She Decides: Filling the Decency Gap for Girls and Women
She Decides, a Global Fundraising Initiative, wants women and girls all over the world to be able to exercise the right to decide if they want to have children, when they want to have them, and with whom. She Decides aims to increase financial as well as political support for sexual health and family planning worldwide and mitigate the impact of decreased U.S. funding for family planning.
Women Deliver commends this example of cross-national, cross-sector collaboration in support of girls and women's health, rights, and wellbeing everywhere. She Decides will include contributions by governments, private sector, non-governmental organizations and citizens to ongoing initiatives that improve access to lifesaving contraceptives, family planning, sexuality education and/or safe abortion.
How Women Deliver is in involved:
- We have signed a letter of commitment to the She Decides initiative
- We are calling on more partners to join the She Decides initiative
- We participated in the 28 February "Day of Action" on Twitter to raise awareness and support
- We attended the She Decides Ministerial Conference on March 2, 2017as a CSO representative and voiced our concerns to leaders about the need to prioritize the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women everywhere
- We will be reporting back from She Decides meetings and holding partners to their commitments
She Decides Ministerial Conference - 2 March, 2017:
On March 2, 2017, global leaders gathered for the She Decides Ministerial Conference and Women Deliver was there. The gathering was hosted by Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation of Belgium and co-organized with Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate of Sweden and Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Development Cooperation of Denmark.
The conference was both an advocacy and a fundraising event. The aim was to join forces and rally financial support for those non-governmental organizations and UN agencies that make sexual and reproductive health and rights a reality for millions of women and girls by providing access to counseling, evidence-based information, non-discriminatory comprehensive sexuality education, family planning, modern contraceptives, safe maternal care, HIV testing and safe abortion care. You can view a recording of the event here.
So far Canada, Cape Verde, Estonia, Finland and Luxemburg have joined the She Decides initiative. Several other governments from all regions of the world have expressed interest in joining the effort and we hope many more will follow.
Read the AP Report: "Donors pledge nearly $200 million for family planning"
Women Deliver's statement on the Global Gag Rule:
"This policy not only endangers the survival, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women by increasing unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions," said Katja Iversen, President/CEO of Women Deliver. "It will also stop progress for girls and women in its tracks."
Read the entire statement here.
What governments can do:
Governments can support the She Decides initiative, both financially and politically. Since the start of the initiative, many countries have already reacted in a positive way. Governments and foundations are encouraged to increase their funding to organizations that are confronted with budget cuts due to the Mexico City Policy. These contributions can be announced as a financial contribution in support of the She Decides initiative. Governments in the countries most affected are encouraged to step up the implementation of their policies on family planning and sexual health and increase their own budgets.
What others can do:
Private donations can be made through the online payment option on the SheDecides website.
All funds will go to organizations that provide information about family planning and sexual health (including safe abortion) and/or provide related services. Funds will go to organizations that are affected by the Mexico City Policy. The private contributions She Decides receives will be channeled to the organizations that have decided to continue providing information about abortion, post-abortion care or safe abortion services (where this is legal) with non-US funding.
Spread the word:
Use the below social media share tiles and hashtag #SheDecides to elevate this lifesaving initiative!