe spaces for girls, and reproductive health/family planning. Although little research has evaluated the combined impact of putting all these interventions together, the panelists agreed that this is the moment to move forward in pursuit of a multisectoral approach. The panelists also expressed the hope that new funding would continue to emerge from multilateral institutions, government partners, and the private sector.  These different funders can leverage each other’s investments.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), funders, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]

[collapse]
Ebola

U.S. Ebola Response: Strategies for Women and Girls (2014 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
November 4, 2014

Many of us remember the HIV/AIDS prevention mantra “ABC” – Abstinence, Be faithful, use Condoms – but I recently heard a new “ABC” message emanating from the Ebola crisis: Avoid Body Contact, a chilling message for the epidemic ravaging West Africa.

While prevention messages are critical, a lesson from the struggle against HIV/AIDS is that women’s and girls’ risk of infection is compounded by gender disparities and inequalities, and many U.S. programs lost precious time before realizing that A, B, and C were often not within a woman’s or girl’s power to control. Similar concerns might apply to the Ebola crisis. As the United States mounts its emergency assistance to combat Ebola, these lessons should be applied from the start; targeted strategies to address the realities and vulnerabilities that women and girls face are key to an effective and sustainable response.

To read the full blog post, click here.

Topics: Ebola, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]

[collapse]
Economic Development

An Improbable Success: The Ouagadougou Partnership’s Advances in Family Planning Across Francophone West Africa (2020 report)

Janet Fleischman
Commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. In 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was virtually unimaginable at the outset, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was perceived to be taboo. Now, almost a decade later, the partnership’s impact and lessons for other regions warrant both celebration and reflection.

The nine Francophone countries of the subregion (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) united around an ambitious regional goalto reach one million additional voluntary users of modern family planning methods by 2015, and 2.2 million more by 2020. The results have been impressive, especially given the low starting point of approximately 2.7 million users: by 2019, over 3.1 million additional voluntary users have been reached, Francophone West Africa has one of the fastest increases in modern contraceptive rates among developing regions, and family planning funding from the core donors has more than doubled. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners.

The story of this partnership reflects a unique historical convergence: a group of bilateral and philanthropic donors willing to commit to the subregion, country-level champions from government and civil society, supported by implementing partners, prepared to advance family planning for health and development reasons, and a shared interest in doing business differently to address egregious gaps in women’s health and stalled indicators on family planning. By banding together, fueled by a shared commitment to achieving a regional goal, “friendly” competition among the countries, and grounded in data and evidence, the nine relatively small countries capitalized on their commonalities and made the region a more important geographic space and population size.

Janet was commissioned in 2019 by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to write this report documenting the history of the Ouagadougou Partnership. She completed her research in January 2020, before the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Francophone West Africa (in Senegal and Burkina Faso) in March 2020. Accordingly, this report does not address the impact of COVID-19 in Francophone West Africa or the challenges it presents to the Ouagadougou Partnership’s activities.

Click here to read the full report.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Burkina Faso, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
An Improbable Success in a Troubled Region (2020 article)

Janet Fleischman, consultant on a project for the Ouagadougou Partnership
Marie Ba, Director of Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit (OPCU)

Council on Foreign Relations, Think Global Health

March 18, 2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. At a time of increased extremism and insecurity in West Africa, the remarkable story of a partnership to advance women’s health and empowerment through family planning is worthy of global attention. By tackling such challenges, the partnership provides hope for women, girls, and their communities in a troubled region, with lessons for other parts of the world.

The story began in 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of landlocked Burkina Faso, when representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was unimaginable at its outset almost a decade ago, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was still perceived to be taboo. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners, with a special emphasis on engaging young people.

Click here to read the full article.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Economic and Development Goals (2015 book chapter)

Janet Fleischman
The Mother & Child Project, compiled by Hope Through Healing Hands
March 31, 2015

[captionpix imgsrc="https://janetfleischman.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Mother-and-Child-Project-Cover.jpeg" width="59" height="88" align="left"]

For decades, the United States has been the global leader in supporting voluntary family planning services around the world. The benefits of family planning are numerous, not only for women's health, but also for increasing child survival, nutrition, education, and economic development, as well as preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

This chapter, published in The Mother & Child Project, was adapted from Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Health and Development Goals, written by Janet and Alisha Kramer. 

You can order the book from Amazon.com here. Or, download the paper from which the chapter was adapted here.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Why It's Time to Put Women's Issues at the Center of Foreign Policy (2014 article)

Janet Fleischman
Global Public Square, CNN
May 14, 2014

The international outrage over Boko Haram’s abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls has escalated since the story first hit the news; mothers in Nigeria took action and celebrities from Angelina Jolie all the way to First Lady Michelle Obama have made their voices heard. With mainstream attention finally focused on why the education, health, and empowerment of women and girls matters to Americans, it is time for the Obama administration to re-enforce its commitment to these issues and elevate them as central to U.S. foreign policy.

Click here to read the article

Topics: Economic development, education, gender-based violence, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
New CSIS Report and Video: Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Family Planning and Development Goals (2014 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
April 23, 2014

“Investing in family planning is investing in the future.” These words from Ethiopian health official, Dr. Tewodros Bekele, summarize key findings of a new CSIS video and report about family planning in Ethiopia. 

The CSIS video is designed to bring the voices of Ethiopian women and girls as well as champions of family planning into the U.S. policy discussion. Through the voices of rural women, health extension workers, and an Orthodox priest, along with an official of the Ministry of Health and the First Lady, the video vividly highlights the importance of family planning as a core component of Ethiopia’s development.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Health and Development Goals (2014 report)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
April 2014

In 2014, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center led a delegation to Ethiopia to examine the progress made and remaining challenges for expanding access to and demand for family planning services. Congressional staff from the offices of Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA), and Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) participated. Jennifer Dyer, executive director of Hope Through Healing Hands, and Tom Walsh, senior program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also participated.

Based on the trip, this report outlines Ethiopia’s health extension program and how health extension workers are providing family planning education and services. The report also gives policy recommendations for future U.S. engagement on issues of family planning in Ethiopia, as well as lessons learned that can be applied in other countries.

Download PDF of the report.

Click here to read a blog post about the report.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Why Family Planning is Central to Development (2013 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
November 13, 2013

Billboards in Ethiopia’s capital announce the 2013 International Conference on Family Planning from November 12-15, under the theme “Full Access, Full Choice.” The conference participants from around the world should draw lessons from Ethiopia’s own experience that family planning is central to broader women’s health and development, contributing to the empowerment of women and girls and more stable and prosperous families. Secretary of State John Kerry’s video message to the conference offers a unique opportunity for the United States to strategically reposition family planning as key to sustainable development, and to re-double U.S. commitment to national family planning programs.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy (2010 report)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
November 2010

Global health, development, and gender are now understood to be dynamic and interlinked components of U.S. foreign policy. Given the emerging policy and programmatic debates on how these three domains are to be integrated to bring the greatest returns, especially in improving the health and welfare of women and girls, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center hosted a conference, entitled "Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy" on June 11, 2010. 

This report provides background on the programs represented at the conference, summaries of the speakers' presentations, and U.S. policy options that emerged from the conference. It is intended to help inform the discussion surrounding the implementation of GHI and PEPFAR II and to emphasize the importance of fully utilizing the opportunities to reach women and girls by addressing the health and development challenges that contribute to their risk of HIV.

Click here to read the report

Topics: Economic development, education, family planning-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, PEPFAR, South Africa, U.S. policy, women's empowerment, Zambia

[collapse]
Gender, AIDS and Development in Southern Africa (2009 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
September 18, 2009

I’m heading to South Africa and Zambia to look at innovative programs that link gender, AIDS, and development. While PEPFAR is not designed to fund development programs, there is a growing recognition that U.S. HIV/AIDS funding must link with the broader development agenda. Given the high HIV infection rates among women and girls in southern Africa, I am going to investigate how HIV/AIDS funding can be linked to aspects of the development agenda to address the structural, societal factors that shape women and girls’ risk of HIV infection and complicate their situations once infected. Key linkages with the development arena include family planning and reproductive health as an essential component of HIV/AIDS services, and education for girls and economic empowerment for women as HIV prevention strategies.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Economic development, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]
Maximizing HIV Prevention: Building the Case for Social and Economic Vaccines (2008 report)

Janet Fleischman
CARE
July 2008

The XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City sheds a global spotlight on both the progress in combating HIV and AIDS and the failure of our current prevention efforts to stem the epidemic. Despite increased funding for and access to HIV and AIDS treatment around the world, the imperative to vastly increase HIV prevention remains urgent: for every two people put on treatment, five more are newly infected. In the absence of a medical vaccine, the course of the epidemic will depend on how the global community rises to the challenge of prevention.

CARE’s global work on HIV and AIDS in over 40 countries demonstrates that making a real difference in the AIDS epidemic requires more comprehensive, multisectoral approaches to prevention that address the broader context and the factors that are fueling the epidemic. We need strategies that link HIV prevention with development approaches that attack the underlying causes of vulnerability to HIV – such as economic and food security, community empowerment, reproductive health and education – that can build economic and social “vaccines.” A comprehensive approach of this nature means going beyond traditional prevention programming focusing on individual behavior change to also address the social, economic and cultural factors that shape people’s risk of contracting HIV and impede their access to prevention programs.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Economic development, HIV/AIDS, prevention

[collapse]

[collapse]
Education

An Improbable Success: The Ouagadougou Partnership’s Advances in Family Planning Across Francophone West Africa (2020 report)

Janet Fleischman
Commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. In 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was virtually unimaginable at the outset, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was perceived to be taboo. Now, almost a decade later, the partnership’s impact and lessons for other regions warrant both celebration and reflection.

The nine Francophone countries of the subregion (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) united around an ambitious regional goalto reach one million additional voluntary users of modern family planning methods by 2015, and 2.2 million more by 2020. The results have been impressive, especially given the low starting point of approximately 2.7 million users: by 2019, over 3.1 million additional voluntary users have been reached, Francophone West Africa has one of the fastest increases in modern contraceptive rates among developing regions, and family planning funding from the core donors has more than doubled. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners.

The story of this partnership reflects a unique historical convergence: a group of bilateral and philanthropic donors willing to commit to the subregion, country-level champions from government and civil society, supported by implementing partners, prepared to advance family planning for health and development reasons, and a shared interest in doing business differently to address egregious gaps in women’s health and stalled indicators on family planning. By banding together, fueled by a shared commitment to achieving a regional goal, “friendly” competition among the countries, and grounded in data and evidence, the nine relatively small countries capitalized on their commonalities and made the region a more important geographic space and population size.

Janet was commissioned in 2019 by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to write this report documenting the history of the Ouagadougou Partnership. She completed her research in January 2020, before the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Francophone West Africa (in Senegal and Burkina Faso) in March 2020. Accordingly, this report does not address the impact of COVID-19 in Francophone West Africa or the challenges it presents to the Ouagadougou Partnership’s activities.

Click here to read the full report.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Burkina Faso, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
An Improbable Success in a Troubled Region (2020 article)

Janet Fleischman, consultant on a project for the Ouagadougou Partnership
Marie Ba, Director of Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit (OPCU)

Council on Foreign Relations, Think Global Health

March 18, 2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. At a time of increased extremism and insecurity in West Africa, the remarkable story of a partnership to advance women’s health and empowerment through family planning is worthy of global attention. By tackling such challenges, the partnership provides hope for women, girls, and their communities in a troubled region, with lessons for other parts of the world.

The story began in 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of landlocked Burkina Faso, when representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was unimaginable at its outset almost a decade ago, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was still perceived to be taboo. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners, with a special emphasis on engaging young people.

Click here to read the full article.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Obama's Kenya Trip Should Elevate Focus on Women and Girls (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
June 18, 2015

Debate about President Obama’s legacy will shift to Africa in late July, when he travels to Kenya on his fourth and likely final presidential trip to the continent. The trip is expected to focus on supporting economic entrepreneurship and combatting terrorism, which, along with increasing Africa’s energy capacity and food security, have been central to his Africa policy. In my latest blog, I write that this agenda misses a necessary component for progress on the continent; the President could cement a lasting legacy by explicitly linking U.S. Africa policy to the health and empowerment of women and girls, arguably the continent’s most dynamic and underdeveloped resource and an indispensable component of any successful economic and security program.

This piece is based on Janet's recent trip to Malawi and Kenya as part of a CARE learning tour that focused on the importance of U.S. investments in women and girls. The delegation included five members of Congress and senior administration officials.

You can read the full blog post here.

Topics: Education, family planning, gender-based violence, Kenya, Malawi, maternal-child healthreproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Why It's Time to Put Women's Issues at the Center of Foreign Policy (2014 article)

Janet Fleischman
Global Public Square, CNN
May 14, 2014

The international outrage over Boko Haram’s abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls has escalated since the story first hit the news; mothers in Nigeria took action and celebrities from Angelina Jolie all the way to First Lady Michelle Obama have made their voices heard. With mainstream attention finally focused on why the education, health, and empowerment of women and girls matters to Americans, it is time for the Obama administration to re-enforce its commitment to these issues and elevate them as central to U.S. foreign policy.

Click here to read the article

Topics: Economic development, education, gender-based violence, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy (2010 report)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
November 2010

Global health, development, and gender are now understood to be dynamic and interlinked components of U.S. foreign policy. Given the emerging policy and programmatic debates on how these three domains are to be integrated to bring the greatest returns, especially in improving the health and welfare of women and girls, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center hosted a conference, entitled "Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy" on June 11, 2010. 

This report provides background on the programs represented at the conference, summaries of the speakers' presentations, and U.S. policy options that emerged from the conference. It is intended to help inform the discussion surrounding the implementation of GHI and PEPFAR II and to emphasize the importance of fully utilizing the opportunities to reach women and girls by addressing the health and development challenges that contribute to their risk of HIV.

Click here to read the report

Topics: Economic development, education, family planning-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, PEPFAR, South Africa, U.S. policy, women's empowerment, Zambia

[collapse]
The Linkages between Education and HIV/AIDS in Girls' Education (2009 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
October 6, 2009

Girls’ education has long been recognized as a critical tool in the fight against HIV/AIDS, in the empowerment of women and girls, and in enhancing the health and welfare of families and communities. In a severely AIDS-affected country like Zambia, education and HIV/AIDS are inseparable: the epidemic is causing many girls in poor communities to lose access to education, often compelling them to withdraw from school to look after sick parents or to care for their siblings, or the absenteeism resulting from their care-giving duties leaves them unable to keep up at school. Even those who stay in school face risks related to sexual abuse by teachers themselves or by older men who offer them money in exchange for sex, sometimes as a way to pay for school fees.

Click here to link to the full blog post

Topics: Education, HIV/AIDS, Zambia

[collapse]
School-Based Outreach in KwaZulu Natal (2009 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
September 22, 2009

The province of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa is the hardest hit with HIV, with HIV prevalence rates at antenatal clinics estimated to be over 40 percent - about twice as high as the national prevalence. When combined with high rates of teenage pregnancy – about one-third of 18 and 19 year olds have already given birth - it is critical to address the social and economic factors that are contributing to this alarming situation. Data collected by the New York-based Population Council have shown that factors such as poverty, orphanhood, and social isolation can influence sexual behaviors, and therefore HIV risk.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Education, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]
Educate Girls: Fight AIDS (2005 report)

Janet Fleischman
The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (UNAIDS)
August 2005

Growing evidence shows that getting and keeping young people in school, particularly girls, dramatically lowers their vulnerability to HIV. By itself, merely attending primary school makes young people significantly less likely to contract HIV. When young people stay in school through the secondary level, education’s protective effect against HIV is even more pronounced. This is especially true for girls who, with each additional year of education, gain greater independence, are better equipped to make decisions affecting their sexual lives, and have higher income earning potential – all of which help them stay safe from HIV. Higher education levels are also clearly correlated with delayed sexual debut, greater HIV awareness and knowledge about HIV testing sites, fewer sexual partners, higher rates of condom use, and greater communication about HIV prevention between partners – all factors that substantially lower HIV risk.

By providing young women with greater economic options and autonomy, education also affords them the knowledge, skills, and opportunities they need to make informed choices about how to delay marriage and childbearing; have healthier babies; avoid commercial sex and other risky behaviors; and gain awareness of their rights.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Education, HIV/AIDS, prevention

[collapse]
Beyond 'ABC': Helping Women Fight AIDS (2004 article)

Janet Fleischman
The Washington Post
June 29, 2004

"Access for All," the theme of next month's International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, sets an appropriately high standard for the world's response to the pandemic. Unfortunately, all too many prevention and treatment programs fail to address the needs of most of those living with the virus, especially in Africa: women and girls. It's time to design programs targeted to the risks that women and girls face in a world of AIDS.

Most prevention messages, and certainly those favored by the Bush administration, focus on the "ABC" approach to fighting HIV-AIDS: abstinence, be faithful, and use condoms. While important messages, these things are often not within women's power to control. It is urgent that we develop a "DEF" approach that responds to needs repeatedly expressed by women living with HIV-AIDS and by AIDS activists in Africa.

Click here to read the article

Topics: Education, HIV-AIDS, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Suffering In Silence: The Links between Human Rights Abuses and HIV Transmission to Girls in Zambia (2002 report)

Janet Fleischman, based on research by Janet Fleischman and Joanne Csete
Human Rights Watch
November 2002

The catastrophe of HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome) in Africa, which has already claimed over 18 million lives on that continent, has hit girls and women harder than boys and men. In many countries of eastern and southern Africa, HIV prevalence among girls under age eighteen is four to seven times higher than among boys the same age, an unusual disparity that means a lower average age of death from AIDS, as well as more deaths overall, among women than men.

Abuses of the human rights of girls, especially sexual violence and other sexual abuse, contribute directly to this disparity in infection and mortality. In Zambia, as in other countries in the region, tens of thousands of girls—many orphaned by AIDS or otherwise without parental care—suffer in silence as the government fails to provide basic protections from sexual assault that would lessen their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.

Through girls’ own testimonies, this report shows sexual assault of girls in Zambia in the era of HIV/AIDS to be widespread and complex. It documents several categories of abuse that heighten girls’ risk of HIV infection, including (1) sexual assault of girls by family members, particularly the shocking and all too common practice of abuse of orphan girls by men who are their guardians, or by others who are charged to assist or look after them, including teachers, (2) abuse of girls, again often orphans, who are heads of household or otherwise desperately poor and have few options other than trading sex for their and their siblings’ survival, and (3) abuse of girls who live on the street, of whom many are there because they are without parental care. All of these situations of abuse must be addressed as part of combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zambia.

Click here to read the full report

Topics: Education, gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, Zambia

[collapse]

[collapse]
Ethiopia

Janet interviews Tom Malinowski on Ethiopia and the US role in human rights (2017 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Cathryn Streifel, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
February 24, 2017

Tom Malinowski, former assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, discusses the complicated human rights dialogue between the U.S. and Ethiopia, and reflects on his tenure at the State Department. He also provides his thoughts on human rights under the Trump administration.vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud.

Topics: Ethiopia, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Imperiling Progress: How Ethiopia’s Response to Political Unrest Could Undermine Its Health Gains (2016 article)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
November 2016

With each passing week, the political unrest and repression in Ethiopia is attracting new levels of global attention: from Feyisa Lilesa’s protest sign at the Rio Olympics in August, to recent clashes in Oromia where hundreds of protesters were killed by security forces and hundreds more jailed, and now the government’s declaration of a sweeping state of emergency for the next six months.

There is little doubt that the inherent contradictions of Ethiopian rule—tight restrictions on human rights and governance while pursuing pro-poor policies—now threaten to derail its notable but fragile progress in women’s and children’s health. The current crisis also exposes the shortcomings of U.S. policy in Ethiopia; while providing substantial funding for health and development and maintaining close security ties, U.S. reluctance to hold its longtime ally accountable for its repressive tactics could put these investments at risk.

Click here to read the full article. 

Topics: Ethiopia, family planning, maternal-child health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Economic and Development Goals (2015 book chapter)

Janet Fleischman
The Mother & Child Project, compiled by Hope Through Healing Hands
March 31, 2015

[captionpix imgsrc="https://janetfleischman.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Mother-and-Child-Project-Cover.jpeg" width="59" height="88" align="left"]

For decades, the United States has been the global leader in supporting voluntary family planning services around the world. The benefits of family planning are numerous, not only for women's health, but also for increasing child survival, nutrition, education, and economic development, as well as preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

This chapter, published in The Mother & Child Project, was adapted from Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Health and Development Goals, written by Janet and Alisha Kramer. 

You can order the book from Amazon.com here. Or, download the paper from which the chapter was adapted here.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Family Planning in Ethiopia: The Health Extension Program (2014 video)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
April 2014

The CSIS Global Health Policy Center produced this video, following a bipartisan congressional staff delegation to Ethiopia in February 2014. The video is designed to bring the voices of Ethiopian women and girls, as well as champions of family planning, into the U.S. policy discussion. Through the voices of rural women at health posts, health extension workers, and an Orthodox priest, along with an official of the Ministry of Health and the First Lady, the video vividly highlights the importance of family planning as a core component of Ethiopia's development.

Click here to see the video. 

Topics: Ethiopia, faith-based organizations, family planning, maternal-child healthreproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
New CSIS Report and Video: Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Family Planning and Development Goals (2014 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
April 23, 2014

“Investing in family planning is investing in the future.” These words from Ethiopian health official, Dr. Tewodros Bekele, summarize key findings of a new CSIS video and report about family planning in Ethiopia. 

The CSIS video is designed to bring the voices of Ethiopian women and girls as well as champions of family planning into the U.S. policy discussion. Through the voices of rural women, health extension workers, and an Orthodox priest, along with an official of the Ministry of Health and the First Lady, the video vividly highlights the importance of family planning as a core component of Ethiopia’s development.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Health and Development Goals (2014 report)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
April 2014

In 2014, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center led a delegation to Ethiopia to examine the progress made and remaining challenges for expanding access to and demand for family planning services. Congressional staff from the offices of Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA), and Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) participated. Jennifer Dyer, executive director of Hope Through Healing Hands, and Tom Walsh, senior program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also participated.

Based on the trip, this report outlines Ethiopia’s health extension program and how health extension workers are providing family planning education and services. The report also gives policy recommendations for future U.S. engagement on issues of family planning in Ethiopia, as well as lessons learned that can be applied in other countries.

Download PDF of the report.

Click here to read a blog post about the report.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Why Family Planning is Central to Development (2013 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
November 13, 2013

Billboards in Ethiopia’s capital announce the 2013 International Conference on Family Planning from November 12-15, under the theme “Full Access, Full Choice.” The conference participants from around the world should draw lessons from Ethiopia’s own experience that family planning is central to broader women’s health and development, contributing to the empowerment of women and girls and more stable and prosperous families. Secretary of State John Kerry’s video message to the conference offers a unique opportunity for the United States to strategically reposition family planning as key to sustainable development, and to re-double U.S. commitment to national family planning programs.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]

[collapse]
Faith-Based Organizations

Accelerating the Momentum: U.S. Support for Women's and Family Health in Senegal (2016 report)

Janet Fleischman and Cathryn Streifel
CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
April 2016

Senegal is a key country for U.S. investments in women’s and children’s health, demonstrating the impact of support for strong national leadership and targeted U.S. health resources. The U.S.-Senegal partnership has led to significant health gains, notably rises in immunization and contraceptive prevalence rates. However, that progress is still fragile and significant challenges remain, including high maternal mortality, weak health systems, and reaching young people. This is a critical time for the United States to support Senegal in accelerating its momentum and assuming greater control of its health financing and implementation. Success is not only essential to advance women’s and children’s health in Senegal, but also holds important lessons about how U.S. engagement can have a measurable and sustainable impact on women’s and children’s health in other priority countries.

To understand the lessons from Senegal’s recent experience, a delegation from the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health visited Senegal in February 2016. The delegation focused on the following overarching questions:

1) How have U.S. investments in women’s and family health—through bilateral health programs and engagement in multilateral health partnerships—supported Senegal’s progress in family planning and maternal and child health?

2) What has been the impact of integrating family planning with other maternal and child health services at the facility and community levels?

3) What has been the role of the private sector and public-private partnerships in developing innovative approaches to address Senegal’s persistent health challenges?

4) What are the prospects for family planning and maternal and child health programs in Senegal to transition to sustainable financing?

The report examines the U.S. partnership with Senegal to advance women’s and family health, and finds that the United States can play an important role in furthering Senegal’s capacity to sustain its health gains, build its investment case for international financing, and navigate the complex challenges ahead. To consolidate gains, the report argues that the United States should elevate attention and resources for integrated services to improve access to family planning and child health services. In addition, the report highlights the ongoing challenge of maternal mortality, which will require U.S. support to go beyond program-specific funding in order to accelerate efforts to strengthen health systems and human resources for health. Finally, the report calls for the United States to assist Senegal as it develops plans for a gradual, phased transition away from external support to more sustainable financing of health programs through the government of Senegal, the private sector, and new international financing mechanisms.

The members of the delegation were Julie Becker, senior vice president, Rabin Martin; Janet Fleischman, senior associate, CSIS Global Health Policy Center; Renee Gamela, senior adviser and communications director, Office of U.S. Representative Richard Hanna; Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of global health & HIV policy, Kaiser Family Foundation; and Cathryn Streifel, program manager and research associate, CSIS Global Health Policy Center. 

You can find the full report here, and you can link to the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planningFrancophone West Africa, maternal-child health, reproductive healthSenegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
The Nexus of Faith and Health (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
July 24, 2015

The contribution of faith-based organizations (FBOs) to health services and in reaching poor communities around the world has long been the subject of debate among public health experts and policymakers. To explore the nexus between faith and health, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center convened two recent events. The first focused on faith-based organizations and family planning in Kenya, and the second, timed for the release of the new Lancet series on faith-based health care, examined the contributions of faith organizations to global health efforts, and implications for U.S. policy. Both events identified unique strengths and challenges associated with faith-based health programs, as well as opportunities for greater dialogue and collaboration among governments, donors, and faith-based health providers to reach health goals. 

You can read the full blog post here.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planningKenya, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
A Woman in Guédiawaye: Family Planning for Health and Development in Senegal (2015 video)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
April 2015

Anta Ba is a 26-year-old woman living in Guédiawaye, a poor urban area of Senegal’s capital, Dakar. In a new CSIS video, Anta explains why she decided to access family planning, despite her husband’s opposition, and why these services matter for her own life and for women’s health and empowerment in Senegal. Through her story, and through the voices of other champions of family planning in Senegal—government and NGO health workers, an imam, and the Minister of Health—the video illustrates new approaches to expanding access to family planning as well as the challenges ahead.

The video was released at a vibrant CSIS event on April 27 called Partnerships for Family Planning: Lessons for U.S. Policy which featured the minister of health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck. In her keynote address, Dr. Coll Seck passionately articulated her commitment to family planning for the health and development of her country and the francophone West African subregion. In this post, I provide highlights of the event and Dr. Coll Seck’s remarks.

Click here to see the video about family planning in Senegal. You can watch the CSIS program Partnerships for Family Planning: Lessons for U.S. Policy in two parts, here and here. This blog post provides an overview of both the video and the CSIS program.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planning, Francophone West Africa, maternal-child healthreproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Video and Event Shine Spotlight on Family Planning in Senegal (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
April 30, 2015

Anta Ba is a 26-year-old woman living in Guédiawaye, a poor urban area of Senegal’s capital, Dakar.  In a new CSIS video, Anta explains why she decided to access family planning, despite her husband’s opposition, and why these services matter for her own life and for women’s health and empowerment in Senegal. Through her story, and through the voices of other champions of family planning in Senegal—government and NGO health workers, an imam, and the Minister of Health—the video illustrates new approaches to expanding access to family planning as well as the challenges ahead.

The video was released at a vibrant CSIS event on April 27 called “Partnerships to Advance Family Planning in Senegal: Lessons for U.S. Policy,” which featured the minister of health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck. In her keynote address, Dr. Coll Seck passionately articulated her commitment to family planning for the health and development of her country and the Francophone West African subregion: “You can understand my enthusiasm in defending such a cause considering my activism in women’s rights. And my role as a mother, because I am also a mother, and grandmother; and as a medical doctor. But also after listening to people, men and women, in my own country but also in many corners in Africa…. This is not a story of Senegal alone, it’s a story of all Africa but at least let us do something clear for the West African countries.”

Two panels focused on implementation and funding for family planning in Senegal and the subregion. The first panel – with Dr. Bocar Mamadou Daff from Senegal’s Ministry of Health, Pape Gaye from IntraHealth, and Maaike Van Min from Marie Stopes International – delved into the new approaches to advance access to family planning and the importance of the leadership and coordination by the Ministry of Health. Valuable lessons are emerging from Senegal’s experience, including the Informed Push Model to eliminate stock-outs of contraceptives, integration of family planning with immunizations, mobile clinics to reach vulnerable women, and engagement with religious communities and civil society. Yet all the panelists agreed that clear challenges remain for continued progress, such as addressing the reproductive health needs of young people, expanding the engagement of religious leaders, building a multisectoral response, and attracting private sector support for greater sustainability.

The donor perspectives on funding were the subject of the second panel, which included Katie Taylor from USAID, Nomi Fuchs-Montgomery from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Fatimata Sy from the Ouagadougou Partnership. They all emphasized the importance of building on public-private partnerships and attracting new donors for family planning in Senegal and for the subregion, as well as the critical role of country-led, costed plans and political will to ensure progress. Taylor noted that since USAID’s primary health goal is to end preventable maternal and child deaths, family planning has to be a critical intervention, and that Senegal’s progress demonstrates why these investments are so effective. Fuchs-Montgomery underscored the foundation’s approach to ensuring that their investments in Senegal and Niger are leveraged by other donors, with the aim of improving women’s health and accelerating a regional demographic transition. To accomplish this, she emphasized, will require leadership, partnerships, and perseverance. Speaking from a regional perspective, Sy noted the importance of donors aligning with countries’ national plans, and expressed her concern that despite costed plans, significant funding gaps remain.  Fragile progress will require continued outside funding, Sy added.

You can read the full blog post here. watch Partnerships for Family Planning: Lessons for U.S. Policy in two parts, here and here.

Topics: Family planning, Francophone West Africa, maternal-child healthreproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Strategic Partnerships to Advance Family Planning: Lessons from Senegal (2014 report)

Janet Fleischman and Cathryn Streifel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
December 2014

The Senegalese minister of health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, used a familiar term with us to express her commitment to expanding access to family planning—“yes we can.” That is a bold proposition in such a conservative country, in a region with some of the world’s highest maternal mortality and unmet need for family planning. Her leadership reflects an important moment in Senegal, and prospects for advancing women’s health and family planning in the subregion may depend on its success.

This country leadership has led to strategic partnerships between Senegal and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, among others. The goal is to “reposition” family planning in Senegal and in the francophone West African subregion. Senegal is a main focus of these efforts, since it is seen as the regional hub and is one of the most stable democracies in Africa. Given the current attention to family planning in Senegal, we wanted to see for ourselves what opportunities and challenges are presented by these partnerships, especially related to U.S. policy, and what it will take to build the domestic political support and accountability to ensure further progress.

As Senegal has launched a national family planning strategy and doubled its budget for contraceptives, the donors’ support has encouraged innovative approaches. Early results have been promising—Senegal’s contraceptive prevalence rate among married women increased from 12 to 16 percent (2012 to 2013), after years of stagnation, and new data will be available soon that are expected to show a similar increase for 2013–2014. 

Download a PDF of the report.

Click here to read a blog post about the report.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planning, Francophone West Africa, Senegal, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Partnerships to Advance Family Planning: Lessons from Senegal (2014 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Cathryn Streifel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
December 16, 2014

In a recent interview with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center in Dakar, the Senegalese Minister of Health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, used a familiar term to express her commitment to expanding access to family planning—“yes we can.” That is a bold proposition in such a conservative country, in a region with some of the world’s highest maternal mortality and unmet need for family planning. Her leadership reflects an important moment in Senegal. Participants at this week’s annual meeting of the Ouagadougou Partnership should examine lessons from Senegal as they work to advance women’s health and family planning in the subregion.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Click here to read the Global Health Policy Center's report on this topic.

Topics: Faith-based organizationsfamily planning, Francophone West Africa, reproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Family Planning in Ethiopia: The Health Extension Program (2014 video)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
April 2014

The CSIS Global Health Policy Center produced this video, following a bipartisan congressional staff delegation to Ethiopia in February 2014. The video is designed to bring the voices of Ethiopian women and girls, as well as champions of family planning, into the U.S. policy discussion. Through the voices of rural women at health posts, health extension workers, and an Orthodox priest, along with an official of the Ministry of Health and the First Lady, the video vividly highlights the importance of family planning as a core component of Ethiopia's development.

Click here to see the video. 

Topics: Ethiopia, faith-based organizations, family planning, maternal-child healthreproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]

[collapse]
Family Planning

An Improbable Success: The Ouagadougou Partnership’s Advances in Family Planning Across Francophone West Africa (2020 report)

Janet Fleischman
Commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. In 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was virtually unimaginable at the outset, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was perceived to be taboo. Now, almost a decade later, the partnership’s impact and lessons for other regions warrant both celebration and reflection.

The nine Francophone countries of the subregion (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) united around an ambitious regional goalto reach one million additional voluntary users of modern family planning methods by 2015, and 2.2 million more by 2020. The results have been impressive, especially given the low starting point of approximately 2.7 million users: by 2019, over 3.1 million additional voluntary users have been reached, Francophone West Africa has one of the fastest increases in modern contraceptive rates among developing regions, and family planning funding from the core donors has more than doubled. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners.

The story of this partnership reflects a unique historical convergence: a group of bilateral and philanthropic donors willing to commit to the subregion, country-level champions from government and civil society, supported by implementing partners, prepared to advance family planning for health and development reasons, and a shared interest in doing business differently to address egregious gaps in women’s health and stalled indicators on family planning. By banding together, fueled by a shared commitment to achieving a regional goal, “friendly” competition among the countries, and grounded in data and evidence, the nine relatively small countries capitalized on their commonalities and made the region a more important geographic space and population size.

Janet was commissioned in 2019 by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to write this report documenting the history of the Ouagadougou Partnership. She completed her research in January 2020, before the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Francophone West Africa (in Senegal and Burkina Faso) in March 2020. Accordingly, this report does not address the impact of COVID-19 in Francophone West Africa or the challenges it presents to the Ouagadougou Partnership’s activities.

Click here to read the full report.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Burkina Faso, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
An Improbable Success in a Troubled Region (2020 article)

Janet Fleischman, consultant on a project for the Ouagadougou Partnership
Marie Ba, Director of Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit (OPCU)

Council on Foreign Relations, Think Global Health

March 18, 2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. At a time of increased extremism and insecurity in West Africa, the remarkable story of a partnership to advance women’s health and empowerment through family planning is worthy of global attention. By tackling such challenges, the partnership provides hope for women, girls, and their communities in a troubled region, with lessons for other parts of the world.

The story began in 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of landlocked Burkina Faso, when representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was unimaginable at its outset almost a decade ago, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was still perceived to be taboo. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners, with a special emphasis on engaging young people.

Click here to read the full article.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
How Can We Better Reach Women and Girls in Crises? (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
October 2019

The United States is the world leader in supporting global health and humanitarian response, making it uniquely placed to elevate the critical health and safety needs faced by women and girls in emergencies and fragile settings around the world. While addressing these needs is an important goal on its own, it also forms a pillar of global health security, as the prevention of health crises and conflict, and recovery after they occur, are greatly enhanced when these needs are met.
 
The United States has unrivaled financial and programmatic capacities in maternal health, reproductive health, family planning, and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response. However, it seldom marshals these extensive capacities in emergency settings, where the needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls are most severe. In emergencies around the world—from the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the simmering conflict in Venezuela to the protracted crises in Yemen and Syria—the United States has not channeled its extensive capacities to address glaring operational gaps in these critical areas. The alarmingly high risks of GBV and severely limited access to maternal health, family planning, and reproductive health services are too often overlooked in these and other crisis settings.
 
A categorical shift is required for the United States to prioritize women’s and girls’ health and protection in emergency settings to advance resiliency and health security. There is growing recognition among both practitioners and policymakers that failure to address these gaps significantly worsens the impact and trauma of crises and significantly undermines global health security. Conversely, the engagement of women, girls, and communities in decision-making and program design can help build public trust and confidence, which is sorely lacking in many health security crises around the world.
 

You can download the PDF here. You can also listen to Janet being interviewed about the report on the Smart Women, Smart Power podcast.

Topics: Family planning, gender-based violence, humanitarian response,, maternal-child health, reproductive health, violence against women and children, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Janet interviews Amb. Mark Dybul on why demographic trends matter for global health (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host

Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
September 3, 2019

The population of Africa is expected to double over the next 20 years, which means that many countries are facing either a demographic dividend or potentially a disaster, with critical implications for global health and development. In this episode of Take as Directed, Janet Fleischman sits down with Amb. Mark Dybul, Director of the Center for Global Health and Quality, and Professor in the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, and formerly head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. They discuss why these demographic trends matter and how U.S. programs can better engage young people, especially adolescent girls and young women, to address their needs and support local innovation.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud.

Topics: Demographic trends, family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Demographic Trends and Youth Empowerment in Africa: Opportunities for U.S. Engagement (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
June 2019

Many of the fastest growing populations are in the world’s poorest countries, putting them at a critical threshold: either they will accelerate economic growth and innovation by investing in their burgeoning youth population or the rapid population growth coupled with a shortage of opportunities for young people will undermine advances in health, development, and ultimately security. These demographic trends, most notable in sub-Saharan Africa, are often referred to as a “youth boom” or a “youth bulge.” Given the enormous implications of these demographic shifts, U.S. assistance should promote young people’s health and development, with particular emphasis on empowering young women. Investments in human capital and gender equality would yield enormous benefits in improving health, reducing poverty, and increasing economic and political stability. Given that these goals align so strongly with U.S. national interests, they benefit from strong bipartisan support.

This agenda constitutes an urgent priority. The magnitude of this demographic transition is evident in sub-Saharan Africa; sixty percent of the population is under the age of 25 and is projected to dramatically increase in the coming years due to decreased under-five child mortality and to continued high fertility, which is often driven by early and closely spaced childbearing. In many of these countries, notably in the Sahel region of West Africa, the population may double as soon as 2030—the year the world community pledged to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals—and possibly quadruple by the end of the century. Overall, the population in sub-Saharan Africa could increase from 1 billion to 4 billion before the end of the century.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Demographic trends, family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Accelerating Action to Address Violence Against Women and Children: Key Lessons from the Together for Girls Partnership in Tanzania (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Together for Girls
2019

Violence against children (VAC) and violence against women (VAW) are public health and human rights crises of global proportions, with damaging consequences to the health and well-being of individuals and their communities. Fueled by gender inequality, social norms condoning violence and harmful traditional practices,1 and exacerbated by lack of commitment to take preventive and protective action and weak protection systems, violence against women and children (VAWC) as well as the magnitude, human toll and societal cost of this violence is increasingly acknowledged by the global community.

Together for Girls (TfG) is a partnership among national governments, UN entities and private sector organizations working at the intersection of VAW and VAC, with special attention to ending sexual violence against girls. Now being implemented in more than 22 countries, the TfG model supports governments to conduct a national household Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) and to use the data to mobilize action through policies and programs that embed violence prevention and response across multiple sectors.

In 2009, the Government of Tanzania, with support from TfG partners, most notably UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), undertook the VACS. Tanzania was the first country to implement a full VACS, surveying both girls and boys (ages 13-24) nationally to assess the prevalence of emotional, physical and sexual violence. It was also the first country to introduce a government-led, multi-sector task force to oversee the implementation of the survey and the ensuing violence prevention and response work catalyzed by the data, which led to the establishment of a multi-sectoral, costed National Plan of Action. Ten years after Tanzania’s landmark research, this case study seeks to consolidate learnings from the national experience of implementing the TfG model.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, family planning, gender-based violence, PEPFAR, reproductive health, Tanzania, U.S. policy, violence against women and children

[collapse]
The World's Largest HIV Epidemic in Crisis: HIV In South Africa (2019 article)

Janet Fleischman and Sara M. Allinder
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
April 2, 2019

In some communities of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, 60 percent of women have HIV. Nearly 4,500 South Africans are newly infected every week; one-third are adolescent girls/young women (AGYW) ages 15-24. These are staggering figures, by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, the HIV epidemic is not being treated like a crisis. In February, we traveled to South Africa, to understand what is happening in these areas with “hyper-endemic” HIV epidemics, where prevalence rates exceed 15 percent among adults. We were alarmed by the complacency toward the rate of new infections at all levels and the absence of an emergency response, especially for young people.

This is no time for business as usual from South Africa or its partners, including the U.S. government through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The epidemic is exacerbated by its concentration in 15-49-year-olds, those of reproductive and working age who are the backbone of South Africa. Without aggressive action to reduce the rate of new infections in young people, HIV will continue to take a tremendous toll on the country for years and generations to come. Collective action is needed to push beyond the complacency and internal barriers to implement policies and interventions that directly target HIV prevention and treatment for young people. PEPFAR should ensure its programs support those efforts.

