Forbes Top 100 Websites For Women 2012

85 Broads: A members-only international network of 20,000 inspired, empowered and connected women started by female staffers at Goldman Sachs. Nice offering of blogs from members on work-life issues.

Alexandra Levit: A career blog by author and journalist Levit that regularly dispenses wisdom on all things work.

Babble: A community for new parents with advice, recipes, news and resources, plus a witty blog called Strollerderby.

Birds On the Blog: This London blog features career advice and breaking women’s-interest news from 11 resident bloggers (known as “the birds.”) All ad revenue from the site is used to fund the education of 5-year-old Ugandan twin girls, Princess and Perfect.

BlogHer: The premier women’s blog platform is celebrating its sixth year this year–and it’s still going and growing.

TheBloggess: Jenny Lawson blogs about sex, love and motherhood, and whatever else comes to mind.

The Boss Network: A community of entrepreneurial women who support each other through conversation, online and event-based networking.

The Bump: The Bump, from TheKnot, is a community website for expecting and trying-to-conceive couples that offers support, advice and features to women and their partners.

Brazen Careerist: Serial entrepreneur Penelope Trunk writes about work and life for over 40,000 subscribers. Her top piece of advice? Control your professional identity to stay employable.

CafeMom: An online community for moms that hosts parenting forums, games and blogs. Continue reading

United Nations adopts landmark resolution on adolescents and youth

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Late Friday at the 45th Session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development (CPD), member states issued a bold resolution in support of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and human rights.

This victory comes on the heels of a UNICEF report released this week highlighting the challenges the largest-ever generation of young people face — including HIV/AIDS, violence and unintended pregnancy — and reaffirms international agreements including the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD).

“This CPD is one of the most important events to take place – to talk about young people, for young people and with young people,” said Kgomotso Papo, speaking on behalf of the South African Delegation during the closing plenary. “We must remove all barriers that compromise the health, well-being and development of youth; and ensure the right of every individual to autonomous decision making in regards to their bodies, their health and their sexual relationships. On these points, there can be no compromise.”

Key points of the final resolution include:

• The right of young people to decide on all matters related to their sexuality
• Access to sexual and reproductive health services, including safe abortion where legal, that respect confidentiality and do not discriminate
• The right of youth to comprehensive sexuality education
• Protection and promotion of young people’s right to control their sexuality free from violence, discrimination and coercion

Much has changed since the landmark ICPD conference. Shifting global health funding, a maturing HIV epidemic, and the rise of the largest-ever generation of youth have all impacted the current sexual and reproductive health and rights landscape. Similarly, several key global processes—a twenty year review of global sustainable development goals (Rio +20), a twenty-year review of progress towards achieving the Cairo Programme of Action (ICPD+20), and a review of the Millennium Development Goals—are happening within the next few years, all with implications on the future of the global sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda.

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) supported youth advocates from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe to attend the CPD and advocate with their governments for supportive policies and programs, and helped facilitate a pre-conference strategy session. During the CPD, IPPF also held several educational events in conjunction with colleague organizations and governments, including panels on the importance of comprehensive sexuality education and youth rights.

“At this time of global uncertainty, there is no more important investment to be made,” said IPPF Director-General Tewodros Melesse. “Only healthy young people whose human rights are protected can be fully productive workers and effective participants in their country’s political processes. Only when young people are healthy and empowered can they contribute to building strong communities and vibrant nations. At IPPF, we are committed to working at the individual, community, regional and international levels to secure the health and rights of the largest-ever generation of youth.”

In closing the session, Commission Chairperson Ambassador Hasan Kleib (Indonesia) called on member states to realize these agreements at the national level, stating that “we now have to walk the walk.” Continue reading

Report Ranks Niger as the Worst Country in the World to be a Mother

What are the world’s best and worst places to be a mother? Save the Children’s State of The World’s 13th annual Mothers’ Index analyzes health, education and economic conditions for women and children in 165 countries.

Norway ranks #1 this year, topping the more developed countries and Niger ranks last, at the very bottom of the least developed countries.
Nigeria ranks #80, last in the less developed countries category. Cuba leads this category, with South Africa and Ghana  holding spots #33 and #67 respectively.
The United States comes in #25 out of 43 more developed countries.

2012 Mothers’ Index Rankings

TOP 10 – BEST PLACES TO BE A MOTHER BOTTOM 10 – WORST PLACES TO BE A MOTHER
RANK COUNTRY RANK COUNTRY
1 Norway 156 DR Congo
2 Iceland 156 South Sudan
3 Sweden 156 Sudan
4 New Zealand 159 Chad
5 Denmark 160 Eritrea
6 Finland 161 Mali
7 Australia 162 Guinea-Bissau
8 Belgium 163 Yemen
9 Ireland 164 Afghanistan
10 Netherlands/United Kingdom 165 Niger

The report shows how low cost solutions like breastfeeding and basic hygiene can save more than 1 million children’s lives each year. Read the interactive report, watch the videos and share info graphics. You can also sign a petition to urge World Leaders to support child survival solutions.

