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MmeLindor is in Kenya blogging about Reproductive Rights

(151 Posts)
LynnCSchreiber Fri 22-Jun-12 08:40:29

I am in Kenya this week blogging about reproductive rights.

200m women worldwide want to use contraception but have no access to it.

Melinda Gates has launched a campaign to change this. A group of bloggers from around the world are visiting various projects in Kenya to report on the reality of life without contraception.

Access to contraception means that women can decide when, how many and in with which age gap they have their children.

This has far reaching effects on the lives and the lives of their families.

more here

250 000 maternal deaths worldwide, high infant mortality, unwanted babies, unsafe abortion.

I have been here for several days and have written a couple of blog posts about the projects we have visited. I've been having wifi issues so no pics yet, but I have tweeted some pics - you can follow me @lynncschreiber to see them.

I've met an amazing woman who is a Mother Mentor in a HIV/AIDS support project. She meets newly diagnosed mothers and helps them come to terms with their illness and learn how to increase the chances that their babies will be HIV negative.

She was so inspiring. She told me that she is living positively and is so happy that her son is a Negative Baby. She now tells other women about family planning and how to access it. The program is run by the CDC - who are doing amazing things for rural communities.

Women walk for hours to health clinics only to find that they are out of contraceptive supplies.

The Gates Foundation is teaming up with the UK government to host a worldwide family planning summit in London this July.

I will also be linking to the blogs of the others on the trip.

LynnCSchreiber Fri 22-Jun-12 08:52:17

Gates Foundation blog with links to the other blogs

FrothyDragon Fri 22-Jun-12 08:54:35

I'd twigged you were out of the country on "business", (wasn't sure the nature of it) but this is BRILLIANT!

BIWItheBold Fri 22-Jun-12 08:57:13

Fab - I was looking forward to reading about this. And look at the other 10 bloggers you're with! What a line-up.

LynnCSchreiber Fri 22-Jun-12 09:14:05

BIWI
They are incredible. An amazing mix of
People and interests.

Himalaya Fri 22-Jun-12 09:37:35

Thats fab!

MrsKwazii Fri 22-Jun-12 09:46:24

Brilliant Mme, will set aside some time to read yours and others' posts later. So easy to take contraception for granted when it is so readily available here, you forget the difference it makes to individuals and society as a whole.

LynnCSchreiber Fri 22-Jun-12 09:52:46

If you blog, then do join in the bloghop

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 22-Jun-12 10:39:31

Hello. We've going to move this thread to Campaigns now - as this is something we are very pleased to be backing officially.

Himalaya Fri 22-Jun-12 11:00:09

Save The Children are asking people to sign their petition and write to their MPs in advance of the summit to support the call not only for donor governments to put more money into supporting family planning around the world, but also to make sure that is done in a way that puts women's rights first - so it is not about doctors and health departments meeting quotas but ensuring women are empowered to decide when to have children.

link here

ripsishere Fri 22-Jun-12 11:38:22

Signed the petition. It really is an important issue.
I hope that condoms aren't the only suggested contraceptive. I knew a number of women when I worked in London who were pregnant again and again because their DHs refused to use them.

LynnCSchreiber Fri 22-Jun-12 12:41:20

Rips
No, not just condoms, but obviously in certain counties with high HIV+ rates they are a good choice

A lot of women here ask for long term contraceptives that they can hide from their husbands.

LemonBreeland Fri 22-Jun-12 12:48:54

Wow, amazing work. Do the husbands just want them to keep having babies then? Is that why they need to hide contraceptives?

LynnCSchreiber Fri 22-Jun-12 13:21:32

Lemon
It is very entrenched in culture here to have lots of babies. There is also the issue that men think their wives will be promiscuous if they use contraceptives.

ripsishere Fri 22-Jun-12 13:24:40

I understand that Mme. IME, both in London and ME where DD was born, the more children a man fathers, the greater his manliness/masculinity is.

ThePathanKhansWitch Fri 22-Jun-12 13:48:35

Oh good work MmeLinddor!. Petition signed.

LynnCSchreiber Fri 22-Jun-12 17:15:08

Thanks for linking to the petition, Himalaya. The London Summit is a huge step forward, so it is important that we make it clear to our government that this is an important topic.

We are in the Laikipia county today, looking at how tourism can run hand in hand with community care and wildlife conservation. This resort has raised USD 7m so far for the community. We will be visiting some of the villages tomorrow.

LynnCSchreiber Fri 22-Jun-12 17:16:39

This video of the Melinda Gates TED talk explains what we are doing very well.

lionheart Fri 22-Jun-12 19:08:44

This is brilliant and the blogs are so interesting.

LynnCSchreiber Fri 22-Jun-12 19:33:10

Lionheart
Lots more to come. We've had Internet access issues and many of us haven't been able to post as much as we would have liked.

SuePBlovesaDiamondJubilee Fri 22-Jun-12 19:45:16

On my wall on the faceaches - really impressive stuff smile

Fenouille Fri 22-Jun-12 19:54:36

If you're in Laikipia looking at eco-tourism projects does that mean you're visiting Astrid at Marengo Farm? I hope you are as she's lovely and what they're doing there is very important. We really hope to go back again one day.

And thank you for blogging on such an important issue for women's health. It must be so interesting and inspiring meeting these women.

LynnCSchreiber Fri 22-Jun-12 20:47:39

Fenouille
I'm not sure, but I will ask around. We are at the Ol Pejata conservancy centre at the moment and have meetings tomorrow with a women's group.

There are incredible women here - and men too, of course. We met a woman from the PATH organisation who was incredibly inspiring. I had a bit of a girl crush, I have to admit.

We also met Mama Sarah - the step granny of Barack Obama. You can read about her and her shagging rabbits here

http://t.co/GjJw1yJn

And if that intro doesn't make you click, then nothing will.

Actually, do have a look at Irin's other work. She is fabulous and is teaching me loads about feminism and abortion.

Fenouille Fri 22-Jun-12 21:12:49

Astrid's farm is in the Rift Valley, so not quite where you are now. They do a lot of work in the environment as well as sponsoring a local orphanage.

The women you're meeting indeed sound inspirational.

caramelwaffle Fri 22-Jun-12 23:44:09

Good work all round.

Looking forward to reading everything.

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