Click here to read the full commentary.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, maternal-child health, South Africa, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Women's Economic Empowerment and Women's Health Services (2018 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
December 2018

Support for women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship around the world is gaining considerable momentum, manifested in recent U.S. and World Bank initiatives. This is an issue of global importance that garners extensive bipartisan support, rooted in data about the benefits for alleviating poverty and advancing economic growth. Yet economic empowerment does not exist in isolation in women’s lives; it is interconnected with and dependent upon access to women’s health services, notably maternal health and family planning, as a fundamental enabling factor. Simply put, women cannot meaningfully participate in the labor force if they are not healthy and able to decide the timing and spacing of their pregnancies. Concerted, bipartisan leadership is necessary to ensure that U.S. support for economic empowerment is intentionally aligned with U.S. investments in women’s global health.

As context for its recommendations, this paper examines the current momentum on women’s economic empowerment and lays out the growing evidence. The report is based on numerous key informant interviews and bipartisan discussions, through the CSIS Women’s Health Policy Forum, that explored the critical connections between women’s economic empowerment—defined to include education, labor force participation, and agency—and their access to family planning and maternal health services as well as HIV services targeted to women and girls.
 

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Janet interviews Margaret Schuler and David Wray on women's health services (2018 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Cathryn Streifel, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
November 30, 2018

Women’s health services, including maternal health and family planning, are critical to enable women and girls to access economic empowerment opportunities. In this episode of Take as Directed, Janet speaks with Margaret Schuler, Senior Vice President of the International Programs Group at World Vision, and David Ray, Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at CARE. The three discuss how the current bipartisan momentum around economic empowerment for women provides an opportunity to strengthen linkages with U.S. investments in women’s global health, how such an approach fits with USAID’s “Journey to Self-Reliance” framework, and the role of women’s groups and faith-based organizations in promoting access to both economic empowerment programs and women’s health services.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud.

Topics: Family planning, maternal-child health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Janet interviews Beth Schlachter on the London Summit on Family Planning (2017 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Cathryn Streifel, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
August 2, 2017

Beth Schlachter, executive director of FP2020, discussed the London Summit on Family Planning that took place in July 2017, at which approximately $2.5 billion in new money was pledged for international family planning. We asked her to reflect on the unique FP2020 partnership, its achievements as well as the challenges it faces in meeting its goals in the world’s 69 lowest income countries. She stressed the importance of continued U.S. leadership in family planning, both in its bilateral assistance and in technical support at the country level, and her concerns about the global impact that would result if the U.S. abandons this role.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud.

Topics: Family planning, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Janet interviews Beth Schlachter on the London Summit on Family Planning (2017 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Cathryn Streifel, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
August 2, 2017

Beth Schlachter, executive director of FP2020, discussed the London Summit on Family Planning that took place in July 2017, at which approximately $2.5 billion in new money was pledged for international family planning. We asked her to reflect on the unique FP2020 partnership, its achievements as well as the challenges it faces in meeting its goals in the world’s 69 lowest income countries. She stressed the importance of continued U.S. leadership in family planning, both in its bilateral assistance and in technical support at the country level, and her concerns about the global impact that would result if the U.S. abandons this role.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud.

Topics: Family planning, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Janet interviews Jen Kates about the Mexico City Policy and its implications for global health (2017 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Cathryn Streifel, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
January 27, 2017

On his first business day in office, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which denies U.S. funding to any foreign NGOs that perform, counsel, or refer about abortion with non-U.S. funds. In past Republican administrations, this policy applied only to U.S. funding for international family planning, but President Trump has expanded it to apply to all global health funding. We asked Jen Kates, Vice President and Director of Global Health & HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, to update us on the new policy and the potential implications for global health programs.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud. 

Topics: Family planning, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Imperiling Progress: How Ethiopia’s Response to Political Unrest Could Undermine Its Health Gains (2016 article)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
November 2016

With each passing week, the political unrest and repression in Ethiopia is attracting new levels of global attention: from Feyisa Lilesa’s protest sign at the Rio Olympics in August, to recent clashes in Oromia where hundreds of protesters were killed by security forces and hundreds more jailed, and now the government’s declaration of a sweeping state of emergency for the next six months.

There is little doubt that the inherent contradictions of Ethiopian rule—tight restrictions on human rights and governance while pursuing pro-poor policies—now threaten to derail its notable but fragile progress in women’s and children’s health. The current crisis also exposes the shortcomings of U.S. policy in Ethiopia; while providing substantial funding for health and development and maintaining close security ties, U.S. reluctance to hold its longtime ally accountable for its repressive tactics could put these investments at risk.

Click here to read the full article. 

Topics: Ethiopia, family planning, maternal-child health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
It’s Time to Listen: Young Women and HIV/AIDS in Zambia (2016 video)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
The CSIS Global Health Policy Center
July 2016

The CSIS Global Health Policy Center produced this video during a visit to Zambia in April 2016. It profiles four young Zambian women who describe the stark realities for adolescent girls and young women that fuel the AIDS epidemic – sexual violence, barriers to education and family planning, and gender inequality. Through their stories and insights, the video illustrates that in order to address the AIDS crisis in Southern Africa, we must understand the risks that young women face and work to engage and empower them.

Click here to watch the video. You can link to the Zambia page of the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Family planningHIV/AIDS, reproductive healthZambia

[collapse]
Public-Private Partnerships for Women's Health in Zambia (2016 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
The CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
July 2016

Zambia is a lower-middle-income country struggling with critical health challenges, including high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality, malnutrition, cervical cancer, and a severe HIV/AIDS epidemic that disproportionately affects adolescent girls and young women. The United States is the largest donor to the health sector in Zambia, largely through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Over the past five years, the U.S. has also helped establish several public-private partnerships (PPPs) aimed at advancing the health of women and families. These PPPs provide lessons about the potential impact of these approaches, the challenges inherent in such partnerships, and the importance of PEPFAR support. With future U.S. global health funding likely to be flat-lined, this is an important moment to assess how partnerships with the private sector can amplify the impact of U.S. investments in women’s and family health.

A delegation from the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health visited Zambia in April 2016 to examine U.S. investments through three partnerships: Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL), Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR), and DREAMS. The delegation sought to understand these partnerships in Zambia within the context of U.S. support for women’s and family health, which represent the core of functional health systems.

Click here to read the report. You can link to the Zambia page of the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Cervical cancer, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, public-private partnerships, reproductive health, Saving Mothers-Giving Life, U.S. policyZambia

[collapse]
Accelerating the Momentum: U.S. Support for Women's and Family Health in Senegal (2016 report)

Janet Fleischman and Cathryn Streifel
CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
April 2016

Senegal is a key country for U.S. investments in women’s and children’s health, demonstrating the impact of support for strong national leadership and targeted U.S. health resources. The U.S.-Senegal partnership has led to significant health gains, notably rises in immunization and contraceptive prevalence rates. However, that progress is still fragile and significant challenges remain, including high maternal mortality, weak health systems, and reaching young people. This is a critical time for the United States to support Senegal in accelerating its momentum and assuming greater control of its health financing and implementation. Success is not only essential to advance women’s and children’s health in Senegal, but also holds important lessons about how U.S. engagement can have a measurable and sustainable impact on women’s and children’s health in other priority countries.

To understand the lessons from Senegal’s recent experience, a delegation from the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health visited Senegal in February 2016. The delegation focused on the following overarching questions:

1) How have U.S. investments in women’s and family health—through bilateral health programs and engagement in multilateral health partnerships—supported Senegal’s progress in family planning and maternal and child health?

2) What has been the impact of integrating family planning with other maternal and child health services at the facility and community levels?

3) What has been the role of the private sector and public-private partnerships in developing innovative approaches to address Senegal’s persistent health challenges?

4) What are the prospects for family planning and maternal and child health programs in Senegal to transition to sustainable financing?

The report examines the U.S. partnership with Senegal to advance women’s and family health, and finds that the United States can play an important role in furthering Senegal’s capacity to sustain its health gains, build its investment case for international financing, and navigate the complex challenges ahead. To consolidate gains, the report argues that the United States should elevate attention and resources for integrated services to improve access to family planning and child health services. In addition, the report highlights the ongoing challenge of maternal mortality, which will require U.S. support to go beyond program-specific funding in order to accelerate efforts to strengthen health systems and human resources for health. Finally, the report calls for the United States to assist Senegal as it develops plans for a gradual, phased transition away from external support to more sustainable financing of health programs through the government of Senegal, the private sector, and new international financing mechanisms.

The members of the delegation were Julie Becker, senior vice president, Rabin Martin; Janet Fleischman, senior associate, CSIS Global Health Policy Center; Renee Gamela, senior adviser and communications director, Office of U.S. Representative Richard Hanna; Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of global health & HIV policy, Kaiser Family Foundation; and Cathryn Streifel, program manager and research associate, CSIS Global Health Policy Center. 

You can find the full report here, and you can link to the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planningFrancophone West Africa, maternal-child health, reproductive healthSenegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Family Planning and Women's Health in Kenya (2015 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katherine Peck
CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
December 2015

Voluntary family planning is one of the most transformative interventions in global health, critical to improving women’s health and to saving the lives of women and children in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Beyond the direct health benefits, family planning is essential for women’s empowerment and sustainable development, contributing to improvements in education, economic growth, and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. As the global leader in supporting family planning, the United States has a vital role to play in helping countries improve the lives of women and families.

To understand the impact of U.S. investments, this report examines U.S. support for family planning in Kenya at a pivotal moment for these issues globally. As a regional leader in family planning and a priority country for U.S. family planning and maternal-child health assistance, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Kenya provides a lens through which to assess the opportunities and challenges in expanding access and transitioning to greater sustainability.

Kenya has made significant progress in family planning, with one of the highest contraceptive prevalence rates in the region at 58 percent, yet faces important challenges in maintaining momentum.

In the polarized U.S. political environment, funding for family planning programs faces persistent challenges. There is a risk that without clear U.S. commitment, these critical interventions could be derailed. Strong, bipartisan leadership is required to depoliticize these issues and to highlight the importance of voluntary family planning and healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies to improve women’s health, prevent unintended pregnancies, increase child survival, avert millions of abortions, and improve economic and social development. U.S. policy toward Kenya is in many ways a laboratory for the region with lessons for other countries.

You can find the full report here, and you can link to the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe)family planning, family planning-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, Kenyamaternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive healthU.S. policy

[collapse]
The Nexus of Faith and Health (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
July 24, 2015

The contribution of faith-based organizations (FBOs) to health services and in reaching poor communities around the world has long been the subject of debate among public health experts and policymakers. To explore the nexus between faith and health, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center convened two recent events. The first focused on faith-based organizations and family planning in Kenya, and the second, timed for the release of the new Lancet series on faith-based health care, examined the contributions of faith organizations to global health efforts, and implications for U.S. policy. Both events identified unique strengths and challenges associated with faith-based health programs, as well as opportunities for greater dialogue and collaboration among governments, donors, and faith-based health providers to reach health goals. 

You can read the full blog post here.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planningKenya, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Obama's Kenya Trip Should Elevate Focus on Women and Girls (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
June 18, 2015

Debate about President Obama’s legacy will shift to Africa in late July, when he travels to Kenya on his fourth and likely final presidential trip to the continent. The trip is expected to focus on supporting economic entrepreneurship and combatting terrorism, which, along with increasing Africa’s energy capacity and food security, have been central to his Africa policy. In my latest blog, I write that this agenda misses a necessary component for progress on the continent; the President could cement a lasting legacy by explicitly linking U.S. Africa policy to the health and empowerment of women and girls, arguably the continent’s most dynamic and underdeveloped resource and an indispensable component of any successful economic and security program.

This piece is based on Janet's recent trip to Malawi and Kenya as part of a CARE learning tour that focused on the importance of U.S. investments in women and girls. The delegation included five members of Congress and senior administration officials.

You can read the full blog post here.

Topics: Education, family planning, gender-based violence, Kenya, Malawi, maternal-child healthreproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
A Woman in Guédiawaye: Family Planning for Health and Development in Senegal (2015 video)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
April 2015

Anta Ba is a 26-year-old woman living in Guédiawaye, a poor urban area of Senegal’s capital, Dakar. In a new CSIS video, Anta explains why she decided to access family planning, despite her husband’s opposition, and why these services matter for her own life and for women’s health and empowerment in Senegal. Through her story, and through the voices of other champions of family planning in Senegal—government and NGO health workers, an imam, and the Minister of Health—the video illustrates new approaches to expanding access to family planning as well as the challenges ahead.

The video was released at a vibrant CSIS event on April 27 called Partnerships for Family Planning: Lessons for U.S. Policy which featured the minister of health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck. In her keynote address, Dr. Coll Seck passionately articulated her commitment to family planning for the health and development of her country and the francophone West African subregion. In this post, I provide highlights of the event and Dr. Coll Seck’s remarks.

Click here to see the video about family planning in Senegal. You can watch the CSIS program Partnerships for Family Planning: Lessons for U.S. Policy in two parts, here and here. This blog post provides an overview of both the video and the CSIS program.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planning, Francophone West Africa, maternal-child healthreproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Video and Event Shine Spotlight on Family Planning in Senegal (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
April 30, 2015

Anta Ba is a 26-year-old woman living in Guédiawaye, a poor urban area of Senegal’s capital, Dakar.  In a new CSIS video, Anta explains why she decided to access family planning, despite her husband’s opposition, and why these services matter for her own life and for women’s health and empowerment in Senegal. Through her story, and through the voices of other champions of family planning in Senegal—government and NGO health workers, an imam, and the Minister of Health—the video illustrates new approaches to expanding access to family planning as well as the challenges ahead.

The video was released at a vibrant CSIS event on April 27 called “Partnerships to Advance Family Planning in Senegal: Lessons for U.S. Policy,” which featured the minister of health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck. In her keynote address, Dr. Coll Seck passionately articulated her commitment to family planning for the health and development of her country and the Francophone West African subregion: “You can understand my enthusiasm in defending such a cause considering my activism in women’s rights. And my role as a mother, because I am also a mother, and grandmother; and as a medical doctor. But also after listening to people, men and women, in my own country but also in many corners in Africa…. This is not a story of Senegal alone, it’s a story of all Africa but at least let us do something clear for the West African countries.”

Two panels focused on implementation and funding for family planning in Senegal and the subregion. The first panel – with Dr. Bocar Mamadou Daff from Senegal’s Ministry of Health, Pape Gaye from IntraHealth, and Maaike Van Min from Marie Stopes International – delved into the new approaches to advance access to family planning and the importance of the leadership and coordination by the Ministry of Health. Valuable lessons are emerging from Senegal’s experience, including the Informed Push Model to eliminate stock-outs of contraceptives, integration of family planning with immunizations, mobile clinics to reach vulnerable women, and engagement with religious communities and civil society. Yet all the panelists agreed that clear challenges remain for continued progress, such as addressing the reproductive health needs of young people, expanding the engagement of religious leaders, building a multisectoral response, and attracting private sector support for greater sustainability.

The donor perspectives on funding were the subject of the second panel, which included Katie Taylor from USAID, Nomi Fuchs-Montgomery from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Fatimata Sy from the Ouagadougou Partnership. They all emphasized the importance of building on public-private partnerships and attracting new donors for family planning in Senegal and for the subregion, as well as the critical role of country-led, costed plans and political will to ensure progress. Taylor noted that since USAID’s primary health goal is to end preventable maternal and child deaths, family planning has to be a critical intervention, and that Senegal’s progress demonstrates why these investments are so effective. Fuchs-Montgomery underscored the foundation’s approach to ensuring that their investments in Senegal and Niger are leveraged by other donors, with the aim of improving women’s health and accelerating a regional demographic transition. To accomplish this, she emphasized, will require leadership, partnerships, and perseverance. Speaking from a regional perspective, Sy noted the importance of donors aligning with countries’ national plans, and expressed her concern that despite costed plans, significant funding gaps remain.  Fragile progress will require continued outside funding, Sy added.

You can read the full blog post here. watch Partnerships for Family Planning: Lessons for U.S. Policy in two parts, here and here.

Topics: Family planning, Francophone West Africa, maternal-child healthreproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Economic and Development Goals (2015 book chapter)

Janet Fleischman
The Mother & Child Project, compiled by Hope Through Healing Hands
March 31, 2015

[captionpix imgsrc="https://janetfleischman.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Mother-and-Child-Project-Cover.jpeg" width="59" height="88" align="left"]

For decades, the United States has been the global leader in supporting voluntary family planning services around the world. The benefits of family planning are numerous, not only for women's health, but also for increasing child survival, nutrition, education, and economic development, as well as preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

This chapter, published in The Mother & Child Project, was adapted from Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Health and Development Goals, written by Janet and Alisha Kramer. 

You can order the book from Amazon.com here. Or, download the paper from which the chapter was adapted here.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Strategic Partnerships to Advance Family Planning: Lessons from Senegal (2014 report)

Janet Fleischman and Cathryn Streifel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
December 2014

The Senegalese minister of health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, used a familiar term with us to express her commitment to expanding access to family planning—“yes we can.” That is a bold proposition in such a conservative country, in a region with some of the world’s highest maternal mortality and unmet need for family planning. Her leadership reflects an important moment in Senegal, and prospects for advancing women’s health and family planning in the subregion may depend on its success.

This country leadership has led to strategic partnerships between Senegal and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, among others. The goal is to “reposition” family planning in Senegal and in the francophone West African subregion. Senegal is a main focus of these efforts, since it is seen as the regional hub and is one of the most stable democracies in Africa. Given the current attention to family planning in Senegal, we wanted to see for ourselves what opportunities and challenges are presented by these partnerships, especially related to U.S. policy, and what it will take to build the domestic political support and accountability to ensure further progress.

As Senegal has launched a national family planning strategy and doubled its budget for contraceptives, the donors’ support has encouraged innovative approaches. Early results have been promising—Senegal’s contraceptive prevalence rate among married women increased from 12 to 16 percent (2012 to 2013), after years of stagnation, and new data will be available soon that are expected to show a similar increase for 2013–2014. 

Download a PDF of the report.

Click here to read a blog post about the report.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planning, Francophone West Africa, Senegal, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Partnerships to Advance Family Planning: Lessons from Senegal (2014 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Cathryn Streifel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
December 16, 2014

In a recent interview with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center in Dakar, the Senegalese Minister of Health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, used a familiar term to express her commitment to expanding access to family planning—“yes we can.” That is a bold proposition in such a conservative country, in a region with some of the world’s highest maternal mortality and unmet need for family planning. Her leadership reflects an important moment in Senegal. Participants at this week’s annual meeting of the Ouagadougou Partnership should examine lessons from Senegal as they work to advance women’s health and family planning in the subregion.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Click here to read the Global Health Policy Center's report on this topic.

Topics: Faith-based organizationsfamily planning, Francophone West Africa, reproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Family Planning in Ethiopia: The Health Extension Program (2014 video)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
April 2014

The CSIS Global Health Policy Center produced this video, following a bipartisan congressional staff delegation to Ethiopia in February 2014. The video is designed to bring the voices of Ethiopian women and girls, as well as champions of family planning, into the U.S. policy discussion. Through the voices of rural women at health posts, health extension workers, and an Orthodox priest, along with an official of the Ministry of Health and the First Lady, the video vividly highlights the importance of family planning as a core component of Ethiopia's development.

Click here to see the video. 

Topics: Ethiopia, faith-based organizations, family planning, maternal-child healthreproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
New CSIS Report and Video: Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Family Planning and Development Goals (2014 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
April 23, 2014

“Investing in family planning is investing in the future.” These words from Ethiopian health official, Dr. Tewodros Bekele, summarize key findings of a new CSIS video and report about family planning in Ethiopia. 

The CSIS video is designed to bring the voices of Ethiopian women and girls as well as champions of family planning into the U.S. policy discussion. Through the voices of rural women, health extension workers, and an Orthodox priest, along with an official of the Ministry of Health and the First Lady, the video vividly highlights the importance of family planning as a core component of Ethiopia’s development.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Health and Development Goals (2014 report)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
April 2014

In 2014, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center led a delegation to Ethiopia to examine the progress made and remaining challenges for expanding access to and demand for family planning services. Congressional staff from the offices of Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA), and Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) participated. Jennifer Dyer, executive director of Hope Through Healing Hands, and Tom Walsh, senior program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also participated.

Based on the trip, this report outlines Ethiopia’s health extension program and how health extension workers are providing family planning education and services. The report also gives policy recommendations for future U.S. engagement on issues of family planning in Ethiopia, as well as lessons learned that can be applied in other countries.

Download PDF of the report.

Click here to read a blog post about the report.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Strengthening U.S. Investments in Women's Global Health: A Trip Report of the CSIS Delegation to Zambia (2013 report)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
May 2013

U.S. policymakers and private-sector partners increasingly appreciate the importance of targeted U.S. investments in women's health to achieve global health outcomes, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. With budgetary constraints worsening, progress in women's health will require maximizing investment by engaging new partners., identifying program synergies, and aligning with countries' national priorities to meet women's needs. Such strategic coordination--involving maternal newborn and child health, voluntary family planning, and HIV and AIDS services--presents new opportunities to expand the impact of U.S. investments.

In March 2013, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center led a delegation to Zambia to examine the opportunities and challenges related to strengthening U.S. policy approaches to women's global health issues. CSIS chose to visit Zambia because of the new level of political will and leadership on women's health issues in the country; women leaders, in particular, are in an exceptional position to drive forward country ownership, including Zambia's first lady and other high-level government health officials.

Download a PDF of the report.

Click here to read a blog post about the report.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, U.S. policy, Zambia

[collapse]
Why Family Planning is Central to Development (2013 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
November 13, 2013

Billboards in Ethiopia’s capital announce the 2013 International Conference on Family Planning from November 12-15, under the theme “Full Access, Full Choice.” The conference participants from around the world should draw lessons from Ethiopia’s own experience that family planning is central to broader women’s health and development, contributing to the empowerment of women and girls and more stable and prosperous families. Secretary of State John Kerry’s video message to the conference offers a unique opportunity for the United States to strategically reposition family planning as key to sustainable development, and to re-double U.S. commitment to national family planning programs.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Strengthening U.S. Investments in Women's Global Health (2013 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
May 21, 2013

U.S. policymakers and private-sector partners increasingly appreciate the importance of targeted U.S. investments in women’s health to achieve global health outcomes, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. With budgetary constraints worsening, progress in women’s health will require maximizing investments by engaging new partners, identifying program synergies, and aligning with countries’ national priorities to meet women’s needs. Such strategic coordination—involving maternal newborn and child health, voluntary family planning, and HIV and AIDS services—presents new opportunities to expand the impact of U.S. investments. 

In March 2013, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center led a delegation to Zambia to examine the opportunities and challenges of strengthening U.S. policy approaches to women’s global health issues. 

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, U.S. policy, Zambia

[collapse]
Gender-Based Violence and HIV: Emerging Lessons from the PEPFAR Initiative In Tanzania (2012 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2012

The dual global epidemics of HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence (GBV) exert a destructive and disproportionate impact on women and girls, especially in prevalence countries in Africa. Yet despite bipartisan political consensus on the intersection between HIV and GBV, efforts to address this area have not attracted the attention or resources necessary to drive the program innovation that could demonstrate progress. However, new momentum is now being brought to this agenda with the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief's (PEPFAR) GBV initiative.

This paper examines how the GBV initiative is being introduced in Tanzania, one of the GBV focus countries, based on interviews in Tanzania in April 2012 with U.S. government officials, nongovernmental organizations, and implementing partners, as well as interviews in Washington, D.C. It describes the importance of this initiative for the work of PEPFAR and the Global Health Initiative (GHI), impediments to progress, why this program has the potential to provide valuable and timely lessons for achieving HIV-related goals and for improving health outcomes for women and girls, and priority steps for getting the best results in the future.

Download a PDF of the report.

Topics: FP-HIV integration, Gender-based violence, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, reproductive health, Tanzania

[collapse]
The Global Health Initiative in Malawi (2011 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
December 2, 2011

The Obama administration designated Malawi as a GHI Plus country in June 2010, one of the first eight countries selected to implement the Global Health Initiative’s (GHI) more comprehensive approach to global health and serve as learning labs for other GHI country programs.

The GHI team in Malawi has identified the health of women and girls, including HIV and family planning (FP)/reproductive health (RH) services, as critical, promising areas for GHI success. Though still in early stages of implementation, new approaches are emerging in Malawi that leverage resources from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to develop greater program synergies for women and girls. Yet Malawi’s weak health system, combined with ever more serious concerns about governance and human rights issues that are undermining donor support, present challenges that may threaten GHI’s ability to achieve sustainable results.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health InitiativeHIV/AIDS, Malawi, PEPFAR, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Improving Women's Health in South Africa: Opportunities for PEPFAR (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
October 2011

A period of major change is unfolding in health and HIV services in South Africa, carrying opportunities and risks for delivering effective, integrated health services that improve health outcomes and save lives. South Africa is decentralizing HIV services to the primary health are level, paving the way for greater integration to address women's health and to reduce maternal mortality. The United States can find feasible, flexible ways to support this process, even though its health program through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is scaling down. As PEPFAR transitions from an emergency to a more sustainable response, this is a crucial moment to demonstrate that it can address HIV-related goals by linking to more comprehensive services for women--notably linking HIV with family planning (FP), reproductive health (RH), and maternal child health (MCH). The stakes are high for PEPFAR and for the Global Health Initiative (GHI) to show results and, most importantly, for the women and children most at risk.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, maternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive health, reproductive health, South Africa, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Lessons from Kenya for the Global Health Initiative (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
February 2011

The Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), announced in May 2009 as a six-year, $63-billion program, has put a strong emphasis on integration of health services, building largely on the work of PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). As implementation of GHI is moving ahead and country strategies are being developed, this is an important moment to bring forward lessons learned from the experience of integration in the U.S. government’s health and development programs. A key example involves U.S. health programs in Kenya over the past five years, notably the APHIA program (the AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance program), which developed an integrated program based on the PEPFAR platform. This paper finds that the APHIA programs in Kenya hold some important lessons that should help inform GHI implementation. Since Kenya has been designated one of eight GHI-Plus countries,the emphasis on program integration in those U.S. government programs is especially relevant.

This paper, which is based on interviews conducted in Kenya in November 2010, as well as with policymakers and implementing partners in Washington, D.C., shows that the APHIA experience illustrates that integration across health sectors is feasible and effective, and that more focused evaluation of the impact of integrated programs would help Kenya and other GHI-Plus country teams and national governments as they develop their strategies. The maternal and child health (MCH) model in Kenya’s Western province is emerging as an innovative example of the benefits of providing women with a comprehensive set of MCH, family planning, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS services in an integrated setting.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, maternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive health

[collapse]
Women's Health and HIV/AIDS in Kenya (2010 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
April 21, 2010

With all the troubling political news coming out of Kenya these days, it’s important to highlight some promising initiatives that are under way in the arena of women’s health, often driven by civil society groups or international NGOs in collaboration with the government. One area where such initiatives are getting some traction involves the bi-directional integration of family planning/reproductive health with HIV/AIDS services. Indeed, the new approaches toward broader integration hold the promise of helping to address both the country’s HIV/AIDS crisis and women’s reproductive health needs, including addressing the huge unmet need for family planning.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, FP-HIV integrationreproductive health

[collapse]
Making Gender a Global Health Priority (2009 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
November 2009

The world faces enormous challenges in the global health arena, many of which have a disproportionate impact on women and girls. Many key global health priorities revolve in fundamental ways around the gender-related barriers that women and girls face in accessing health-related information, services, and resources, all of which increase their vulnerability to ill health. For success and sustainability, the United States should anchor its global health strategy in a firm commitment to address the gender disparities that affect global health outcomes.

This report proposes that a gender-focused approach to global health build on four cornerstones:

      1. Maternal-child health and family planning
      2. Infectious diseases that disproportionately affect women
      3. Gender-based violence, and
      4. Food security

These areas are clearly linked and underscore the importance of an integrated, comprehensive global health policy.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, gender-based violence, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
International Family Planning: A Common-Ground Approach to an Expanded U.S. Role (2009 report)

Janet Fleischman and Allen Moore
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2009

The election of President Barack Obama has fundamentally changed the landscape for the debates around U.S. support for international family planning (FP) programs. The personal engagement of top leadership, notably the president himself and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, combined with policy and budgetary announcements that make averting unintended pregnancies a priority issue, clearly signal the administration’s intention to promote family planning as part of a comprehensive approach to global health.

Despite the polarization that often surrounds the debates on these issues in the United States, largely over their perceived linkage to the highly charged issue of abortion, an unprecedented opportunity now exists to significantly expand international FP programs based on a common-ground approach.

The core element of this approach is the need to move toward universal access to FP services—defined throughout this paper as education, counseling, and contraceptive commodities—provided on a voluntary basis to females and couples.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Voices from the Field: The Role of Integrated Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Programs in Strengthening U.S. Policy (2008 report)

Janet Fleischman
Task Force on HIV/AIDS, Center for Strategic and International Studies
February 2008

This report was written by Janet Fleischman, senior associate of the CSIS HIV/AIDS Task Force and chair of the gender committee. It is based on the presentations and discussions at the CSIS conference held on October 30, 2007, “Integrating Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Services: Lessons from the Field for PEPFAR Reauthorization,” as well as Fleischman’s visits to Kenya, South Africa, and India in 2007 and her interviews with U.S. administration officials, congressional staff, HIV/AIDS organizations and service providers, reproductive health organizations, and women living with HIV/AIDS.

In the context of reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and looking ahead to the strategy that will be developed by the next U.S. administration, the conference sought to focus high-level attention on the opportunities and challenges of integrating reproductive health (RH) and HIV/AIDS programs. The proceedings demonstrated that substantial ingenuity and innovation is under way in integrating these services, and highlighted the importance of ensuring that the emerging lessons from the field inform decisions about the next phase of U.S. AIDS policy.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Empowering HIV-Infected Women (2007 article)

Janet Fleischman
The Boston Globe
March 7, 2007

Asunta Wagura'shealthy baby boy has sparked considerable controversy in Kenya. As an HIV-infected woman and AIDS activist, Asunta's decision to conceive a child exposes an emerging feature of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic: increased access to life-prolonging treatment is affecting women's reproductive choices, and challenging ideas about the kind of services and policies required.

If we are to keep pace with the evolving pandemic, concerns about women's reproductive health must become an integral part of HIV/AIDS services and policies.

Click here to read the full article

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV-AIDS, Kenya, reproductive health, women's empowerment

[collapse]

[collapse]
FP-HIV Integration

Family Planning and Women's Health in Kenya (2015 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katherine Peck
CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
December 2015

Voluntary family planning is one of the most transformative interventions in global health, critical to improving women’s health and to saving the lives of women and children in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Beyond the direct health benefits, family planning is essential for women’s empowerment and sustainable development, contributing to improvements in education, economic growth, and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. As the global leader in supporting family planning, the United States has a vital role to play in helping countries improve the lives of women and families.

To understand the impact of U.S. investments, this report examines U.S. support for family planning in Kenya at a pivotal moment for these issues globally. As a regional leader in family planning and a priority country for U.S. family planning and maternal-child health assistance, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Kenya provides a lens through which to assess the opportunities and challenges in expanding access and transitioning to greater sustainability.

Kenya has made significant progress in family planning, with one of the highest contraceptive prevalence rates in the region at 58 percent, yet faces important challenges in maintaining momentum.

In the polarized U.S. political environment, funding for family planning programs faces persistent challenges. There is a risk that without clear U.S. commitment, these critical interventions could be derailed. Strong, bipartisan leadership is required to depoliticize these issues and to highlight the importance of voluntary family planning and healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies to improve women’s health, prevent unintended pregnancies, increase child survival, avert millions of abortions, and improve economic and social development. U.S. policy toward Kenya is in many ways a laboratory for the region with lessons for other countries.

You can find the full report here, and you can link to the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe)family planning, family planning-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, Kenyamaternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive healthU.S. policy

[collapse]
Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Economic and Development Goals (2015 book chapter)

Janet Fleischman
The Mother & Child Project, compiled by Hope Through Healing Hands
March 31, 2015

[captionpix imgsrc="https://janetfleischman.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Mother-and-Child-Project-Cover.jpeg" width="59" height="88" align="left"]

For decades, the United States has been the global leader in supporting voluntary family planning services around the world. The benefits of family planning are numerous, not only for women's health, but also for increasing child survival, nutrition, education, and economic development, as well as preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

This chapter, published in The Mother & Child Project, was adapted from Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Health and Development Goals, written by Janet and Alisha Kramer. 

You can order the book from Amazon.com here. Or, download the paper from which the chapter was adapted here.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Health and Development Goals (2014 report)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
April 2014

In 2014, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center led a delegation to Ethiopia to examine the progress made and remaining challenges for expanding access to and demand for family planning services. Congressional staff from the offices of Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA), and Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) participated. Jennifer Dyer, executive director of Hope Through Healing Hands, and Tom Walsh, senior program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also participated.

Based on the trip, this report outlines Ethiopia’s health extension program and how health extension workers are providing family planning education and services. The report also gives policy recommendations for future U.S. engagement on issues of family planning in Ethiopia, as well as lessons learned that can be applied in other countries.

Download PDF of the report.

Click here to read a blog post about the report.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Why Family Planning is Central to Development (2013 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
November 13, 2013

Billboards in Ethiopia’s capital announce the 2013 International Conference on Family Planning from November 12-15, under the theme “Full Access, Full Choice.” The conference participants from around the world should draw lessons from Ethiopia’s own experience that family planning is central to broader women’s health and development, contributing to the empowerment of women and girls and more stable and prosperous families. Secretary of State John Kerry’s video message to the conference offers a unique opportunity for the United States to strategically reposition family planning as key to sustainable development, and to re-double U.S. commitment to national family planning programs.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Strengthening U.S. Investments in Women's Global Health: A Trip Report of the CSIS Delegation to Zambia (2013 report)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
May 2013

U.S. policymakers and private-sector partners increasingly appreciate the importance of targeted U.S. investments in women's health to achieve global health outcomes, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. With budgetary constraints worsening, progress in women's health will require maximizing investment by engaging new partners., identifying program synergies, and aligning with countries' national priorities to meet women's needs. Such strategic coordination--involving maternal newborn and child health, voluntary family planning, and HIV and AIDS services--presents new opportunities to expand the impact of U.S. investments.

In March 2013, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center led a delegation to Zambia to examine the opportunities and challenges related to strengthening U.S. policy approaches to women's global health issues. CSIS chose to visit Zambia because of the new level of political will and leadership on women's health issues in the country; women leaders, in particular, are in an exceptional position to drive forward country ownership, including Zambia's first lady and other high-level government health officials.

Download a PDF of the report.

Click here to read a blog post about the report.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, U.S. policy, Zambia

[collapse]
Strengthening U.S. Investments in Women's Global Health (2013 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
May 21, 2013

U.S. policymakers and private-sector partners increasingly appreciate the importance of targeted U.S. investments in women’s health to achieve global health outcomes, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. With budgetary constraints worsening, progress in women’s health will require maximizing investments by engaging new partners, identifying program synergies, and aligning with countries’ national priorities to meet women’s needs. Such strategic coordination—involving maternal newborn and child health, voluntary family planning, and HIV and AIDS services—presents new opportunities to expand the impact of U.S. investments. 

In March 2013, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center led a delegation to Zambia to examine the opportunities and challenges of strengthening U.S. policy approaches to women’s global health issues. 

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, U.S. policy, Zambia

[collapse]
Gender-Based Violence and HIV: Emerging Lessons from the PEPFAR Initiative In Tanzania (2012 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2012

The dual global epidemics of HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence (GBV) exert a destructive and disproportionate impact on women and girls, especially in prevalence countries in Africa. Yet despite bipartisan political consensus on the intersection between HIV and GBV, efforts to address this area have not attracted the attention or resources necessary to drive the program innovation that could demonstrate progress. However, new momentum is now being brought to this agenda with the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief's (PEPFAR) GBV initiative.

This paper examines how the GBV initiative is being introduced in Tanzania, one of the GBV focus countries, based on interviews in Tanzania in April 2012 with U.S. government officials, nongovernmental organizations, and implementing partners, as well as interviews in Washington, D.C. It describes the importance of this initiative for the work of PEPFAR and the Global Health Initiative (GHI), impediments to progress, why this program has the potential to provide valuable and timely lessons for achieving HIV-related goals and for improving health outcomes for women and girls, and priority steps for getting the best results in the future.

Download a PDF of the report.

Topics: FP-HIV integration, Gender-based violence, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, reproductive health, Tanzania

[collapse]
Family Planning and HIV Integration: Building on the PEPFAR Platform to Advance Global Health (2012 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2012

The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is well positioned to serve as a foundation for other global health programs, building on its health infrastructure, training, and systems. To fulfill that potential in the vital area of women's health will require integrating HIV/AIDS services with family planning and reproductive health services. The results from U.S. health investments in Tanzania indicate that this is a feasible and cost-effective strategy to combat the AIDS epidemic and promote the health of women and girls, and through them their families and communities. The lessons being learned in Tanzania should inform the scale-up of strategic integration under PEPFAR for these critical interventions.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration,HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, reproductive health, Tanzania

[collapse]
The Global Health Initiative in Malawi (2011 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
December 2, 2011

The Obama administration designated Malawi as a GHI Plus country in June 2010, one of the first eight countries selected to implement the Global Health Initiative’s (GHI) more comprehensive approach to global health and serve as learning labs for other GHI country programs.

The GHI team in Malawi has identified the health of women and girls, including HIV and family planning (FP)/reproductive health (RH) services, as critical, promising areas for GHI success. Though still in early stages of implementation, new approaches are emerging in Malawi that leverage resources from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to develop greater program synergies for women and girls. Yet Malawi’s weak health system, combined with ever more serious concerns about governance and human rights issues that are undermining donor support, present challenges that may threaten GHI’s ability to achieve sustainable results.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health InitiativeHIV/AIDS, Malawi, PEPFAR, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Improving Women's Health in South Africa: Opportunities for PEPFAR (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
October 2011

A period of major change is unfolding in health and HIV services in South Africa, carrying opportunities and risks for delivering effective, integrated health services that improve health outcomes and save lives. South Africa is decentralizing HIV services to the primary health are level, paving the way for greater integration to address women's health and to reduce maternal mortality. The United States can find feasible, flexible ways to support this process, even though its health program through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is scaling down. As PEPFAR transitions from an emergency to a more sustainable response, this is a crucial moment to demonstrate that it can address HIV-related goals by linking to more comprehensive services for women--notably linking HIV with family planning (FP), reproductive health (RH), and maternal child health (MCH). The stakes are high for PEPFAR and for the Global Health Initiative (GHI) to show results and, most importantly, for the women and children most at risk.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, maternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive health, reproductive health, South Africa, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Lessons from Kenya for the Global Health Initiative (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
February 2011

The Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), announced in May 2009 as a six-year, $63-billion program, has put a strong emphasis on integration of health services, building largely on the work of PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). As implementation of GHI is moving ahead and country strategies are being developed, this is an important moment to bring forward lessons learned from the experience of integration in the U.S. government’s health and development programs. A key example involves U.S. health programs in Kenya over the past five years, notably the APHIA program (the AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance program), which developed an integrated program based on the PEPFAR platform. This paper finds that the APHIA programs in Kenya hold some important lessons that should help inform GHI implementation. Since Kenya has been designated one of eight GHI-Plus countries,the emphasis on program integration in those U.S. government programs is especially relevant.

This paper, which is based on interviews conducted in Kenya in November 2010, as well as with policymakers and implementing partners in Washington, D.C., shows that the APHIA experience illustrates that integration across health sectors is feasible and effective, and that more focused evaluation of the impact of integrated programs would help Kenya and other GHI-Plus country teams and national governments as they develop their strategies. The maternal and child health (MCH) model in Kenya’s Western province is emerging as an innovative example of the benefits of providing women with a comprehensive set of MCH, family planning, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS services in an integrated setting.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, maternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive health

[collapse]
Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy (2010 report)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
November 2010

Global health, development, and gender are now understood to be dynamic and interlinked components of U.S. foreign policy. Given the emerging policy and programmatic debates on how these three domains are to be integrated to bring the greatest returns, especially in improving the health and welfare of women and girls, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center hosted a conference, entitled "Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy" on June 11, 2010. 

This report provides background on the programs represented at the conference, summaries of the speakers' presentations, and U.S. policy options that emerged from the conference. It is intended to help inform the discussion surrounding the implementation of GHI and PEPFAR II and to emphasize the importance of fully utilizing the opportunities to reach women and girls by addressing the health and development challenges that contribute to their risk of HIV.

