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Reporting on Women’s Health: Opportunities and Obstacles


Event Date:

May 17, 2016 | 6:00 PM EDT
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In Indonesia and the Philippines, explosive growth and rapid modernization test religious belief and...

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Multiple Authors
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The Bungoma Referral Hospital no longer openly offers abortions, but some nurses will perform the procedure in secret. Image by Jake Naughton. Kenya, 2015.

The Pulitzer Center presents a panel of journalists on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at Women Deliver 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark, to discuss the challenges of reporting on women's health and rights worldwide.

The Pulitzer Center supports the idea that informed, compelling journalism can shed new light on issues related to women's health, that this kind of nuanced journalism can explore possible solutions, bring new ideas into play, influence policy outcomes and—most importantly—save lives. Pulitzer Center grantees will also share tips and techniques on how audience members can collaborate with media in their work.

Over the last decade, Pulitzer Center grantees have reported on reproductive health issues from many countries, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Guinea Bissau, India, Mexico, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and the Dominican Republic. These journalists have covered a wide range of issues—teenage pregnancy, child marriage, illegal abortion, religious beliefs and attitudes towards family planning, and poor infrastructure. Their stories highlight the severity of the reproductive health crisis as well as some of the many efforts made to give more women access to better and safer health care.

The panel, coordinated by Pulitzer Center Health Projects Coordinator Emily Baumgaertner, includes journalists Ana Santos, Ameto Akpe, Laura Bassett and Allison Shelley.

Santos, the Pulitzer Center's 2014 Persephone Miel Fellow, is an independent print and online journalist whose work has been published in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Rappler, Marie Claire (Philippines), among others. She has reported on HIV/AIDS, gender issues, sexual violence and reproductive health rights in Indonesia, Thailand, Jordan, Israel, Papua New Guinea and her home country, the Philippines. Living in one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, Santos has also begun writing about disaster preparedness and response and the many ways it is interconnected with reproductive health and population.

Akpe is a Nigerian print journalist for BusinessDay as well as a 2013 Pulitzer Center Persephone Miel fellow and 2014 Nieman fellow at Harvard University. Akpe has reported on family planning within a broader Pulitzer Center-supported project on the health impact of U.S. foreign aid in northern Nigeria.

Bassett is a senior Washington correspondent at The Huffington Post focusing on women's issues. She has a master's degree in English Literature and gender studies from Georgetown University and has previously worked for U.S. Congress, Island Press and The Washington Post. Her most recent reporting took place in Kenya, where thousands of women are dying of unsafe abortions due to misinterpretation of the Helms Amendment.

Shelley is an independent documentary photographer and multimedia journalist. A former staff photographer for The Washington Times and previously director of photography for Education Week, Shelley's current work focuses on identity and belonging during crisis. She has covered Nigeria's abortion crisis and menstrual exile in Nepal, among other topics, with grants from the Pulitzer Center. Shelley's photographs and videos have been featured in Time, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, NPR, Al Jazeera America, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Paris Match, and The Guardian, among others. She has received awards and/or financial support from organizations such as the Pulitzer Center, the National Press Photographers Association, and the White House News Photographers Association.

Panel: Reporting on Women's Health: Opportunities and Obstacles
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
6:00-7:00 pm
Women Deliver at the Bella Center
Rooms 5&6
Copenhagen, Denmark

The free panel is open only to conference attendees. The Pulitzer Center hosts a cocktail reception following the panel discussion.


Three women grouped together: an elderly woman smiling, a transwoman with her arms folded, and a woman holding her headscarf with a baby strapped to her back.


Gender Equality

Gender Equality
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Health Inequities

Health Inequities