International Women's Health + Human Rights

We are a global community dedicated to education and collaborative action on issues of International Women's Health & Human Rights. This is the Tumblr page for the massive open online course (MOOC), featuring Anne Firth Murray, the founding president of the Global Fund for Women and an educator at Stanford University. Visit for more information.




Rare footage of educator and civil rights leader, Mary McLeod Bethune (circa 1930s, 1940s)

*found in Prelinger Open Archives


If you don’t know who Mary McLeod Bethune is, we talk about her and other women of color you should know in “Black Women Striving for Suffrage.”


Even When Abortion Is Illegal, The Market May Sell Pills For Abortion

In the central market in San Salvador, you can buy just about anything you want: tomatoes by the wheelbarrow full. Fresh goat’s milk straight from the goat. Underwear. Plumbing supplies. Fruit. Hollywood’s latest blockbusters burned straight onto a DVD.

And in the back of the market, in a small stall lined with jars of dried herbs, roots and mushrooms, you can buy an abortion.

"I have all types of plants to treat all kinds of diseases," the woman who runs the shop says through a translator. "For example, problems with your liver, your kidneys, stomach problems, nerves, for cancer — for everything."

She says she also has a bitter tea that can take care of an unwanted pregnancy.

Abortion is completely banned in El Salvador and punishable with a prison term of anywhere from two to 50 years in prison. So this woman asks that we not use her name.

Her tea only works, she says, in the first six weeks of pregnancy. If a woman is seeking an abortion later than that, the herbalist arranges to get something far stronger from a local pharmacy: pills used to treat stomach ulcers that are sold generically as misoprostol.

"They come asking for help," the woman says. "The majority of them are minors — young girls who say they were raped by their stepfathers or by people a lot older than they are."

Continue reading.

Photo: In the markets of San Salvador, El Salvador, you can have your palm read, you can buy plumbing tools … and you can purchase abortion pills. (John Poole/NPR)


Ethiopia decks out

Ethiopia has been working hard to expand industrial development and within that general framework, the textile sector has been identified as a priority area both by local investors and for foreign direct investment.

The country has a long history of manufacturing traditional textiles using hand-spun yarn and handlooms for weaving. It has also been a major source of employment for both rural and urban areas.

The Growth and Transformation Plan 2010–2015, earmarked the textile and garment industry as the first category under medium and large industrial development. Textiles also touch several Ethiopian sub-sectors, with the capacity to maximize cotton production, creating an even larger source of employment and being able to induce industrial modernization, as well as considerably raising foreign exchange export earnings.

The government believes the sector can lift its aggregate production value to $2.5 billion by the end of 2015. It has also set up the Textile Industry Development Institute on June 7, 2010. The Institute has the objectives of helping the development of textile and apparel industry technologies, and enabling the industry to become competitive and develop rapidly.

Other encouragements and supports have been put in place to boost the textile industry sector and facilitate the involvement of foreign investors in the wide-ranging prospects available for development. The government wants exports to top a billion dollars by 2016.

Investors are being encouraged from various countries and major global brands to relocate factories in Ethiopia.


Congratulations @CaroleWainaina  !

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Carole Wainaina of Kenya as Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management, Department of Management.  Ms. Wainaina will replace Catherine Pollard, who has been appointed Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management.

Ms. Wainaina brings with her a wealth of global experience at various senior leadership levels including human resources strategy, leadership development, change management and driving organizational transformation.  She has more than two decades of national and international, corporate and non-profit leadership experience, having served as the Chief Human Resources Officer and member of the Executive Committee at Royal Phillips in the Netherlands from 2011 to 2014.

Previous to that she worked at the Coca-Cola Company as Group Human Resources Director, Europe, and held various progressively responsible positions, also at the Coca-Cola Company based in Turkey, United States, United Kingdom and Kenya.

Ms. Wainaina also served as Chief of Staff to the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta and as President of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation.  She started her career as a Management Consultant at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Kenya and also served as the Special Assistant to the Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Born in Kenya in 1966, Ms. Wainaina has a Bachelor of Business from the University of Southern Queensland in Australia, majoring in Human Resources Management and Marketing.


Mary Ondolo, 50, shows a package of honey made by the Ogiek women and packaged and refined by the Mariashoni Community Development, a community-based organisation. Credit: Robert Kibet/IPS

Kenya’s Ogiek Women Conquer Cultural Barriers to Support their Families | Inter Press Service


Depictions of trans people in the media can have an enormous impact on the way society views them. On Road is working to change attitudes in media organisations

Depictions in mainstream comedy of minority groups have an enormous impact on the way society views them. Little Britain’s famous “I’m a Laydee” sketch perpetuated the offensive stereotype of transgender people as nothing more than deluded “blokes in dresses.” Far from being a harmless joke, portrayals like these can be directly linked to the verbal and physical abuse often suffered by many of the UK’s estimated 600,000 transgender people.