Click here to read the report

Topics: Economic development, education, family planning-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, PEPFAR, South Africa, U.S. policy, women's empowerment, Zambia

[collapse]
Women's Health and HIV/AIDS in Kenya (2010 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
April 21, 2010

With all the troubling political news coming out of Kenya these days, it’s important to highlight some promising initiatives that are under way in the arena of women’s health, often driven by civil society groups or international NGOs in collaboration with the government. One area where such initiatives are getting some traction involves the bi-directional integration of family planning/reproductive health with HIV/AIDS services. Indeed, the new approaches toward broader integration hold the promise of helping to address both the country’s HIV/AIDS crisis and women’s reproductive health needs, including addressing the huge unmet need for family planning.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, FP-HIV integrationreproductive health

[collapse]
International Family Planning: A Common-Ground Approach to an Expanded U.S. Role (2009 report)

Janet Fleischman and Allen Moore
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2009

The election of President Barack Obama has fundamentally changed the landscape for the debates around U.S. support for international family planning (FP) programs. The personal engagement of top leadership, notably the president himself and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, combined with policy and budgetary announcements that make averting unintended pregnancies a priority issue, clearly signal the administration’s intention to promote family planning as part of a comprehensive approach to global health.

Despite the polarization that often surrounds the debates on these issues in the United States, largely over their perceived linkage to the highly charged issue of abortion, an unprecedented opportunity now exists to significantly expand international FP programs based on a common-ground approach.

The core element of this approach is the need to move toward universal access to FP services—defined throughout this paper as education, counseling, and contraceptive commodities—provided on a voluntary basis to females and couples.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Voices from the Field: The Role of Integrated Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Programs in Strengthening U.S. Policy (2008 report)

Janet Fleischman
Task Force on HIV/AIDS, Center for Strategic and International Studies
February 2008

This report was written by Janet Fleischman, senior associate of the CSIS HIV/AIDS Task Force and chair of the gender committee. It is based on the presentations and discussions at the CSIS conference held on October 30, 2007, “Integrating Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Services: Lessons from the Field for PEPFAR Reauthorization,” as well as Fleischman’s visits to Kenya, South Africa, and India in 2007 and her interviews with U.S. administration officials, congressional staff, HIV/AIDS organizations and service providers, reproductive health organizations, and women living with HIV/AIDS.

In the context of reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and looking ahead to the strategy that will be developed by the next U.S. administration, the conference sought to focus high-level attention on the opportunities and challenges of integrating reproductive health (RH) and HIV/AIDS programs. The proceedings demonstrated that substantial ingenuity and innovation is under way in integrating these services, and highlighted the importance of ensuring that the emerging lessons from the field inform decisions about the next phase of U.S. AIDS policy.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Empowering HIV-Infected Women (2007 article)

Janet Fleischman
The Boston Globe
March 7, 2007

Asunta Wagura'shealthy baby boy has sparked considerable controversy in Kenya. As an HIV-infected woman and AIDS activist, Asunta's decision to conceive a child exposes an emerging feature of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic: increased access to life-prolonging treatment is affecting women's reproductive choices, and challenging ideas about the kind of services and policies required.

If we are to keep pace with the evolving pandemic, concerns about women's reproductive health must become an integral part of HIV/AIDS services and policies.

Click here to read the full article

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV-AIDS, Kenya, reproductive health, women's empowerment

[collapse]

[collapse]
Female Genital Mutilation

Realizing Kakenya’s Dream: Educating Girls and Ending Female Genital Mutilation (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
March 2019

February 6th marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a United Nations-sponsored awareness day meant to highlight efforts to eradicate FGM. An estimated 200 million women and girls today have undergone some form of FGM, a practice that can cause irreversible physical and mental health challenges. In this episode of Take as Directed, CSIS Global Health Policy Center Senior Associate Janet Fleischman speaks with Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya, a Kenyan educator, activist, and founder of “Kakenya’s Dream”, a leading nongovernmental organization for girls’ education, health, and empowerment, which also works to end FGM and child marriage. Dr. Ntaiya discusses the personal journey that led her to form “Kakenya’s Dream”, and how her work is helping to develop the next generation of women leaders in her community.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, female genital mutilation, Kenya

[collapse]

[collapse]
Francophone West Africa

An Improbable Success: The Ouagadougou Partnership’s Advances in Family Planning Across Francophone West Africa (2020 report)

Janet Fleischman
Commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. In 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was virtually unimaginable at the outset, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was perceived to be taboo. Now, almost a decade later, the partnership’s impact and lessons for other regions warrant both celebration and reflection.

The nine Francophone countries of the subregion (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) united around an ambitious regional goalto reach one million additional voluntary users of modern family planning methods by 2015, and 2.2 million more by 2020. The results have been impressive, especially given the low starting point of approximately 2.7 million users: by 2019, over 3.1 million additional voluntary users have been reached, Francophone West Africa has one of the fastest increases in modern contraceptive rates among developing regions, and family planning funding from the core donors has more than doubled. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners.

The story of this partnership reflects a unique historical convergence: a group of bilateral and philanthropic donors willing to commit to the subregion, country-level champions from government and civil society, supported by implementing partners, prepared to advance family planning for health and development reasons, and a shared interest in doing business differently to address egregious gaps in women’s health and stalled indicators on family planning. By banding together, fueled by a shared commitment to achieving a regional goal, “friendly” competition among the countries, and grounded in data and evidence, the nine relatively small countries capitalized on their commonalities and made the region a more important geographic space and population size.

Janet was commissioned in 2019 by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to write this report documenting the history of the Ouagadougou Partnership. She completed her research in January 2020, before the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Francophone West Africa (in Senegal and Burkina Faso) in March 2020. Accordingly, this report does not address the impact of COVID-19 in Francophone West Africa or the challenges it presents to the Ouagadougou Partnership’s activities.

Click here to read the full report.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Burkina Faso, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
An Improbable Success in a Troubled Region (2020 article)

Janet Fleischman, consultant on a project for the Ouagadougou Partnership
Marie Ba, Director of Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit (OPCU)

Council on Foreign Relations, Think Global Health

March 18, 2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. At a time of increased extremism and insecurity in West Africa, the remarkable story of a partnership to advance women’s health and empowerment through family planning is worthy of global attention. By tackling such challenges, the partnership provides hope for women, girls, and their communities in a troubled region, with lessons for other parts of the world.

The story began in 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of landlocked Burkina Faso, when representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was unimaginable at its outset almost a decade ago, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was still perceived to be taboo. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners, with a special emphasis on engaging young people.

Click here to read the full article.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]

[collapse]
Funders

An Improbable Success: The Ouagadougou Partnership’s Advances in Family Planning Across Francophone West Africa (2020 report)

Janet Fleischman
Commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. In 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was virtually unimaginable at the outset, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was perceived to be taboo. Now, almost a decade later, the partnership’s impact and lessons for other regions warrant both celebration and reflection.

The nine Francophone countries of the subregion (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) united around an ambitious regional goalto reach one million additional voluntary users of modern family planning methods by 2015, and 2.2 million more by 2020. The results have been impressive, especially given the low starting point of approximately 2.7 million users: by 2019, over 3.1 million additional voluntary users have been reached, Francophone West Africa has one of the fastest increases in modern contraceptive rates among developing regions, and family planning funding from the core donors has more than doubled. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners.

The story of this partnership reflects a unique historical convergence: a group of bilateral and philanthropic donors willing to commit to the subregion, country-level champions from government and civil society, supported by implementing partners, prepared to advance family planning for health and development reasons, and a shared interest in doing business differently to address egregious gaps in women’s health and stalled indicators on family planning. By banding together, fueled by a shared commitment to achieving a regional goal, “friendly” competition among the countries, and grounded in data and evidence, the nine relatively small countries capitalized on their commonalities and made the region a more important geographic space and population size.

Janet was commissioned in 2019 by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to write this report documenting the history of the Ouagadougou Partnership. She completed her research in January 2020, before the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Francophone West Africa (in Senegal and Burkina Faso) in March 2020. Accordingly, this report does not address the impact of COVID-19 in Francophone West Africa or the challenges it presents to the Ouagadougou Partnership’s activities.

Click here to read the full report.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Burkina Faso, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
An Improbable Success in a Troubled Region (2020 article)

Janet Fleischman, consultant on a project for the Ouagadougou Partnership
Marie Ba, Director of Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit (OPCU)

Council on Foreign Relations, Think Global Health

March 18, 2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. At a time of increased extremism and insecurity in West Africa, the remarkable story of a partnership to advance women’s health and empowerment through family planning is worthy of global attention. By tackling such challenges, the partnership provides hope for women, girls, and their communities in a troubled region, with lessons for other parts of the world.

The story began in 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of landlocked Burkina Faso, when representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was unimaginable at its outset almost a decade ago, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was still perceived to be taboo. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners, with a special emphasis on engaging young people.

Click here to read the full article.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
An Emergency that Requires Taking Risk (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
April 21, 2015

“The very progress we’ve made in HIV/AIDS over the last 20 years is at risk right now because of our lack of engagement with young women.” That was the stark message delivered by Ambassador Deborah Birx, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, at a dynamic, high-level panel at CSIS on April 17, which also featured Ambassador Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Geeta Rao Gupta, deputy executive director of UNICEF; and Judith Bruce, senior associate and policy analyst at the Population Council. Ambassador Dybul echoed the urgency of new initiatives working to address this population: “This opportunity is one we just can’t miss.”

At the event, CSIS released a new report, Addressing HIV Risk in Adolescent Girls and Young Women. The report examines how adolescent girls and young women have become a priority focus in the fight against global HIV/AIDS, the approaches that have proven effective, and the gaps and challenges that remain. In particular, the report highlights the new DREAMS Partnership, launched by PEPFAR in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nike Foundation, to significantly reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women. With $210 million and highly ambitious goals, the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe) Partnership aims to address HIV risks for adolescent girls and young women in high-burden “hot spots” in 10 countries throughout eastern and southern Africa. The partnership’s goal is to reduce HIV incidence in this population by 25 percent in two years, and by 40 percent in three years. Whether these targets are attainable or simply aspirational remains to be seen, but they represent a determined effort to do things differently.

The panel discussed new ways to increase the empowerment, security, and agency of adolescent girls and young women, including looking at the impact of gender-based violence, cash transfers/incentives, education for girls, safe spaces for girls, and reproductive health/family planning. Although little research has evaluated the combined impact of putting all these interventions together, the panelists agreed that this is the moment to move forward in pursuit of a multisectoral approach. The panelists also expressed the hope that new funding would continue to emerge from multilateral institutions, government partners, and the private sector.  These different funders can leverage each other’s investments.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), funders, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Addressing HIV Risk in Adolescent Girls and Young Women (2015 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katherine Peck
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
April 2015

[captionpix imgsrc="https://janetfleischman.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Cover-addressing-hiv-risk.jpg" width="85" height="126" align="left"]

The data are stark and incontrovertible: In eastern and southern Africa, girls account for 80 percent of all new HIV infections among adolescents, and HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for girls aged 15-19. With 7,000 girls and young women aged 15-24 infected every week, the goal of an AIDS-free generation cannot be achieved without a dramatic new approach to this population. After years of neglect, a global convergence is emerging around the urgency of going beyond biomedical interventions to address the social and economic factors driving HIV risk for adolescent girls and young women. Whether this new attention can catalyze reductions in new HIV infections represents a fundamental challenge for controlling the AIDS epidemic.

In a major shift, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) launched a new initiative on World AIDS Day in December 2014, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nike Foundation, to significantly reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women. With $210 million and highly ambitious goals, the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe) Partnership aims to address HIV risks for adolescent girls and young women in high-burden "hot spots" in 10 countries in eastern and southern Africa by identifying where these young women are being infected, what is putting them at risk, and how to target programs accordingly. The partnership's goal is to reduce incidence in high-burden areas by 25 percent in two years, and by 40 percent in three years. Whether these targets are attainable or simply aspirational remains to be seen, but they represent a determined effort to do things differently.

DREAMS and other international partnerships focused on HIV in adolescent girls and young women represent an ambitious effort to go beyond biomedical interventions to address the social and economic factors that put this population at risk of infection. It remains to be seen, however, if these initiatives can demonstrate impact in a short timeframe, and build toward sustainable programs. This is a critical moment to transform a growing global interest in women and girls in a range of sectors into effective HIV programing, and to highlight the results at the July 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.

Download the report here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), funders, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
An Analysis of the Gender Policies of the Three Major AIDS Financing Institutions: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the World Bank and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (2008 report)

Janet Fleischman
UNAIDS
July 2008

Funding for the response to the global AIDS crisis has increased exponentially in recent years, from US$ 260 million in 1996 to almost US$ 10 billion in 2007, nearly a forty-fold increase. While this figure still falls short of anticipated global need in the coming years, it is nonetheless a marked shift in the global response to the AIDS epidemic. At the same time, the new level of resources confers even greater responsibilities on the funding institutions to ensure that the key drivers of the epidemic are being addressed effectively.

This is particularly true in the area of gender and AIDS. While there is now broad international consensus that the gender dimension of the epidemic must be addressed, the three major AIDS financing institutions—the World Bank, the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund)—have not historically focused on ensuring that funding and programs adequately target gender issues. However, recent initiatives in each of the three institutions hold promise for new momentum in this area.

All three major AIDS funding institutions have recently acknowledged the importance of gender and the need to prioritize the gender issues, and each is looking at different approaches toward defining and expanding gender strategies and programs.

Download the PDF.

Topics: FundersPEPFAR, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, U.S. policy, World Bank

[collapse]

[collapse]
Gender-Based Violence

Parallel Epidemics: Covid-19 and Gender-Based Violence in South Africa (2020 video)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
July 2020

South Africa, which has the largest HIV epidemic in the world and one of the highest rates of gender-based violence, is now experiencing a worsening COVID-19 epidemic. Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Associate Scientific Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and a leading global expert on HIV/AIDS, spoke to CSIS about the particularly negative impact of Covid-19 on adolescent girls and young women, and how it is fueling a parallel epidemic of gender-based violence. At a time when even the President of South Africa has condemned the violence against women during the COVID-19 crisis, Professor Abdool Karim calls for a proactive response to these twin crises.

Click here to link to see the video.

Topics: Covid-19, gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]
Covid-19 and Young Women: Voices from Kenya (2020 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 9, 2020

In this episode of AIDS 2020, Janet Fleischman speaks with two women in Kenya about the impact of Covid-19: Maurine Murenga, who is executive director of Lean On Me Foundation, which supports adolescent mothers living with HIV, as well as a Global Fund board member; and Brenda Ochieng, a peer mentor for Pathfinder’s DREAMS project in Mombasa, Kenya. They discuss the progress in and challenges to HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women in Kenya, and the worsening impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on this population.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, reproductive health, violence against women and children

[collapse]
Janet is interviewed on crisis response and the prioritization of women and girls (2019 podcast)

Beverly Kirk, host, Smart Women, Smart Power Podcast

Smart Women, Smart Power (SWSP) Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies

December 04, 2019

Janet joins host Beverly Kirk or a conversation about Janet's latest report, which examines why women and girls’ health and protection should be a top priority in emergency and humanitarian crisis situations. It also looks at U.S. policy on global health security. This conversation is linked to the report and an October 31 conference on U.S. Action for Women’s and Girls’ Health Security, both under the auspices of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.

The Smart Women, Smart Power (SWSP) Initiative convenes top-level women leaders in foreign policy, national security, international business, and international development to amplify their voices, spotlight their expertise, and discuss critical and timely issues. The Smart Women, Smart Power biweekly podcast features powerful, in-depth conversations with women leaders from around the globe who are experts in foreign policy, national security, international business, and international development. SWSP Director Beverly Kirk moderates the podcast series.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, gender-based violence, humanitarian response, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, violence against women and children

[collapse]
Janet interviews Melissa Dalton and Fatima Imam on gender-based violence as a weapon of war (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host

Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
December 17, 2019

This episode of the Global Health Policy Center's Take as Directed podcast examines the changing nature of war and conflict and why gender-based violence (GBV) has become a central feature in crises around the world. GHPC Senior Associate Janet Fleischman sits down with Melissa Dalton, senior fellow and deputy director of the CSIS International Security Program and Director of the Cooperative Defense Project (CDP); and Fatima Imam, executive director of Rehabilitation, Empowerment, and Better Health Initiative and Network of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria.

Janet and the guests discuss how GBV impacts women and girls in crises, focused especially on the Middle East and northern Nigeria, and how these ubiquitous and traumatizing realities undermine global health security and community resilience. This conversation is linked to a new CSIS report, How Can We Better Reach Women and Girls in Crises? and an October 31 conference on U.S. Action for Women’s and Girls’ Health Security, both under the auspices of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, gender-based violence, Humanitarian response, maternal-child health, Nigeria, reproductive health, violence against women and children

[collapse]
How Can We Better Reach Women and Girls in Crises? (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
October 2019

The United States is the world leader in supporting global health and humanitarian response, making it uniquely placed to elevate the critical health and safety needs faced by women and girls in emergencies and fragile settings around the world. While addressing these needs is an important goal on its own, it also forms a pillar of global health security, as the prevention of health crises and conflict, and recovery after they occur, are greatly enhanced when these needs are met.
 
The United States has unrivaled financial and programmatic capacities in maternal health, reproductive health, family planning, and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response. However, it seldom marshals these extensive capacities in emergency settings, where the needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls are most severe. In emergencies around the world—from the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the simmering conflict in Venezuela to the protracted crises in Yemen and Syria—the United States has not channeled its extensive capacities to address glaring operational gaps in these critical areas. The alarmingly high risks of GBV and severely limited access to maternal health, family planning, and reproductive health services are too often overlooked in these and other crisis settings.
 
A categorical shift is required for the United States to prioritize women’s and girls’ health and protection in emergency settings to advance resiliency and health security. There is growing recognition among both practitioners and policymakers that failure to address these gaps significantly worsens the impact and trauma of crises and significantly undermines global health security. Conversely, the engagement of women, girls, and communities in decision-making and program design can help build public trust and confidence, which is sorely lacking in many health security crises around the world.
 

You can download the PDF here. You can also listen to Janet being interviewed about the report on the Smart Women, Smart Power podcast.

Topics: Family planning, gender-based violence, humanitarian response,, maternal-child health, reproductive health, violence against women and children, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Accelerating Action to Address Violence Against Women and Children: Key Lessons from the Together for Girls Partnership in Tanzania (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Together for Girls
2019

Violence against children (VAC) and violence against women (VAW) are public health and human rights crises of global proportions, with damaging consequences to the health and well-being of individuals and their communities. Fueled by gender inequality, social norms condoning violence and harmful traditional practices,1 and exacerbated by lack of commitment to take preventive and protective action and weak protection systems, violence against women and children (VAWC) as well as the magnitude, human toll and societal cost of this violence is increasingly acknowledged by the global community.

Together for Girls (TfG) is a partnership among national governments, UN entities and private sector organizations working at the intersection of VAW and VAC, with special attention to ending sexual violence against girls. Now being implemented in more than 22 countries, the TfG model supports governments to conduct a national household Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) and to use the data to mobilize action through policies and programs that embed violence prevention and response across multiple sectors.

In 2009, the Government of Tanzania, with support from TfG partners, most notably UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), undertook the VACS. Tanzania was the first country to implement a full VACS, surveying both girls and boys (ages 13-24) nationally to assess the prevalence of emotional, physical and sexual violence. It was also the first country to introduce a government-led, multi-sector task force to oversee the implementation of the survey and the ensuing violence prevention and response work catalyzed by the data, which led to the establishment of a multi-sectoral, costed National Plan of Action. Ten years after Tanzania’s landmark research, this case study seeks to consolidate learnings from the national experience of implementing the TfG model.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, family planning, gender-based violence, PEPFAR, reproductive health, Tanzania, U.S. policy, violence against women and children

[collapse]
Obama's Kenya Trip Should Elevate Focus on Women and Girls (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
June 18, 2015

Debate about President Obama’s legacy will shift to Africa in late July, when he travels to Kenya on his fourth and likely final presidential trip to the continent. The trip is expected to focus on supporting economic entrepreneurship and combatting terrorism, which, along with increasing Africa’s energy capacity and food security, have been central to his Africa policy. In my latest blog, I write that this agenda misses a necessary component for progress on the continent; the President could cement a lasting legacy by explicitly linking U.S. Africa policy to the health and empowerment of women and girls, arguably the continent’s most dynamic and underdeveloped resource and an indispensable component of any successful economic and security program.

This piece is based on Janet's recent trip to Malawi and Kenya as part of a CARE learning tour that focused on the importance of U.S. investments in women and girls. The delegation included five members of Congress and senior administration officials.

You can read the full blog post here.

Topics: Education, family planning, gender-based violence, Kenya, Malawi, maternal-child healthreproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Why It's Time to Put Women's Issues at the Center of Foreign Policy (2014 article)

Janet Fleischman
Global Public Square, CNN
May 14, 2014

The international outrage over Boko Haram’s abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls has escalated since the story first hit the news; mothers in Nigeria took action and celebrities from Angelina Jolie all the way to First Lady Michelle Obama have made their voices heard. With mainstream attention finally focused on why the education, health, and empowerment of women and girls matters to Americans, it is time for the Obama administration to re-enforce its commitment to these issues and elevate them as central to U.S. foreign policy.

Click here to read the article

Topics: Economic development, education, gender-based violence, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
How the U.S. Can Honor International Women's Day (2014 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
March 6, 2014

To mark International Women’s Day, First Lady Michelle Obama participated in the 2014 International Women of Courage awards ceremony at the State Department on March 4. The honorees, representing ten countries, were recognized for their extraordinary work on behalf of women and girls -- from combatting gender-based violence and acid attacks, to advancing reproductive health and human rights. The First Lady spoke passionately about the need to confront the challenges that women and girls face at home and around the world, and about how the women being honored “are creating ripples that stretch across the globe.”

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Gender-based violence, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Addressing Gender-Based Violence and HIV-AIDS: The PEPFAR Initiative in Tanzania (2012 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
July 11, 2012

The dual global epidemics of HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence (GBV) exert a destructive and disproportionate impact on women and girls, especially in high HIV prevalence countries in Africa. Despite bipartisan political consensus on the intersection of HIV and GBV, efforts to address this area have not attracted the necessary attention and resources to drive the program innovation that could demonstrate progress. That may now be beginning to change, with new momentum being brought to this agenda by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Reliefs (PEPFAR) GBV initiative.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, Tanzania, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The Women, Girls, and Gender Equality Principle of the Global Health Initiative (GHI): How Have U.S. Government Programs Responded? (2012 report)

Janet Fleischman
Kaiser Family Foundation
October 2012

The health and empowerment of women and girls around the world has been elevated as a priority on the U.S. diplomacy and development agendas. This has been evidenced by a number of actions taken by the Obama Administration, most notably the focus on women, girls, and gender equality (WGGE) as one of seven core principles of the Administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI). The GHI, announced in May 2009, was intended to promote a more comprehensive approach to U.S. government (USG) global health programs. As part of the GHI process, teams in countries receiving U.S. health assistance prepared GHI strategies, aligning their programs with the GHI’s principles, including WGGE, and have begun to implement those strategies.

To begin to understand how the principle is being applied to programs on the ground, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted key informant interviews with 15 GHI country teams as well as USG staff in Washington, DC. The findings from the interviews yielded nine central themes and trends related to the response to and implementation of WGGE.

Download a PDF of the report.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Women's Health and HIV/AIDS in Kenya (2010 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
April 21, 2010

With all the troubling political news coming out of Kenya these days, it’s important to highlight some promising initiatives that are under way in the arena of women’s health, often driven by civil society groups or international NGOs in collaboration with the government. One area where such initiatives are getting some traction involves the bi-directional integration of family planning/reproductive health with HIV/AIDS services. Indeed, the new approaches toward broader integration hold the promise of helping to address both the country’s HIV/AIDS crisis and women’s reproductive health needs, including addressing the huge unmet need for family planning.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, FP-HIV integrationreproductive health

[collapse]
Stop Violence Against Women: Fight AIDS (2005 report)

Janet Fleischman
The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (UNAIDS)
November 2005

Violence against women is a global health crisis of epidemic proportions and often a cause and consequence of HIV. Violence and the threat of violence dramatically increase the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV by making it difficult or impossible for women to abstain from sex, to get their partners to be faithful, or to use a condom.

Violence is also a barrier for women in accessing HIV prevention, care, and treatment services. That is why the UNAIDS-led Global Coalition on Women and AIDS has made stopping violence against women a top priority. High rates of violence make women more vulnerable Growing evidence from around the world shows that a large proportion of women and girls are subjected to violence by family members, acquaintances, and strangers.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Gender-based violence,HIV/AIDS

[collapse]
Suffering In Silence: The Links between Human Rights Abuses and HIV Transmission to Girls in Zambia (2002 report)

Janet Fleischman, based on research by Janet Fleischman and Joanne Csete
Human Rights Watch
November 2002

The catastrophe of HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome) in Africa, which has already claimed over 18 million lives on that continent, has hit girls and women harder than boys and men. In many countries of eastern and southern Africa, HIV prevalence among girls under age eighteen is four to seven times higher than among boys the same age, an unusual disparity that means a lower average age of death from AIDS, as well as more deaths overall, among women than men.

Abuses of the human rights of girls, especially sexual violence and other sexual abuse, contribute directly to this disparity in infection and mortality. In Zambia, as in other countries in the region, tens of thousands of girls—many orphaned by AIDS or otherwise without parental care—suffer in silence as the government fails to provide basic protections from sexual assault that would lessen their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.

Through girls’ own testimonies, this report shows sexual assault of girls in Zambia in the era of HIV/AIDS to be widespread and complex. It documents several categories of abuse that heighten girls’ risk of HIV infection, including (1) sexual assault of girls by family members, particularly the shocking and all too common practice of abuse of orphan girls by men who are their guardians, or by others who are charged to assist or look after them, including teachers, (2) abuse of girls, again often orphans, who are heads of household or otherwise desperately poor and have few options other than trading sex for their and their siblings’ survival, and (3) abuse of girls who live on the street, of whom many are there because they are without parental care. All of these situations of abuse must be addressed as part of combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zambia.

Click here to read the full report

Topics: Education, gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, Zambia

[collapse]
Shattered Lives: Sexual Violence During the Rwandan Genocide and Its Aftermath (1996 report)

Binaifer Nowrowjee, Janet Fleischman, and Alison DesForges
Human Rights Watch
September 1996

During the 1994 genocide, Rwandan women were subjected to sexual violence on a massive scale, perpetrated by members of the infamous Hutu militia groups known as the Interahamwe, by other civilians, and by soldiers of the Rwandan Armed Forces (Forces Armées Rwandaises, FAR), including the Presidential Guard. Administrative, military and political leaders at the national and local levels, as well as heads of militia, directed or encouraged both the killings and sexual violence to further their political goal: the destruction of the Tutsi as a group. They therefore bear responsibility for these abuses. 

Although the exact number of women raped will never be known, testimonies from survivors confirm that rape was extremely widespread and that thousands of women were individually raped, gang-raped, raped with objects such as sharpened sticks or gun barrels, held in sexual slavery (either collectively or through forced "marriage") or sexually mutilated. These crimes were frequently part of a pattern in which Tutsi women were raped after they had witnessed the torture and killings of their relatives and the destruction and looting of their homes. According to witnesses, many women were killed immediately after being raped.

Download the report

Topics: Gender-based violence, rape and genocide, Rwanda, U.S. policy

[collapse]
In Rwanda, Too, Rape Was a War Crime and Must Be Punished (1996 article)

Janet Fleischman and Binaifer Nowrowjee
International Herald-Tribune
July 25, 1996

In the genocide two years ago, many of Rwanda's women were brutally raped — in front of their relatives, sometimes with gun barrels or pieces of wood — and were then forced to watch as their assailants murdered their loved ones.

Thousands of women were raped, gang-raped, mutilated, held in sexual slavery or forcibly taken as "wives" by their persecutors. Not one of those indicted so far by the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, however, has been charged with rape. This aspect of the genocide must not be neglected, and right now the tribunal has a perfect opportunity to include rape in its prosecution.

You can find the article here

Topics: Gender-based violence, rape and genocide, Rwanda, U.S. policy

[collapse]

[collapse]
Gender Equality and Health

Janet interviews Geeta Rao Gupta on gender equality and health (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
March 2019

In this episode of Take as Directed, host Janet Fleischman sits down with Geeta Rao Gupta, executive director of the 3D Program for Girls and Women, former president of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), and former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF. They discuss the new series of The Lancet, of which Geeta was a principal author, that outlines the impact of gender norms and inequalities on health, describes persistent barriers to progress, and provides an agenda for action. They also discuss the recent Women Deliver conference in Vancouver and how to maintain optimism for the future.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, gender equality

[collapse]

[collapse]
Global Fund to Fight AIDS

An Analysis of the Gender Policies of the Three Major AIDS Financing Institutions: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the World Bank and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (2008 report)

Janet Fleischman
UNAIDS
July 2008

Funding for the response to the global AIDS crisis has increased exponentially in recent years, from US$ 260 million in 1996 to almost US$ 10 billion in 2007, nearly a forty-fold increase. While this figure still falls short of anticipated global need in the coming years, it is nonetheless a marked shift in the global response to the AIDS epidemic. At the same time, the new level of resources confers even greater responsibilities on the funding institutions to ensure that the key drivers of the epidemic are being addressed effectively.

This is particularly true in the area of gender and AIDS. While there is now broad international consensus that the gender dimension of the epidemic must be addressed, the three major AIDS financing institutions—the World Bank, the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund)—have not historically focused on ensuring that funding and programs adequately target gender issues. However, recent initiatives in each of the three institutions hold promise for new momentum in this area.

All three major AIDS funding institutions have recently acknowledged the importance of gender and the need to prioritize the gender issues, and each is looking at different approaches toward defining and expanding gender strategies and programs.

Download the PDF.

Topics: FundersPEPFAR, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, U.S. policy, World Bank

[collapse]

[collapse]
Global Health Initiative

The Women, Girls, and Gender Equality Principle of the Global Health Initiative (GHI): How Have U.S. Government Programs Responded? (2012 report)

Janet Fleischman
Kaiser Family Foundation
October 2012

The health and empowerment of women and girls around the world has been elevated as a priority on the U.S. diplomacy and development agendas. This has been evidenced by a number of actions taken by the Obama Administration, most notably the focus on women, girls, and gender equality (WGGE) as one of seven core principles of the Administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI). The GHI, announced in May 2009, was intended to promote a more comprehensive approach to U.S. government (USG) global health programs. As part of the GHI process, teams in countries receiving U.S. health assistance prepared GHI strategies, aligning their programs with the GHI’s principles, including WGGE, and have begun to implement those strategies.

To begin to understand how the principle is being applied to programs on the ground, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted key informant interviews with 15 GHI country teams as well as USG staff in Washington, DC. The findings from the interviews yielded nine central themes and trends related to the response to and implementation of WGGE.

Download a PDF of the report.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The Global Health Initiative in Malawi (2011 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
December 2, 2011

The Obama administration designated Malawi as a GHI Plus country in June 2010, one of the first eight countries selected to implement the Global Health Initiative’s (GHI) more comprehensive approach to global health and serve as learning labs for other GHI country programs.

The GHI team in Malawi has identified the health of women and girls, including HIV and family planning (FP)/reproductive health (RH) services, as critical, promising areas for GHI success. Though still in early stages of implementation, new approaches are emerging in Malawi that leverage resources from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to develop greater program synergies for women and girls. Yet Malawi’s weak health system, combined with ever more serious concerns about governance and human rights issues that are undermining donor support, present challenges that may threaten GHI’s ability to achieve sustainable results.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health InitiativeHIV/AIDS, Malawi, PEPFAR, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The Women, Girls, and Gender Equality Principle of the Global Health Initiative (GHI): Assessment of the GHI Plus Country Strategies (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Kaiser Family Foundation
June 2011

In May 2009, President Obama announced a new U.S. Global Health Initiative (GHI), proposed as a six-year, $63 billion effort to develop a comprehensive U.S. government strategy for global health, acting as an umbrella over most U.S. global health programs. The GHI is guided by seven core principles, the first of which is a “focus on women, girls, and gender equality.” The prominent attention given to this principle, particularly as the first of the seven core principles, was seen as an indication of the importance placed on the health of women and girls as well as gender equality on the U.S. global health agenda. It is not yet known, however, how this principle will be implemented at the country level, and how its inclusion in the GHI will impact the health outcomes of those women, girls, families, and communities whom the GHI is intended to reach.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, HIV-AIDS, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The Global Health Initiative: New Guidance Issued on Women, Girls, and Gender Equity (2011 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
May 3, 2011

On April 28, the U.S. Global Health Initiative (GHI) issued guidance on the women, girls, and gender equality principle – the first guidance to be issued about the GHI principles. The purpose of the guidance is to provide clarification on the goals and programming options for GHI country teams and partner countries. By explicitly recognizing that gender-related inequalities “disproportionately compromise the health of women and girls and, in turn, affect families and communities,” the GHI is moving forward in putting women and girls at the center of its response. Importantly, the guidance seeks to go beyond looking at women and girls just as beneficiaries of health services and extends into empowering women as key actors and decision makers.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The Global Health Initiative in Malawi: New Approaches and Challenges to Reaching Women and Girls (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
November 2011

The Obama administration designated Malawi as a GHI Plus country in June 2010, one of the first eight countries selected to implement the Global Health Initiative’s (GHI) more comprehensive approach to global health and serve as learning labs for other GHI country programs. The GHI team in Malawi has identified the health of women and girls, including HIV and family planning (FP)/reproductive health (RH) services, as critical, promising areas for GHI success.

Though still in early stages of implementation, new approaches are emerging in Malawi that leverage resources from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to develop greater program synergies for women and girls. Yet Malawi’s weak health system, combined with ever more serious concerns about governance and human rights issues that are undermining donor support, present challenges that may threaten GHI’s ability to achieve sustainable results.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, Malawi, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Improving Women's Health in South Africa: Opportunities for PEPFAR (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
October 2011

A period of major change is unfolding in health and HIV services in South Africa, carrying opportunities and risks for delivering effective, integrated health services that improve health outcomes and save lives. South Africa is decentralizing HIV services to the primary health are level, paving the way for greater integration to address women's health and to reduce maternal mortality. The United States can find feasible, flexible ways to support this process, even though its health program through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is scaling down. As PEPFAR transitions from an emergency to a more sustainable response, this is a crucial moment to demonstrate that it can address HIV-related goals by linking to more comprehensive services for women--notably linking HIV with family planning (FP), reproductive health (RH), and maternal child health (MCH). The stakes are high for PEPFAR and for the Global Health Initiative (GHI) to show results and, most importantly, for the women and children most at risk.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, maternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive health, reproductive health, South Africa, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The Women, Girls, and Gender Equality Principle of the Global Health Initiative (GHI): Assessment of the GHI Plus Country Strategies (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Kaiser Family Foundation
June 2011

In May 2009, President Obama announced a new U.S. Global Health Initiative (GHI), proposed as a six-year, $63 billion effort to develop a comprehensive U.S. government strategy for global health, acting as an umbrella over most U.S. global health programs. The GHI is guided by seven core principles, the first of which is a “focus on women, girls, and gender equality.” The prominent attention given to this principle, particularly as the first of the seven core principles, was seen as an indication of the importance placed on the health of women and girls as well as gender equality on the U.S. global health agenda. It is not yet known, however, how this principle will be implemented at the country level, and how its inclusion in the GHI will impact the health outcomes of those women, girls, families, and communities whom the GHI is intended to reach.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, HIV-AIDS, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Lessons from Kenya for the Global Health Initiative (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
February 2011

The Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), announced in May 2009 as a six-year, $63-billion program, has put a strong emphasis on integration of health services, building largely on the work of PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). As implementation of GHI is moving ahead and country strategies are being developed, this is an important moment to bring forward lessons learned from the experience of integration in the U.S. government’s health and development programs. A key example involves U.S. health programs in Kenya over the past five years, notably the APHIA program (the AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance program), which developed an integrated program based on the PEPFAR platform. This paper finds that the APHIA programs in Kenya hold some important lessons that should help inform GHI implementation. Since Kenya has been designated one of eight GHI-Plus countries,the emphasis on program integration in those U.S. government programs is especially relevant.

This paper, which is based on interviews conducted in Kenya in November 2010, as well as with policymakers and implementing partners in Washington, D.C., shows that the APHIA experience illustrates that integration across health sectors is feasible and effective, and that more focused evaluation of the impact of integrated programs would help Kenya and other GHI-Plus country teams and national governments as they develop their strategies. The maternal and child health (MCH) model in Kenya’s Western province is emerging as an innovative example of the benefits of providing women with a comprehensive set of MCH, family planning, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS services in an integrated setting.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, maternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive health

[collapse]
Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy (2010 report)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
November 2010

Global health, development, and gender are now understood to be dynamic and interlinked components of U.S. foreign policy. Given the emerging policy and programmatic debates on how these three domains are to be integrated to bring the greatest returns, especially in improving the health and welfare of women and girls, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center hosted a conference, entitled "Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy" on June 11, 2010. 

This report provides background on the programs represented at the conference, summaries of the speakers' presentations, and U.S. policy options that emerged from the conference. It is intended to help inform the discussion surrounding the implementation of GHI and PEPFAR II and to emphasize the importance of fully utilizing the opportunities to reach women and girls by addressing the health and development challenges that contribute to their risk of HIV.

Click here to read the report

Topics: Economic development, education, family planning-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, PEPFAR, South Africa, U.S. policy, women's empowerment, Zambia

[collapse]
Integrating HIV with Other Health Services for Women: New Models in Kenya (2010 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
November 11, 2010

The opportunities to integrate health services to better address the client’s needs – especially women – is a key piece of the Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI). I went to Kenya in November to look for lessons for GHI from another US program -- the PEPFAR-USAID program called the AIDS, Population, Health and Integrated Assistance Project (known as APHIA II; the next phase, APHIA Plus, will begin in 2011). APHIA II has shown that integration of HIV/AIDS and family planning can be an important component of HIV services for women, and that PEPFAR funds can be used effectively in an integrated setting to promote access to HIV services as well as broader health outcomes for women and children.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, PEPFAR

[collapse]
Dialogue with Development Partners: New U.S. Approach to Women and Girls in PEPFAR and the Global Health Initiative (2010 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Coalition on Women and AIDS
July 2010

The imperative to devote specific focus to the multifaceted issues faced by women and girls as a pillar of both global health and HIV strategies has gained increasing prominence in international policy discourse in recent years. Yet the global-level policy changes necessary to operationalize these strategies too rarely filter down to the range of actors at the country level, including to AIDS professionals within national governments, the United Nations and other development partner organizations, and to members of civil society.

This brief describes the new directions in U.S. policy, notably in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Health Initiative (GHI), and how these new goals might relate to strengthening national AIDS responses and programs focusing on women and girls.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]

[collapse]
H1N1 (Swine Flu)

The Vulnerability of Pregnant Women to H1N1 (Swine Flu) (2009 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
November 10, 2009

Pregnant women are known to be especially vulnerable to infection with influenza, including with the H1N1 virus, and to have an elevated risk of serious health complications, including disproportionately high fatality rates and spontaneous miscarriages. This increase in risk is due to the fact that a woman’s immune system is compromised during pregnancy, and because she faces a greater risk of respiratory complications in the later stages of pregnancy as the enlarging uterus compresses her diaphragm and chest. While the number of H1N1-associated deaths in pregnant women has not been huge, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that 13% of all H1N1-related deaths between April and June were among otherwise healthy pregnant women. In addition, pregnant women infected with H1N1 face a 4x greater risk of hospitalization than non-pregnant H1N1 patients.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: H1N1 (Swine Flu)

[collapse]

[collapse]
HIV/AIDS

The Promise and Challenge of PrEP for Adolescent Girls and Young Women (2020 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
November 2020

IIn this episode of AIDS 2021, we discuss pre-exposure prophylaxis — PrEP — a critical HIV prevention tool for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in countries with high HIV burdens. Janet Fleischman speaks with Mitchell Warren, the executive director of AVAC, and two women working with Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute in South Africa – Khanyi Kwatsha, a 26-year-old PrEP ambassador, and Elmari Briedenhann, a senior project manager. They discuss the importance of PrEP for AGYW and highlight innovative approaches to better reach this group and to address the inherent challenges of meeting the needs of this population.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, HIV/AIDS, prevention, South Africa

[collapse]
Parallel Epidemics: Covid-19 and Gender-Based Violence in South Africa (2020 video)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
July 2020

South Africa, which has the largest HIV epidemic in the world and one of the highest rates of gender-based violence, is now experiencing a worsening COVID-19 epidemic. Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Associate Scientific Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and a leading global expert on HIV/AIDS, spoke to CSIS about the particularly negative impact of Covid-19 on adolescent girls and young women, and how it is fueling a parallel epidemic of gender-based violence. At a time when even the President of South Africa has condemned the violence against women during the COVID-19 crisis, Professor Abdool Karim calls for a proactive response to these twin crises.

Click here to link to see the video.