Download in PDF format the full report by clicking here, the Executive Summary by clicking here, and the complete list of rankings by clicking here. Continue reading

UN 2012 Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation Report

Millennium Development Goals

The world has met the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) target of halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, according to a report issued today by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). Between 1990 and 2010, over two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources, such as piped supplies and protected wells.

“The successful efforts to provide greater access to drinking water are a testament to all who see the MDGs not as a dream, but as a vital tool for improving the lives of millions of the poorest people.” Ban Ki-moon

Click on this link to view the full report -> Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation.

Best and Worst Places to be a Woman

A few days to the 101st International Women’s Day (March 8), an Independent on Sunday investigation has produced a list of the statistically best – and worst- places to be a woman nowadays. Some names on the list may take you by surprise, so read through before making any decisions about relocating!

1. Best place to be a woman: Iceland

Iceland has the greatest equality between men and women, taking into account politics, education, employment and health indicators.

The worst is Yemen, and the most dangerous is Afghanistan.

2. Best place to be a politician: Rwanda

Rwanda is the only nation in which females make up the majority of parliamentarians. Women hold 45 out of 80 seats.

The worst countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar, Oman and Belize, have no women in parliament.

3. Best place to be a mother: Norway

Norway is the world’s best place to be a mother, with low risks of maternal mortality – one in 7,600 – and skilled help at nearly all births.

The worst is Afghanistan, where a woman is at least 200 times more likely to die during childbirth than from bombs or bullets.

4. Best place to read and write: Lesotho

Literacy rates among women in Lesotho exceed those of men, with 95 per cent of women able to read and write, compared with 83 per cent of men.

The worst country is Ethiopia, where only 18 per cent of women can read and write, compared with 42 per cent of men.

5. Best place to be head of state: Sri Lanka

Women have run Sri Lanka for 23 years.

Dozens of countries, including Spain and Sweden, have never had a female head of government.

6. Best place to be a woman in the arts: Sweden

The Swedish Arts Council has launched initiatives to improve gender equality in the arts. The Swedish Film Institute mandates that film grants be distributed evenly between men and women and there are quotas for women in film production.

7. Best place to be a top dog: Thailand

Thailand has the greatest percentage of women in senior management (45 per cent).

The lowest is Japan, where 8 per cent of senior management positions are held by women.

8. Best place to give birth: Greece

Greece is the world’s safest place to give birth, with a one in 31,800 risk of dying in childbirth.

The worst place to have a baby is thought to be the world’s newest country, South Sudan. There are fewer than 20 midwives in the whole country.

9. Best place for economic participation: Bahamas

The Bahamas holds the top spot globally for economic participation and opportunity for women.

The lowest-ranking country, Yemen, has closed only 32 per cent of its economic gender gap in the same period.

10. Best place to be a journalist: Caribbean

The Caribbean is the region with the highest proportion of TV, print and radio news stories reported by women (45 per cent).

The worst region is Africa, with 30 per cent of stories reported by women.

11. Best place for the right to choose: Sweden

Sweden permits women to have abortions without restrictions for the first 18 weeks of pregnancy and there are no mandatory consent requirements.

El Salvador, the Philippines and Nicaragua are among the worst because of a ban on all abortions.

12. Best place for labour force participation: Burundi

Burundi in sub-Saharan Africa ranks first for labour force participation and is the only country where the female labour force participation rate (92 per cent) is higher than that of men (88 per cent).

The worst country is Pakistan, where the labour force is made up of four times as many men as women.

13. Best place to earn money: Luxembourg

Luxembourg shares the top spot (with Norway) for estimated earned income. When income is capped at $40,000, women and men are as likely to earn the same amount.

The lowest female earners are in Saudi Arabia, where women earn $7,157 to men’s $36,727.

14. Best place to go to university: Qatar

In Qatar six women are enrolled in tertiary education for every man.

The worst country is Chad, where three times as many men are enrolled as women.

15. Best place to live long: Japan

Women in Japan can expect to live longest (87), beating men by seven years.

Female life expectancy is shortest in Lesotho (48), but only two years less than men.

16. Best place to be a lady of leisure: Denmark

Women in Denmark have more time for leisure, spending only 57 more minutes each day on unpaid work than men.

Mexican women have it hardest, spending four hours 21 minutes more on unpaid work than men.

17. Best place to be an athlete: US

Five of the top 10 highest-paid female sporting athletes in 2011 were from the US.

The worst country, Saudi Arabia, has never sent a female athlete to the Olympics and bans girls from sports in state schools.

18. Best place to leave your husband: Guam

The Micronesian island of Guam has the highest divorce rate in the world.

Guatemala has the lowest.

19. Best place to drive a car: India

New Delhi is the best place for women wanting to break into the male-dominated world of taxi drivers. An NGO in the country’s capital launched an initiative to train women in the first radio-taxi service run only by women.

The worst country is Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world to ban women from driving.

20. Best place for high-skilled jobs: Jamaica

Jamaica has the highest ratio of women in high-skilled jobs, such as legislators, senior officials and managers. Almost 60 per cent of these roles are filled by women.

Yemen comes last. Women there take up only 2 per cent of high-skilled jobs.