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Our Global Voices Posts

Creating Strength in Numbers to End Violence Against Women & Girls

Posted on by Dr. Daniela Ligiero, Executive Director and CEO, Together for Girls
Dr. Daniela Ligiero
Dr. Daniela Ligiero

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign falls every year between the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25th, and Human Rights Day on December 10th. It is a time to raise awareness and galvanize global support and action to end violence against women and girls around the world. At Together for Girls, we believe that in order to effectively prevent and respond to violence, we must first understand it –and it starts with the data.

Through the Violence Against Children Surveys (VACS), led by CDC in partnership with Together for Girls, we have collected data on violence for approximately 10% of the world’s youth population aged 13-24. VACS data gives us better insight into the magnitude of the problem, its consequences and risk factors. It provides reliable evidence on physical, sexual, and emotional violence experienced by boys and girls that has never been available before. The VACS have revolutionized the field in only 10 years, providing a critical foundation to drive our work.

The VACS data are sobering. They show that more than 30% of girls experience sexual violence before age 18, and almost 1 in 4 describe their first sexual experience as forced or coerced. Everywhere we’ve looked, we’ve found high numbers of girls and women being pressured, coerced or physically forced to have sex. The data show that sexual violence often has life-altering consequences for girls, including pregnancy and HIV transmission. Our data also show that boys experience unacceptably high levels of sexual violence, often with severe consequences.

As part of our mission to collect, highlight, and effectively communicate data on violence against girls and boys and better showcase the work of the Together for Girls partnership, we have just launched a new website. We are especially excited about our new interactive map. By clicking on each country, you can view their progress in completion of the VACS, as well as download public data sets, reports, actions plan and more. We will continue to build out a collection of resources on our new site, so check back in with us for new interactive tools and maps along the way.

One thing is clear: A problem of this magnitude cannot be solved by one actor or sector alone. Our response must be robust, multi-sectoral and driven by data. The good news is that we understand the problem now more than ever before, and we have the evidence to show what works to prevent and respond to violence. The INSPIRE: Seven Strategies to Prevent Violence Against Children technical package is helping to lead the way, focusing on evidence-based solutions to move the data to action. There is great work being done every day by our partners and in communities all around the world. That is why for the 16 Days of Activism, Together for Girls recognized 16 heroes who are working to break the cycle of violence in unique and innovative ways. This 16 Days, let’s celebrate the great work being done, but also know that we have a lot more to do. We all have a role to play. Share the stories of the 16 heroes, share the data and resources, and encourage your friends, families and coworkers to learn more and get involved. By better understanding the problem and working together to spark action, we can create a safer world for every girl and boy.

Posted on by Dr. Daniela Ligiero, Executive Director and CEO, Together for GirlsLeave a commentTags ,

Rubella and CRS Elimination: A Race Worth Winning

AEFI management kit

AEFI Management Kit. Photo credit: Rania Tohme/CDC More than 100,000 children worldwide are born with congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) every year to mothers infected with the rubella virus. Sadly, these children will suffer a lifetime because of birth defects such as blindness, deafness, and heart disease, even though a cost-effective vaccine is widely available to Read More >

Posted on by Susan Reef, MD, MPH, Medical Epidemiologist and Rubella Team Lead, Global Immunization Division & Gavin Grant, MD, MPH, Medical Epidemiologist, Global Immunization DivisionLeave a commentTags , , ,

Everyone Needs Somewhere to Go: World Toilet Day

Charcoal briquettes manufactured from human waste in East Africa

Charcoal briquettes manufactured from human waste in East Africa (Photo courtesy of Eric Mintz, CDC) We use toilets every day – at home, school, and work – yet 40% of the world’s population does not have this luxury.  Clean and safe toilets are more than just a place to use the restroom.  They are essential Read More >

Posted on by Madison Walter, MPH, CHESLeave a commentTags ,

Overcoming obstacles to polio eradication in Pakistan

Picture of worker distributing polio advocacy items to children.

Originally published on October 5, 2017 on Rotary Voices “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Henry Ford When I first joined Pakistan’s PolioPlus Committee (PNPPC) as a manager close to eight years ago, polio eradication seemed within our reach. I used the opportunity to study poliomyelitis beyond just Read More >

Posted on by Alina A. Visram, manager, Pakistan National PolioPlus CommitteeLeave a commentTags ,

Precision Public Health: Using Malawi Population-Based Impact Assessment (MPHIA) Data to Reach HIV Epidemic Control in Malawi

The Malawi Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (MPHIA) is Malawi’s first nationally representative HIV survey that measures national HIV incidence, pediatric HIV prevalence, and viral load suppression. MPHIA has provided detailed information on the current status of the HIV epidemic and the uptake of HIV prevention, care, and treatment services in Malawi. In his remarks during Read More >

Posted on by Nellie Wadonda-Kabondo and Danielle PayneLeave a commentTags , , , ,

Looking Ahead to a Measles and Rubella Free World

Robert Linkins, MPH, PhD

Vaccines fight diseases and save lives. Think of achievements like smallpox eradication, a polio-free world close at hand, and 2-3 million deaths prevented each year through routine immunizations. Yet despite a safe and effective vaccine against measles and rubella, these deadly viruses continue to steal the health and lives of children all over the world. Read More >

Posted on by Robert Linkins, MPH, PhDLeave a comment

Optimistic in the Face of Ongoing Tragedy: Progress toward a World Free of Human Rabies

During her presentation at 2017 PARACON meeting on how to plan and budget for a mass dog vaccination campaign, Emily Pieracci asked who was committed to ending rabies.

Rabies is a fatal disease that kills an estimated 59,000 people each year, almost half of whom are children. The majority of deaths occur in Africa and Asia. All of these deaths are vaccine-preventable with timely administration of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), the shots needed to prevent rabies from developing in bite victims. So why is Read More >

Posted on by Emily PieracciLeave a comment

CDC Global Rapid Response Team Pilots Workshop for Senegal and Burkina Faso

Global Rapid Response Team

Participants to the Rapid Response Team Management workshop, Dakar, Senegal, August 7-11 The 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic clearly demonstrated the need for trained scientists who can deploy quickly to confront health threats and ensure global health security. While we often think about the emergency response itself, we typically don’t think about the work that happens behind Read More >

Posted on by Global Rapid Response TeamLeave a comment

Making some noise about noncommunicable diseases in Rwanda

We weren’t sure what to expect when the Rwanda Biomedical Center requested a training for their noncommunicable disease (NCD) program managers. We had never delivered this particular curriculum before, but after three months of preparation, our journey from Atlanta began. After landing in the capital Kigali, we faced a bumpy three-hour drive into the mountains Read More >

Posted on by Kristy Joseph, MA, CDC Global NCD BranchLeave a comment

Parasitologist for the People

LT Knipes chats with school children who have been enrolled and are waiting to be tested for lymphatic filariasis and malaria in Nord Est Department, Haiti.

Global health emergencies are a constant in today’s world. In recent years, we have seen the impact of natural disasters, mass migrations, famines, conflicts, and more. When there are large population movements, we see rapid spread of infectious disease. When there is famine, those affected have a compromised immune system, allowing them to contract illnesses easier. For these reasons it is vital that public health staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is on the scene. Read More >

Posted on by Adrienne Lefevre, MPH, CHESLeave a commentTags , , , ,