Topics: Covid-19, gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]
“Competing with a Monster”: Women, Girls, and Covid-19 in South Africa (2020 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
July 16, 2020

In this episode of AIDS 2020, Janet Fleischman speaks with Dr. Linda-Gail Bekker, the deputy director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Center at the University of Cape Town, CEO of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, and former president of the International AIDS Society. They discuss the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the lives of adolescent girls and young women and the potential impact on the momentum of HIV prevention programs designed for this vulnerable population.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]
Covid-19 and Young Women: Voices from Kenya (2020 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 9, 2020

In this episode of AIDS 2020, Janet Fleischman speaks with two women in Kenya about the impact of Covid-19: Maurine Murenga, who is executive director of Lean On Me Foundation, which supports adolescent mothers living with HIV, as well as a Global Fund board member; and Brenda Ochieng, a peer mentor for Pathfinder’s DREAMS project in Mombasa, Kenya. They discuss the progress in and challenges to HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women in Kenya, and the worsening impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on this population.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, reproductive health, violence against women and children

[collapse]
Janet interviews Amb. Mark Dybul on why demographic trends matter for global health (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host

Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
September 3, 2019

The population of Africa is expected to double over the next 20 years, which means that many countries are facing either a demographic dividend or potentially a disaster, with critical implications for global health and development. In this episode of Take as Directed, Janet Fleischman sits down with Amb. Mark Dybul, Director of the Center for Global Health and Quality, and Professor in the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, and formerly head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. They discuss why these demographic trends matter and how U.S. programs can better engage young people, especially adolescent girls and young women, to address their needs and support local innovation.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud.

Topics: Demographic trends, family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Demographic Trends and Youth Empowerment in Africa: Opportunities for U.S. Engagement (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
June 2019

Many of the fastest growing populations are in the world’s poorest countries, putting them at a critical threshold: either they will accelerate economic growth and innovation by investing in their burgeoning youth population or the rapid population growth coupled with a shortage of opportunities for young people will undermine advances in health, development, and ultimately security. These demographic trends, most notable in sub-Saharan Africa, are often referred to as a “youth boom” or a “youth bulge.” Given the enormous implications of these demographic shifts, U.S. assistance should promote young people’s health and development, with particular emphasis on empowering young women. Investments in human capital and gender equality would yield enormous benefits in improving health, reducing poverty, and increasing economic and political stability. Given that these goals align so strongly with U.S. national interests, they benefit from strong bipartisan support.

This agenda constitutes an urgent priority. The magnitude of this demographic transition is evident in sub-Saharan Africa; sixty percent of the population is under the age of 25 and is projected to dramatically increase in the coming years due to decreased under-five child mortality and to continued high fertility, which is often driven by early and closely spaced childbearing. In many of these countries, notably in the Sahel region of West Africa, the population may double as soon as 2030—the year the world community pledged to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals—and possibly quadruple by the end of the century. Overall, the population in sub-Saharan Africa could increase from 1 billion to 4 billion before the end of the century.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Demographic trends, family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The World's Largest HIV Epidemic in Crisis: HIV In South Africa (2019 article)

Janet Fleischman and Sara M. Allinder
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
April 2, 2019

In some communities of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, 60 percent of women have HIV. Nearly 4,500 South Africans are newly infected every week; one-third are adolescent girls/young women (AGYW) ages 15-24. These are staggering figures, by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, the HIV epidemic is not being treated like a crisis. In February, we traveled to South Africa, to understand what is happening in these areas with “hyper-endemic” HIV epidemics, where prevalence rates exceed 15 percent among adults. We were alarmed by the complacency toward the rate of new infections at all levels and the absence of an emergency response, especially for young people.

This is no time for business as usual from South Africa or its partners, including the U.S. government through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The epidemic is exacerbated by its concentration in 15-49-year-olds, those of reproductive and working age who are the backbone of South Africa. Without aggressive action to reduce the rate of new infections in young people, HIV will continue to take a tremendous toll on the country for years and generations to come. Collective action is needed to push beyond the complacency and internal barriers to implement policies and interventions that directly target HIV prevention and treatment for young people. PEPFAR should ensure its programs support those efforts.

Click here to read the full commentary.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, maternal-child health, South Africa, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Women's Economic Empowerment and Women's Health Services (2018 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
December 2018

Support for women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship around the world is gaining considerable momentum, manifested in recent U.S. and World Bank initiatives. This is an issue of global importance that garners extensive bipartisan support, rooted in data about the benefits for alleviating poverty and advancing economic growth. Yet economic empowerment does not exist in isolation in women’s lives; it is interconnected with and dependent upon access to women’s health services, notably maternal health and family planning, as a fundamental enabling factor. Simply put, women cannot meaningfully participate in the labor force if they are not healthy and able to decide the timing and spacing of their pregnancies. Concerted, bipartisan leadership is necessary to ensure that U.S. support for economic empowerment is intentionally aligned with U.S. investments in women’s global health.

As context for its recommendations, this paper examines the current momentum on women’s economic empowerment and lays out the growing evidence. The report is based on numerous key informant interviews and bipartisan discussions, through the CSIS Women’s Health Policy Forum, that explored the critical connections between women’s economic empowerment—defined to include education, labor force participation, and agency—and their access to family planning and maternal health services as well as HIV services targeted to women and girls.
 

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Janet interviews Quarraisha Abdool Karim about HIV in South Africa (2018 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Alex Bush, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
July 2018

Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim is one of the world’s leading AIDS researchers and has made pioneering contributions to understanding the HIV epidemic in young people, especially among young women. She joined us for a two-part series to explain her latest research into epidemic hot spots in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, focusing on both the structural and biological risk factors that facilitate the spread of HIV in young women. In Part 1, she discusses the social and economic factors that contribute to the dramatic differences in HIV rates in women and men at different ages.In Part 2, she describes her recent findings about biological factors that can simultaneously increase a woman’s risk of HIV acquisition and decrease the efficacy of HIV prevention tools.

Click here to link to Part 1 and here to link to Part 2.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]
Addressing HIV in Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Malawi: The DREAMS Partnership (2017 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2017

In many ways, Malawi exemplifies the success of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Over the last 14 years, new HIV infections have declined by 34 percent. Despite being among the poorest countries in the world, Malawi is approaching its HIV treatment targets. The possibility of controlling the epidemic is within reach.

But Malawi also lays bare major challenges and gaps facing the HIV response, notably how to prevent HIV and address HIV risk for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in low-resource settings.

Malawi is 1 of 10 focus countries in east and southern Africa under DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), a public-private partnership led by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that aims to reduce the number of new HIV infections among 15- to 24-year-old women by 40 percent in geographic “hot spots.” As a prevention program, it is attempting to reach young women and their male partners, populations that have proven very difficult to reach thus far.

This is a moment of heightened focus on the urgency of addressing HIV in adolescent girls and young women by the United States, other international partners, and the government of Malawi. To learn more about the status of DREAMS implementation and lessons for other country programs, CSIS conducted a research trip to Malawi in April 2017.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), HIV-AIDS, Malawi, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The Next Frontier: Stop New HIV Infections in Adolescent Girls and Young Women (2017 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2017

U.S. leadership through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS1 Relief (PEPFAR) has driven remarkable progress in curbing the global AIDS epidemic, raising the possibility of epidemic control in 10 African countries by 2020. But this success masks areas of urgent unfinished business that could derail this momentum, notably preventing HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women ages 15-24 in East and Southern Africa.  Addressing the acute risks that these young women face presents unique challenges, especially in the current U.S. budgetary environment, but continued progress against HIV requires that this be a consistent and sustained U.S. priority. The benefits are clear and compelling: empowering these young women and providing access to services to protect themselves from HIV enables them to be healthy and to thrive, which contributes to healthier, more stable and prosperous families, communities, and societies.

Adolescent girls and young women face significantly higher HIV risk than males their age. That, combined with a youth population that has doubled since the start of the epidemic, leads to an inescapable conclusion: if new HIV infections among girls and young women are not greatly reduced, PEPFAR’s enormous investments to achieve an AIDS-free generation are at risk, as is the global response. Focusing on adolescent girls and young women, while also systematically engaging their male partners, provides a critical opportunity to interrupt the cycle of HIV transmission.

In response to these stark realities, in late 2014 PEPFAR launched DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe), a public-private partnership to reduce HIV in adolescent girls and young women in 10 countries. DREAMS holds notable promise in confronting this critical next frontier in fighting HIV, but faces challenges in demonstrating short-term impact on social and economic realities that directly or indirectly contribute to HIV risk for these young women.

Download the PDF.

Topics: DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), HIV-AIDS, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Janet interviews Amb. Virginia Palmer about why preventing HIV in adolescent girls and young women Is critical for Malawi (2017 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Cathryn Streifel, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
July 2017

Amb. Virginia Palmer, U.S. Ambassador to Malawi, is a powerful champion for addressing the needs of adolescent girls and young women as the fulcrum for all development goals. We asked her to reflect on efforts in Malawi to control the AIDS epidemic through DREAMS, a public-private partnership designed to prevent new infections in this population. She emphasized the importance of empowering them with education, health and community interventions. Such an approach is necessary to curb the HIV crisis in Malawi, which in turn impacts all other U.S. development programs, and ultimately global health security.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud. 

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), HIV-AIDS, Malawi, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Janet interviews Celina Schocken of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon on the Fight Against Cervical Cancer (2017 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Katey Peck, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
May 16, 2017

Celina Schocken is CEO of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, an independent affiliate of the George W. Bush Institute that focuses on cervical and breast cancer prevention and treatment. We asked her to speak about the organization’s work, including why cervical cancer screening should be part of HIV and reproductive health, new innovative technologies, and an April delegation led by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush to Botswana and Namibia.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud.

Topics: Cervical cancer, HIV-AIDS, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
It’s Time to Listen: Young Women and HIV/AIDS in Zambia (2016 video)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
The CSIS Global Health Policy Center
July 2016

The CSIS Global Health Policy Center produced this video during a visit to Zambia in April 2016. It profiles four young Zambian women who describe the stark realities for adolescent girls and young women that fuel the AIDS epidemic – sexual violence, barriers to education and family planning, and gender inequality. Through their stories and insights, the video illustrates that in order to address the AIDS crisis in Southern Africa, we must understand the risks that young women face and work to engage and empower them.

Click here to watch the video. You can link to the Zambia page of the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Family planningHIV/AIDS, reproductive healthZambia

[collapse]
Public-Private Partnerships for Women's Health in Zambia (2016 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
The CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
July 2016

Zambia is a lower-middle-income country struggling with critical health challenges, including high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality, malnutrition, cervical cancer, and a severe HIV/AIDS epidemic that disproportionately affects adolescent girls and young women. The United States is the largest donor to the health sector in Zambia, largely through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Over the past five years, the U.S. has also helped establish several public-private partnerships (PPPs) aimed at advancing the health of women and families. These PPPs provide lessons about the potential impact of these approaches, the challenges inherent in such partnerships, and the importance of PEPFAR support. With future U.S. global health funding likely to be flat-lined, this is an important moment to assess how partnerships with the private sector can amplify the impact of U.S. investments in women’s and family health.

A delegation from the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health visited Zambia in April 2016 to examine U.S. investments through three partnerships: Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL), Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR), and DREAMS. The delegation sought to understand these partnerships in Zambia within the context of U.S. support for women’s and family health, which represent the core of functional health systems.

Click here to read the report. You can link to the Zambia page of the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Cervical cancer, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, public-private partnerships, reproductive health, Saving Mothers-Giving Life, U.S. policyZambia

[collapse]
Family Planning and Women's Health in Kenya (2015 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katherine Peck
CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
December 2015

Voluntary family planning is one of the most transformative interventions in global health, critical to improving women’s health and to saving the lives of women and children in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Beyond the direct health benefits, family planning is essential for women’s empowerment and sustainable development, contributing to improvements in education, economic growth, and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. As the global leader in supporting family planning, the United States has a vital role to play in helping countries improve the lives of women and families.

To understand the impact of U.S. investments, this report examines U.S. support for family planning in Kenya at a pivotal moment for these issues globally. As a regional leader in family planning and a priority country for U.S. family planning and maternal-child health assistance, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Kenya provides a lens through which to assess the opportunities and challenges in expanding access and transitioning to greater sustainability.

Kenya has made significant progress in family planning, with one of the highest contraceptive prevalence rates in the region at 58 percent, yet faces important challenges in maintaining momentum.

In the polarized U.S. political environment, funding for family planning programs faces persistent challenges. There is a risk that without clear U.S. commitment, these critical interventions could be derailed. Strong, bipartisan leadership is required to depoliticize these issues and to highlight the importance of voluntary family planning and healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies to improve women’s health, prevent unintended pregnancies, increase child survival, avert millions of abortions, and improve economic and social development. U.S. policy toward Kenya is in many ways a laboratory for the region with lessons for other countries.

You can find the full report here, and you can link to the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe)family planning, family planning-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, Kenyamaternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive healthU.S. policy

[collapse]
An Emergency that Requires Taking Risk (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
April 21, 2015

“The very progress we’ve made in HIV/AIDS over the last 20 years is at risk right now because of our lack of engagement with young women.” That was the stark message delivered by Ambassador Deborah Birx, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, at a dynamic, high-level panel at CSIS on April 17, which also featured Ambassador Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Geeta Rao Gupta, deputy executive director of UNICEF; and Judith Bruce, senior associate and policy analyst at the Population Council. Ambassador Dybul echoed the urgency of new initiatives working to address this population: “This opportunity is one we just can’t miss.”

At the event, CSIS released a new report, Addressing HIV Risk in Adolescent Girls and Young Women. The report examines how adolescent girls and young women have become a priority focus in the fight against global HIV/AIDS, the approaches that have proven effective, and the gaps and challenges that remain. In particular, the report highlights the new DREAMS Partnership, launched by PEPFAR in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nike Foundation, to significantly reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women. With $210 million and highly ambitious goals, the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe) Partnership aims to address HIV risks for adolescent girls and young women in high-burden “hot spots” in 10 countries throughout eastern and southern Africa. The partnership’s goal is to reduce HIV incidence in this population by 25 percent in two years, and by 40 percent in three years. Whether these targets are attainable or simply aspirational remains to be seen, but they represent a determined effort to do things differently.

The panel discussed new ways to increase the empowerment, security, and agency of adolescent girls and young women, including looking at the impact of gender-based violence, cash transfers/incentives, education for girls, safe spaces for girls, and reproductive health/family planning. Although little research has evaluated the combined impact of putting all these interventions together, the panelists agreed that this is the moment to move forward in pursuit of a multisectoral approach. The panelists also expressed the hope that new funding would continue to emerge from multilateral institutions, government partners, and the private sector.  These different funders can leverage each other’s investments.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), funders, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Addressing HIV Risk in Adolescent Girls and Young Women (2015 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katherine Peck
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
April 2015

[captionpix imgsrc="https://janetfleischman.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Cover-addressing-hiv-risk.jpg" width="85" height="126" align="left"]

The data are stark and incontrovertible: In eastern and southern Africa, girls account for 80 percent of all new HIV infections among adolescents, and HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for girls aged 15-19. With 7,000 girls and young women aged 15-24 infected every week, the goal of an AIDS-free generation cannot be achieved without a dramatic new approach to this population. After years of neglect, a global convergence is emerging around the urgency of going beyond biomedical interventions to address the social and economic factors driving HIV risk for adolescent girls and young women. Whether this new attention can catalyze reductions in new HIV infections represents a fundamental challenge for controlling the AIDS epidemic.

In a major shift, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) launched a new initiative on World AIDS Day in December 2014, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nike Foundation, to significantly reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women. With $210 million and highly ambitious goals, the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe) Partnership aims to address HIV risks for adolescent girls and young women in high-burden "hot spots" in 10 countries in eastern and southern Africa by identifying where these young women are being infected, what is putting them at risk, and how to target programs accordingly. The partnership's goal is to reduce incidence in high-burden areas by 25 percent in two years, and by 40 percent in three years. Whether these targets are attainable or simply aspirational remains to be seen, but they represent a determined effort to do things differently.

DREAMS and other international partnerships focused on HIV in adolescent girls and young women represent an ambitious effort to go beyond biomedical interventions to address the social and economic factors that put this population at risk of infection. It remains to be seen, however, if these initiatives can demonstrate impact in a short timeframe, and build toward sustainable programs. This is a critical moment to transform a growing global interest in women and girls in a range of sectors into effective HIV programing, and to highlight the results at the July 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.

Download the report here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), funders, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Strengthening U.S. Investments in Women's Global Health (2013 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
May 21, 2013

U.S. policymakers and private-sector partners increasingly appreciate the importance of targeted U.S. investments in women’s health to achieve global health outcomes, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. With budgetary constraints worsening, progress in women’s health will require maximizing investments by engaging new partners, identifying program synergies, and aligning with countries’ national priorities to meet women’s needs. Such strategic coordination—involving maternal newborn and child health, voluntary family planning, and HIV and AIDS services—presents new opportunities to expand the impact of U.S. investments. 

In March 2013, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center led a delegation to Zambia to examine the opportunities and challenges of strengthening U.S. policy approaches to women’s global health issues. 

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, U.S. policy, Zambia

[collapse]
Strengthening U.S. Investments in Women's Global Health: A Trip Report of the CSIS Delegation to Zambia (2013 report)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
May 2013

U.S. policymakers and private-sector partners increasingly appreciate the importance of targeted U.S. investments in women's health to achieve global health outcomes, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. With budgetary constraints worsening, progress in women's health will require maximizing investment by engaging new partners., identifying program synergies, and aligning with countries' national priorities to meet women's needs. Such strategic coordination--involving maternal newborn and child health, voluntary family planning, and HIV and AIDS services--presents new opportunities to expand the impact of U.S. investments.

In March 2013, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center led a delegation to Zambia to examine the opportunities and challenges related to strengthening U.S. policy approaches to women's global health issues. CSIS chose to visit Zambia because of the new level of political will and leadership on women's health issues in the country; women leaders, in particular, are in an exceptional position to drive forward country ownership, including Zambia's first lady and other high-level government health officials.

Download a PDF of the report.

Click here to read a blog post about the report.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, U.S. policy, Zambia

[collapse]
Cervical Cancer and HIV in Women (2013 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Julia Nagel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
February 10, 2013

Cervical cancer kills an estimated 275,000 women every year, 85 percent of whom are in developing countries. The link between HIV and cervical cancer is direct and deadly; HIV-infected women who are also infected with specific types of human papilloma virus (HPV) are 4-5 times more susceptible to cervical cancer than HIV-negative women. This has important implications for HIV programs, especially in countries with significant HIV epidemics. 

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS, Zambia

[collapse]
President Joyce Banda: New Focus on Women's Health and Empowerment in Malawi (2013 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Julia Nagel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
January 8, 2013

When Joyce Banda unexpectedly ascended to the presidency of Malawi last April, after the death of President Mutharika, many in her country and around the world wondered what her impact would be as Malawi’s first female president. Among the many challenges, her government faces high rates of maternal mortality, high total fertility rates, and high HIV prevalence among women and girls, combined with low levels of women’s economic empowerment and widespread violence against women.

A short video interview with President Banda explores how women leaders in Africa are bringing new attention to women’s health and empowerment in their own countries, and how they're bringing those voices into the discussion about U.S. policy priorities for women’s global health.

Click here to read the full blog post. You can watch the video here.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, Malawi, maternal-child health, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Cervical Cancer and HIV in Women (2013 video)

Janet Fleischman and Julia Nagel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
January 2013

Cervical cancer kills an estimated 275,000 women every year, 85 percent of whom are in developing countries. The link between HIV and cervical cancer is direct and deadly; HIV-infected women who are also infected with specific types of human papilloma virus (HPV) are 4-5 times more susceptible to cervical cancer than HIV-negative women. This has important implications for HIV programs, especially in countries with significant HIV epidemics. To understand the opportunities and challenges of integrating cervical cancer screening and treatment into HIV services for women, the Center for Strategic and International Studies traveled to Zambia, which has been at the forefront of integrating these services.

Click here to see the video. 

Topics: Cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS, Zambia

[collapse]
Senators Show Bipartisan Support for U.S. Engagement on HIV/AIDS (2012 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
July 25, 2012

Senators John Kerry and Lindsey Graham delivered strong messages of bipartisan political support for U.S. engagement on global AIDS in Monday’s plenary session of AIDS 2012.  The participation of this senior Senate Democrat and Republican testified to the crucial bipartisan support that has characterized the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR, since its inception.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The Promise of Eliminating HIV Infections in Children and Keeping Mothers Healthy (2012 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
July 23, 2012

This is an exciting and promising moment in the global effort to eliminate new HIV infections among children; we can finally see the possibility of eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV. To address the current status of these efforts and the way forward, the heads of WHO, UNICEF, and PEPFAR joined with ministers of health from Africa, representatives from the Global Fund, UNAIDS, UNITAID, the private sector, and women living with HIV at CSIS on July 22. You can find full video of the event here.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR

[collapse]
HIV and Family Planning Integration: Building on the PEPFAR Platform in Tanzania (2012 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
July 20, 2012

The world's HIV/AIDS leaders are gathering in Washington, D.C., this week under the theme "turning the tide together." Yet the hope and optimism around creating an "AIDS-free generation" needs to be channeled into critical strategies that could make an immediate difference for women and girls. 

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is well positioned to serve as a foundation for other global health programs, building on its health infrastructure, training, and systems. To fulfill that potential in the vital area of women’s health will require integrating HIV/AIDS services with family planning and reproductive health services. I was recently in Tanzania, where the results of U.S. health investments indicate that this is a feasible and cost effective strategy to combat the AIDS epidemic and promote the health of women and girls, and through them their families and communities. 

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, Tanzania, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Addressing Gender-Based Violence and HIV-AIDS: The PEPFAR Initiative in Tanzania (2012 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
July 11, 2012

The dual global epidemics of HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence (GBV) exert a destructive and disproportionate impact on women and girls, especially in high HIV prevalence countries in Africa. Despite bipartisan political consensus on the intersection of HIV and GBV, efforts to address this area have not attracted the necessary attention and resources to drive the program innovation that could demonstrate progress. That may now be beginning to change, with new momentum being brought to this agenda by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Reliefs (PEPFAR) GBV initiative.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, Tanzania, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The Women, Girls, and Gender Equality Principle of the Global Health Initiative (GHI): How Have U.S. Government Programs Responded? (2012 report)

Janet Fleischman
Kaiser Family Foundation
October 2012

The health and empowerment of women and girls around the world has been elevated as a priority on the U.S. diplomacy and development agendas. This has been evidenced by a number of actions taken by the Obama Administration, most notably the focus on women, girls, and gender equality (WGGE) as one of seven core principles of the Administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI). The GHI, announced in May 2009, was intended to promote a more comprehensive approach to U.S. government (USG) global health programs. As part of the GHI process, teams in countries receiving U.S. health assistance prepared GHI strategies, aligning their programs with the GHI’s principles, including WGGE, and have begun to implement those strategies.

To begin to understand how the principle is being applied to programs on the ground, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted key informant interviews with 15 GHI country teams as well as USG staff in Washington, DC. The findings from the interviews yielded nine central themes and trends related to the response to and implementation of WGGE.

Download a PDF of the report.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Gender-Based Violence and HIV: Emerging Lessons from the PEPFAR Initiative In Tanzania (2012 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2012

The dual global epidemics of HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence (GBV) exert a destructive and disproportionate impact on women and girls, especially in prevalence countries in Africa. Yet despite bipartisan political consensus on the intersection between HIV and GBV, efforts to address this area have not attracted the attention or resources necessary to drive the program innovation that could demonstrate progress. However, new momentum is now being brought to this agenda with the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief's (PEPFAR) GBV initiative.

This paper examines how the GBV initiative is being introduced in Tanzania, one of the GBV focus countries, based on interviews in Tanzania in April 2012 with U.S. government officials, nongovernmental organizations, and implementing partners, as well as interviews in Washington, D.C. It describes the importance of this initiative for the work of PEPFAR and the Global Health Initiative (GHI), impediments to progress, why this program has the potential to provide valuable and timely lessons for achieving HIV-related goals and for improving health outcomes for women and girls, and priority steps for getting the best results in the future.

Download a PDF of the report.

Topics: FP-HIV integration, Gender-based violence, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, reproductive health, Tanzania

[collapse]
The Global Health Initiative in Malawi (2011 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
December 2, 2011

The Obama administration designated Malawi as a GHI Plus country in June 2010, one of the first eight countries selected to implement the Global Health Initiative’s (GHI) more comprehensive approach to global health and serve as learning labs for other GHI country programs.

The GHI team in Malawi has identified the health of women and girls, including HIV and family planning (FP)/reproductive health (RH) services, as critical, promising areas for GHI success. Though still in early stages of implementation, new approaches are emerging in Malawi that leverage resources from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to develop greater program synergies for women and girls. Yet Malawi’s weak health system, combined with ever more serious concerns about governance and human rights issues that are undermining donor support, present challenges that may threaten GHI’s ability to achieve sustainable results.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health InitiativeHIV/AIDS, Malawi, PEPFAR, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Political Tensions Threaten HIV Program in Malawi (2011 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Post
July 29, 2011

The growing political and economic crisis in Malawi, highlighted by the government’s use of force against peaceful demonstrators last week, could also imperil the groundbreaking expansion of Malawi’s national HIV/AIDS program.

Click here to read the full blog post

Topics: HIV/AIDS, Malawi

[collapse]
The Women, Girls, and Gender Equality Principle of the Global Health Initiative (GHI): Assessment of the GHI Plus Country Strategies (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Kaiser Family Foundation
June 2011

In May 2009, President Obama announced a new U.S. Global Health Initiative (GHI), proposed as a six-year, $63 billion effort to develop a comprehensive U.S. government strategy for global health, acting as an umbrella over most U.S. global health programs. The GHI is guided by seven core principles, the first of which is a “focus on women, girls, and gender equality.” The prominent attention given to this principle, particularly as the first of the seven core principles, was seen as an indication of the importance placed on the health of women and girls as well as gender equality on the U.S. global health agenda. It is not yet known, however, how this principle will be implemented at the country level, and how its inclusion in the GHI will impact the health outcomes of those women, girls, families, and communities whom the GHI is intended to reach.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, HIV-AIDS, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Re-Useable Sanitary Pads Helping Keep Girls In School (2011 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
February 2, 2011

Could distributing kits of re-usable sanitary pads to schoolgirls in Kenya help adolescent and teenage girls’ ability to stay in school? Could it educate them about HIV prevention? Could it ultimately help empower girls? The Huru project – which means “freedom” in Swahili – is working to show that it can. 

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Kenya, HIV/AIDS

[collapse]
Lessons from Kenya for the Global Health Initiative (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
February 2011

The Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), announced in May 2009 as a six-year, $63-billion program, has put a strong emphasis on integration of health services, building largely on the work of PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). As implementation of GHI is moving ahead and country strategies are being developed, this is an important moment to bring forward lessons learned from the experience of integration in the U.S. government’s health and development programs. A key example involves U.S. health programs in Kenya over the past five years, notably the APHIA program (the AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance program), which developed an integrated program based on the PEPFAR platform. This paper finds that the APHIA programs in Kenya hold some important lessons that should help inform GHI implementation. Since Kenya has been designated one of eight GHI-Plus countries,the emphasis on program integration in those U.S. government programs is especially relevant.

This paper, which is based on interviews conducted in Kenya in November 2010, as well as with policymakers and implementing partners in Washington, D.C., shows that the APHIA experience illustrates that integration across health sectors is feasible and effective, and that more focused evaluation of the impact of integrated programs would help Kenya and other GHI-Plus country teams and national governments as they develop their strategies. The maternal and child health (MCH) model in Kenya’s Western province is emerging as an innovative example of the benefits of providing women with a comprehensive set of MCH, family planning, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS services in an integrated setting.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, maternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive health

[collapse]
Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy (2010 report)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
November 2010

Global health, development, and gender are now understood to be dynamic and interlinked components of U.S. foreign policy. Given the emerging policy and programmatic debates on how these three domains are to be integrated to bring the greatest returns, especially in improving the health and welfare of women and girls, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center hosted a conference, entitled "Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy" on June 11, 2010. 

This report provides background on the programs represented at the conference, summaries of the speakers' presentations, and U.S. policy options that emerged from the conference. It is intended to help inform the discussion surrounding the implementation of GHI and PEPFAR II and to emphasize the importance of fully utilizing the opportunities to reach women and girls by addressing the health and development challenges that contribute to their risk of HIV.

Click here to read the report

Topics: Economic development, education, family planning-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, PEPFAR, South Africa, U.S. policy, women's empowerment, Zambia

[collapse]
Integrating HIV with Other Health Services for Women: New Models in Kenya (2010 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
November 11, 2010

The opportunities to integrate health services to better address the client’s needs – especially women – is a key piece of the Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI). I went to Kenya in November to look for lessons for GHI from another US program -- the PEPFAR-USAID program called the AIDS, Population, Health and Integrated Assistance Project (known as APHIA II; the next phase, APHIA Plus, will begin in 2011). APHIA II has shown that integration of HIV/AIDS and family planning can be an important component of HIV services for women, and that PEPFAR funds can be used effectively in an integrated setting to promote access to HIV services as well as broader health outcomes for women and children.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, PEPFAR

[collapse]
Dialogue with Development Partners: New U.S. Approach to Women and Girls in PEPFAR and the Global Health Initiative (2010 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Coalition on Women and AIDS
July 2010

The imperative to devote specific focus to the multifaceted issues faced by women and girls as a pillar of both global health and HIV strategies has gained increasing prominence in international policy discourse in recent years. Yet the global-level policy changes necessary to operationalize these strategies too rarely filter down to the range of actors at the country level, including to AIDS professionals within national governments, the United Nations and other development partner organizations, and to members of civil society.

This brief describes the new directions in U.S. policy, notably in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Health Initiative (GHI), and how these new goals might relate to strengthening national AIDS responses and programs focusing on women and girls.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Tackling TB and HIV in Women: An Urgent Agenda (2010 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Coalition on Women and AIDS
July 2010

The interlinked tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemics are taking a dramatic toll on women’s lives, notably in countries with high HIV prevalence. While TB is now the third leading cause of death among women aged 15-44, killing some 700,000 women every year and causing illness in millions more, it is particularly lethal for women living with HIV. Yet the burden of the dual TB/HIV epidemic on women, and the gender-related barriers to detection and treatment, are not being addressed explicitly by global donors, national health systems, or community groups. The urgency of this situation demands that TB be elevated as a key women’s health issue, and that TB screening, prevention and treatment be made a routine part of HIV, reproductive health and maternal and child health services. The lives of millions of women depend on our ability to move this agenda forward.

Download the PDF.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, prevention, TB, treatment

[collapse]
Women's Health and HIV/AIDS in Kenya (2010 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
April 21, 2010

With all the troubling political news coming out of Kenya these days, it’s important to highlight some promising initiatives that are under way in the arena of women’s health, often driven by civil society groups or international NGOs in collaboration with the government. One area where such initiatives are getting some traction involves the bi-directional integration of family planning/reproductive health with HIV/AIDS services. Indeed, the new approaches toward broader integration hold the promise of helping to address both the country’s HIV/AIDS crisis and women’s reproductive health needs, including addressing the huge unmet need for family planning.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, FP-HIV integrationreproductive health

[collapse]
The Linkages between Education and HIV/AIDS in Girls' Education (2009 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
October 6, 2009

Girls’ education has long been recognized as a critical tool in the fight against HIV/AIDS, in the empowerment of women and girls, and in enhancing the health and welfare of families and communities. In a severely AIDS-affected country like Zambia, education and HIV/AIDS are inseparable: the epidemic is causing many girls in poor communities to lose access to education, often compelling them to withdraw from school to look after sick parents or to care for their siblings, or the absenteeism resulting from their care-giving duties leaves them unable to keep up at school. Even those who stay in school face risks related to sexual abuse by teachers themselves or by older men who offer them money in exchange for sex, sometimes as a way to pay for school fees.

Click here to link to the full blog post

Topics: Education, HIV/AIDS, Zambia

[collapse]
School-Based Outreach in KwaZulu Natal (2009 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
September 22, 2009

The province of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa is the hardest hit with HIV, with HIV prevalence rates at antenatal clinics estimated to be over 40 percent - about twice as high as the national prevalence. When combined with high rates of teenage pregnancy – about one-third of 18 and 19 year olds have already given birth - it is critical to address the social and economic factors that are contributing to this alarming situation. Data collected by the New York-based Population Council have shown that factors such as poverty, orphanhood, and social isolation can influence sexual behaviors, and therefore HIV risk.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Education, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]
Gender, AIDS and Development in Southern Africa (2009 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
September 18, 2009

I’m heading to South Africa and Zambia to look at innovative programs that link gender, AIDS, and development. While PEPFAR is not designed to fund development programs, there is a growing recognition that U.S. HIV/AIDS funding must link with the broader development agenda. Given the high HIV infection rates among women and girls in southern Africa, I am going to investigate how HIV/AIDS funding can be linked to aspects of the development agenda to address the structural, societal factors that shape women and girls’ risk of HIV infection and complicate their situations once infected. Key linkages with the development arena include family planning and reproductive health as an essential component of HIV/AIDS services, and education for girls and economic empowerment for women as HIV prevention strategies.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Economic development, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]
Africa: How Michelle Obama Can Help Africa (2009 article)

Janet Fleischman
AllAfrica.com
May 29, 2009

When Michelle Obama, the first lady of the United States, visits Ghana with President Barack Obama in July, the powerful voice she has used to empower disadvantaged girls at home can be extended to Africa. By spotlighting the disproportionate impact of Aids on women and girls, she can help strengthen the Aids response - at home and abroad.

Link to the column.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Maximizing HIV Prevention: Building the Case for Social and Economic Vaccines (2008 report)

Janet Fleischman
CARE
July 2008

The XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City sheds a global spotlight on both the progress in combating HIV and AIDS and the failure of our current prevention efforts to stem the epidemic. Despite increased funding for and access to HIV and AIDS treatment around the world, the imperative to vastly increase HIV prevention remains urgent: for every two people put on treatment, five more are newly infected. In the absence of a medical vaccine, the course of the epidemic will depend on how the global community rises to the challenge of prevention.

CARE’s global work on HIV and AIDS in over 40 countries demonstrates that making a real difference in the AIDS epidemic requires more comprehensive, multisectoral approaches to prevention that address the broader context and the factors that are fueling the epidemic. We need strategies that link HIV prevention with development approaches that attack the underlying causes of vulnerability to HIV – such as economic and food security, community empowerment, reproductive health and education – that can build economic and social “vaccines.” A comprehensive approach of this nature means going beyond traditional prevention programming focusing on individual behavior change to also address the social, economic and cultural factors that shape people’s risk of contracting HIV and impede their access to prevention programs.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Economic development, HIV/AIDS, prevention

[collapse]
The Future of PEPFAR: Comprehensive Approaches, Sustainable Results (2008 report)

Janet Fleischman
CARE
February 2008

The AIDS crisis not only represents a threat to the lives of millions of people, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, but it also undermines hard-won gains throughout the developing world. Through our global field experience, CARE has seen how the AIDS pandemic is linked to deepening poverty, gender inequality and social marginalization. To make a real difference in the fight against HIV and AIDS, our responses must be as interconnected and multidimensional as the AIDS pandemic itself.

This report describes how a comprehensive approach to HIV and AIDS, addressing both the underlying drivers of vulnerability to HIV and AIDS and the broader arenas in which these vulnerabilities play out, is the best use of U.S. HIV funding. Unless the global response to HIV and AIDS addresses these factors, particularly for women and girls, even the best-funded efforts will not achieve lasting impact. Accordingly, this report builds the case for such a comprehensive and sustainable approach by drawing upon CARE’s field experience, focusing on program examples in three key arenas: addressing gender inequality and vulnerability, integrating HIV with economic and food security and supporting community mobilization and engagement.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Economic development, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Voices from the Field: The Role of Integrated Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Programs in Strengthening U.S. Policy (2008 report)

Janet Fleischman
Task Force on HIV/AIDS, Center for Strategic and International Studies
February 2008

This report was written by Janet Fleischman, senior associate of the CSIS HIV/AIDS Task Force and chair of the gender committee. It is based on the presentations and discussions at the CSIS conference held on October 30, 2007, “Integrating Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Services: Lessons from the Field for PEPFAR Reauthorization,” as well as Fleischman’s visits to Kenya, South Africa, and India in 2007 and her interviews with U.S. administration officials, congressional staff, HIV/AIDS organizations and service providers, reproductive health organizations, and women living with HIV/AIDS.

In the context of reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and looking ahead to the strategy that will be developed by the next U.S. administration, the conference sought to focus high-level attention on the opportunities and challenges of integrating reproductive health (RH) and HIV/AIDS programs. The proceedings demonstrated that substantial ingenuity and innovation is under way in integrating these services, and highlighted the importance of ensuring that the emerging lessons from the field inform decisions about the next phase of U.S. AIDS policy.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Priorities for Action: Gender and PEPFAR Reauthorization (2007 report)

Janet Fleischman
Task Force on HIV/AIDS, Center for Strategic and International Studies
September 2007

This is a defining moment for U.S. AIDS policy, as Congress and the Bush administration prepare for the reauthorization of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which expires in September 2008. The reauthorization process offers U.S. policymakers the chance to reflect on the evolution oft he epidemic, to analyze the data collected, and to apply the lessons learned during PEPFAR's first phase, in order to strengthen U.S. AIDS strategy going forward.

Policymakers recognize that gender is an essential component in the fight against the global AIDS epidemic, and PEPFAR has made progress in implementing gender strategies. But the time has come to move beyond consensus statements on the importance of gender and limited programs to develop a stronger, elevated, and comprehensive approach that has real impact on the lives of women and girls in a world of AIDS.

Download the PDF.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Empowering HIV-Infected Women (2007 article)

Janet Fleischman
The Boston Globe
March 7, 2007

Asunta Wagura'shealthy baby boy has sparked considerable controversy in Kenya. As an HIV-infected woman and AIDS activist, Asunta's decision to conceive a child exposes an emerging feature of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic: increased access to life-prolonging treatment is affecting women's reproductive choices, and challenging ideas about the kind of services and policies required.

If we are to keep pace with the evolving pandemic, concerns about women's reproductive health must become an integral part of HIV/AIDS services and policies.

Click here to read the full article

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV-AIDS, Kenya, reproductive health, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Increase Women's Control over HIV Prevention: Fight AIDS (2006 report)

Janet Fleischman
The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (UNAIDS)
April 2006

Women account for nearly half of HIV infections worldwide and almost two-thirds of those among young people, with female infections rising in almost every region. Yet twenty-five years into the global AIDS epidemic, there is still no widely available technology that women can both initiate and control to protect themselves from HIV. Due to gender norms and inequalities, many women and girls lack the social and economic power to control key aspects of their lives, particularly sexual matters. As a result, women are in a difficult, and often impossible, situation when it comes to negotiating with their partners over abstinence, fidelity, or condom use.

Given the AIDS epidemic’s disproportionate impact on women, there is a critical need to develop prevention options that women can use with, or when necessary without, their partner's knowledge. Unless women gain greater access to effective prevention tools that they can control, global and national efforts to halt the spread of AIDS cannot succeed. Improving prevention options for women requires both broadening current prevention strategies and developing new technologies that enhance women’s ability to protect themselves.

Download the PDF.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, preventionwomen’s empowerment

[collapse]
Economic Security for Women: Fight AIDS (2006 report)

Janet Fleischman
The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (UNAIDS)
March 2006

AIDS, like poverty, has a disproportionate impact on women and girls. Worldwide, of the 1.2 billion people living on less than $1 a day, 70 percent are women. Women own a minority of the world’s land, and yet produce two-thirds of the food in the developing world, are the primary caretakers for children, orphans, and the sick, and represent almost half of those living with HIV globally—nearly 60 percent in sub-Saharan Africa.

In many societies, women are economically and financially dependent on male partners and family members. This dependence can dramatically increase their chances of becoming infected with HIV. Moreover, many women have little control over sexual matters in their relationships, which they often fear might be jeopardized by discussions about sexual issues.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Economic developmentHIV/AIDS

[collapse]
Stop Violence Against Women: Fight AIDS (2005 report)

Janet Fleischman
The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (UNAIDS)
November 2005

Violence against women is a global health crisis of epidemic proportions and often a cause and consequence of HIV. Violence and the threat of violence dramatically increase the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV by making it difficult or impossible for women to abstain from sex, to get their partners to be faithful, or to use a condom.

Violence is also a barrier for women in accessing HIV prevention, care, and treatment services. That is why the UNAIDS-led Global Coalition on Women and AIDS has made stopping violence against women a top priority. High rates of violence make women more vulnerable Growing evidence from around the world shows that a large proportion of women and girls are subjected to violence by family members, acquaintances, and strangers.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Gender-based violence,HIV/AIDS

[collapse]
Educate Girls: Fight AIDS (2005 report)

Janet Fleischman
The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (UNAIDS)
August 2005

Growing evidence shows that getting and keeping young people in school, particularly girls, dramatically lowers their vulnerability to HIV. By itself, merely attending primary school makes young people significantly less likely to contract HIV. When young people stay in school through the secondary level, education’s protective effect against HIV is even more pronounced. This is especially true for girls who, with each additional year of education, gain greater independence, are better equipped to make decisions affecting their sexual lives, and have higher income earning potential – all of which help them stay safe from HIV. Higher education levels are also clearly correlated with delayed sexual debut, greater HIV awareness and knowledge about HIV testing sites, fewer sexual partners, higher rates of condom use, and greater communication about HIV prevention between partners – all factors that substantially lower HIV risk.

