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MmeLindor is in Kenya blogging about Reproductive Rights

(151 Posts)
MmeLindor. 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.

OracleInLeCoracle Sun 01-Jul-12 15:48:25

mme, you are doing an excellent job!

MmeLindor. Sun 01-Jul-12 20:28:55

Thanks all. Am so glad that people are reading and listening.

Himalaya Mon 02-Jul-12 07:53:20

The mooncup thing sounds like a good idea, and something mooncupnet Mumsnet ought to support, given how many women get 'sold' onto mooncups on here.

It would be a good candidate for a trial to investigate whether girls continue to use it long-term (interesting trial you linked to Mme Lindor but quite small scale and no follow up...)

My guess is mooncups cost about 50p to make, but all the expense is in marketing to get people to give them a try.

Maybe they could be marketed by women entrepreneurs - Avon lady style?

I guess it wouldn't help with the problems for girls first starting their periods, as it's pretty daunting to use a mooncup the first time, particularly in a culture that doesn't talk openly about menstruation.

Mme Lindor - is there an org that is taking forward the mooncup solution, since that study?

GetOrfMoiiLand Mon 02-Jul-12 13:00:50

It is wonderful that you have been involved in this mme - such important issues. I have just looked through all the links.

Those girls being so chuffed with supermarket knickers and sanpro.

Well done for raising awareness like this.

MmeLindor. Mon 02-Jul-12 13:07:08

Yes, there is himalaya.

I will be writing this week about a further research project and the rubycup - a kenya based project that is very similar to your Avon lady idea. wink

Himalaya Mon 02-Jul-12 14:09:43

That's great, I just looked it up!

SweetTheSting Mon 02-Jul-12 22:35:18

Great work Mme.

I will look to add a sanpro charity to my donations, I will look through your links for a recommendation.

MmeLindor. Mon 02-Jul-12 23:55:21

I am going to be investigating this a bit more this week when I finish the article so hopefully will be able to recommend a charity. If you find one in the meantime, do let me know.

AbigailAdams Tue 03-Jul-12 10:39:25

ML I was watching a Twitter conversation about abortion rights last week (it was actually about NI abortion laws) but they touched on the fact that the Gates Foundation aren't including abortion services in this project. I realise that you aren't their spokesperson but do you know why that is? Has it been discussed at all? It seems a vital service to miss out that's all.

Also how did you get involved with this? <slightly jealous emoticon>

MmeLindor. Tue 03-Jul-12 12:01:45

It is something that has been discussed. I can't speak for the Gates foundation but my feeling is by concentrating on family planning there is more chance of getting somewhere in countries where abortion is limited or even illegal.

Improving access to family planning has been proven to lower abortion rates. Considering that many are done in unsafe conditions, this is very important.

Did you know that after Bush reintroduced the global gag rule that abortion rates eent up? And that more women died because of it.

The women we talked to were terrified that Romney might win the presidency.

'we don't sleep at night', one woman told me.

post about a women's collective that buys water tanks - might interest you lot.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Tue 03-Jul-12 12:32:32

Ooh, what a great thread and a brilliant thing to be doing MmeLindor
- will have to check out all the links on here and find out more about what you're all up to over there.

Gates foundation work on improving access to contraception seems like great stuff !

AbigailAdams Tue 03-Jul-12 12:38:44

That certainly makes sense. I had no idea about the global gag rule increasing women's deaths.

I think we are all hoping Romney doesn't get in!

And thanks for the link.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Tue 03-Jul-12 12:59:38

Someone explain to me about Bush's "global gag rule"?
What's going on with that ?

AbigailAdams Tue 03-Jul-12 13:28:18

Juggling this article may help Obama repeals global gag rule

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Tue 03-Jul-12 13:39:41

Interesting, thanks Abigail - I think, from what I understand, Obama again has it about right on this. ( "Repeals global gag rule - very quietly" - to me there is much that could be done to promote and increase access to contraceptives - I feel there could be a lot of good done under the "No controversy in contraceptives" initiative)

MmeLindor. Tue 03-Jul-12 17:35:31

I'm out at the moment but will link to some articles about the global gag rule Obama.

There has been a lot of criticism of Obama for not going further with this.

MmeLindor. Thu 05-Jul-12 18:37:20

Brilliant article by Irin Carmon about abortion in Africa and how the US anti-choice / pro-choice camps fought a proxy war in Kenya.

AbigailAdams Thu 05-Jul-12 18:43:57

Illegal abortion accounts for 30-40% of maternal deaths. Wow. So preventable.

MmeLindor. Thu 05-Jul-12 18:49:07

Very sad statistic. And the reason it is so vital to enable women to access contraception. It truly saves lives.

SweetTheSting Fri 06-Jul-12 09:22:18

Oh my god, I never knew about the global gag rule. So the Republicans didn't have the political guts to repeal US abortion laws (as they knew they would lose!) so just thought they would help prevent less powerful countries getting any such rights.


<goes off to kick a wall>

MmeLindor. Fri 06-Jul-12 12:12:05

And the effects were felt by millions of women around the world.

I wanted to find an article to explain the issues with Obama. Will go and look

MmeLindor. Fri 06-Jul-12 12:21:33

Many activists have called for Obama to go a step further and repeal the Helms Amendment -

'The ban on foreign aid for abortion is based on the government’s interpretation of the Helms Amendment, adopted in 1973. The Helms Amendment states “No foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.”'

Info here

SweetTheSting Fri 06-Jul-12 12:36:01

Method of family planning? What a poisonous little phrase. Like it would be anyone's preferred choice of planning.

<kicks wall with other foot>

SweetTheSting Fri 06-Jul-12 13:02:13

I really hope Obama is just hanging out for a second term and is then finally going to get his liberal trousers on...

MmeLindor. Fri 06-Jul-12 13:05:21

There is a bit of frustration aimed at him for not ensuring that the gag rule cannot be put back in place even if a GOP candidate wins.

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