However, earlier this month the BBC announced that they were commissioning the UK’s first ever transgender comedy sitcom, with a rare defining detail - the main character who is trans isn’t the usual derogatory stereotype but a fully fleshed out, authentic sounding trans woman. A person like anyone else, who happens to be trans. The part will be played by Rebecca Root. It’s a direct result of the work we’ve been doing to change the way the media represents one of the country’s most marginalised and least understood communities.

Research carried out in 2009 revealed that 78% of British trans people felt that the media portrayals they saw were either inaccurate or highly inaccurate. It’s clear attitudes need to change.

All About Trans, a project led by social enterprise On Road, is changing the way the British media represents and portrays transgender people, one journalist at a time. We’re a small team and our approach is simple but powerful. We change the way an influential media professional (one that can pull strings and make things happen) feels about trans people by encouraging personal connections. Most media professionals admit they have never knowingly had a conversation with someone who is gender variant so we remedy this through what we call “the interactions”.

Traditional diversity workshops for journalists often miss the mark by focusing on theoretical dos and don’ts, and we know from experience that the most senior and influential people rarely attend them. It’s first-hand experience of people and relationships that really leads to understanding. We organise two hour gatherings to suit the journalist, in the office, or out and about, creating the right environment to encourage open conversation, questions, and sharing of interests with a group of diverse trans people who will challenge perceptions and build an emotional connection.

The outcomes are many and varied. They’ve ranged from three critically acclaimed BBC Radio One documentaries presented by Paris Lees (who met commissioning editor Piers Bradford during one of our interactions at the BBC), documentary commissions from Channel 4, articles by trans people in local and national newspapers and dozens of radio interviews and television appearances from Question Time to Saturday Live - and the aforementioned first trans sitcom ‘Boy Meets Girl’, which has its roots in the BBC Writers Room Trans Comedy Award, a scheme born at a camp we ran at Channel 4 in 2011.

Collaborating with producers and executives, encouraging new content and complimenting them when they get it right - as opposed to pointing out all the ways they’ve got it wrong in the past - goes a long way.

The work has been so successful largely due to the extraordinary group of 200 passionate and diverse transgender volunteers who have helped us to engage with 160 media professionals so far across print, broadcast and online. The interactions we facilitate are led by local trans people of all ages and backgrounds and in just a year and a half, we’ve met with, amongst others, senior executives at The Observer, The Independent, The Sun, Daily Mail, Channel 4, BBC, CBBC, Press Complaints Commission, Press Association and journalists for regional newspapers such as the Scotland Herald and Dorset Echo.

Restorative justice plays a part too. In June, we met with the managing director of The Sun, Stig Abell, and his colleagues. They sat down with Dr Kate Stone (who we supported with a landmark negotiation with six national newspapers over transgender reporting after articles focused on her trans status after she suffered a near death experience with a stag) and Ayla Holdom, a Royal Air Force Flight Lieutenant who was outed by The Sun a few years ago. During this meeting, they explained how they’d been hurt and the editors apologised and removed the offensive headlines and news reports from their site.

On an interaction, it’s vital that participants feel comfortable to speak their minds and be open with each other. And people can make mistakes, for example with pronouns or terminology, but it’s important to explain the mistake, hear the apology, learn from it and move on.

Our approach, put simply, is not about pointing the finger and telling journalists what to say or not say. It’s about respecting the talent and position of the media professional and creating the right environment for them to be champions of the cause and to take it upon themselves to change the way their newspaper, programme or organisation deals with trans people.

Change can’t happen overnight, and behaviours and attitudes take time to shift, but human connections are sustainable, and as we work to maintain them, we’re starting to see big, exciting changes in the way the media works.

(via lgbtqblogs)


Alawe Fouleratou, a budding entrepreneur in the Central Bronx, took over an African food market and molded it to meet demand for a boutique. “If I don’t have it, I will bring it,” Fouleratou said, repeating the mantra she recites for customers.

From West Africa to the Bronx, a Retail Maven Dreams Big | NY City Lens

Assaha African Center and Market is located at 2388 Washington Ave. in Bathgate, Bronx.



For some, post-traumatic stress disorder continues for years after they’re rescued. For others, like this Malawian girl recently freed from forced prostitution, they must learn to live with HIV.

REBLOG to raise awareness and help make this the generation be the one that ends slavery forever.

Read more here.

Research studies commonly used all-male subjects. Men with abnormal test results were treated far more aggressively than women with the same results. Women reporting the same symptoms as men were at least twice as likely to receive — no surprise here — a psychiatric diagnosis.

The Woman’s Heart Attack

Women’s heart attack symptoms are very different than men’s. So for decades and decades, women having heart attacks are diagnosed with psychiatric diagnoses rather than the correct diagnosis of a heart attack. Not coincidentally, women are much more likely to die from heart attacks. Today, some of these gender differences are known, but many doctors still don’t recognize them, and few patients know about them. And basically nothing is known about gender and heart attack symptoms in trans people.

(via disabilityhistory)