By providing young women with greater economic options and autonomy, education also affords them the knowledge, skills, and opportunities they need to make informed choices about how to delay marriage and childbearing; have healthier babies; avoid commercial sex and other risky behaviors; and gain awareness of their rights.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Education, HIV/AIDS, prevention

[collapse]
Africa: G8 Should Focus on HIV, Women's Empowerment (2005 article)

Janet Fleischman
AllAfrica.com
July 1, 2005

Washington, DC — When the leaders of the world's largest industrial nations meet next month in Scotland, they will debate how to address the HIV/Aids crisis and whether to significantly increase assistance to Africa.

Link to the column.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Beyond 'ABC': Helping Women Fight AIDS (2004 article)

Janet Fleischman
The Washington Post
June 29, 2004

"Access for All," the theme of next month's International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, sets an appropriately high standard for the world's response to the pandemic. Unfortunately, all too many prevention and treatment programs fail to address the needs of most of those living with the virus, especially in Africa: women and girls. It's time to design programs targeted to the risks that women and girls face in a world of AIDS.

Most prevention messages, and certainly those favored by the Bush administration, focus on the "ABC" approach to fighting HIV-AIDS: abstinence, be faithful, and use condoms. While important messages, these things are often not within women's power to control. It is urgent that we develop a "DEF" approach that responds to needs repeatedly expressed by women living with HIV-AIDS and by AIDS activists in Africa.

Click here to read the article

Topics: Education, HIV-AIDS, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
A Focus on Women and AIDS (2004 article)

Janet Fleischman and Kathleen Cravero
The Boston Globe
March 8, 2004

International Women's Day, focusing this year on the plight of women and HIV/AIDS, carries special significance. In the worst-affected regions of sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls account for 58 percent of those living with HIV/AIDS, and girls age 15-19 are infected at rates four to seven times higher than boys, a disparity linked to sexual abuse, coercion, discrimination, and impoverishment.

The Bush administration's new five-year global HIV/AIDS strategy recognizes the urgent situation of women and girls, but much more is needed to translate this into action on the ground.

Click here to read the full article

Topics: HIV-AIDS, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Breaking the Cycle: Ensuring the Equitable Access to HIV Treatment for Women and Girls (2004 report)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies
February 2004

Recent international initiatives to provide antiretroviral (ARV) treatment in resource-poor countries have changed the landscape of the HIV/AIDS debate and signal an unprecedented new phase in the struggle against HIV/AIDS. With an estimated 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS and 14,000 new infections every day, access to treatment is a challenge of global proportions. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, almost 4.5 million people need antiretroviral treatment, yet only 100,000 currently receive it. To develop effective treatment programs, national governments, international donors, and community stakeholders should ensure equitable access to HIV treatment and care, notably for acutely vulnerable populations such as women and girls.

Download the PDF.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, treatment

[collapse]
Suffering In Silence: The Links between Human Rights Abuses and HIV Transmission to Girls in Zambia (2002 report)

Janet Fleischman, based on research by Janet Fleischman and Joanne Csete
Human Rights Watch
November 2002

The catastrophe of HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome) in Africa, which has already claimed over 18 million lives on that continent, has hit girls and women harder than boys and men. In many countries of eastern and southern Africa, HIV prevalence among girls under age eighteen is four to seven times higher than among boys the same age, an unusual disparity that means a lower average age of death from AIDS, as well as more deaths overall, among women than men.

Abuses of the human rights of girls, especially sexual violence and other sexual abuse, contribute directly to this disparity in infection and mortality. In Zambia, as in other countries in the region, tens of thousands of girls—many orphaned by AIDS or otherwise without parental care—suffer in silence as the government fails to provide basic protections from sexual assault that would lessen their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.

Through girls’ own testimonies, this report shows sexual assault of girls in Zambia in the era of HIV/AIDS to be widespread and complex. It documents several categories of abuse that heighten girls’ risk of HIV infection, including (1) sexual assault of girls by family members, particularly the shocking and all too common practice of abuse of orphan girls by men who are their guardians, or by others who are charged to assist or look after them, including teachers, (2) abuse of girls, again often orphans, who are heads of household or otherwise desperately poor and have few options other than trading sex for their and their siblings’ survival, and (3) abuse of girls who live on the street, of whom many are there because they are without parental care. All of these situations of abuse must be addressed as part of combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zambia.

Click here to read the full report

Topics: Education, gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, Zambia

[collapse]

[collapse]
Humanitarian Response

Janet is interviewed on crisis response and the prioritization of women and girls (2019 podcast)

Beverly Kirk, host, Smart Women, Smart Power Podcast

Smart Women, Smart Power (SWSP) Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies

December 04, 2019

Janet joins host Beverly Kirk or a conversation about Janet's latest report, which examines why women and girls’ health and protection should be a top priority in emergency and humanitarian crisis situations. It also looks at U.S. policy on global health security. This conversation is linked to the report and an October 31 conference on U.S. Action for Women’s and Girls’ Health Security, both under the auspices of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.

The Smart Women, Smart Power (SWSP) Initiative convenes top-level women leaders in foreign policy, national security, international business, and international development to amplify their voices, spotlight their expertise, and discuss critical and timely issues. The Smart Women, Smart Power biweekly podcast features powerful, in-depth conversations with women leaders from around the globe who are experts in foreign policy, national security, international business, and international development. SWSP Director Beverly Kirk moderates the podcast series.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, gender-based violence, humanitarian response, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, violence against women and children

[collapse]
Janet interviews Melissa Dalton and Fatima Imam on gender-based violence as a weapon of war (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host

Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
December 17, 2019

This episode of the Global Health Policy Center's Take as Directed podcast examines the changing nature of war and conflict and why gender-based violence (GBV) has become a central feature in crises around the world. GHPC Senior Associate Janet Fleischman sits down with Melissa Dalton, senior fellow and deputy director of the CSIS International Security Program and Director of the Cooperative Defense Project (CDP); and Fatima Imam, executive director of Rehabilitation, Empowerment, and Better Health Initiative and Network of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria.

Janet and the guests discuss how GBV impacts women and girls in crises, focused especially on the Middle East and northern Nigeria, and how these ubiquitous and traumatizing realities undermine global health security and community resilience. This conversation is linked to a new CSIS report, How Can We Better Reach Women and Girls in Crises? and an October 31 conference on U.S. Action for Women’s and Girls’ Health Security, both under the auspices of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, gender-based violence, Humanitarian response, maternal-child health, Nigeria, reproductive health, violence against women and children

[collapse]
How Can We Better Reach Women and Girls in Crises? (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
October 2019

The United States is the world leader in supporting global health and humanitarian response, making it uniquely placed to elevate the critical health and safety needs faced by women and girls in emergencies and fragile settings around the world. While addressing these needs is an important goal on its own, it also forms a pillar of global health security, as the prevention of health crises and conflict, and recovery after they occur, are greatly enhanced when these needs are met.
 
The United States has unrivaled financial and programmatic capacities in maternal health, reproductive health, family planning, and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response. However, it seldom marshals these extensive capacities in emergency settings, where the needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls are most severe. In emergencies around the world—from the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the simmering conflict in Venezuela to the protracted crises in Yemen and Syria—the United States has not channeled its extensive capacities to address glaring operational gaps in these critical areas. The alarmingly high risks of GBV and severely limited access to maternal health, family planning, and reproductive health services are too often overlooked in these and other crisis settings.
 
A categorical shift is required for the United States to prioritize women’s and girls’ health and protection in emergency settings to advance resiliency and health security. There is growing recognition among both practitioners and policymakers that failure to address these gaps significantly worsens the impact and trauma of crises and significantly undermines global health security. Conversely, the engagement of women, girls, and communities in decision-making and program design can help build public trust and confidence, which is sorely lacking in many health security crises around the world.
 

You can download the PDF here. You can also listen to Janet being interviewed about the report on the Smart Women, Smart Power podcast.

Topics: Family planning, gender-based violence, humanitarian response,, maternal-child health, reproductive health, violence against women and children, U.S. policy

[collapse]

[collapse]
Kenya

Realizing Kakenya’s Dream: Educating Girls and Ending Female Genital Mutilation (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
March 2019

February 6th marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a United Nations-sponsored awareness day meant to highlight efforts to eradicate FGM. An estimated 200 million women and girls today have undergone some form of FGM, a practice that can cause irreversible physical and mental health challenges. In this episode of Take as Directed, CSIS Global Health Policy Center Senior Associate Janet Fleischman speaks with Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya, a Kenyan educator, activist, and founder of “Kakenya’s Dream”, a leading nongovernmental organization for girls’ education, health, and empowerment, which also works to end FGM and child marriage. Dr. Ntaiya discusses the personal journey that led her to form “Kakenya’s Dream”, and how her work is helping to develop the next generation of women leaders in her community.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, female genital mutilation, Kenya

[collapse]
Family Planning and Women's Health in Kenya (2015 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katherine Peck
CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
December 2015

Voluntary family planning is one of the most transformative interventions in global health, critical to improving women’s health and to saving the lives of women and children in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Beyond the direct health benefits, family planning is essential for women’s empowerment and sustainable development, contributing to improvements in education, economic growth, and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. As the global leader in supporting family planning, the United States has a vital role to play in helping countries improve the lives of women and families.

To understand the impact of U.S. investments, this report examines U.S. support for family planning in Kenya at a pivotal moment for these issues globally. As a regional leader in family planning and a priority country for U.S. family planning and maternal-child health assistance, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Kenya provides a lens through which to assess the opportunities and challenges in expanding access and transitioning to greater sustainability.

Kenya has made significant progress in family planning, with one of the highest contraceptive prevalence rates in the region at 58 percent, yet faces important challenges in maintaining momentum.

In the polarized U.S. political environment, funding for family planning programs faces persistent challenges. There is a risk that without clear U.S. commitment, these critical interventions could be derailed. Strong, bipartisan leadership is required to depoliticize these issues and to highlight the importance of voluntary family planning and healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies to improve women’s health, prevent unintended pregnancies, increase child survival, avert millions of abortions, and improve economic and social development. U.S. policy toward Kenya is in many ways a laboratory for the region with lessons for other countries.

You can find the full report here, and you can link to the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe)family planning, family planning-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, Kenyamaternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive healthU.S. policy

[collapse]
The Nexus of Faith and Health (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
July 24, 2015

The contribution of faith-based organizations (FBOs) to health services and in reaching poor communities around the world has long been the subject of debate among public health experts and policymakers. To explore the nexus between faith and health, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center convened two recent events. The first focused on faith-based organizations and family planning in Kenya, and the second, timed for the release of the new Lancet series on faith-based health care, examined the contributions of faith organizations to global health efforts, and implications for U.S. policy. Both events identified unique strengths and challenges associated with faith-based health programs, as well as opportunities for greater dialogue and collaboration among governments, donors, and faith-based health providers to reach health goals. 

You can read the full blog post here.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planningKenya, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Obama's Kenya Trip Should Elevate Focus on Women and Girls (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
June 18, 2015

Debate about President Obama’s legacy will shift to Africa in late July, when he travels to Kenya on his fourth and likely final presidential trip to the continent. The trip is expected to focus on supporting economic entrepreneurship and combatting terrorism, which, along with increasing Africa’s energy capacity and food security, have been central to his Africa policy. In my latest blog, I write that this agenda misses a necessary component for progress on the continent; the President could cement a lasting legacy by explicitly linking U.S. Africa policy to the health and empowerment of women and girls, arguably the continent’s most dynamic and underdeveloped resource and an indispensable component of any successful economic and security program.

This piece is based on Janet's recent trip to Malawi and Kenya as part of a CARE learning tour that focused on the importance of U.S. investments in women and girls. The delegation included five members of Congress and senior administration officials.

You can read the full blog post here.

Topics: Education, family planning, gender-based violence, Kenya, Malawi, maternal-child healthreproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Re-Useable Sanitary Pads Helping Keep Girls In School (2011 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
February 2, 2011

Could distributing kits of re-usable sanitary pads to schoolgirls in Kenya help adolescent and teenage girls’ ability to stay in school? Could it educate them about HIV prevention? Could it ultimately help empower girls? The Huru project – which means “freedom” in Swahili – is working to show that it can. 

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Kenya, HIV/AIDS

[collapse]
Lessons from Kenya for the Global Health Initiative (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
February 2011

The Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), announced in May 2009 as a six-year, $63-billion program, has put a strong emphasis on integration of health services, building largely on the work of PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). As implementation of GHI is moving ahead and country strategies are being developed, this is an important moment to bring forward lessons learned from the experience of integration in the U.S. government’s health and development programs. A key example involves U.S. health programs in Kenya over the past five years, notably the APHIA program (the AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance program), which developed an integrated program based on the PEPFAR platform. This paper finds that the APHIA programs in Kenya hold some important lessons that should help inform GHI implementation. Since Kenya has been designated one of eight GHI-Plus countries,the emphasis on program integration in those U.S. government programs is especially relevant.

This paper, which is based on interviews conducted in Kenya in November 2010, as well as with policymakers and implementing partners in Washington, D.C., shows that the APHIA experience illustrates that integration across health sectors is feasible and effective, and that more focused evaluation of the impact of integrated programs would help Kenya and other GHI-Plus country teams and national governments as they develop their strategies. The maternal and child health (MCH) model in Kenya’s Western province is emerging as an innovative example of the benefits of providing women with a comprehensive set of MCH, family planning, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS services in an integrated setting.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, maternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive health

[collapse]
Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy (2010 report)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
November 2010

Global health, development, and gender are now understood to be dynamic and interlinked components of U.S. foreign policy. Given the emerging policy and programmatic debates on how these three domains are to be integrated to bring the greatest returns, especially in improving the health and welfare of women and girls, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center hosted a conference, entitled "Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy" on June 11, 2010. 

This report provides background on the programs represented at the conference, summaries of the speakers' presentations, and U.S. policy options that emerged from the conference. It is intended to help inform the discussion surrounding the implementation of GHI and PEPFAR II and to emphasize the importance of fully utilizing the opportunities to reach women and girls by addressing the health and development challenges that contribute to their risk of HIV.

Click here to read the report

Topics: Economic development, education, family planning-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, PEPFAR, South Africa, U.S. policy, women's empowerment, Zambia

[collapse]
Integrating HIV with Other Health Services for Women: New Models in Kenya (2010 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
November 11, 2010

The opportunities to integrate health services to better address the client’s needs – especially women – is a key piece of the Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI). I went to Kenya in November to look for lessons for GHI from another US program -- the PEPFAR-USAID program called the AIDS, Population, Health and Integrated Assistance Project (known as APHIA II; the next phase, APHIA Plus, will begin in 2011). APHIA II has shown that integration of HIV/AIDS and family planning can be an important component of HIV services for women, and that PEPFAR funds can be used effectively in an integrated setting to promote access to HIV services as well as broader health outcomes for women and children.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, PEPFAR

[collapse]
Women's Health and HIV/AIDS in Kenya (2010 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
April 21, 2010

With all the troubling political news coming out of Kenya these days, it’s important to highlight some promising initiatives that are under way in the arena of women’s health, often driven by civil society groups or international NGOs in collaboration with the government. One area where such initiatives are getting some traction involves the bi-directional integration of family planning/reproductive health with HIV/AIDS services. Indeed, the new approaches toward broader integration hold the promise of helping to address both the country’s HIV/AIDS crisis and women’s reproductive health needs, including addressing the huge unmet need for family planning.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, FP-HIV integrationreproductive health

[collapse]
Empowering HIV-Infected Women (2007 article)

Janet Fleischman
The Boston Globe
March 7, 2007

Asunta Wagura'shealthy baby boy has sparked considerable controversy in Kenya. As an HIV-infected woman and AIDS activist, Asunta's decision to conceive a child exposes an emerging feature of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic: increased access to life-prolonging treatment is affecting women's reproductive choices, and challenging ideas about the kind of services and policies required.

If we are to keep pace with the evolving pandemic, concerns about women's reproductive health must become an integral part of HIV/AIDS services and policies.

Click here to read the full article

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV-AIDS, Kenya, reproductive health, women's empowerment

[collapse]

[collapse]
Malawi

Addressing HIV in Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Malawi: The DREAMS Partnership (2017 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2017

In many ways, Malawi exemplifies the success of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Over the last 14 years, new HIV infections have declined by 34 percent. Despite being among the poorest countries in the world, Malawi is approaching its HIV treatment targets. The possibility of controlling the epidemic is within reach.

But Malawi also lays bare major challenges and gaps facing the HIV response, notably how to prevent HIV and address HIV risk for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in low-resource settings.

Malawi is 1 of 10 focus countries in east and southern Africa under DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), a public-private partnership led by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that aims to reduce the number of new HIV infections among 15- to 24-year-old women by 40 percent in geographic “hot spots.” As a prevention program, it is attempting to reach young women and their male partners, populations that have proven very difficult to reach thus far.

This is a moment of heightened focus on the urgency of addressing HIV in adolescent girls and young women by the United States, other international partners, and the government of Malawi. To learn more about the status of DREAMS implementation and lessons for other country programs, CSIS conducted a research trip to Malawi in April 2017.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), HIV-AIDS, Malawi, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Janet interviews Amb. Virginia Palmer about why preventing HIV in adolescent girls and young women Is critical for Malawi (2017 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Cathryn Streifel, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
July 2017

Amb. Virginia Palmer, U.S. Ambassador to Malawi, is a powerful champion for addressing the needs of adolescent girls and young women as the fulcrum for all development goals. We asked her to reflect on efforts in Malawi to control the AIDS epidemic through DREAMS, a public-private partnership designed to prevent new infections in this population. She emphasized the importance of empowering them with education, health and community interventions. Such an approach is necessary to curb the HIV crisis in Malawi, which in turn impacts all other U.S. development programs, and ultimately global health security.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud. 

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), HIV-AIDS, Malawi, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Obama's Kenya Trip Should Elevate Focus on Women and Girls (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
June 18, 2015

Debate about President Obama’s legacy will shift to Africa in late July, when he travels to Kenya on his fourth and likely final presidential trip to the continent. The trip is expected to focus on supporting economic entrepreneurship and combatting terrorism, which, along with increasing Africa’s energy capacity and food security, have been central to his Africa policy. In my latest blog, I write that this agenda misses a necessary component for progress on the continent; the President could cement a lasting legacy by explicitly linking U.S. Africa policy to the health and empowerment of women and girls, arguably the continent’s most dynamic and underdeveloped resource and an indispensable component of any successful economic and security program.

This piece is based on Janet's recent trip to Malawi and Kenya as part of a CARE learning tour that focused on the importance of U.S. investments in women and girls. The delegation included five members of Congress and senior administration officials.

You can read the full blog post here.

Topics: Education, family planning, gender-based violence, Kenya, Malawi, maternal-child healthreproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
President Joyce Banda: New Focus on Women's Health and Empowerment in Malawi (2013 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Julia Nagel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
January 8, 2013

When Joyce Banda unexpectedly ascended to the presidency of Malawi last April, after the death of President Mutharika, many in her country and around the world wondered what her impact would be as Malawi’s first female president. Among the many challenges, her government faces high rates of maternal mortality, high total fertility rates, and high HIV prevalence among women and girls, combined with low levels of women’s economic empowerment and widespread violence against women.

A short video interview with President Banda explores how women leaders in Africa are bringing new attention to women’s health and empowerment in their own countries, and how they're bringing those voices into the discussion about U.S. policy priorities for women’s global health.

Click here to read the full blog post. You can watch the video here.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, Malawi, maternal-child health, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
President Joyce Banda: New Focus on Women's Health and Empowerment (2013 video)

Janet Fleischman and Julia Nagel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
January 2013

When Joyce Banda unexpectedly ascended to the presidency of Malawi last April, after the death of President Mutharika, many in her country and around the world wondered what her impact would be as Malawi’s first female president. Among the many challenges, her government faces high rates of maternal mortality, high total fertility rates, and high HIV prevalence among women and girls, combined with low levels of women’s economic empowerment and widespread violence against women.

CSIS wanted to learn more about how women leaders in Africa are bringing new attention to women’s health and empowerment in their own countries, and to bring those voices into the discussion about U.S. policy priorities for women’s global health. To do this, we sent a small team to Malawi and Zambia in December 2012.

During an interview with President Banda in Malawi, which we have turned into this short video, we were able to ask her about these issues. Her response underscored the exciting prospects raised by her tenure as well as the daunting challenges ahead: “You know when a woman gets into State House, they notice the little things that would otherwise be ignored by a man,” with particular emphasis on family planning, maternal mortality, and malnutrition. President Banda was especially passionate that the economic empowerment of women is an essential step to ensure that there is effective family planning: “it is only when a women is economically empowered that she can negotiate at household level with her husband about the number of children that body of hers can have.”

Click here to see the video. 

Topics: Malawi, maternal-child health, women's empowerment

[collapse]
The Global Health Initiative in Malawi (2011 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
December 2, 2011

The Obama administration designated Malawi as a GHI Plus country in June 2010, one of the first eight countries selected to implement the Global Health Initiative’s (GHI) more comprehensive approach to global health and serve as learning labs for other GHI country programs.

The GHI team in Malawi has identified the health of women and girls, including HIV and family planning (FP)/reproductive health (RH) services, as critical, promising areas for GHI success. Though still in early stages of implementation, new approaches are emerging in Malawi that leverage resources from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to develop greater program synergies for women and girls. Yet Malawi’s weak health system, combined with ever more serious concerns about governance and human rights issues that are undermining donor support, present challenges that may threaten GHI’s ability to achieve sustainable results.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health InitiativeHIV/AIDS, Malawi, PEPFAR, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The Global Health Initiative in Malawi: New Approaches and Challenges to Reaching Women and Girls (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
November 2011

The Obama administration designated Malawi as a GHI Plus country in June 2010, one of the first eight countries selected to implement the Global Health Initiative’s (GHI) more comprehensive approach to global health and serve as learning labs for other GHI country programs. The GHI team in Malawi has identified the health of women and girls, including HIV and family planning (FP)/reproductive health (RH) services, as critical, promising areas for GHI success.

Though still in early stages of implementation, new approaches are emerging in Malawi that leverage resources from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to develop greater program synergies for women and girls. Yet Malawi’s weak health system, combined with ever more serious concerns about governance and human rights issues that are undermining donor support, present challenges that may threaten GHI’s ability to achieve sustainable results.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, Malawi, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Political Tensions Threaten HIV Program in Malawi (2011 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Post
July 29, 2011

The growing political and economic crisis in Malawi, highlighted by the government’s use of force against peaceful demonstrators last week, could also imperil the groundbreaking expansion of Malawi’s national HIV/AIDS program.

Click here to read the full blog post

Topics: HIV/AIDS, Malawi

[collapse]

[collapse]
Maternal-Child Health

An Improbable Success: The Ouagadougou Partnership’s Advances in Family Planning Across Francophone West Africa (2020 report)

Janet Fleischman
Commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. In 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was virtually unimaginable at the outset, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was perceived to be taboo. Now, almost a decade later, the partnership’s impact and lessons for other regions warrant both celebration and reflection.

The nine Francophone countries of the subregion (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) united around an ambitious regional goalto reach one million additional voluntary users of modern family planning methods by 2015, and 2.2 million more by 2020. The results have been impressive, especially given the low starting point of approximately 2.7 million users: by 2019, over 3.1 million additional voluntary users have been reached, Francophone West Africa has one of the fastest increases in modern contraceptive rates among developing regions, and family planning funding from the core donors has more than doubled. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners.

The story of this partnership reflects a unique historical convergence: a group of bilateral and philanthropic donors willing to commit to the subregion, country-level champions from government and civil society, supported by implementing partners, prepared to advance family planning for health and development reasons, and a shared interest in doing business differently to address egregious gaps in women’s health and stalled indicators on family planning. By banding together, fueled by a shared commitment to achieving a regional goal, “friendly” competition among the countries, and grounded in data and evidence, the nine relatively small countries capitalized on their commonalities and made the region a more important geographic space and population size.

Janet was commissioned in 2019 by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to write this report documenting the history of the Ouagadougou Partnership. She completed her research in January 2020, before the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Francophone West Africa (in Senegal and Burkina Faso) in March 2020. Accordingly, this report does not address the impact of COVID-19 in Francophone West Africa or the challenges it presents to the Ouagadougou Partnership’s activities.

Click here to read the full report.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Burkina Faso, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
An Improbable Success in a Troubled Region (2020 article)

Janet Fleischman, consultant on a project for the Ouagadougou Partnership
Marie Ba, Director of Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit (OPCU)

Council on Foreign Relations, Think Global Health

March 18, 2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. At a time of increased extremism and insecurity in West Africa, the remarkable story of a partnership to advance women’s health and empowerment through family planning is worthy of global attention. By tackling such challenges, the partnership provides hope for women, girls, and their communities in a troubled region, with lessons for other parts of the world.

The story began in 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of landlocked Burkina Faso, when representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was unimaginable at its outset almost a decade ago, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was still perceived to be taboo. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners, with a special emphasis on engaging young people.

Click here to read the full article.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Janet is interviewed on crisis response and the prioritization of women and girls (2019 podcast)

Beverly Kirk, host, Smart Women, Smart Power Podcast

Smart Women, Smart Power (SWSP) Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies

December 04, 2019

Janet joins host Beverly Kirk or a conversation about Janet's latest report, which examines why women and girls’ health and protection should be a top priority in emergency and humanitarian crisis situations. It also looks at U.S. policy on global health security. This conversation is linked to the report and an October 31 conference on U.S. Action for Women’s and Girls’ Health Security, both under the auspices of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.

The Smart Women, Smart Power (SWSP) Initiative convenes top-level women leaders in foreign policy, national security, international business, and international development to amplify their voices, spotlight their expertise, and discuss critical and timely issues. The Smart Women, Smart Power biweekly podcast features powerful, in-depth conversations with women leaders from around the globe who are experts in foreign policy, national security, international business, and international development. SWSP Director Beverly Kirk moderates the podcast series.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, gender-based violence, humanitarian response, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, violence against women and children

[collapse]
How Can We Better Reach Women and Girls in Crises? (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
October 2019

The United States is the world leader in supporting global health and humanitarian response, making it uniquely placed to elevate the critical health and safety needs faced by women and girls in emergencies and fragile settings around the world. While addressing these needs is an important goal on its own, it also forms a pillar of global health security, as the prevention of health crises and conflict, and recovery after they occur, are greatly enhanced when these needs are met.
 
The United States has unrivaled financial and programmatic capacities in maternal health, reproductive health, family planning, and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response. However, it seldom marshals these extensive capacities in emergency settings, where the needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls are most severe. In emergencies around the world—from the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the simmering conflict in Venezuela to the protracted crises in Yemen and Syria—the United States has not channeled its extensive capacities to address glaring operational gaps in these critical areas. The alarmingly high risks of GBV and severely limited access to maternal health, family planning, and reproductive health services are too often overlooked in these and other crisis settings.
 
A categorical shift is required for the United States to prioritize women’s and girls’ health and protection in emergency settings to advance resiliency and health security. There is growing recognition among both practitioners and policymakers that failure to address these gaps significantly worsens the impact and trauma of crises and significantly undermines global health security. Conversely, the engagement of women, girls, and communities in decision-making and program design can help build public trust and confidence, which is sorely lacking in many health security crises around the world.
 

You can download the PDF here. You can also listen to Janet being interviewed about the report on the Smart Women, Smart Power podcast.

Topics: Family planning, gender-based violence, humanitarian response,, maternal-child health, reproductive health, violence against women and children, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The World's Largest HIV Epidemic in Crisis: HIV In South Africa (2019 article)

Janet Fleischman and Sara M. Allinder
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
April 2, 2019

In some communities of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, 60 percent of women have HIV. Nearly 4,500 South Africans are newly infected every week; one-third are adolescent girls/young women (AGYW) ages 15-24. These are staggering figures, by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, the HIV epidemic is not being treated like a crisis. In February, we traveled to South Africa, to understand what is happening in these areas with “hyper-endemic” HIV epidemics, where prevalence rates exceed 15 percent among adults. We were alarmed by the complacency toward the rate of new infections at all levels and the absence of an emergency response, especially for young people.

This is no time for business as usual from South Africa or its partners, including the U.S. government through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The epidemic is exacerbated by its concentration in 15-49-year-olds, those of reproductive and working age who are the backbone of South Africa. Without aggressive action to reduce the rate of new infections in young people, HIV will continue to take a tremendous toll on the country for years and generations to come. Collective action is needed to push beyond the complacency and internal barriers to implement policies and interventions that directly target HIV prevention and treatment for young people. PEPFAR should ensure its programs support those efforts.

Click here to read the full commentary.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, maternal-child health, South Africa, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Women's Economic Empowerment and Women's Health Services (2018 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
December 2018

Support for women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship around the world is gaining considerable momentum, manifested in recent U.S. and World Bank initiatives. This is an issue of global importance that garners extensive bipartisan support, rooted in data about the benefits for alleviating poverty and advancing economic growth. Yet economic empowerment does not exist in isolation in women’s lives; it is interconnected with and dependent upon access to women’s health services, notably maternal health and family planning, as a fundamental enabling factor. Simply put, women cannot meaningfully participate in the labor force if they are not healthy and able to decide the timing and spacing of their pregnancies. Concerted, bipartisan leadership is necessary to ensure that U.S. support for economic empowerment is intentionally aligned with U.S. investments in women’s global health.

As context for its recommendations, this paper examines the current momentum on women’s economic empowerment and lays out the growing evidence. The report is based on numerous key informant interviews and bipartisan discussions, through the CSIS Women’s Health Policy Forum, that explored the critical connections between women’s economic empowerment—defined to include education, labor force participation, and agency—and their access to family planning and maternal health services as well as HIV services targeted to women and girls.
 

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Janet interviews Margaret Schuler and David Wray on women's health services (2018 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Cathryn Streifel, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
November 30, 2018

Women’s health services, including maternal health and family planning, are critical to enable women and girls to access economic empowerment opportunities. In this episode of Take as Directed, Janet speaks with Margaret Schuler, Senior Vice President of the International Programs Group at World Vision, and David Ray, Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at CARE. The three discuss how the current bipartisan momentum around economic empowerment for women provides an opportunity to strengthen linkages with U.S. investments in women’s global health, how such an approach fits with USAID’s “Journey to Self-Reliance” framework, and the role of women’s groups and faith-based organizations in promoting access to both economic empowerment programs and women’s health services.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud.

Topics: Family planning, maternal-child health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Janet interviews Jen Kates about the Mexico City Policy and its implications for global health (2017 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Cathryn Streifel, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
January 27, 2017

On his first business day in office, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which denies U.S. funding to any foreign NGOs that perform, counsel, or refer about abortion with non-U.S. funds. In past Republican administrations, this policy applied only to U.S. funding for international family planning, but President Trump has expanded it to apply to all global health funding. We asked Jen Kates, Vice President and Director of Global Health & HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, to update us on the new policy and the potential implications for global health programs.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud. 

Topics: Family planning, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Imperiling Progress: How Ethiopia’s Response to Political Unrest Could Undermine Its Health Gains (2016 article)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
November 2016

With each passing week, the political unrest and repression in Ethiopia is attracting new levels of global attention: from Feyisa Lilesa’s protest sign at the Rio Olympics in August, to recent clashes in Oromia where hundreds of protesters were killed by security forces and hundreds more jailed, and now the government’s declaration of a sweeping state of emergency for the next six months.

There is little doubt that the inherent contradictions of Ethiopian rule—tight restrictions on human rights and governance while pursuing pro-poor policies—now threaten to derail its notable but fragile progress in women’s and children’s health. The current crisis also exposes the shortcomings of U.S. policy in Ethiopia; while providing substantial funding for health and development and maintaining close security ties, U.S. reluctance to hold its longtime ally accountable for its repressive tactics could put these investments at risk.

Click here to read the full article. 

Topics: Ethiopia, family planning, maternal-child health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Lancet Series on Maternal Health: Implications for U.S. Policy (2016 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
October 27, 2016

“Ending preventable maternal and child death is an admirable goal that we can all be proud of…. But we need to get to a place as a country where we view this goal with the same commitment and determination as when we went to the moon.”

That powerful message was delivered by Ryan Kaldahl, a foreign policy advisor to Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) at a CSIS event on October 20. The event marked the launch of a new Lancet series on maternal health, with a panel discussion about the implications for U.S. policy. The featured speakers were Dr. Margaret Kruk, associate professor of global health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Dr. Elizabeth Fox, director of the office of infectious diseases and deputy coordinator for maternal and child survival at USAID; Dr. Mariam Claeson, director of the Global Financing Facility at the World Bank; and Mr. Kaldahl.

The panel discussion emphasized the importance of this moment in prioritizing maternal health, an area directly related to the work of the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health, of which Senator Collins is a member. In addition to examining the global progress made in reducing maternal mortality and the critical role that USAID has played in that effort, the panelists highlighted new elements that could contribute to consolidating these gains and identified some of the challenges ahead. These include the need to address quality of care, to mobilize sustainable financing, and especially to reach the 53 million women and girls not receiving childbirth care at all—adolescents and unmarried women, refugees and migrants, and those living in fragile or conflict states.

Click here to read the full blog post. 

Topics: Maternal-child health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Public-Private Partnerships for Women's Health in Zambia (2016 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
The CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
July 2016

Zambia is a lower-middle-income country struggling with critical health challenges, including high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality, malnutrition, cervical cancer, and a severe HIV/AIDS epidemic that disproportionately affects adolescent girls and young women. The United States is the largest donor to the health sector in Zambia, largely through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Over the past five years, the U.S. has also helped establish several public-private partnerships (PPPs) aimed at advancing the health of women and families. These PPPs provide lessons about the potential impact of these approaches, the challenges inherent in such partnerships, and the importance of PEPFAR support. With future U.S. global health funding likely to be flat-lined, this is an important moment to assess how partnerships with the private sector can amplify the impact of U.S. investments in women’s and family health.

A delegation from the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health visited Zambia in April 2016 to examine U.S. investments through three partnerships: Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL), Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR), and DREAMS. The delegation sought to understand these partnerships in Zambia within the context of U.S. support for women’s and family health, which represent the core of functional health systems.

Click here to read the report. You can link to the Zambia page of the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Cervical cancer, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, public-private partnerships, reproductive health, Saving Mothers-Giving Life, U.S. policyZambia

[collapse]
Accelerating the Momentum: U.S. Support for Women's and Family Health in Senegal (2016 report)

Janet Fleischman and Cathryn Streifel
CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
April 2016

Senegal is a key country for U.S. investments in women’s and children’s health, demonstrating the impact of support for strong national leadership and targeted U.S. health resources. The U.S.-Senegal partnership has led to significant health gains, notably rises in immunization and contraceptive prevalence rates. However, that progress is still fragile and significant challenges remain, including high maternal mortality, weak health systems, and reaching young people. This is a critical time for the United States to support Senegal in accelerating its momentum and assuming greater control of its health financing and implementation. Success is not only essential to advance women’s and children’s health in Senegal, but also holds important lessons about how U.S. engagement can have a measurable and sustainable impact on women’s and children’s health in other priority countries.

To understand the lessons from Senegal’s recent experience, a delegation from the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health visited Senegal in February 2016. The delegation focused on the following overarching questions:

1) How have U.S. investments in women’s and family health—through bilateral health programs and engagement in multilateral health partnerships—supported Senegal’s progress in family planning and maternal and child health?

2) What has been the impact of integrating family planning with other maternal and child health services at the facility and community levels?

3) What has been the role of the private sector and public-private partnerships in developing innovative approaches to address Senegal’s persistent health challenges?

4) What are the prospects for family planning and maternal and child health programs in Senegal to transition to sustainable financing?

The report examines the U.S. partnership with Senegal to advance women’s and family health, and finds that the United States can play an important role in furthering Senegal’s capacity to sustain its health gains, build its investment case for international financing, and navigate the complex challenges ahead. To consolidate gains, the report argues that the United States should elevate attention and resources for integrated services to improve access to family planning and child health services. In addition, the report highlights the ongoing challenge of maternal mortality, which will require U.S. support to go beyond program-specific funding in order to accelerate efforts to strengthen health systems and human resources for health. Finally, the report calls for the United States to assist Senegal as it develops plans for a gradual, phased transition away from external support to more sustainable financing of health programs through the government of Senegal, the private sector, and new international financing mechanisms.

The members of the delegation were Julie Becker, senior vice president, Rabin Martin; Janet Fleischman, senior associate, CSIS Global Health Policy Center; Renee Gamela, senior adviser and communications director, Office of U.S. Representative Richard Hanna; Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of global health & HIV policy, Kaiser Family Foundation; and Cathryn Streifel, program manager and research associate, CSIS Global Health Policy Center. 

You can find the full report here, and you can link to the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planningFrancophone West Africa, maternal-child health, reproductive healthSenegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Family Planning and Women's Health in Kenya (2015 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katherine Peck
CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
December 2015

Voluntary family planning is one of the most transformative interventions in global health, critical to improving women’s health and to saving the lives of women and children in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Beyond the direct health benefits, family planning is essential for women’s empowerment and sustainable development, contributing to improvements in education, economic growth, and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. As the global leader in supporting family planning, the United States has a vital role to play in helping countries improve the lives of women and families.

To understand the impact of U.S. investments, this report examines U.S. support for family planning in Kenya at a pivotal moment for these issues globally. As a regional leader in family planning and a priority country for U.S. family planning and maternal-child health assistance, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Kenya provides a lens through which to assess the opportunities and challenges in expanding access and transitioning to greater sustainability.

Kenya has made significant progress in family planning, with one of the highest contraceptive prevalence rates in the region at 58 percent, yet faces important challenges in maintaining momentum.

In the polarized U.S. political environment, funding for family planning programs faces persistent challenges. There is a risk that without clear U.S. commitment, these critical interventions could be derailed. Strong, bipartisan leadership is required to depoliticize these issues and to highlight the importance of voluntary family planning and healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies to improve women’s health, prevent unintended pregnancies, increase child survival, avert millions of abortions, and improve economic and social development. U.S. policy toward Kenya is in many ways a laboratory for the region with lessons for other countries.

You can find the full report here, and you can link to the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe)family planning, family planning-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, Kenyamaternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive healthU.S. policy

[collapse]
Obama's Kenya Trip Should Elevate Focus on Women and Girls (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
June 18, 2015

Debate about President Obama’s legacy will shift to Africa in late July, when he travels to Kenya on his fourth and likely final presidential trip to the continent. The trip is expected to focus on supporting economic entrepreneurship and combatting terrorism, which, along with increasing Africa’s energy capacity and food security, have been central to his Africa policy. In my latest blog, I write that this agenda misses a necessary component for progress on the continent; the President could cement a lasting legacy by explicitly linking U.S. Africa policy to the health and empowerment of women and girls, arguably the continent’s most dynamic and underdeveloped resource and an indispensable component of any successful economic and security program.

This piece is based on Janet's recent trip to Malawi and Kenya as part of a CARE learning tour that focused on the importance of U.S. investments in women and girls. The delegation included five members of Congress and senior administration officials.

You can read the full blog post here.

Topics: Education, family planning, gender-based violence, Kenya, Malawi, maternal-child healthreproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
A Woman in Guédiawaye: Family Planning for Health and Development in Senegal (2015 video)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
April 2015

Anta Ba is a 26-year-old woman living in Guédiawaye, a poor urban area of Senegal’s capital, Dakar. In a new CSIS video, Anta explains why she decided to access family planning, despite her husband’s opposition, and why these services matter for her own life and for women’s health and empowerment in Senegal. Through her story, and through the voices of other champions of family planning in Senegal—government and NGO health workers, an imam, and the Minister of Health—the video illustrates new approaches to expanding access to family planning as well as the challenges ahead.

The video was released at a vibrant CSIS event on April 27 called Partnerships for Family Planning: Lessons for U.S. Policy which featured the minister of health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck. In her keynote address, Dr. Coll Seck passionately articulated her commitment to family planning for the health and development of her country and the francophone West African subregion. In this post, I provide highlights of the event and Dr. Coll Seck’s remarks.

Click here to see the video about family planning in Senegal. You can watch the CSIS program Partnerships for Family Planning: Lessons for U.S. Policy in two parts, here and here. This blog post provides an overview of both the video and the CSIS program.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planning, Francophone West Africa, maternal-child healthreproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Video and Event Shine Spotlight on Family Planning in Senegal (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
April 30, 2015

Anta Ba is a 26-year-old woman living in Guédiawaye, a poor urban area of Senegal’s capital, Dakar.  In a new CSIS video, Anta explains why she decided to access family planning, despite her husband’s opposition, and why these services matter for her own life and for women’s health and empowerment in Senegal. Through her story, and through the voices of other champions of family planning in Senegal—government and NGO health workers, an imam, and the Minister of Health—the video illustrates new approaches to expanding access to family planning as well as the challenges ahead.

The video was released at a vibrant CSIS event on April 27 called “Partnerships to Advance Family Planning in Senegal: Lessons for U.S. Policy,” which featured the minister of health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck. In her keynote address, Dr. Coll Seck passionately articulated her commitment to family planning for the health and development of her country and the Francophone West African subregion: “You can understand my enthusiasm in defending such a cause considering my activism in women’s rights. And my role as a mother, because I am also a mother, and grandmother; and as a medical doctor. But also after listening to people, men and women, in my own country but also in many corners in Africa…. This is not a story of Senegal alone, it’s a story of all Africa but at least let us do something clear for the West African countries.”

Two panels focused on implementation and funding for family planning in Senegal and the subregion. The first panel – with Dr. Bocar Mamadou Daff from Senegal’s Ministry of Health, Pape Gaye from IntraHealth, and Maaike Van Min from Marie Stopes International – delved into the new approaches to advance access to family planning and the importance of the leadership and coordination by the Ministry of Health. Valuable lessons are emerging from Senegal’s experience, including the Informed Push Model to eliminate stock-outs of contraceptives, integration of family planning with immunizations, mobile clinics to reach vulnerable women, and engagement with religious communities and civil society. Yet all the panelists agreed that clear challenges remain for continued progress, such as addressing the reproductive health needs of young people, expanding the engagement of religious leaders, building a multisectoral response, and attracting private sector support for greater sustainability.

The donor perspectives on funding were the subject of the second panel, which included Katie Taylor from USAID, Nomi Fuchs-Montgomery from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Fatimata Sy from the Ouagadougou Partnership. They all emphasized the importance of building on public-private partnerships and attracting new donors for family planning in Senegal and for the subregion, as well as the critical role of country-led, costed plans and political will to ensure progress. Taylor noted that since USAID’s primary health goal is to end preventable maternal and child deaths, family planning has to be a critical intervention, and that Senegal’s progress demonstrates why these investments are so effective. Fuchs-Montgomery underscored the foundation’s approach to ensuring that their investments in Senegal and Niger are leveraged by other donors, with the aim of improving women’s health and accelerating a regional demographic transition. To accomplish this, she emphasized, will require leadership, partnerships, and perseverance. Speaking from a regional perspective, Sy noted the importance of donors aligning with countries’ national plans, and expressed her concern that despite costed plans, significant funding gaps remain.  Fragile progress will require continued outside funding, Sy added.

You can read the full blog post here. watch Partnerships for Family Planning: Lessons for U.S. Policy in two parts, here and here.

Topics: Family planning, Francophone West Africa, maternal-child healthreproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Family Planning in Ethiopia: The Health Extension Program (2014 video)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
April 2014

The CSIS Global Health Policy Center produced this video, following a bipartisan congressional staff delegation to Ethiopia in February 2014. The video is designed to bring the voices of Ethiopian women and girls, as well as champions of family planning, into the U.S. policy discussion. Through the voices of rural women at health posts, health extension workers, and an Orthodox priest, along with an official of the Ministry of Health and the First Lady, the video vividly highlights the importance of family planning as a core component of Ethiopia's development.

Click here to see the video. 

Topics: Ethiopia, faith-based organizations, family planning, maternal-child healthreproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Saving Mothers: A New Initiative to Address Maternal Mortality (2013 video)

Janet Fleischman and Julia Nagel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
March 2013

This video examines the Zambia experience of Saving Mothers, Giving Life. SMGL builds on the fact that most maternal deaths result from one or more of three delays: in seeking care, in arriving at a health facility, and in receiving appropriate care. SMGL is working to address those delays by supporting linkages between communities and health facilities through Safe Motherhood Action Groups (SMAGs); by improving communications and transportation in the districts to speed the care and referrals of pregnant women; and by training and hiring health care providers, while improving equipment and standards of care at health facilities.

Click here to see the video. 

Topics: Maternal-child health, Saving Mothers-Giving Life, U.S. policy, women's empowermentZambia

[collapse]
President Joyce Banda: New Focus on Women's Health and Empowerment (2013 video)

Janet Fleischman and Julia Nagel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
January 2013

When Joyce Banda unexpectedly ascended to the presidency of Malawi last April, after the death of President Mutharika, many in her country and around the world wondered what her impact would be as Malawi’s first female president. Among the many challenges, her government faces high rates of maternal mortality, high total fertility rates, and high HIV prevalence among women and girls, combined with low levels of women’s economic empowerment and widespread violence against women.

CSIS wanted to learn more about how women leaders in Africa are bringing new attention to women’s health and empowerment in their own countries, and to bring those voices into the discussion about U.S. policy priorities for women’s global health. To do this, we sent a small team to Malawi and Zambia in December 2012.

During an interview with President Banda in Malawi, which we have turned into this short video, we were able to ask her about these issues. Her response underscored the exciting prospects raised by her tenure as well as the daunting challenges ahead: “You know when a woman gets into State House, they notice the little things that would otherwise be ignored by a man,” with particular emphasis on family planning, maternal mortality, and malnutrition. President Banda was especially passionate that the economic empowerment of women is an essential step to ensure that there is effective family planning: “it is only when a women is economically empowered that she can negotiate at household level with her husband about the number of children that body of hers can have.”

Click here to see the video. 

Topics: Malawi, maternal-child health, women's empowerment

[collapse]
President Joyce Banda: New Focus on Women's Health and Empowerment in Malawi (2013 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Julia Nagel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
January 8, 2013

When Joyce Banda unexpectedly ascended to the presidency of Malawi last April, after the death of President Mutharika, many in her country and around the world wondered what her impact would be as Malawi’s first female president. Among the many challenges, her government faces high rates of maternal mortality, high total fertility rates, and high HIV prevalence among women and girls, combined with low levels of women’s economic empowerment and widespread violence against women.

A short video interview with President Banda explores how women leaders in Africa are bringing new attention to women’s health and empowerment in their own countries, and how they're bringing those voices into the discussion about U.S. policy priorities for women’s global health.

Click here to read the full blog post. You can watch the video here.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, Malawi, maternal-child health, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Saving Mothers, Giving Life: Attainable or Simply Aspirational? (2012 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
June 20, 2012

On June 1 in Oslo, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the “Saving Mothers, Giving Life” project—an ambitious, dynamic effort by the U.S. government with a new public private partnership to drive efficiencies, spur innovation, and ensure impact in this fundamental area of global health.  Maternal mortality is the ultimate health indicator, reflecting both a health system’s strength and how accessible it is to women and girls of reproductive age.  If successful, “Saving Mothers” will be an important dimension of Clinton’s legacy as Secretary, lifting the lives of women, families, and communities around the world.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Maternal-child health, Saving Mothers-Giving Life, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Clinton Launches Ambitious Maternal Health Project (2012 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Post
June 1, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the “Saving Mothers, Giving Life” project today—an ambitious, dynamic effort by the U.S. government to increase efficiency, spur innovation, and ensure impact in a fundamental area of global health.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Maternal-child healthSaving Mothers-Giving LifeU.S. policy

[collapse]
Family Planning and HIV Integration: Building on the PEPFAR Platform to Advance Global Health (2012 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2012

The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is well positioned to serve as a foundation for other global health programs, building on its health infrastructure, training, and systems. To fulfill that potential in the vital area of women's health will require integrating HIV/AIDS services with family planning and reproductive health services. The results from U.S. health investments in Tanzania indicate that this is a feasible and cost-effective strategy to combat the AIDS epidemic and promote the health of women and girls, and through them their families and communities. The lessons being learned in Tanzania should inform the scale-up of strategic integration under PEPFAR for these critical interventions.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration,HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, reproductive health, Tanzania

[collapse]
Improving Women's Health in South Africa: Opportunities for PEPFAR (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
October 2011

A period of major change is unfolding in health and HIV services in South Africa, carrying opportunities and risks for delivering effective, integrated health services that improve health outcomes and save lives. South Africa is decentralizing HIV services to the primary health are level, paving the way for greater integration to address women's health and to reduce maternal mortality. The United States can find feasible, flexible ways to support this process, even though its health program through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is scaling down. As PEPFAR transitions from an emergency to a more sustainable response, this is a crucial moment to demonstrate that it can address HIV-related goals by linking to more comprehensive services for women--notably linking HIV with family planning (FP), reproductive health (RH), and maternal child health (MCH). The stakes are high for PEPFAR and for the Global Health Initiative (GHI) to show results and, most importantly, for the women and children most at risk.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, maternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive health, reproductive health, South Africa, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Lessons from Kenya for the Global Health Initiative (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
February 2011

The Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), announced in May 2009 as a six-year, $63-billion program, has put a strong emphasis on integration of health services, building largely on the work of PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). As implementation of GHI is moving ahead and country strategies are being developed, this is an important moment to bring forward lessons learned from the experience of integration in the U.S. government’s health and development programs. A key example involves U.S. health programs in Kenya over the past five years, notably the APHIA program (the AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance program), which developed an integrated program based on the PEPFAR platform. This paper finds that the APHIA programs in Kenya hold some important lessons that should help inform GHI implementation. Since Kenya has been designated one of eight GHI-Plus countries,the emphasis on program integration in those U.S. government programs is especially relevant.

This paper, which is based on interviews conducted in Kenya in November 2010, as well as with policymakers and implementing partners in Washington, D.C., shows that the APHIA experience illustrates that integration across health sectors is feasible and effective, and that more focused evaluation of the impact of integrated programs would help Kenya and other GHI-Plus country teams and national governments as they develop their strategies. The maternal and child health (MCH) model in Kenya’s Western province is emerging as an innovative example of the benefits of providing women with a comprehensive set of MCH, family planning, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS services in an integrated setting.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, maternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive health

[collapse]
The Strategic Power of Vaccines in Zambia (2012 video)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
March 2012

In November 2011, a team from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) visited Zambia to produce a video on vaccination efforts -– their value, their implementation and the challenges they face. In the current global environment of austerity and ever-decreasing budgets, immunizations represent one of the pillars of global health that is a cost effective, proven intervention.

Beyond protecting millions of children every year from infectious diseases, vaccines often provide the backbone of the health care system. When a mother brings her child in for routine immunizations, it can be an entry point to provide her with other health services –- HIV counseling and testing, family planning information and services, and bed nets to protect her children from malaria. In this way, routine immunizations can also help the mother and the rest of the family to access health care.

Click here to see the video. 

Topics: Maternal-child healthU.S. policyVaccines, women's empowerment, Zambia

[collapse]

[collapse]
Millennium Development Goals

Africa: Focus on Women and Girls Key to MDG Success (2010 article)

Janet Fleischman
AllAfrica.com
September 21, 2010

As world leaders gather this week in New York to assess progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), they will face stark challenges to social and economic development, given ongoing wars and the global economic recession.

Link to the column.

Topics: Millennium Development Goals

[collapse]

[collapse]
Nigeria

Janet interviews Melissa Dalton and Fatima Imam on gender-based violence as a weapon of war (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host

Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
December 17, 2019

This episode of the Global Health Policy Center's Take as Directed podcast examines the changing nature of war and conflict and why gender-based violence (GBV) has become a central feature in crises around the world. GHPC Senior Associate Janet Fleischman sits down with Melissa Dalton, senior fellow and deputy director of the CSIS International Security Program and Director of the Cooperative Defense Project (CDP); and Fatima Imam, executive director of Rehabilitation, Empowerment, and Better Health Initiative and Network of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria.

Janet and the guests discuss how GBV impacts women and girls in crises, focused especially on the Middle East and northern Nigeria, and how these ubiquitous and traumatizing realities undermine global health security and community resilience. This conversation is linked to a new CSIS report, How Can We Better Reach Women and Girls in Crises? and an October 31 conference on U.S. Action for Women’s and Girls’ Health Security, both under the auspices of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, gender-based violence, Humanitarian response, maternal-child health, Nigeria, reproductive health, violence against women and children

[collapse]

[collapse]
President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

Janet interviews Amb. Mark Dybul on why demographic trends matter for global health (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host

Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
September 3, 2019

The population of Africa is expected to double over the next 20 years, which means that many countries are facing either a demographic dividend or potentially a disaster, with critical implications for global health and development. In this episode of Take as Directed, Janet Fleischman sits down with Amb. Mark Dybul, Director of the Center for Global Health and Quality, and Professor in the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, and formerly head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. They discuss why these demographic trends matter and how U.S. programs can better engage young people, especially adolescent girls and young women, to address their needs and support local innovation.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud.

Topics: Demographic trends, family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Demographic Trends and Youth Empowerment in Africa: Opportunities for U.S. Engagement (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
June 2019

Many of the fastest growing populations are in the world’s poorest countries, putting them at a critical threshold: either they will accelerate economic growth and innovation by investing in their burgeoning youth population or the rapid population growth coupled with a shortage of opportunities for young people will undermine advances in health, development, and ultimately security. These demographic trends, most notable in sub-Saharan Africa, are often referred to as a “youth boom” or a “youth bulge.” Given the enormous implications of these demographic shifts, U.S. assistance should promote young people’s health and development, with particular emphasis on empowering young women. Investments in human capital and gender equality would yield enormous benefits in improving health, reducing poverty, and increasing economic and political stability. Given that these goals align so strongly with U.S. national interests, they benefit from strong bipartisan support.

This agenda constitutes an urgent priority. The magnitude of this demographic transition is evident in sub-Saharan Africa; sixty percent of the population is under the age of 25 and is projected to dramatically increase in the coming years due to decreased under-five child mortality and to continued high fertility, which is often driven by early and closely spaced childbearing. In many of these countries, notably in the Sahel region of West Africa, the population may double as soon as 2030—the year the world community pledged to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals—and possibly quadruple by the end of the century. Overall, the population in sub-Saharan Africa could increase from 1 billion to 4 billion before the end of the century.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Demographic trends, family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Accelerating Action to Address Violence Against Women and Children: Key Lessons from the Together for Girls Partnership in Tanzania (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Together for Girls
2019

Violence against children (VAC) and violence against women (VAW) are public health and human rights crises of global proportions, with damaging consequences to the health and well-being of individuals and their communities. Fueled by gender inequality, social norms condoning violence and harmful traditional practices,1 and exacerbated by lack of commitment to take preventive and protective action and weak protection systems, violence against women and children (VAWC) as well as the magnitude, human toll and societal cost of this violence is increasingly acknowledged by the global community.

Together for Girls (TfG) is a partnership among national governments, UN entities and private sector organizations working at the intersection of VAW and VAC, with special attention to ending sexual violence against girls. Now being implemented in more than 22 countries, the TfG model supports governments to conduct a national household Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) and to use the data to mobilize action through policies and programs that embed violence prevention and response across multiple sectors.

In 2009, the Government of Tanzania, with support from TfG partners, most notably UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), undertook the VACS. Tanzania was the first country to implement a full VACS, surveying both girls and boys (ages 13-24) nationally to assess the prevalence of emotional, physical and sexual violence. It was also the first country to introduce a government-led, multi-sector task force to oversee the implementation of the survey and the ensuing violence prevention and response work catalyzed by the data, which led to the establishment of a multi-sectoral, costed National Plan of Action. Ten years after Tanzania’s landmark research, this case study seeks to consolidate learnings from the national experience of implementing the TfG model.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, family planning, gender-based violence, PEPFAR, reproductive health, Tanzania, U.S. policy, violence against women and children

[collapse]
The World's Largest HIV Epidemic in Crisis: HIV In South Africa (2019 article)

Janet Fleischman and Sara M. Allinder
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
April 2, 2019

In some communities of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, 60 percent of women have HIV. Nearly 4,500 South Africans are newly infected every week; one-third are adolescent girls/young women (AGYW) ages 15-24. These are staggering figures, by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, the HIV epidemic is not being treated like a crisis. In February, we traveled to South Africa, to understand what is happening in these areas with “hyper-endemic” HIV epidemics, where prevalence rates exceed 15 percent among adults. We were alarmed by the complacency toward the rate of new infections at all levels and the absence of an emergency response, especially for young people.

This is no time for business as usual from South Africa or its partners, including the U.S. government through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The epidemic is exacerbated by its concentration in 15-49-year-olds, those of reproductive and working age who are the backbone of South Africa. Without aggressive action to reduce the rate of new infections in young people, HIV will continue to take a tremendous toll on the country for years and generations to come. Collective action is needed to push beyond the complacency and internal barriers to implement policies and interventions that directly target HIV prevention and treatment for young people. PEPFAR should ensure its programs support those efforts.

Click here to read the full commentary.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, maternal-child health, South Africa, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Public-Private Partnerships for Women's Health in Zambia (2016 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
The CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
July 2016

Zambia is a lower-middle-income country struggling with critical health challenges, including high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality, malnutrition, cervical cancer, and a severe HIV/AIDS epidemic that disproportionately affects adolescent girls and young women. The United States is the largest donor to the health sector in Zambia, largely through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Over the past five years, the U.S. has also helped establish several public-private partnerships (PPPs) aimed at advancing the health of women and families. These PPPs provide lessons about the potential impact of these approaches, the challenges inherent in such partnerships, and the importance of PEPFAR support. With future U.S. global health funding likely to be flat-lined, this is an important moment to assess how partnerships with the private sector can amplify the impact of U.S. investments in women’s and family health.

A delegation from the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health visited Zambia in April 2016 to examine U.S. investments through three partnerships: Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL), Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR), and DREAMS. The delegation sought to understand these partnerships in Zambia within the context of U.S. support for women’s and family health, which represent the core of functional health systems.

Click here to read the report. You can link to the Zambia page of the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Cervical cancer, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, public-private partnerships, reproductive health, Saving Mothers-Giving Life, U.S. policyZambia

[collapse]
Family Planning and Women's Health in Kenya (2015 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katherine Peck
CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
December 2015

Voluntary family planning is one of the most transformative interventions in global health, critical to improving women’s health and to saving the lives of women and children in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Beyond the direct health benefits, family planning is essential for women’s empowerment and sustainable development, contributing to improvements in education, economic growth, and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. As the global leader in supporting family planning, the United States has a vital role to play in helping countries improve the lives of women and families.

To understand the impact of U.S. investments, this report examines U.S. support for family planning in Kenya at a pivotal moment for these issues globally. As a regional leader in family planning and a priority country for U.S. family planning and maternal-child health assistance, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Kenya provides a lens through which to assess the opportunities and challenges in expanding access and transitioning to greater sustainability.

Kenya has made significant progress in family planning, with one of the highest contraceptive prevalence rates in the region at 58 percent, yet faces important challenges in maintaining momentum.

In the polarized U.S. political environment, funding for family planning programs faces persistent challenges. There is a risk that without clear U.S. commitment, these critical interventions could be derailed. Strong, bipartisan leadership is required to depoliticize these issues and to highlight the importance of voluntary family planning and healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies to improve women’s health, prevent unintended pregnancies, increase child survival, avert millions of abortions, and improve economic and social development. U.S. policy toward Kenya is in many ways a laboratory for the region with lessons for other countries.

You can find the full report here, and you can link to the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe)family planning, family planning-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, Kenyamaternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive healthU.S. policy

[collapse]
An Emergency that Requires Taking Risk (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
April 21, 2015

“The very progress we’ve made in HIV/AIDS over the last 20 years is at risk right now because of our lack of engagement with young women.” That was the stark message delivered by Ambassador Deborah Birx, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, at a dynamic, high-level panel at CSIS on April 17, which also featured Ambassador Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Geeta Rao Gupta, deputy executive director of UNICEF; and Judith Bruce, senior associate and policy analyst at the Population Council. Ambassador Dybul echoed the urgency of new initiatives working to address this population: “This opportunity is one we just can’t miss.”

At the event, CSIS released a new report, Addressing HIV Risk in Adolescent Girls and Young Women. The report examines how adolescent girls and young women have become a priority focus in the fight against global HIV/AIDS, the approaches that have proven effective, and the gaps and challenges that remain. In particular, the report highlights the new DREAMS Partnership, launched by PEPFAR in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nike Foundation, to significantly reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women. With $210 million and highly ambitious goals, the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe) Partnership aims to address HIV risks for adolescent girls and young women in high-burden “hot spots” in 10 countries throughout eastern and southern Africa. The partnership’s goal is to reduce HIV incidence in this population by 25 percent in two years, and by 40 percent in three years. Whether these targets are attainable or simply aspirational remains to be seen, but they represent a determined effort to do things differently.

The panel discussed new ways to increase the empowerment, security, and agency of adolescent girls and young women, including looking at the impact of gender-based violence, cash transfers/incentives, education for girls, safe spaces for girls, and reproductive health/family planning. Although little research has evaluated the combined impact of putting all these interventions together, the panelists agreed that this is the moment to move forward in pursuit of a multisectoral approach. The panelists also expressed the hope that new funding would continue to emerge from multilateral institutions, government partners, and the private sector.  These different funders can leverage each other’s investments.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), funders, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Addressing HIV Risk in Adolescent Girls and Young Women (2015 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katherine Peck
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
April 2015

[captionpix imgsrc="https://janetfleischman.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Cover-addressing-hiv-risk.jpg" width="85" height="126" align="left"]

The data are stark and incontrovertible: In eastern and southern Africa, girls account for 80 percent of all new HIV infections among adolescents, and HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for girls aged 15-19. With 7,000 girls and young women aged 15-24 infected every week, the goal of an AIDS-free generation cannot be achieved without a dramatic new approach to this population. After years of neglect, a global convergence is emerging around the urgency of going beyond biomedical interventions to address the social and economic factors driving HIV risk for adolescent girls and young women. Whether this new attention can catalyze reductions in new HIV infections represents a fundamental challenge for controlling the AIDS epidemic.

In a major shift, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) launched a new initiative on World AIDS Day in December 2014, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Nike Foundation, to significantly reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women. With $210 million and highly ambitious goals, the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe) Partnership aims to address HIV risks for adolescent girls and young women in high-burden "hot spots" in 10 countries in eastern and southern Africa by identifying where these young women are being infected, what is putting them at risk, and how to target programs accordingly. The partnership's goal is to reduce incidence in high-burden areas by 25 percent in two years, and by 40 percent in three years. Whether these targets are attainable or simply aspirational remains to be seen, but they represent a determined effort to do things differently.

DREAMS and other international partnerships focused on HIV in adolescent girls and young women represent an ambitious effort to go beyond biomedical interventions to address the social and economic factors that put this population at risk of infection. It remains to be seen, however, if these initiatives can demonstrate impact in a short timeframe, and build toward sustainable programs. This is a critical moment to transform a growing global interest in women and girls in a range of sectors into effective HIV programing, and to highlight the results at the July 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.

Download the report here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), funders, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Senators Show Bipartisan Support for U.S. Engagement on HIV/AIDS (2012 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
July 25, 2012

Senators John Kerry and Lindsey Graham delivered strong messages of bipartisan political support for U.S. engagement on global AIDS in Monday’s plenary session of AIDS 2012.  The participation of this senior Senate Democrat and Republican testified to the crucial bipartisan support that has characterized the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR, since its inception.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The Promise of Eliminating HIV Infections in Children and Keeping Mothers Healthy (2012 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
July 23, 2012

This is an exciting and promising moment in the global effort to eliminate new HIV infections among children; we can finally see the possibility of eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV. To address the current status of these efforts and the way forward, the heads of WHO, UNICEF, and PEPFAR joined with ministers of health from Africa, representatives from the Global Fund, UNAIDS, UNITAID, the private sector, and women living with HIV at CSIS on July 22. You can find full video of the event here.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR

[collapse]
HIV and Family Planning Integration: Building on the PEPFAR Platform in Tanzania (2012 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
July 20, 2012

The world's HIV/AIDS leaders are gathering in Washington, D.C., this week under the theme "turning the tide together." Yet the hope and optimism around creating an "AIDS-free generation" needs to be channeled into critical strategies that could make an immediate difference for women and girls. 

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is well positioned to serve as a foundation for other global health programs, building on its health infrastructure, training, and systems. To fulfill that potential in the vital area of women’s health will require integrating HIV/AIDS services with family planning and reproductive health services. I was recently in Tanzania, where the results of U.S. health investments indicate that this is a feasible and cost effective strategy to combat the AIDS epidemic and promote the health of women and girls, and through them their families and communities. 

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, Tanzania, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Addressing Gender-Based Violence and HIV-AIDS: The PEPFAR Initiative in Tanzania (2012 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
July 11, 2012

The dual global epidemics of HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence (GBV) exert a destructive and disproportionate impact on women and girls, especially in high HIV prevalence countries in Africa. Despite bipartisan political consensus on the intersection of HIV and GBV, efforts to address this area have not attracted the necessary attention and resources to drive the program innovation that could demonstrate progress. That may now be beginning to change, with new momentum being brought to this agenda by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Reliefs (PEPFAR) GBV initiative.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, Tanzania, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Gender-Based Violence and HIV: Emerging Lessons from the PEPFAR Initiative In Tanzania (2012 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2012

The dual global epidemics of HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence (GBV) exert a destructive and disproportionate impact on women and girls, especially in prevalence countries in Africa. Yet despite bipartisan political consensus on the intersection between HIV and GBV, efforts to address this area have not attracted the attention or resources necessary to drive the program innovation that could demonstrate progress. However, new momentum is now being brought to this agenda with the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief's (PEPFAR) GBV initiative.

This paper examines how the GBV initiative is being introduced in Tanzania, one of the GBV focus countries, based on interviews in Tanzania in April 2012 with U.S. government officials, nongovernmental organizations, and implementing partners, as well as interviews in Washington, D.C. It describes the importance of this initiative for the work of PEPFAR and the Global Health Initiative (GHI), impediments to progress, why this program has the potential to provide valuable and timely lessons for achieving HIV-related goals and for improving health outcomes for women and girls, and priority steps for getting the best results in the future.

Download a PDF of the report.

Topics: FP-HIV integration, Gender-based violence, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, reproductive health, Tanzania

[collapse]
The Women, Girls, and Gender Equality Principle of the Global Health Initiative (GHI): How Have U.S. Government Programs Responded? (2012 report)

Janet Fleischman
Kaiser Family Foundation
October 2012

The health and empowerment of women and girls around the world has been elevated as a priority on the U.S. diplomacy and development agendas. This has been evidenced by a number of actions taken by the Obama Administration, most notably the focus on women, girls, and gender equality (WGGE) as one of seven core principles of the Administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI). The GHI, announced in May 2009, was intended to promote a more comprehensive approach to U.S. government (USG) global health programs. As part of the GHI process, teams in countries receiving U.S. health assistance prepared GHI strategies, aligning their programs with the GHI’s principles, including WGGE, and have begun to implement those strategies.

To begin to understand how the principle is being applied to programs on the ground, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted key informant interviews with 15 GHI country teams as well as USG staff in Washington, DC. The findings from the interviews yielded nine central themes and trends related to the response to and implementation of WGGE.

Download a PDF of the report.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The Global Health Initiative in Malawi (2011 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
December 2, 2011

The Obama administration designated Malawi as a GHI Plus country in June 2010, one of the first eight countries selected to implement the Global Health Initiative’s (GHI) more comprehensive approach to global health and serve as learning labs for other GHI country programs.

The GHI team in Malawi has identified the health of women and girls, including HIV and family planning (FP)/reproductive health (RH) services, as critical, promising areas for GHI success. Though still in early stages of implementation, new approaches are emerging in Malawi that leverage resources from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to develop greater program synergies for women and girls. Yet Malawi’s weak health system, combined with ever more serious concerns about governance and human rights issues that are undermining donor support, present challenges that may threaten GHI’s ability to achieve sustainable results.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health InitiativeHIV/AIDS, Malawi, PEPFAR, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
The Global Health Initiative in Malawi: New Approaches and Challenges to Reaching Women and Girls (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
November 2011

The Obama administration designated Malawi as a GHI Plus country in June 2010, one of the first eight countries selected to implement the Global Health Initiative’s (GHI) more comprehensive approach to global health and serve as learning labs for other GHI country programs. The GHI team in Malawi has identified the health of women and girls, including HIV and family planning (FP)/reproductive health (RH) services, as critical, promising areas for GHI success.

Though still in early stages of implementation, new approaches are emerging in Malawi that leverage resources from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to develop greater program synergies for women and girls. Yet Malawi’s weak health system, combined with ever more serious concerns about governance and human rights issues that are undermining donor support, present challenges that may threaten GHI’s ability to achieve sustainable results.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, Malawi, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Improving Women's Health in South Africa: Opportunities for PEPFAR (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
October 2011

A period of major change is unfolding in health and HIV services in South Africa, carrying opportunities and risks for delivering effective, integrated health services that improve health outcomes and save lives. South Africa is decentralizing HIV services to the primary health are level, paving the way for greater integration to address women's health and to reduce maternal mortality. The United States can find feasible, flexible ways to support this process, even though its health program through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is scaling down. As PEPFAR transitions from an emergency to a more sustainable response, this is a crucial moment to demonstrate that it can address HIV-related goals by linking to more comprehensive services for women--notably linking HIV with family planning (FP), reproductive health (RH), and maternal child health (MCH). The stakes are high for PEPFAR and for the Global Health Initiative (GHI) to show results and, most importantly, for the women and children most at risk.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, maternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive health, reproductive health, South Africa, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Lessons from Kenya for the Global Health Initiative (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
February 2011

The Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), announced in May 2009 as a six-year, $63-billion program, has put a strong emphasis on integration of health services, building largely on the work of PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). As implementation of GHI is moving ahead and country strategies are being developed, this is an important moment to bring forward lessons learned from the experience of integration in the U.S. government’s health and development programs. A key example involves U.S. health programs in Kenya over the past five years, notably the APHIA program (the AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance program), which developed an integrated program based on the PEPFAR platform. This paper finds that the APHIA programs in Kenya hold some important lessons that should help inform GHI implementation. Since Kenya has been designated one of eight GHI-Plus countries,the emphasis on program integration in those U.S. government programs is especially relevant.

This paper, which is based on interviews conducted in Kenya in November 2010, as well as with policymakers and implementing partners in Washington, D.C., shows that the APHIA experience illustrates that integration across health sectors is feasible and effective, and that more focused evaluation of the impact of integrated programs would help Kenya and other GHI-Plus country teams and national governments as they develop their strategies. The maternal and child health (MCH) model in Kenya’s Western province is emerging as an innovative example of the benefits of providing women with a comprehensive set of MCH, family planning, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS services in an integrated setting.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, maternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive health

[collapse]
Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy (2010 report)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
November 2010

Global health, development, and gender are now understood to be dynamic and interlinked components of U.S. foreign policy. Given the emerging policy and programmatic debates on how these three domains are to be integrated to bring the greatest returns, especially in improving the health and welfare of women and girls, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center hosted a conference, entitled "Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy" on June 11, 2010. 

This report provides background on the programs represented at the conference, summaries of the speakers' presentations, and U.S. policy options that emerged from the conference. It is intended to help inform the discussion surrounding the implementation of GHI and PEPFAR II and to emphasize the importance of fully utilizing the opportunities to reach women and girls by addressing the health and development challenges that contribute to their risk of HIV.

Click here to read the report

Topics: Economic development, education, family planning-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, PEPFAR, South Africa, U.S. policy, women's empowerment, Zambia

[collapse]
Integrating HIV with Other Health Services for Women: New Models in Kenya (2010 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
November 11, 2010

The opportunities to integrate health services to better address the client’s needs – especially women – is a key piece of the Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI). I went to Kenya in November to look for lessons for GHI from another US program -- the PEPFAR-USAID program called the AIDS, Population, Health and Integrated Assistance Project (known as APHIA II; the next phase, APHIA Plus, will begin in 2011). APHIA II has shown that integration of HIV/AIDS and family planning can be an important component of HIV services for women, and that PEPFAR funds can be used effectively in an integrated setting to promote access to HIV services as well as broader health outcomes for women and children.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, PEPFAR

[collapse]
Dialogue with Development Partners: New U.S. Approach to Women and Girls in PEPFAR and the Global Health Initiative (2010 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Coalition on Women and AIDS
July 2010

The imperative to devote specific focus to the multifaceted issues faced by women and girls as a pillar of both global health and HIV strategies has gained increasing prominence in international policy discourse in recent years. Yet the global-level policy changes necessary to operationalize these strategies too rarely filter down to the range of actors at the country level, including to AIDS professionals within national governments, the United Nations and other development partner organizations, and to members of civil society.

This brief describes the new directions in U.S. policy, notably in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Health Initiative (GHI), and how these new goals might relate to strengthening national AIDS responses and programs focusing on women and girls.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
An Analysis of the Gender Policies of the Three Major AIDS Financing Institutions: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the World Bank and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (2008 report)

Janet Fleischman
UNAIDS
July 2008

Funding for the response to the global AIDS crisis has increased exponentially in recent years, from US$ 260 million in 1996 to almost US$ 10 billion in 2007, nearly a forty-fold increase. While this figure still falls short of anticipated global need in the coming years, it is nonetheless a marked shift in the global response to the AIDS epidemic. At the same time, the new level of resources confers even greater responsibilities on the funding institutions to ensure that the key drivers of the epidemic are being addressed effectively.

This is particularly true in the area of gender and AIDS. While there is now broad international consensus that the gender dimension of the epidemic must be addressed, the three major AIDS financing institutions—the World Bank, the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund)—have not historically focused on ensuring that funding and programs adequately target gender issues. However, recent initiatives in each of the three institutions hold promise for new momentum in this area.

All three major AIDS funding institutions have recently acknowledged the importance of gender and the need to prioritize the gender issues, and each is looking at different approaches toward defining and expanding gender strategies and programs.

Download the PDF.

Topics: FundersPEPFAR, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, U.S. policy, World Bank

[collapse]
Voices from the Field: The Role of Integrated Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Programs in Strengthening U.S. Policy (2008 report)

Janet Fleischman
Task Force on HIV/AIDS, Center for Strategic and International Studies
February 2008

This report was written by Janet Fleischman, senior associate of the CSIS HIV/AIDS Task Force and chair of the gender committee. It is based on the presentations and discussions at the CSIS conference held on October 30, 2007, “Integrating Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Services: Lessons from the Field for PEPFAR Reauthorization,” as well as Fleischman’s visits to Kenya, South Africa, and India in 2007 and her interviews with U.S. administration officials, congressional staff, HIV/AIDS organizations and service providers, reproductive health organizations, and women living with HIV/AIDS.

In the context of reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and looking ahead to the strategy that will be developed by the next U.S. administration, the conference sought to focus high-level attention on the opportunities and challenges of integrating reproductive health (RH) and HIV/AIDS programs. The proceedings demonstrated that substantial ingenuity and innovation is under way in integrating these services, and highlighted the importance of ensuring that the emerging lessons from the field inform decisions about the next phase of U.S. AIDS policy.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Priorities for Action: Gender and PEPFAR Reauthorization (2007 report)

Janet Fleischman
Task Force on HIV/AIDS, Center for Strategic and International Studies
September 2007

This is a defining moment for U.S. AIDS policy, as Congress and the Bush administration prepare for the reauthorization of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which expires in September 2008. The reauthorization process offers U.S. policymakers the chance to reflect on the evolution oft he epidemic, to analyze the data collected, and to apply the lessons learned during PEPFAR's first phase, in order to strengthen U.S. AIDS strategy going forward.

Policymakers recognize that gender is an essential component in the fight against the global AIDS epidemic, and PEPFAR has made progress in implementing gender strategies. But the time has come to move beyond consensus statements on the importance of gender and limited programs to develop a stronger, elevated, and comprehensive approach that has real impact on the lives of women and girls in a world of AIDS.

Download the PDF.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]

[collapse]
Public-Private Partnerships

Public-Private Partnerships for Women's Health in Zambia (2016 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
The CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
July 2016

Zambia is a lower-middle-income country struggling with critical health challenges, including high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality, malnutrition, cervical cancer, and a severe HIV/AIDS epidemic that disproportionately affects adolescent girls and young women. The United States is the largest donor to the health sector in Zambia, largely through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Over the past five years, the U.S. has also helped establish several public-private partnerships (PPPs) aimed at advancing the health of women and families. These PPPs provide lessons about the potential impact of these approaches, the challenges inherent in such partnerships, and the importance of PEPFAR support. With future U.S. global health funding likely to be flat-lined, this is an important moment to assess how partnerships with the private sector can amplify the impact of U.S. investments in women’s and family health.

A delegation from the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health visited Zambia in April 2016 to examine U.S. investments through three partnerships: Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL), Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR), and DREAMS. The delegation sought to understand these partnerships in Zambia within the context of U.S. support for women’s and family health, which represent the core of functional health systems.

Click here to read the report. You can link to the Zambia page of the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Cervical cancer, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, public-private partnerships, reproductive health, Saving Mothers-Giving Life, U.S. policyZambia

[collapse]

[collapse]
Prevention

The Promise and Challenge of PrEP for Adolescent Girls and Young Women (2020 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
November 2020

IIn this episode of AIDS 2021, we discuss pre-exposure prophylaxis — PrEP — a critical HIV prevention tool for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in countries with high HIV burdens. Janet Fleischman speaks with Mitchell Warren, the executive director of AVAC, and two women working with Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute in South Africa – Khanyi Kwatsha, a 26-year-old PrEP ambassador, and Elmari Briedenhann, a senior project manager. They discuss the importance of PrEP for AGYW and highlight innovative approaches to better reach this group and to address the inherent challenges of meeting the needs of this population.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, HIV/AIDS, prevention, South Africa

[collapse]
Tackling TB and HIV in Women: An Urgent Agenda (2010 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Coalition on Women and AIDS
July 2010

The interlinked tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemics are taking a dramatic toll on women’s lives, notably in countries with high HIV prevalence. While TB is now the third leading cause of death among women aged 15-44, killing some 700,000 women every year and causing illness in millions more, it is particularly lethal for women living with HIV. Yet the burden of the dual TB/HIV epidemic on women, and the gender-related barriers to detection and treatment, are not being addressed explicitly by global donors, national health systems, or community groups. The urgency of this situation demands that TB be elevated as a key women’s health issue, and that TB screening, prevention and treatment be made a routine part of HIV, reproductive health and maternal and child health services. The lives of millions of women depend on our ability to move this agenda forward.

Download the PDF.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, prevention, TB, treatment

[collapse]
Maximizing HIV Prevention: Building the Case for Social and Economic Vaccines (2008 report)

Janet Fleischman
CARE
July 2008

The XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City sheds a global spotlight on both the progress in combating HIV and AIDS and the failure of our current prevention efforts to stem the epidemic. Despite increased funding for and access to HIV and AIDS treatment around the world, the imperative to vastly increase HIV prevention remains urgent: for every two people put on treatment, five more are newly infected. In the absence of a medical vaccine, the course of the epidemic will depend on how the global community rises to the challenge of prevention.

CARE’s global work on HIV and AIDS in over 40 countries demonstrates that making a real difference in the AIDS epidemic requires more comprehensive, multisectoral approaches to prevention that address the broader context and the factors that are fueling the epidemic. We need strategies that link HIV prevention with development approaches that attack the underlying causes of vulnerability to HIV – such as economic and food security, community empowerment, reproductive health and education – that can build economic and social “vaccines.” A comprehensive approach of this nature means going beyond traditional prevention programming focusing on individual behavior change to also address the social, economic and cultural factors that shape people’s risk of contracting HIV and impede their access to prevention programs.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Economic development, HIV/AIDS, prevention

[collapse]
Increase Women's Control over HIV Prevention: Fight AIDS (2006 report)

Janet Fleischman
The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (UNAIDS)
April 2006

Women account for nearly half of HIV infections worldwide and almost two-thirds of those among young people, with female infections rising in almost every region. Yet twenty-five years into the global AIDS epidemic, there is still no widely available technology that women can both initiate and control to protect themselves from HIV. Due to gender norms and inequalities, many women and girls lack the social and economic power to control key aspects of their lives, particularly sexual matters. As a result, women are in a difficult, and often impossible, situation when it comes to negotiating with their partners over abstinence, fidelity, or condom use.

Given the AIDS epidemic’s disproportionate impact on women, there is a critical need to develop prevention options that women can use with, or when necessary without, their partner's knowledge. Unless women gain greater access to effective prevention tools that they can control, global and national efforts to halt the spread of AIDS cannot succeed. Improving prevention options for women requires both broadening current prevention strategies and developing new technologies that enhance women’s ability to protect themselves.

Download the PDF.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, preventionwomen’s empowerment

[collapse]
Educate Girls: Fight AIDS (2005 report)

Janet Fleischman
The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (UNAIDS)
August 2005

Growing evidence shows that getting and keeping young people in school, particularly girls, dramatically lowers their vulnerability to HIV. By itself, merely attending primary school makes young people significantly less likely to contract HIV. When young people stay in school through the secondary level, education’s protective effect against HIV is even more pronounced. This is especially true for girls who, with each additional year of education, gain greater independence, are better equipped to make decisions affecting their sexual lives, and have higher income earning potential – all of which help them stay safe from HIV. Higher education levels are also clearly correlated with delayed sexual debut, greater HIV awareness and knowledge about HIV testing sites, fewer sexual partners, higher rates of condom use, and greater communication about HIV prevention between partners – all factors that substantially lower HIV risk.

By providing young women with greater economic options and autonomy, education also affords them the knowledge, skills, and opportunities they need to make informed choices about how to delay marriage and childbearing; have healthier babies; avoid commercial sex and other risky behaviors; and gain awareness of their rights.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Education, HIV/AIDS, prevention

[collapse]

[collapse]
Rape and Genocide

Shattered Lives: Sexual Violence During the Rwandan Genocide and Its Aftermath (1996 report)

Binaifer Nowrowjee, Janet Fleischman, and Alison DesForges
Human Rights Watch
September 1996

During the 1994 genocide, Rwandan women were subjected to sexual violence on a massive scale, perpetrated by members of the infamous Hutu militia groups known as the Interahamwe, by other civilians, and by soldiers of the Rwandan Armed Forces (Forces Armées Rwandaises, FAR), including the Presidential Guard. Administrative, military and political leaders at the national and local levels, as well as heads of militia, directed or encouraged both the killings and sexual violence to further their political goal: the destruction of the Tutsi as a group. They therefore bear responsibility for these abuses. 

Although the exact number of women raped will never be known, testimonies from survivors confirm that rape was extremely widespread and that thousands of women were individually raped, gang-raped, raped with objects such as sharpened sticks or gun barrels, held in sexual slavery (either collectively or through forced "marriage") or sexually mutilated. These crimes were frequently part of a pattern in which Tutsi women were raped after they had witnessed the torture and killings of their relatives and the destruction and looting of their homes. According to witnesses, many women were killed immediately after being raped.

Download the report

Topics: Gender-based violence, rape and genocide, Rwanda, U.S. policy

[collapse]
In Rwanda, Too, Rape Was a War Crime and Must Be Punished (1996 article)

Janet Fleischman and Binaifer Nowrowjee
International Herald-Tribune
July 25, 1996

In the genocide two years ago, many of Rwanda's women were brutally raped — in front of their relatives, sometimes with gun barrels or pieces of wood — and were then forced to watch as their assailants murdered their loved ones.

Thousands of women were raped, gang-raped, mutilated, held in sexual slavery or forcibly taken as "wives" by their persecutors. Not one of those indicted so far by the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, however, has been charged with rape. This aspect of the genocide must not be neglected, and right now the tribunal has a perfect opportunity to include rape in its prosecution.

You can find the article here

Topics: Gender-based violence, rape and genocide, Rwanda, U.S. policy

[collapse]

[collapse]
Reproductive Health

An Improbable Success: The Ouagadougou Partnership’s Advances in Family Planning Across Francophone West Africa (2020 report)

Janet Fleischman
Commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. In 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was virtually unimaginable at the outset, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was perceived to be taboo. Now, almost a decade later, the partnership’s impact and lessons for other regions warrant both celebration and reflection.

The nine Francophone countries of the subregion (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) united around an ambitious regional goalto reach one million additional voluntary users of modern family planning methods by 2015, and 2.2 million more by 2020. The results have been impressive, especially given the low starting point of approximately 2.7 million users: by 2019, over 3.1 million additional voluntary users have been reached, Francophone West Africa has one of the fastest increases in modern contraceptive rates among developing regions, and family planning funding from the core donors has more than doubled. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners.

The story of this partnership reflects a unique historical convergence: a group of bilateral and philanthropic donors willing to commit to the subregion, country-level champions from government and civil society, supported by implementing partners, prepared to advance family planning for health and development reasons, and a shared interest in doing business differently to address egregious gaps in women’s health and stalled indicators on family planning. By banding together, fueled by a shared commitment to achieving a regional goal, “friendly” competition among the countries, and grounded in data and evidence, the nine relatively small countries capitalized on their commonalities and made the region a more important geographic space and population size.

Janet was commissioned in 2019 by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to write this report documenting the history of the Ouagadougou Partnership. She completed her research in January 2020, before the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Francophone West Africa (in Senegal and Burkina Faso) in March 2020. Accordingly, this report does not address the impact of COVID-19 in Francophone West Africa or the challenges it presents to the Ouagadougou Partnership’s activities.

Click here to read the full report.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Burkina Faso, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Janet is interviewed on crisis response and the prioritization of women and girls (2019 podcast)

Beverly Kirk, host, Smart Women, Smart Power Podcast

Smart Women, Smart Power (SWSP) Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies

December 04, 2019

Janet joins host Beverly Kirk or a conversation about Janet's latest report, which examines why women and girls’ health and protection should be a top priority in emergency and humanitarian crisis situations. It also looks at U.S. policy on global health security. This conversation is linked to the report and an October 31 conference on U.S. Action for Women’s and Girls’ Health Security, both under the auspices of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.

The Smart Women, Smart Power (SWSP) Initiative convenes top-level women leaders in foreign policy, national security, international business, and international development to amplify their voices, spotlight their expertise, and discuss critical and timely issues. The Smart Women, Smart Power biweekly podcast features powerful, in-depth conversations with women leaders from around the globe who are experts in foreign policy, national security, international business, and international development. SWSP Director Beverly Kirk moderates the podcast series.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, gender-based violence, humanitarian response, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, violence against women and children

[collapse]
An Improbable Success in a Troubled Region (2020 article)

Janet Fleischman, consultant on a project for the Ouagadougou Partnership
Marie Ba, Director of Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit (OPCU)

Council on Foreign Relations, Think Global Health

March 18, 2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. At a time of increased extremism and insecurity in West Africa, the remarkable story of a partnership to advance women’s health and empowerment through family planning is worthy of global attention. By tackling such challenges, the partnership provides hope for women, girls, and their communities in a troubled region, with lessons for other parts of the world.

The story began in 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of landlocked Burkina Faso, when representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was unimaginable at its outset almost a decade ago, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was still perceived to be taboo. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners, with a special emphasis on engaging young people.

Click here to read the full article.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Janet interviews Melissa Dalton and Fatima Imam on gender-based violence as a weapon of war (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host

Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
December 17, 2019

This episode of the Global Health Policy Center's Take as Directed podcast examines the changing nature of war and conflict and why gender-based violence (GBV) has become a central feature in crises around the world. GHPC Senior Associate Janet Fleischman sits down with Melissa Dalton, senior fellow and deputy director of the CSIS International Security Program and Director of the Cooperative Defense Project (CDP); and Fatima Imam, executive director of Rehabilitation, Empowerment, and Better Health Initiative and Network of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria.

Janet and the guests discuss how GBV impacts women and girls in crises, focused especially on the Middle East and northern Nigeria, and how these ubiquitous and traumatizing realities undermine global health security and community resilience. This conversation is linked to a new CSIS report, How Can We Better Reach Women and Girls in Crises? and an October 31 conference on U.S. Action for Women’s and Girls’ Health Security, both under the auspices of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, gender-based violence, Humanitarian response, maternal-child health, Nigeria, reproductive health, violence against women and children

[collapse]
How Can We Better Reach Women and Girls in Crises? (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
October 2019

The United States is the world leader in supporting global health and humanitarian response, making it uniquely placed to elevate the critical health and safety needs faced by women and girls in emergencies and fragile settings around the world. While addressing these needs is an important goal on its own, it also forms a pillar of global health security, as the prevention of health crises and conflict, and recovery after they occur, are greatly enhanced when these needs are met.
 
The United States has unrivaled financial and programmatic capacities in maternal health, reproductive health, family planning, and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response. However, it seldom marshals these extensive capacities in emergency settings, where the needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls are most severe. In emergencies around the world—from the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the simmering conflict in Venezuela to the protracted crises in Yemen and Syria—the United States has not channeled its extensive capacities to address glaring operational gaps in these critical areas. The alarmingly high risks of GBV and severely limited access to maternal health, family planning, and reproductive health services are too often overlooked in these and other crisis settings.
 
A categorical shift is required for the United States to prioritize women’s and girls’ health and protection in emergency settings to advance resiliency and health security. There is growing recognition among both practitioners and policymakers that failure to address these gaps significantly worsens the impact and trauma of crises and significantly undermines global health security. Conversely, the engagement of women, girls, and communities in decision-making and program design can help build public trust and confidence, which is sorely lacking in many health security crises around the world.
 

You can download the PDF here. You can also listen to Janet being interviewed about the report on the Smart Women, Smart Power podcast.

Topics: Family planning, gender-based violence, humanitarian response,, maternal-child health, reproductive health, violence against women and children, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Accelerating Action to Address Violence Against Women and Children: Key Lessons from the Together for Girls Partnership in Tanzania (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Together for Girls
2019

Violence against children (VAC) and violence against women (VAW) are public health and human rights crises of global proportions, with damaging consequences to the health and well-being of individuals and their communities. Fueled by gender inequality, social norms condoning violence and harmful traditional practices,1 and exacerbated by lack of commitment to take preventive and protective action and weak protection systems, violence against women and children (VAWC) as well as the magnitude, human toll and societal cost of this violence is increasingly acknowledged by the global community.

Together for Girls (TfG) is a partnership among national governments, UN entities and private sector organizations working at the intersection of VAW and VAC, with special attention to ending sexual violence against girls. Now being implemented in more than 22 countries, the TfG model supports governments to conduct a national household Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) and to use the data to mobilize action through policies and programs that embed violence prevention and response across multiple sectors.

In 2009, the Government of Tanzania, with support from TfG partners, most notably UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), undertook the VACS. Tanzania was the first country to implement a full VACS, surveying both girls and boys (ages 13-24) nationally to assess the prevalence of emotional, physical and sexual violence. It was also the first country to introduce a government-led, multi-sector task force to oversee the implementation of the survey and the ensuing violence prevention and response work catalyzed by the data, which led to the establishment of a multi-sectoral, costed National Plan of Action. Ten years after Tanzania’s landmark research, this case study seeks to consolidate learnings from the national experience of implementing the TfG model.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, family planning, gender-based violence, PEPFAR, reproductive health, Tanzania, U.S. policy, violence against women and children

[collapse]
Women's Economic Empowerment and Women's Health Services (2018 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
December 2018

Support for women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship around the world is gaining considerable momentum, manifested in recent U.S. and World Bank initiatives. This is an issue of global importance that garners extensive bipartisan support, rooted in data about the benefits for alleviating poverty and advancing economic growth. Yet economic empowerment does not exist in isolation in women’s lives; it is interconnected with and dependent upon access to women’s health services, notably maternal health and family planning, as a fundamental enabling factor. Simply put, women cannot meaningfully participate in the labor force if they are not healthy and able to decide the timing and spacing of their pregnancies. Concerted, bipartisan leadership is necessary to ensure that U.S. support for economic empowerment is intentionally aligned with U.S. investments in women’s global health.

As context for its recommendations, this paper examines the current momentum on women’s economic empowerment and lays out the growing evidence. The report is based on numerous key informant interviews and bipartisan discussions, through the CSIS Women’s Health Policy Forum, that explored the critical connections between women’s economic empowerment—defined to include education, labor force participation, and agency—and their access to family planning and maternal health services as well as HIV services targeted to women and girls.
 

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Janet interviews Celina Schocken of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon on the Fight Against Cervical Cancer (2017 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Katey Peck, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
May 16, 2017

Celina Schocken is CEO of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, an independent affiliate of the George W. Bush Institute that focuses on cervical and breast cancer prevention and treatment. We asked her to speak about the organization’s work, including why cervical cancer screening should be part of HIV and reproductive health, new innovative technologies, and an April delegation led by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush to Botswana and Namibia.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud.

Topics: Cervical cancer, HIV-AIDS, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Janet interviews Jen Kates about the Mexico City Policy and its implications for global health (2017 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Cathryn Streifel, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
January 27, 2017

On his first business day in office, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which denies U.S. funding to any foreign NGOs that perform, counsel, or refer about abortion with non-U.S. funds. In past Republican administrations, this policy applied only to U.S. funding for international family planning, but President Trump has expanded it to apply to all global health funding. We asked Jen Kates, Vice President and Director of Global Health & HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, to update us on the new policy and the potential implications for global health programs.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud. 

Topics: Family planning, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
It’s Time to Listen: Young Women and HIV/AIDS in Zambia (2016 video)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
The CSIS Global Health Policy Center
July 2016

The CSIS Global Health Policy Center produced this video during a visit to Zambia in April 2016. It profiles four young Zambian women who describe the stark realities for adolescent girls and young women that fuel the AIDS epidemic – sexual violence, barriers to education and family planning, and gender inequality. Through their stories and insights, the video illustrates that in order to address the AIDS crisis in Southern Africa, we must understand the risks that young women face and work to engage and empower them.

Click here to watch the video. You can link to the Zambia page of the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Family planningHIV/AIDS, reproductive healthZambia

[collapse]
Public-Private Partnerships for Women's Health in Zambia (2016 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
The CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
July 2016

Zambia is a lower-middle-income country struggling with critical health challenges, including high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality, malnutrition, cervical cancer, and a severe HIV/AIDS epidemic that disproportionately affects adolescent girls and young women. The United States is the largest donor to the health sector in Zambia, largely through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Over the past five years, the U.S. has also helped establish several public-private partnerships (PPPs) aimed at advancing the health of women and families. These PPPs provide lessons about the potential impact of these approaches, the challenges inherent in such partnerships, and the importance of PEPFAR support. With future U.S. global health funding likely to be flat-lined, this is an important moment to assess how partnerships with the private sector can amplify the impact of U.S. investments in women’s and family health.

A delegation from the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health visited Zambia in April 2016 to examine U.S. investments through three partnerships: Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL), Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR), and DREAMS. The delegation sought to understand these partnerships in Zambia within the context of U.S. support for women’s and family health, which represent the core of functional health systems.

Click here to read the report. You can link to the Zambia page of the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Cervical cancer, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, public-private partnerships, reproductive health, Saving Mothers-Giving Life, U.S. policyZambia

[collapse]
Accelerating the Momentum: U.S. Support for Women's and Family Health in Senegal (2016 report)

Janet Fleischman and Cathryn Streifel
CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
April 2016

Senegal is a key country for U.S. investments in women’s and children’s health, demonstrating the impact of support for strong national leadership and targeted U.S. health resources. The U.S.-Senegal partnership has led to significant health gains, notably rises in immunization and contraceptive prevalence rates. However, that progress is still fragile and significant challenges remain, including high maternal mortality, weak health systems, and reaching young people. This is a critical time for the United States to support Senegal in accelerating its momentum and assuming greater control of its health financing and implementation. Success is not only essential to advance women’s and children’s health in Senegal, but also holds important lessons about how U.S. engagement can have a measurable and sustainable impact on women’s and children’s health in other priority countries.

To understand the lessons from Senegal’s recent experience, a delegation from the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health visited Senegal in February 2016. The delegation focused on the following overarching questions:

1) How have U.S. investments in women’s and family health—through bilateral health programs and engagement in multilateral health partnerships—supported Senegal’s progress in family planning and maternal and child health?

2) What has been the impact of integrating family planning with other maternal and child health services at the facility and community levels?

3) What has been the role of the private sector and public-private partnerships in developing innovative approaches to address Senegal’s persistent health challenges?

4) What are the prospects for family planning and maternal and child health programs in Senegal to transition to sustainable financing?

The report examines the U.S. partnership with Senegal to advance women’s and family health, and finds that the United States can play an important role in furthering Senegal’s capacity to sustain its health gains, build its investment case for international financing, and navigate the complex challenges ahead. To consolidate gains, the report argues that the United States should elevate attention and resources for integrated services to improve access to family planning and child health services. In addition, the report highlights the ongoing challenge of maternal mortality, which will require U.S. support to go beyond program-specific funding in order to accelerate efforts to strengthen health systems and human resources for health. Finally, the report calls for the United States to assist Senegal as it develops plans for a gradual, phased transition away from external support to more sustainable financing of health programs through the government of Senegal, the private sector, and new international financing mechanisms.

The members of the delegation were Julie Becker, senior vice president, Rabin Martin; Janet Fleischman, senior associate, CSIS Global Health Policy Center; Renee Gamela, senior adviser and communications director, Office of U.S. Representative Richard Hanna; Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of global health & HIV policy, Kaiser Family Foundation; and Cathryn Streifel, program manager and research associate, CSIS Global Health Policy Center. 

You can find the full report here, and you can link to the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planningFrancophone West Africa, maternal-child health, reproductive healthSenegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Family Planning and Women's Health in Kenya (2015 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katherine Peck
CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
December 2015

Voluntary family planning is one of the most transformative interventions in global health, critical to improving women’s health and to saving the lives of women and children in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Beyond the direct health benefits, family planning is essential for women’s empowerment and sustainable development, contributing to improvements in education, economic growth, and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. As the global leader in supporting family planning, the United States has a vital role to play in helping countries improve the lives of women and families.

To understand the impact of U.S. investments, this report examines U.S. support for family planning in Kenya at a pivotal moment for these issues globally. As a regional leader in family planning and a priority country for U.S. family planning and maternal-child health assistance, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Kenya provides a lens through which to assess the opportunities and challenges in expanding access and transitioning to greater sustainability.

Kenya has made significant progress in family planning, with one of the highest contraceptive prevalence rates in the region at 58 percent, yet faces important challenges in maintaining momentum.

In the polarized U.S. political environment, funding for family planning programs faces persistent challenges. There is a risk that without clear U.S. commitment, these critical interventions could be derailed. Strong, bipartisan leadership is required to depoliticize these issues and to highlight the importance of voluntary family planning and healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies to improve women’s health, prevent unintended pregnancies, increase child survival, avert millions of abortions, and improve economic and social development. U.S. policy toward Kenya is in many ways a laboratory for the region with lessons for other countries.

You can find the full report here, and you can link to the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe)family planning, family planning-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, Kenyamaternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive healthU.S. policy

[collapse]
The Nexus of Faith and Health (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
July 24, 2015

The contribution of faith-based organizations (FBOs) to health services and in reaching poor communities around the world has long been the subject of debate among public health experts and policymakers. To explore the nexus between faith and health, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center convened two recent events. The first focused on faith-based organizations and family planning in Kenya, and the second, timed for the release of the new Lancet series on faith-based health care, examined the contributions of faith organizations to global health efforts, and implications for U.S. policy. Both events identified unique strengths and challenges associated with faith-based health programs, as well as opportunities for greater dialogue and collaboration among governments, donors, and faith-based health providers to reach health goals. 

You can read the full blog post here.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planningKenya, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Obama's Kenya Trip Should Elevate Focus on Women and Girls (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
June 18, 2015

Debate about President Obama’s legacy will shift to Africa in late July, when he travels to Kenya on his fourth and likely final presidential trip to the continent. The trip is expected to focus on supporting economic entrepreneurship and combatting terrorism, which, along with increasing Africa’s energy capacity and food security, have been central to his Africa policy. In my latest blog, I write that this agenda misses a necessary component for progress on the continent; the President could cement a lasting legacy by explicitly linking U.S. Africa policy to the health and empowerment of women and girls, arguably the continent’s most dynamic and underdeveloped resource and an indispensable component of any successful economic and security program.

This piece is based on Janet's recent trip to Malawi and Kenya as part of a CARE learning tour that focused on the importance of U.S. investments in women and girls. The delegation included five members of Congress and senior administration officials.

You can read the full blog post here.

Topics: Education, family planning, gender-based violence, Kenya, Malawi, maternal-child healthreproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
A Woman in Guédiawaye: Family Planning for Health and Development in Senegal (2015 video)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
April 2015

Anta Ba is a 26-year-old woman living in Guédiawaye, a poor urban area of Senegal’s capital, Dakar. In a new CSIS video, Anta explains why she decided to access family planning, despite her husband’s opposition, and why these services matter for her own life and for women’s health and empowerment in Senegal. Through her story, and through the voices of other champions of family planning in Senegal—government and NGO health workers, an imam, and the Minister of Health—the video illustrates new approaches to expanding access to family planning as well as the challenges ahead.

The video was released at a vibrant CSIS event on April 27 called Partnerships for Family Planning: Lessons for U.S. Policy which featured the minister of health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck. In her keynote address, Dr. Coll Seck passionately articulated her commitment to family planning for the health and development of her country and the francophone West African subregion. In this post, I provide highlights of the event and Dr. Coll Seck’s remarks.

Click here to see the video about family planning in Senegal. You can watch the CSIS program Partnerships for Family Planning: Lessons for U.S. Policy in two parts, here and here. This blog post provides an overview of both the video and the CSIS program.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planning, Francophone West Africa, maternal-child healthreproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Video and Event Shine Spotlight on Family Planning in Senegal (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
April 30, 2015

Anta Ba is a 26-year-old woman living in Guédiawaye, a poor urban area of Senegal’s capital, Dakar.  In a new CSIS video, Anta explains why she decided to access family planning, despite her husband’s opposition, and why these services matter for her own life and for women’s health and empowerment in Senegal. Through her story, and through the voices of other champions of family planning in Senegal—government and NGO health workers, an imam, and the Minister of Health—the video illustrates new approaches to expanding access to family planning as well as the challenges ahead.

The video was released at a vibrant CSIS event on April 27 called “Partnerships to Advance Family Planning in Senegal: Lessons for U.S. Policy,” which featured the minister of health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck. In her keynote address, Dr. Coll Seck passionately articulated her commitment to family planning for the health and development of her country and the Francophone West African subregion: “You can understand my enthusiasm in defending such a cause considering my activism in women’s rights. And my role as a mother, because I am also a mother, and grandmother; and as a medical doctor. But also after listening to people, men and women, in my own country but also in many corners in Africa…. This is not a story of Senegal alone, it’s a story of all Africa but at least let us do something clear for the West African countries.”

Two panels focused on implementation and funding for family planning in Senegal and the subregion. The first panel – with Dr. Bocar Mamadou Daff from Senegal’s Ministry of Health, Pape Gaye from IntraHealth, and Maaike Van Min from Marie Stopes International – delved into the new approaches to advance access to family planning and the importance of the leadership and coordination by the Ministry of Health. Valuable lessons are emerging from Senegal’s experience, including the Informed Push Model to eliminate stock-outs of contraceptives, integration of family planning with immunizations, mobile clinics to reach vulnerable women, and engagement with religious communities and civil society. Yet all the panelists agreed that clear challenges remain for continued progress, such as addressing the reproductive health needs of young people, expanding the engagement of religious leaders, building a multisectoral response, and attracting private sector support for greater sustainability.

The donor perspectives on funding were the subject of the second panel, which included Katie Taylor from USAID, Nomi Fuchs-Montgomery from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Fatimata Sy from the Ouagadougou Partnership. They all emphasized the importance of building on public-private partnerships and attracting new donors for family planning in Senegal and for the subregion, as well as the critical role of country-led, costed plans and political will to ensure progress. Taylor noted that since USAID’s primary health goal is to end preventable maternal and child deaths, family planning has to be a critical intervention, and that Senegal’s progress demonstrates why these investments are so effective. Fuchs-Montgomery underscored the foundation’s approach to ensuring that their investments in Senegal and Niger are leveraged by other donors, with the aim of improving women’s health and accelerating a regional demographic transition. To accomplish this, she emphasized, will require leadership, partnerships, and perseverance. Speaking from a regional perspective, Sy noted the importance of donors aligning with countries’ national plans, and expressed her concern that despite costed plans, significant funding gaps remain.  Fragile progress will require continued outside funding, Sy added.

You can read the full blog post here. watch Partnerships for Family Planning: Lessons for U.S. Policy in two parts, here and here.

Topics: Family planning, Francophone West Africa, maternal-child healthreproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Economic and Development Goals (2015 book chapter)

Janet Fleischman
The Mother & Child Project, compiled by Hope Through Healing Hands
March 31, 2015

[captionpix imgsrc="https://janetfleischman.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Mother-and-Child-Project-Cover.jpeg" width="59" height="88" align="left"]

For decades, the United States has been the global leader in supporting voluntary family planning services around the world. The benefits of family planning are numerous, not only for women's health, but also for increasing child survival, nutrition, education, and economic development, as well as preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

This chapter, published in The Mother & Child Project, was adapted from Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Health and Development Goals, written by Janet and Alisha Kramer. 

You can order the book from Amazon.com here. Or, download the paper from which the chapter was adapted here.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Strategic Partnerships to Advance Family Planning: Lessons from Senegal (2014 report)

Janet Fleischman and Cathryn Streifel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
December 2014

The Senegalese minister of health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, used a familiar term with us to express her commitment to expanding access to family planning—“yes we can.” That is a bold proposition in such a conservative country, in a region with some of the world’s highest maternal mortality and unmet need for family planning. Her leadership reflects an important moment in Senegal, and prospects for advancing women’s health and family planning in the subregion may depend on its success.

This country leadership has led to strategic partnerships between Senegal and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, among others. The goal is to “reposition” family planning in Senegal and in the francophone West African subregion. Senegal is a main focus of these efforts, since it is seen as the regional hub and is one of the most stable democracies in Africa. Given the current attention to family planning in Senegal, we wanted to see for ourselves what opportunities and challenges are presented by these partnerships, especially related to U.S. policy, and what it will take to build the domestic political support and accountability to ensure further progress.

As Senegal has launched a national family planning strategy and doubled its budget for contraceptives, the donors’ support has encouraged innovative approaches. Early results have been promising—Senegal’s contraceptive prevalence rate among married women increased from 12 to 16 percent (2012 to 2013), after years of stagnation, and new data will be available soon that are expected to show a similar increase for 2013–2014. 

Download a PDF of the report.

Click here to read a blog post about the report.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planning, Francophone West Africa, Senegal, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Partnerships to Advance Family Planning: Lessons from Senegal (2014 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Cathryn Streifel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
December 16, 2014

In a recent interview with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center in Dakar, the Senegalese Minister of Health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, used a familiar term to express her commitment to expanding access to family planning—“yes we can.” That is a bold proposition in such a conservative country, in a region with some of the world’s highest maternal mortality and unmet need for family planning. Her leadership reflects an important moment in Senegal. Participants at this week’s annual meeting of the Ouagadougou Partnership should examine lessons from Senegal as they work to advance women’s health and family planning in the subregion.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Click here to read the Global Health Policy Center's report on this topic.

Topics: Faith-based organizationsfamily planning, Francophone West Africa, reproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Why It's Time to Put Women's Issues at the Center of Foreign Policy (2014 article)

Janet Fleischman
Global Public Square, CNN
May 14, 2014

The international outrage over Boko Haram’s abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls has escalated since the story first hit the news; mothers in Nigeria took action and celebrities from Angelina Jolie all the way to First Lady Michelle Obama have made their voices heard. With mainstream attention finally focused on why the education, health, and empowerment of women and girls matters to Americans, it is time for the Obama administration to re-enforce its commitment to these issues and elevate them as central to U.S. foreign policy.

Click here to read the article

Topics: Economic development, education, gender-based violence, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Family Planning in Ethiopia: The Health Extension Program (2014 video)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
April 2014

The CSIS Global Health Policy Center produced this video, following a bipartisan congressional staff delegation to Ethiopia in February 2014. The video is designed to bring the voices of Ethiopian women and girls, as well as champions of family planning, into the U.S. policy discussion. Through the voices of rural women at health posts, health extension workers, and an Orthodox priest, along with an official of the Ministry of Health and the First Lady, the video vividly highlights the importance of family planning as a core component of Ethiopia's development.

Click here to see the video. 

Topics: Ethiopia, faith-based organizations, family planning, maternal-child healthreproductive health, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
New CSIS Report and Video: Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Family Planning and Development Goals (2014 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
April 23, 2014

“Investing in family planning is investing in the future.” These words from Ethiopian health official, Dr. Tewodros Bekele, summarize key findings of a new CSIS video and report about family planning in Ethiopia. 

The CSIS video is designed to bring the voices of Ethiopian women and girls as well as champions of family planning into the U.S. policy discussion. Through the voices of rural women, health extension workers, and an Orthodox priest, along with an official of the Ministry of Health and the First Lady, the video vividly highlights the importance of family planning as a core component of Ethiopia’s development.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Health and Development Goals (2014 report)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
April 2014

In 2014, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center led a delegation to Ethiopia to examine the progress made and remaining challenges for expanding access to and demand for family planning services. Congressional staff from the offices of Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA), and Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) participated. Jennifer Dyer, executive director of Hope Through Healing Hands, and Tom Walsh, senior program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also participated.

Based on the trip, this report outlines Ethiopia’s health extension program and how health extension workers are providing family planning education and services. The report also gives policy recommendations for future U.S. engagement on issues of family planning in Ethiopia, as well as lessons learned that can be applied in other countries.

Download PDF of the report.

Click here to read a blog post about the report.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Strengthening U.S. Investments in Women's Global Health: A Trip Report of the CSIS Delegation to Zambia (2013 report)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
May 2013

U.S. policymakers and private-sector partners increasingly appreciate the importance of targeted U.S. investments in women's health to achieve global health outcomes, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. With budgetary constraints worsening, progress in women's health will require maximizing investment by engaging new partners., identifying program synergies, and aligning with countries' national priorities to meet women's needs. Such strategic coordination--involving maternal newborn and child health, voluntary family planning, and HIV and AIDS services--presents new opportunities to expand the impact of U.S. investments.

In March 2013, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center led a delegation to Zambia to examine the opportunities and challenges related to strengthening U.S. policy approaches to women's global health issues. CSIS chose to visit Zambia because of the new level of political will and leadership on women's health issues in the country; women leaders, in particular, are in an exceptional position to drive forward country ownership, including Zambia's first lady and other high-level government health officials.

Download a PDF of the report.

Click here to read a blog post about the report.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, U.S. policy, Zambia

[collapse]
Why Family Planning is Central to Development (2013 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
November 13, 2013

Billboards in Ethiopia’s capital announce the 2013 International Conference on Family Planning from November 12-15, under the theme “Full Access, Full Choice.” The conference participants from around the world should draw lessons from Ethiopia’s own experience that family planning is central to broader women’s health and development, contributing to the empowerment of women and girls and more stable and prosperous families. Secretary of State John Kerry’s video message to the conference offers a unique opportunity for the United States to strategically reposition family planning as key to sustainable development, and to re-double U.S. commitment to national family planning programs.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Economic development, Ethiopia, family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Strengthening U.S. Investments in Women's Global Health (2013 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
May 21, 2013

U.S. policymakers and private-sector partners increasingly appreciate the importance of targeted U.S. investments in women’s health to achieve global health outcomes, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. With budgetary constraints worsening, progress in women’s health will require maximizing investments by engaging new partners, identifying program synergies, and aligning with countries’ national priorities to meet women’s needs. Such strategic coordination—involving maternal newborn and child health, voluntary family planning, and HIV and AIDS services—presents new opportunities to expand the impact of U.S. investments. 

In March 2013, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center led a delegation to Zambia to examine the opportunities and challenges of strengthening U.S. policy approaches to women’s global health issues. 

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, U.S. policy, Zambia

[collapse]
Gender-Based Violence and HIV: Emerging Lessons from the PEPFAR Initiative In Tanzania (2012 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2012

The dual global epidemics of HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence (GBV) exert a destructive and disproportionate impact on women and girls, especially in prevalence countries in Africa. Yet despite bipartisan political consensus on the intersection between HIV and GBV, efforts to address this area have not attracted the attention or resources necessary to drive the program innovation that could demonstrate progress. However, new momentum is now being brought to this agenda with the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief's (PEPFAR) GBV initiative.

This paper examines how the GBV initiative is being introduced in Tanzania, one of the GBV focus countries, based on interviews in Tanzania in April 2012 with U.S. government officials, nongovernmental organizations, and implementing partners, as well as interviews in Washington, D.C. It describes the importance of this initiative for the work of PEPFAR and the Global Health Initiative (GHI), impediments to progress, why this program has the potential to provide valuable and timely lessons for achieving HIV-related goals and for improving health outcomes for women and girls, and priority steps for getting the best results in the future.

Download a PDF of the report.

Topics: FP-HIV integration, Gender-based violence, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, reproductive health, Tanzania

[collapse]
The Global Health Initiative in Malawi (2011 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
December 2, 2011

The Obama administration designated Malawi as a GHI Plus country in June 2010, one of the first eight countries selected to implement the Global Health Initiative’s (GHI) more comprehensive approach to global health and serve as learning labs for other GHI country programs.

The GHI team in Malawi has identified the health of women and girls, including HIV and family planning (FP)/reproductive health (RH) services, as critical, promising areas for GHI success. Though still in early stages of implementation, new approaches are emerging in Malawi that leverage resources from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to develop greater program synergies for women and girls. Yet Malawi’s weak health system, combined with ever more serious concerns about governance and human rights issues that are undermining donor support, present challenges that may threaten GHI’s ability to achieve sustainable results.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health InitiativeHIV/AIDS, Malawi, PEPFAR, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Improving Women's Health in South Africa: Opportunities for PEPFAR (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
October 2011

A period of major change is unfolding in health and HIV services in South Africa, carrying opportunities and risks for delivering effective, integrated health services that improve health outcomes and save lives. South Africa is decentralizing HIV services to the primary health are level, paving the way for greater integration to address women's health and to reduce maternal mortality. The United States can find feasible, flexible ways to support this process, even though its health program through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is scaling down. As PEPFAR transitions from an emergency to a more sustainable response, this is a crucial moment to demonstrate that it can address HIV-related goals by linking to more comprehensive services for women--notably linking HIV with family planning (FP), reproductive health (RH), and maternal child health (MCH). The stakes are high for PEPFAR and for the Global Health Initiative (GHI) to show results and, most importantly, for the women and children most at risk.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, maternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive health, reproductive health, South Africa, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Lessons from Kenya for the Global Health Initiative (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
February 2011

The Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), announced in May 2009 as a six-year, $63-billion program, has put a strong emphasis on integration of health services, building largely on the work of PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). As implementation of GHI is moving ahead and country strategies are being developed, this is an important moment to bring forward lessons learned from the experience of integration in the U.S. government’s health and development programs. A key example involves U.S. health programs in Kenya over the past five years, notably the APHIA program (the AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance program), which developed an integrated program based on the PEPFAR platform. This paper finds that the APHIA programs in Kenya hold some important lessons that should help inform GHI implementation. Since Kenya has been designated one of eight GHI-Plus countries,the emphasis on program integration in those U.S. government programs is especially relevant.

This paper, which is based on interviews conducted in Kenya in November 2010, as well as with policymakers and implementing partners in Washington, D.C., shows that the APHIA experience illustrates that integration across health sectors is feasible and effective, and that more focused evaluation of the impact of integrated programs would help Kenya and other GHI-Plus country teams and national governments as they develop their strategies. The maternal and child health (MCH) model in Kenya’s Western province is emerging as an innovative example of the benefits of providing women with a comprehensive set of MCH, family planning, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS services in an integrated setting.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, maternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive health

[collapse]
Women's Health and HIV/AIDS in Kenya (2010 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
April 21, 2010

With all the troubling political news coming out of Kenya these days, it’s important to highlight some promising initiatives that are under way in the arena of women’s health, often driven by civil society groups or international NGOs in collaboration with the government. One area where such initiatives are getting some traction involves the bi-directional integration of family planning/reproductive health with HIV/AIDS services. Indeed, the new approaches toward broader integration hold the promise of helping to address both the country’s HIV/AIDS crisis and women’s reproductive health needs, including addressing the huge unmet need for family planning.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, FP-HIV integrationreproductive health

[collapse]
Making Gender a Global Health Priority (2009 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
November 2009

The world faces enormous challenges in the global health arena, many of which have a disproportionate impact on women and girls. Many key global health priorities revolve in fundamental ways around the gender-related barriers that women and girls face in accessing health-related information, services, and resources, all of which increase their vulnerability to ill health. For success and sustainability, the United States should anchor its global health strategy in a firm commitment to address the gender disparities that affect global health outcomes.

This report proposes that a gender-focused approach to global health build on four cornerstones:

      1. Maternal-child health and family planning
      2. Infectious diseases that disproportionately affect women
      3. Gender-based violence, and
      4. Food security

These areas are clearly linked and underscore the importance of an integrated, comprehensive global health policy.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, gender-based violence, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
International Family Planning: A Common-Ground Approach to an Expanded U.S. Role (2009 report)

Janet Fleischman and Allen Moore
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2009

The election of President Barack Obama has fundamentally changed the landscape for the debates around U.S. support for international family planning (FP) programs. The personal engagement of top leadership, notably the president himself and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, combined with policy and budgetary announcements that make averting unintended pregnancies a priority issue, clearly signal the administration’s intention to promote family planning as part of a comprehensive approach to global health.

Despite the polarization that often surrounds the debates on these issues in the United States, largely over their perceived linkage to the highly charged issue of abortion, an unprecedented opportunity now exists to significantly expand international FP programs based on a common-ground approach.

The core element of this approach is the need to move toward universal access to FP services—defined throughout this paper as education, counseling, and contraceptive commodities—provided on a voluntary basis to females and couples.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Voices from the Field: The Role of Integrated Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Programs in Strengthening U.S. Policy (2008 report)

Janet Fleischman
Task Force on HIV/AIDS, Center for Strategic and International Studies
February 2008

This report was written by Janet Fleischman, senior associate of the CSIS HIV/AIDS Task Force and chair of the gender committee. It is based on the presentations and discussions at the CSIS conference held on October 30, 2007, “Integrating Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS Services: Lessons from the Field for PEPFAR Reauthorization,” as well as Fleischman’s visits to Kenya, South Africa, and India in 2007 and her interviews with U.S. administration officials, congressional staff, HIV/AIDS organizations and service providers, reproductive health organizations, and women living with HIV/AIDS.

In the context of reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and looking ahead to the strategy that will be developed by the next U.S. administration, the conference sought to focus high-level attention on the opportunities and challenges of integrating reproductive health (RH) and HIV/AIDS programs. The proceedings demonstrated that substantial ingenuity and innovation is under way in integrating these services, and highlighted the importance of ensuring that the emerging lessons from the field inform decisions about the next phase of U.S. AIDS policy.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Empowering HIV-Infected Women (2007 article)

Janet Fleischman
The Boston Globe
March 7, 2007

Asunta Wagura'shealthy baby boy has sparked considerable controversy in Kenya. As an HIV-infected woman and AIDS activist, Asunta's decision to conceive a child exposes an emerging feature of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic: increased access to life-prolonging treatment is affecting women's reproductive choices, and challenging ideas about the kind of services and policies required.

If we are to keep pace with the evolving pandemic, concerns about women's reproductive health must become an integral part of HIV/AIDS services and policies.

Click here to read the full article

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, HIV-AIDS, Kenya, reproductive health, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Beyond 'ABC': Helping Women Fight AIDS (2004 article)

Janet Fleischman
The Washington Post
June 29, 2004

"Access for All," the theme of next month's International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, sets an appropriately high standard for the world's response to the pandemic. Unfortunately, all too many prevention and treatment programs fail to address the needs of most of those living with the virus, especially in Africa: women and girls. It's time to design programs targeted to the risks that women and girls face in a world of AIDS.

Most prevention messages, and certainly those favored by the Bush administration, focus on the "ABC" approach to fighting HIV-AIDS: abstinence, be faithful, and use condoms. While important messages, these things are often not within women's power to control. It is urgent that we develop a "DEF" approach that responds to needs repeatedly expressed by women living with HIV-AIDS and by AIDS activists in Africa.

Click here to read the article

Topics: Education, HIV-AIDS, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]

[collapse]
Rwanda

Shattered Lives: Sexual Violence During the Rwandan Genocide and Its Aftermath (1996 report)

Binaifer Nowrowjee, Janet Fleischman, and Alison DesForges
Human Rights Watch
September 1996

During the 1994 genocide, Rwandan women were subjected to sexual violence on a massive scale, perpetrated by members of the infamous Hutu militia groups known as the Interahamwe, by other civilians, and by soldiers of the Rwandan Armed Forces (Forces Armées Rwandaises, FAR), including the Presidential Guard. Administrative, military and political leaders at the national and local levels, as well as heads of militia, directed or encouraged both the killings and sexual violence to further their political goal: the destruction of the Tutsi as a group. They therefore bear responsibility for these abuses. 

Although the exact number of women raped will never be known, testimonies from survivors confirm that rape was extremely widespread and that thousands of women were individually raped, gang-raped, raped with objects such as sharpened sticks or gun barrels, held in sexual slavery (either collectively or through forced "marriage") or sexually mutilated. These crimes were frequently part of a pattern in which Tutsi women were raped after they had witnessed the torture and killings of their relatives and the destruction and looting of their homes. According to witnesses, many women were killed immediately after being raped.

Download the report

Topics: Gender-based violence, rape and genocide, Rwanda, U.S. policy

[collapse]
In Rwanda, Too, Rape Was a War Crime and Must Be Punished (1996 article)

Janet Fleischman and Binaifer Nowrowjee
International Herald-Tribune
July 25, 1996

In the genocide two years ago, many of Rwanda's women were brutally raped — in front of their relatives, sometimes with gun barrels or pieces of wood — and were then forced to watch as their assailants murdered their loved ones.

Thousands of women were raped, gang-raped, mutilated, held in sexual slavery or forcibly taken as "wives" by their persecutors. Not one of those indicted so far by the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, however, has been charged with rape. This aspect of the genocide must not be neglected, and right now the tribunal has a perfect opportunity to include rape in its prosecution.

You can find the article here

Topics: Gender-based violence, rape and genocide, Rwanda, U.S. policy

[collapse]

[collapse]
Saving Mothers, Giving Life

Public-Private Partnerships for Women's Health in Zambia (2016 report)

Janet Fleischman and Katey Peck
The CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
July 2016

Zambia is a lower-middle-income country struggling with critical health challenges, including high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality, malnutrition, cervical cancer, and a severe HIV/AIDS epidemic that disproportionately affects adolescent girls and young women. The United States is the largest donor to the health sector in Zambia, largely through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Over the past five years, the U.S. has also helped establish several public-private partnerships (PPPs) aimed at advancing the health of women and families. These PPPs provide lessons about the potential impact of these approaches, the challenges inherent in such partnerships, and the importance of PEPFAR support. With future U.S. global health funding likely to be flat-lined, this is an important moment to assess how partnerships with the private sector can amplify the impact of U.S. investments in women’s and family health.

A delegation from the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health visited Zambia in April 2016 to examine U.S. investments through three partnerships: Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL), Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR), and DREAMS. The delegation sought to understand these partnerships in Zambia within the context of U.S. support for women’s and family health, which represent the core of functional health systems.

Click here to read the report. You can link to the Zambia page of the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Cervical cancer, DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe), family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, public-private partnerships, reproductive health, Saving Mothers-Giving Life, U.S. policyZambia

[collapse]
Saving Mothers: A New Initiative to Address Maternal Mortality (2013 video)

Janet Fleischman and Julia Nagel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
March 2013

This video examines the Zambia experience of Saving Mothers, Giving Life. SMGL builds on the fact that most maternal deaths result from one or more of three delays: in seeking care, in arriving at a health facility, and in receiving appropriate care. SMGL is working to address those delays by supporting linkages between communities and health facilities through Safe Motherhood Action Groups (SMAGs); by improving communications and transportation in the districts to speed the care and referrals of pregnant women; and by training and hiring health care providers, while improving equipment and standards of care at health facilities.

Click here to see the video. 

Topics: Maternal-child health, Saving Mothers-Giving Life, U.S. policy, women's empowermentZambia

[collapse]
Saving Mothers, Giving Life: Attainable or Simply Aspirational? (2012 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
June 20, 2012

On June 1 in Oslo, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the “Saving Mothers, Giving Life” project—an ambitious, dynamic effort by the U.S. government with a new public private partnership to drive efficiencies, spur innovation, and ensure impact in this fundamental area of global health.  Maternal mortality is the ultimate health indicator, reflecting both a health system’s strength and how accessible it is to women and girls of reproductive age.  If successful, “Saving Mothers” will be an important dimension of Clinton’s legacy as Secretary, lifting the lives of women, families, and communities around the world.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Maternal-child health, Saving Mothers-Giving Life, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Clinton Launches Ambitious Maternal Health Project (2012 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Post
June 1, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the “Saving Mothers, Giving Life” project today—an ambitious, dynamic effort by the U.S. government to increase efficiency, spur innovation, and ensure impact in a fundamental area of global health.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Topics: Maternal-child healthSaving Mothers-Giving LifeU.S. policy

[collapse]

[collapse]
Senegal

An Improbable Success: The Ouagadougou Partnership’s Advances in Family Planning Across Francophone West Africa (2020 report)

Janet Fleischman
Commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. In 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was virtually unimaginable at the outset, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was perceived to be taboo. Now, almost a decade later, the partnership’s impact and lessons for other regions warrant both celebration and reflection.

The nine Francophone countries of the subregion (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) united around an ambitious regional goalto reach one million additional voluntary users of modern family planning methods by 2015, and 2.2 million more by 2020. The results have been impressive, especially given the low starting point of approximately 2.7 million users: by 2019, over 3.1 million additional voluntary users have been reached, Francophone West Africa has one of the fastest increases in modern contraceptive rates among developing regions, and family planning funding from the core donors has more than doubled. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners.

The story of this partnership reflects a unique historical convergence: a group of bilateral and philanthropic donors willing to commit to the subregion, country-level champions from government and civil society, supported by implementing partners, prepared to advance family planning for health and development reasons, and a shared interest in doing business differently to address egregious gaps in women’s health and stalled indicators on family planning. By banding together, fueled by a shared commitment to achieving a regional goal, “friendly” competition among the countries, and grounded in data and evidence, the nine relatively small countries capitalized on their commonalities and made the region a more important geographic space and population size.

Janet was commissioned in 2019 by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to write this report documenting the history of the Ouagadougou Partnership. She completed her research in January 2020, before the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Francophone West Africa (in Senegal and Burkina Faso) in March 2020. Accordingly, this report does not address the impact of COVID-19 in Francophone West Africa or the challenges it presents to the Ouagadougou Partnership’s activities.

Click here to read the full report.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Burkina Faso, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Accelerating the Momentum: U.S. Support for Women's and Family Health in Senegal (2016 report)

Janet Fleischman and Cathryn Streifel
CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health
April 2016

Senegal is a key country for U.S. investments in women’s and children’s health, demonstrating the impact of support for strong national leadership and targeted U.S. health resources. The U.S.-Senegal partnership has led to significant health gains, notably rises in immunization and contraceptive prevalence rates. However, that progress is still fragile and significant challenges remain, including high maternal mortality, weak health systems, and reaching young people. This is a critical time for the United States to support Senegal in accelerating its momentum and assuming greater control of its health financing and implementation. Success is not only essential to advance women’s and children’s health in Senegal, but also holds important lessons about how U.S. engagement can have a measurable and sustainable impact on women’s and children’s health in other priority countries.

To understand the lessons from Senegal’s recent experience, a delegation from the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health visited Senegal in February 2016. The delegation focused on the following overarching questions:

1) How have U.S. investments in women’s and family health—through bilateral health programs and engagement in multilateral health partnerships—supported Senegal’s progress in family planning and maternal and child health?

2) What has been the impact of integrating family planning with other maternal and child health services at the facility and community levels?

3) What has been the role of the private sector and public-private partnerships in developing innovative approaches to address Senegal’s persistent health challenges?

4) What are the prospects for family planning and maternal and child health programs in Senegal to transition to sustainable financing?

The report examines the U.S. partnership with Senegal to advance women’s and family health, and finds that the United States can play an important role in furthering Senegal’s capacity to sustain its health gains, build its investment case for international financing, and navigate the complex challenges ahead. To consolidate gains, the report argues that the United States should elevate attention and resources for integrated services to improve access to family planning and child health services. In addition, the report highlights the ongoing challenge of maternal mortality, which will require U.S. support to go beyond program-specific funding in order to accelerate efforts to strengthen health systems and human resources for health. Finally, the report calls for the United States to assist Senegal as it develops plans for a gradual, phased transition away from external support to more sustainable financing of health programs through the government of Senegal, the private sector, and new international financing mechanisms.

The members of the delegation were Julie Becker, senior vice president, Rabin Martin; Janet Fleischman, senior associate, CSIS Global Health Policy Center; Renee Gamela, senior adviser and communications director, Office of U.S. Representative Richard Hanna; Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of global health & HIV policy, Kaiser Family Foundation; and Cathryn Streifel, program manager and research associate, CSIS Global Health Policy Center. 

You can find the full report here, and you can link to the CSIS Task Force on Women's & Family Health here.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planningFrancophone West Africa, maternal-child health, reproductive healthSenegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
A Woman in Guédiawaye: Family Planning for Health and Development in Senegal (2015 video)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
April 2015

Anta Ba is a 26-year-old woman living in Guédiawaye, a poor urban area of Senegal’s capital, Dakar. In a new CSIS video, Anta explains why she decided to access family planning, despite her husband’s opposition, and why these services matter for her own life and for women’s health and empowerment in Senegal. Through her story, and through the voices of other champions of family planning in Senegal—government and NGO health workers, an imam, and the Minister of Health—the video illustrates new approaches to expanding access to family planning as well as the challenges ahead.

The video was released at a vibrant CSIS event on April 27 called Partnerships for Family Planning: Lessons for U.S. Policy which featured the minister of health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck. In her keynote address, Dr. Coll Seck passionately articulated her commitment to family planning for the health and development of her country and the francophone West African subregion. In this post, I provide highlights of the event and Dr. Coll Seck’s remarks.

Click here to see the video about family planning in Senegal. You can watch the CSIS program Partnerships for Family Planning: Lessons for U.S. Policy in two parts, here and here. This blog post provides an overview of both the video and the CSIS program.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planning, Francophone West Africa, maternal-child healthreproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Video and Event Shine Spotlight on Family Planning in Senegal (2015 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
April 30, 2015

Anta Ba is a 26-year-old woman living in Guédiawaye, a poor urban area of Senegal’s capital, Dakar.  In a new CSIS video, Anta explains why she decided to access family planning, despite her husband’s opposition, and why these services matter for her own life and for women’s health and empowerment in Senegal. Through her story, and through the voices of other champions of family planning in Senegal—government and NGO health workers, an imam, and the Minister of Health—the video illustrates new approaches to expanding access to family planning as well as the challenges ahead.

The video was released at a vibrant CSIS event on April 27 called “Partnerships to Advance Family Planning in Senegal: Lessons for U.S. Policy,” which featured the minister of health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck. In her keynote address, Dr. Coll Seck passionately articulated her commitment to family planning for the health and development of her country and the Francophone West African subregion: “You can understand my enthusiasm in defending such a cause considering my activism in women’s rights. And my role as a mother, because I am also a mother, and grandmother; and as a medical doctor. But also after listening to people, men and women, in my own country but also in many corners in Africa…. This is not a story of Senegal alone, it’s a story of all Africa but at least let us do something clear for the West African countries.”

Two panels focused on implementation and funding for family planning in Senegal and the subregion. The first panel – with Dr. Bocar Mamadou Daff from Senegal’s Ministry of Health, Pape Gaye from IntraHealth, and Maaike Van Min from Marie Stopes International – delved into the new approaches to advance access to family planning and the importance of the leadership and coordination by the Ministry of Health. Valuable lessons are emerging from Senegal’s experience, including the Informed Push Model to eliminate stock-outs of contraceptives, integration of family planning with immunizations, mobile clinics to reach vulnerable women, and engagement with religious communities and civil society. Yet all the panelists agreed that clear challenges remain for continued progress, such as addressing the reproductive health needs of young people, expanding the engagement of religious leaders, building a multisectoral response, and attracting private sector support for greater sustainability.

The donor perspectives on funding were the subject of the second panel, which included Katie Taylor from USAID, Nomi Fuchs-Montgomery from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Fatimata Sy from the Ouagadougou Partnership. They all emphasized the importance of building on public-private partnerships and attracting new donors for family planning in Senegal and for the subregion, as well as the critical role of country-led, costed plans and political will to ensure progress. Taylor noted that since USAID’s primary health goal is to end preventable maternal and child deaths, family planning has to be a critical intervention, and that Senegal’s progress demonstrates why these investments are so effective. Fuchs-Montgomery underscored the foundation’s approach to ensuring that their investments in Senegal and Niger are leveraged by other donors, with the aim of improving women’s health and accelerating a regional demographic transition. To accomplish this, she emphasized, will require leadership, partnerships, and perseverance. Speaking from a regional perspective, Sy noted the importance of donors aligning with countries’ national plans, and expressed her concern that despite costed plans, significant funding gaps remain.  Fragile progress will require continued outside funding, Sy added.

You can read the full blog post here. watch Partnerships for Family Planning: Lessons for U.S. Policy in two parts, here and here.

Topics: Family planning, Francophone West Africa, maternal-child healthreproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women's empowerment

[collapse]
Strategic Partnerships to Advance Family Planning: Lessons from Senegal (2014 report)

Janet Fleischman and Cathryn Streifel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
December 2014

The Senegalese minister of health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, used a familiar term with us to express her commitment to expanding access to family planning—“yes we can.” That is a bold proposition in such a conservative country, in a region with some of the world’s highest maternal mortality and unmet need for family planning. Her leadership reflects an important moment in Senegal, and prospects for advancing women’s health and family planning in the subregion may depend on its success.

This country leadership has led to strategic partnerships between Senegal and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, among others. The goal is to “reposition” family planning in Senegal and in the francophone West African subregion. Senegal is a main focus of these efforts, since it is seen as the regional hub and is one of the most stable democracies in Africa. Given the current attention to family planning in Senegal, we wanted to see for ourselves what opportunities and challenges are presented by these partnerships, especially related to U.S. policy, and what it will take to build the domestic political support and accountability to ensure further progress.

As Senegal has launched a national family planning strategy and doubled its budget for contraceptives, the donors’ support has encouraged innovative approaches. Early results have been promising—Senegal’s contraceptive prevalence rate among married women increased from 12 to 16 percent (2012 to 2013), after years of stagnation, and new data will be available soon that are expected to show a similar increase for 2013–2014. 

Download a PDF of the report.

Click here to read a blog post about the report.

Topics: Faith-based organizations, family planning, Francophone West Africa, Senegal, reproductive health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Partnerships to Advance Family Planning: Lessons from Senegal (2014 blog post)

Janet Fleischman and Cathryn Streifel
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
December 16, 2014

In a recent interview with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center in Dakar, the Senegalese Minister of Health, Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, used a familiar term to express her commitment to expanding access to family planning—“yes we can.” That is a bold proposition in such a conservative country, in a region with some of the world’s highest maternal mortality and unmet need for family planning. Her leadership reflects an important moment in Senegal. Participants at this week’s annual meeting of the Ouagadougou Partnership should examine lessons from Senegal as they work to advance women’s health and family planning in the subregion.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Click here to read the Global Health Policy Center's report on this topic.

Topics: Faith-based organizationsfamily planning, Francophone West Africa, reproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy

[collapse]

[collapse]
South Africa

The Promise and Challenge of PrEP for Adolescent Girls and Young Women (2020 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
November 2020

IIn this episode of AIDS 2021, we discuss pre-exposure prophylaxis — PrEP — a critical HIV prevention tool for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in countries with high HIV burdens. Janet Fleischman speaks with Mitchell Warren, the executive director of AVAC, and two women working with Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute in South Africa – Khanyi Kwatsha, a 26-year-old PrEP ambassador, and Elmari Briedenhann, a senior project manager. They discuss the importance of PrEP for AGYW and highlight innovative approaches to better reach this group and to address the inherent challenges of meeting the needs of this population.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, HIV/AIDS, prevention, South Africa

[collapse]
“Competing with a Monster”: Women, Girls, and Covid-19 in South Africa (2020 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
July 16, 2020

In this episode of AIDS 2020, Janet Fleischman speaks with Dr. Linda-Gail Bekker, the deputy director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Center at the University of Cape Town, CEO of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, and former president of the International AIDS Society. They discuss the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the lives of adolescent girls and young women and the potential impact on the momentum of HIV prevention programs designed for this vulnerable population.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Covid-19, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]
Parallel Epidemics: Covid-19 and Gender-Based Violence in South Africa (2020 video)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
July 2020

South Africa, which has the largest HIV epidemic in the world and one of the highest rates of gender-based violence, is now experiencing a worsening COVID-19 epidemic. Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Associate Scientific Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and a leading global expert on HIV/AIDS, spoke to CSIS about the particularly negative impact of Covid-19 on adolescent girls and young women, and how it is fueling a parallel epidemic of gender-based violence. At a time when even the President of South Africa has condemned the violence against women during the COVID-19 crisis, Professor Abdool Karim calls for a proactive response to these twin crises.

Click here to link to see the video.

Topics: Covid-19, gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]
The World's Largest HIV Epidemic in Crisis: HIV In South Africa (2019 article)

Janet Fleischman and Sara M. Allinder
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
April 2, 2019

In some communities of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, 60 percent of women have HIV. Nearly 4,500 South Africans are newly infected every week; one-third are adolescent girls/young women (AGYW) ages 15-24. These are staggering figures, by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, the HIV epidemic is not being treated like a crisis. In February, we traveled to South Africa, to understand what is happening in these areas with “hyper-endemic” HIV epidemics, where prevalence rates exceed 15 percent among adults. We were alarmed by the complacency toward the rate of new infections at all levels and the absence of an emergency response, especially for young people.

This is no time for business as usual from South Africa or its partners, including the U.S. government through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The epidemic is exacerbated by its concentration in 15-49-year-olds, those of reproductive and working age who are the backbone of South Africa. Without aggressive action to reduce the rate of new infections in young people, HIV will continue to take a tremendous toll on the country for years and generations to come. Collective action is needed to push beyond the complacency and internal barriers to implement policies and interventions that directly target HIV prevention and treatment for young people. PEPFAR should ensure its programs support those efforts.

Click here to read the full commentary.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, maternal-child health, South Africa, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Janet interviews Quarraisha Abdool Karim about HIV in South Africa (2018 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Alex Bush, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
July 2018

Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim is one of the world’s leading AIDS researchers and has made pioneering contributions to understanding the HIV epidemic in young people, especially among young women. She joined us for a two-part series to explain her latest research into epidemic hot spots in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, focusing on both the structural and biological risk factors that facilitate the spread of HIV in young women. In Part 1, she discusses the social and economic factors that contribute to the dramatic differences in HIV rates in women and men at different ages.In Part 2, she describes her recent findings about biological factors that can simultaneously increase a woman’s risk of HIV acquisition and decrease the efficacy of HIV prevention tools.

Click here to link to Part 1 and here to link to Part 2.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]
Improving Women's Health in South Africa: Opportunities for PEPFAR (2011 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
October 2011

A period of major change is unfolding in health and HIV services in South Africa, carrying opportunities and risks for delivering effective, integrated health services that improve health outcomes and save lives. South Africa is decentralizing HIV services to the primary health are level, paving the way for greater integration to address women's health and to reduce maternal mortality. The United States can find feasible, flexible ways to support this process, even though its health program through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is scaling down. As PEPFAR transitions from an emergency to a more sustainable response, this is a crucial moment to demonstrate that it can address HIV-related goals by linking to more comprehensive services for women--notably linking HIV with family planning (FP), reproductive health (RH), and maternal child health (MCH). The stakes are high for PEPFAR and for the Global Health Initiative (GHI) to show results and, most importantly, for the women and children most at risk.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, FP-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, maternal-child health, PEPFAR, reproductive health, reproductive health, South Africa, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy (2010 report)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Global Health Policy Center
November 2010

Global health, development, and gender are now understood to be dynamic and interlinked components of U.S. foreign policy. Given the emerging policy and programmatic debates on how these three domains are to be integrated to bring the greatest returns, especially in improving the health and welfare of women and girls, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center hosted a conference, entitled "Linkages between Gender, AIDS, and Development: Implications for U.S. Policy" on June 11, 2010. 

This report provides background on the programs represented at the conference, summaries of the speakers' presentations, and U.S. policy options that emerged from the conference. It is intended to help inform the discussion surrounding the implementation of GHI and PEPFAR II and to emphasize the importance of fully utilizing the opportunities to reach women and girls by addressing the health and development challenges that contribute to their risk of HIV.

Click here to read the report

Topics: Economic development, education, family planning-HIV integration, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, Kenya, PEPFAR, South Africa, U.S. policy, women's empowerment, Zambia

[collapse]
School-Based Outreach in KwaZulu Natal (2009 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
September 22, 2009

The province of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa is the hardest hit with HIV, with HIV prevalence rates at antenatal clinics estimated to be over 40 percent - about twice as high as the national prevalence. When combined with high rates of teenage pregnancy – about one-third of 18 and 19 year olds have already given birth - it is critical to address the social and economic factors that are contributing to this alarming situation. Data collected by the New York-based Population Council have shown that factors such as poverty, orphanhood, and social isolation can influence sexual behaviors, and therefore HIV risk.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Education, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]
Gender, AIDS and Development in Southern Africa (2009 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
September 18, 2009

I’m heading to South Africa and Zambia to look at innovative programs that link gender, AIDS, and development. While PEPFAR is not designed to fund development programs, there is a growing recognition that U.S. HIV/AIDS funding must link with the broader development agenda. Given the high HIV infection rates among women and girls in southern Africa, I am going to investigate how HIV/AIDS funding can be linked to aspects of the development agenda to address the structural, societal factors that shape women and girls’ risk of HIV infection and complicate their situations once infected. Key linkages with the development arena include family planning and reproductive health as an essential component of HIV/AIDS services, and education for girls and economic empowerment for women as HIV prevention strategies.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Economic development, HIV/AIDS, South Africa

[collapse]

[collapse]
Tanzania

Accelerating Action to Address Violence Against Women and Children: Key Lessons from the Together for Girls Partnership in Tanzania (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Together for Girls
2019

Violence against children (VAC) and violence against women (VAW) are public health and human rights crises of global proportions, with damaging consequences to the health and well-being of individuals and their communities. Fueled by gender inequality, social norms condoning violence and harmful traditional practices,1 and exacerbated by lack of commitment to take preventive and protective action and weak protection systems, violence against women and children (VAWC) as well as the magnitude, human toll and societal cost of this violence is increasingly acknowledged by the global community.

Together for Girls (TfG) is a partnership among national governments, UN entities and private sector organizations working at the intersection of VAW and VAC, with special attention to ending sexual violence against girls. Now being implemented in more than 22 countries, the TfG model supports governments to conduct a national household Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) and to use the data to mobilize action through policies and programs that embed violence prevention and response across multiple sectors.

In 2009, the Government of Tanzania, with support from TfG partners, most notably UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), undertook the VACS. Tanzania was the first country to implement a full VACS, surveying both girls and boys (ages 13-24) nationally to assess the prevalence of emotional, physical and sexual violence. It was also the first country to introduce a government-led, multi-sector task force to oversee the implementation of the survey and the ensuing violence prevention and response work catalyzed by the data, which led to the establishment of a multi-sectoral, costed National Plan of Action. Ten years after Tanzania’s landmark research, this case study seeks to consolidate learnings from the national experience of implementing the TfG model.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, family planning, gender-based violence, PEPFAR, reproductive health, Tanzania, U.S. policy, violence against women and children

[collapse]
HIV and Family Planning Integration: Building on the PEPFAR Platform in Tanzania (2012 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
July 20, 2012

The world's HIV/AIDS leaders are gathering in Washington, D.C., this week under the theme "turning the tide together." Yet the hope and optimism around creating an "AIDS-free generation" needs to be channeled into critical strategies that could make an immediate difference for women and girls. 

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is well positioned to serve as a foundation for other global health programs, building on its health infrastructure, training, and systems. To fulfill that potential in the vital area of women’s health will require integrating HIV/AIDS services with family planning and reproductive health services. I was recently in Tanzania, where the results of U.S. health investments indicate that this is a feasible and cost effective strategy to combat the AIDS epidemic and promote the health of women and girls, and through them their families and communities. 

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, Tanzania, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Addressing Gender-Based Violence and HIV-AIDS: The PEPFAR Initiative in Tanzania (2012 blog post)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Affairs
July 11, 2012

The dual global epidemics of HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence (GBV) exert a destructive and disproportionate impact on women and girls, especially in high HIV prevalence countries in Africa. Despite bipartisan political consensus on the intersection of HIV and GBV, efforts to address this area have not attracted the necessary attention and resources to drive the program innovation that could demonstrate progress. That may now be beginning to change, with new momentum being brought to this agenda by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Reliefs (PEPFAR) GBV initiative.

Click here to link to the full blog post.

Topics: Gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, Tanzania, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Gender-Based Violence and HIV: Emerging Lessons from the PEPFAR Initiative In Tanzania (2012 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
July 2012

The dual global epidemics of HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence (GBV) exert a destructive and disproportionate impact on women and girls, especially in prevalence countries in Africa. Yet despite bipartisan political consensus on the intersection between HIV and GBV, efforts to address this area have not attracted the attention or resources necessary to drive the program innovation that could demonstrate progress. However, new momentum is now being brought to this agenda with the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief's (PEPFAR) GBV initiative.

This paper examines how the GBV initiative is being introduced in Tanzania, one of the GBV focus countries, based on interviews in Tanzania in April 2012 with U.S. government officials, nongovernmental organizations, and implementing partners, as well as interviews in Washington, D.C. It describes the importance of this initiative for the work of PEPFAR and the Global Health Initiative (GHI), impediments to progress, why this program has the potential to provide valuable and timely lessons for achieving HIV-related goals and for improving health outcomes for women and girls, and priority steps for getting the best results in the future.

Download a PDF of the report.

Topics: FP-HIV integration, Gender-based violence, Global Health Initiative, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, reproductive health, Tanzania

[collapse]

[collapse]
TB

Tackling TB and HIV in Women: An Urgent Agenda (2010 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Coalition on Women and AIDS
July 2010

The interlinked tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemics are taking a dramatic toll on women’s lives, notably in countries with high HIV prevalence. While TB is now the third leading cause of death among women aged 15-44, killing some 700,000 women every year and causing illness in millions more, it is particularly lethal for women living with HIV. Yet the burden of the dual TB/HIV epidemic on women, and the gender-related barriers to detection and treatment, are not being addressed explicitly by global donors, national health systems, or community groups. The urgency of this situation demands that TB be elevated as a key women’s health issue, and that TB screening, prevention and treatment be made a routine part of HIV, reproductive health and maternal and child health services. The lives of millions of women depend on our ability to move this agenda forward.

Download the PDF.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, prevention, TB, treatment

[collapse]

[collapse]
Treatment

Tackling TB and HIV in Women: An Urgent Agenda (2010 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Coalition on Women and AIDS
July 2010

The interlinked tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemics are taking a dramatic toll on women’s lives, notably in countries with high HIV prevalence. While TB is now the third leading cause of death among women aged 15-44, killing some 700,000 women every year and causing illness in millions more, it is particularly lethal for women living with HIV. Yet the burden of the dual TB/HIV epidemic on women, and the gender-related barriers to detection and treatment, are not being addressed explicitly by global donors, national health systems, or community groups. The urgency of this situation demands that TB be elevated as a key women’s health issue, and that TB screening, prevention and treatment be made a routine part of HIV, reproductive health and maternal and child health services. The lives of millions of women depend on our ability to move this agenda forward.

Download the PDF.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, prevention, TB, treatment

[collapse]
Breaking the Cycle: Ensuring the Equitable Access to HIV Treatment for Women and Girls (2004 report)

Janet Fleischman
Center for Strategic and International Studies
February 2004

Recent international initiatives to provide antiretroviral (ARV) treatment in resource-poor countries have changed the landscape of the HIV/AIDS debate and signal an unprecedented new phase in the struggle against HIV/AIDS. With an estimated 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS and 14,000 new infections every day, access to treatment is a challenge of global proportions. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, almost 4.5 million people need antiretroviral treatment, yet only 100,000 currently receive it. To develop effective treatment programs, national governments, international donors, and community stakeholders should ensure equitable access to HIV treatment and care, notably for acutely vulnerable populations such as women and girls.

Download the PDF.

Topics: HIV/AIDS, treatment

[collapse]

[collapse]
U.S. Policy

An Improbable Success: The Ouagadougou Partnership’s Advances in Family Planning Across Francophone West Africa (2020 report)

Janet Fleischman
Commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. In 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was virtually unimaginable at the outset, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was perceived to be taboo. Now, almost a decade later, the partnership’s impact and lessons for other regions warrant both celebration and reflection.

The nine Francophone countries of the subregion (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo) united around an ambitious regional goalto reach one million additional voluntary users of modern family planning methods by 2015, and 2.2 million more by 2020. The results have been impressive, especially given the low starting point of approximately 2.7 million users: by 2019, over 3.1 million additional voluntary users have been reached, Francophone West Africa has one of the fastest increases in modern contraceptive rates among developing regions, and family planning funding from the core donors has more than doubled. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners.

The story of this partnership reflects a unique historical convergence: a group of bilateral and philanthropic donors willing to commit to the subregion, country-level champions from government and civil society, supported by implementing partners, prepared to advance family planning for health and development reasons, and a shared interest in doing business differently to address egregious gaps in women’s health and stalled indicators on family planning. By banding together, fueled by a shared commitment to achieving a regional goal, “friendly” competition among the countries, and grounded in data and evidence, the nine relatively small countries capitalized on their commonalities and made the region a more important geographic space and population size.

Janet was commissioned in 2019 by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to write this report documenting the history of the Ouagadougou Partnership. She completed her research in January 2020, before the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Francophone West Africa (in Senegal and Burkina Faso) in March 2020. Accordingly, this report does not address the impact of COVID-19 in Francophone West Africa or the challenges it presents to the Ouagadougou Partnership’s activities.

Click here to read the full report.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, Burkina Faso, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, Senegal, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
An Improbable Success in a Troubled Region (2020 article)

Janet Fleischman, consultant on a project for the Ouagadougou Partnership
Marie Ba, Director of Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit (OPCU)

Council on Foreign Relations, Think Global Health

March 18, 2020

Sometimes innovation to spur social change arises in unexpected places. At a time of increased extremism and insecurity in West Africa, the remarkable story of a partnership to advance women’s health and empowerment through family planning is worthy of global attention. By tackling such challenges, the partnership provides hope for women, girls, and their communities in a troubled region, with lessons for other parts of the world.

The story began in 2011, in Ouagadougou, the capital of landlocked Burkina Faso, when representatives from nine Francophone West African countries joined with international donors to launch a simple but radical plan. The idea was to expand access to contraception in a region that was dramatically lagging behind the rest of the continent in maternal and child health. What became known as the Ouagadougou Partnership achieved a level of success that was unimaginable at its outset almost a decade ago, when even discussing family planning in such conservative societies was still perceived to be taboo. Even more important for future prospects, the partnership has evolved into a dynamic and influential regional platform involving governments, donors, civil society, and implementing partners, with a special emphasis on engaging young people.

Click here to read the full article.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, economic development, education, family planning, Francophone West Africa, funders, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Janet is interviewed on crisis response and the prioritization of women and girls (2019 podcast)

Beverly Kirk, host, Smart Women, Smart Power Podcast

Smart Women, Smart Power (SWSP) Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies

December 04, 2019

Janet joins host Beverly Kirk or a conversation about Janet's latest report, which examines why women and girls’ health and protection should be a top priority in emergency and humanitarian crisis situations. It also looks at U.S. policy on global health security. This conversation is linked to the report and an October 31 conference on U.S. Action for Women’s and Girls’ Health Security, both under the auspices of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.

The Smart Women, Smart Power (SWSP) Initiative convenes top-level women leaders in foreign policy, national security, international business, and international development to amplify their voices, spotlight their expertise, and discuss critical and timely issues. The Smart Women, Smart Power biweekly podcast features powerful, in-depth conversations with women leaders from around the globe who are experts in foreign policy, national security, international business, and international development. SWSP Director Beverly Kirk moderates the podcast series.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, gender-based violence, humanitarian response, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, violence against women and children

[collapse]
Janet interviews Melissa Dalton and Fatima Imam on gender-based violence as a weapon of war (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host

Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
December 17, 2019

This episode of the Global Health Policy Center's Take as Directed podcast examines the changing nature of war and conflict and why gender-based violence (GBV) has become a central feature in crises around the world. GHPC Senior Associate Janet Fleischman sits down with Melissa Dalton, senior fellow and deputy director of the CSIS International Security Program and Director of the Cooperative Defense Project (CDP); and Fatima Imam, executive director of Rehabilitation, Empowerment, and Better Health Initiative and Network of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria.

Janet and the guests discuss how GBV impacts women and girls in crises, focused especially on the Middle East and northern Nigeria, and how these ubiquitous and traumatizing realities undermine global health security and community resilience. This conversation is linked to a new CSIS report, How Can We Better Reach Women and Girls in Crises? and an October 31 conference on U.S. Action for Women’s and Girls’ Health Security, both under the auspices of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.

Click here to link to the podcast.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, gender-based violence, Humanitarian response, maternal-child health, Nigeria, reproductive health, violence against women and children

[collapse]
How Can We Better Reach Women and Girls in Crises? (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
October 2019

The United States is the world leader in supporting global health and humanitarian response, making it uniquely placed to elevate the critical health and safety needs faced by women and girls in emergencies and fragile settings around the world. While addressing these needs is an important goal on its own, it also forms a pillar of global health security, as the prevention of health crises and conflict, and recovery after they occur, are greatly enhanced when these needs are met.
 
The United States has unrivaled financial and programmatic capacities in maternal health, reproductive health, family planning, and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response. However, it seldom marshals these extensive capacities in emergency settings, where the needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls are most severe. In emergencies around the world—from the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the simmering conflict in Venezuela to the protracted crises in Yemen and Syria—the United States has not channeled its extensive capacities to address glaring operational gaps in these critical areas. The alarmingly high risks of GBV and severely limited access to maternal health, family planning, and reproductive health services are too often overlooked in these and other crisis settings.
 
A categorical shift is required for the United States to prioritize women’s and girls’ health and protection in emergency settings to advance resiliency and health security. There is growing recognition among both practitioners and policymakers that failure to address these gaps significantly worsens the impact and trauma of crises and significantly undermines global health security. Conversely, the engagement of women, girls, and communities in decision-making and program design can help build public trust and confidence, which is sorely lacking in many health security crises around the world.
 

You can download the PDF here. You can also listen to Janet being interviewed about the report on the Smart Women, Smart Power podcast.

Topics: Family planning, gender-based violence, humanitarian response,, maternal-child health, reproductive health, violence against women and children, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Janet interviews Amb. Mark Dybul on why demographic trends matter for global health (2019 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host

Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
September 3, 2019

The population of Africa is expected to double over the next 20 years, which means that many countries are facing either a demographic dividend or potentially a disaster, with critical implications for global health and development. In this episode of Take as Directed, Janet Fleischman sits down with Amb. Mark Dybul, Director of the Center for Global Health and Quality, and Professor in the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, and formerly head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. They discuss why these demographic trends matter and how U.S. programs can better engage young people, especially adolescent girls and young women, to address their needs and support local innovation.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud.

Topics: Demographic trends, family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Demographic Trends and Youth Empowerment in Africa: Opportunities for U.S. Engagement (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
June 2019

Many of the fastest growing populations are in the world’s poorest countries, putting them at a critical threshold: either they will accelerate economic growth and innovation by investing in their burgeoning youth population or the rapid population growth coupled with a shortage of opportunities for young people will undermine advances in health, development, and ultimately security. These demographic trends, most notable in sub-Saharan Africa, are often referred to as a “youth boom” or a “youth bulge.” Given the enormous implications of these demographic shifts, U.S. assistance should promote young people’s health and development, with particular emphasis on empowering young women. Investments in human capital and gender equality would yield enormous benefits in improving health, reducing poverty, and increasing economic and political stability. Given that these goals align so strongly with U.S. national interests, they benefit from strong bipartisan support.

This agenda constitutes an urgent priority. The magnitude of this demographic transition is evident in sub-Saharan Africa; sixty percent of the population is under the age of 25 and is projected to dramatically increase in the coming years due to decreased under-five child mortality and to continued high fertility, which is often driven by early and closely spaced childbearing. In many of these countries, notably in the Sahel region of West Africa, the population may double as soon as 2030—the year the world community pledged to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals—and possibly quadruple by the end of the century. Overall, the population in sub-Saharan Africa could increase from 1 billion to 4 billion before the end of the century.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Demographic trends, family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Accelerating Action to Address Violence Against Women and Children: Key Lessons from the Together for Girls Partnership in Tanzania (2019 report)

Janet Fleischman
Together for Girls
2019

Violence against children (VAC) and violence against women (VAW) are public health and human rights crises of global proportions, with damaging consequences to the health and well-being of individuals and their communities. Fueled by gender inequality, social norms condoning violence and harmful traditional practices,1 and exacerbated by lack of commitment to take preventive and protective action and weak protection systems, violence against women and children (VAWC) as well as the magnitude, human toll and societal cost of this violence is increasingly acknowledged by the global community.

Together for Girls (TfG) is a partnership among national governments, UN entities and private sector organizations working at the intersection of VAW and VAC, with special attention to ending sexual violence against girls. Now being implemented in more than 22 countries, the TfG model supports governments to conduct a national household Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) and to use the data to mobilize action through policies and programs that embed violence prevention and response across multiple sectors.

In 2009, the Government of Tanzania, with support from TfG partners, most notably UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), undertook the VACS. Tanzania was the first country to implement a full VACS, surveying both girls and boys (ages 13-24) nationally to assess the prevalence of emotional, physical and sexual violence. It was also the first country to introduce a government-led, multi-sector task force to oversee the implementation of the survey and the ensuing violence prevention and response work catalyzed by the data, which led to the establishment of a multi-sectoral, costed National Plan of Action. Ten years after Tanzania’s landmark research, this case study seeks to consolidate learnings from the national experience of implementing the TfG model.

Download the PDF.

Topics: Adolescent girls and young women, family planning, gender-based violence, PEPFAR, reproductive health, Tanzania, U.S. policy, violence against women and children

[collapse]
The World's Largest HIV Epidemic in Crisis: HIV In South Africa (2019 article)

Janet Fleischman and Sara M. Allinder
CSIS Global Health Policy Center
April 2, 2019

In some communities of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, 60 percent of women have HIV. Nearly 4,500 South Africans are newly infected every week; one-third are adolescent girls/young women (AGYW) ages 15-24. These are staggering figures, by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, the HIV epidemic is not being treated like a crisis. In February, we traveled to South Africa, to understand what is happening in these areas with “hyper-endemic” HIV epidemics, where prevalence rates exceed 15 percent among adults. We were alarmed by the complacency toward the rate of new infections at all levels and the absence of an emergency response, especially for young people.

This is no time for business as usual from South Africa or its partners, including the U.S. government through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The epidemic is exacerbated by its concentration in 15-49-year-olds, those of reproductive and working age who are the backbone of South Africa. Without aggressive action to reduce the rate of new infections in young people, HIV will continue to take a tremendous toll on the country for years and generations to come. Collective action is needed to push beyond the complacency and internal barriers to implement policies and interventions that directly target HIV prevention and treatment for young people. PEPFAR should ensure its programs support those efforts.

Click here to read the full commentary.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR, maternal-child health, South Africa, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Women's Economic Empowerment and Women's Health Services (2018 report)

Janet Fleischman
Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
December 2018

Support for women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship around the world is gaining considerable momentum, manifested in recent U.S. and World Bank initiatives. This is an issue of global importance that garners extensive bipartisan support, rooted in data about the benefits for alleviating poverty and advancing economic growth. Yet economic empowerment does not exist in isolation in women’s lives; it is interconnected with and dependent upon access to women’s health services, notably maternal health and family planning, as a fundamental enabling factor. Simply put, women cannot meaningfully participate in the labor force if they are not healthy and able to decide the timing and spacing of their pregnancies. Concerted, bipartisan leadership is necessary to ensure that U.S. support for economic empowerment is intentionally aligned with U.S. investments in women’s global health.

As context for its recommendations, this paper examines the current momentum on women’s economic empowerment and lays out the growing evidence. The report is based on numerous key informant interviews and bipartisan discussions, through the CSIS Women’s Health Policy Forum, that explored the critical connections between women’s economic empowerment—defined to include education, labor force participation, and agency—and their access to family planning and maternal health services as well as HIV services targeted to women and girls.
 

Download the PDF.

Topics: Family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, reproductive health, U.S. policy, women’s empowerment

[collapse]
Janet interviews Margaret Schuler and David Wray on women's health services (2018 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Cathryn Streifel, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
November 30, 2018

Women’s health services, including maternal health and family planning, are critical to enable women and girls to access economic empowerment opportunities. In this episode of Take as Directed, Janet speaks with Margaret Schuler, Senior Vice President of the International Programs Group at World Vision, and David Ray, Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at CARE. The three discuss how the current bipartisan momentum around economic empowerment for women provides an opportunity to strengthen linkages with U.S. investments in women’s global health, how such an approach fits with USAID’s “Journey to Self-Reliance” framework, and the role of women’s groups and faith-based organizations in promoting access to both economic empowerment programs and women’s health services.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud.

Topics: Family planning, maternal-child health, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Janet interviews Beth Schlachter on the London Summit on Family Planning (2017 podcast)

Janet Fleischman, host
Cathryn Streifel, producer, and Ribka Gemilangsari, editor
Global Health Policy Center
August 2, 2017

Beth Schlachter, executive director of FP2020, discussed the London Summit on Family Planning that took place in July 2017, at which approximately $2.5 billion in new money was pledged for international family planning. We asked her to reflect on the unique FP2020 partnership, its achievements as well as the challenges it faces in meeting its goals in the world’s 69 lowest income countries. She stressed the importance of continued U.S. leadership in family planning, both in its bilateral assistance and in technical support at the country level, and her concerns about the global impact that would result if the U.S. abandons this role.

Click here to link to the podcast on SoundCloud.

Topics: Family planning, U.S. policy

[collapse]
Addressing HIV in Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Malawi: The DREAMS Partnership (2017 report)