Health and Sexual and Reproductive
Health and Rights
Health and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is one of three thematic focuses within Women Deliver’s 2021-2025 Strategic Framework.
Across every aspect of our work to advance the health and rights of girls and women everywhere, in all their intersecting identities, SRHR serve both as our entry point and foundation. This includes all of our programs, including Global Policy and Advocacy, the Deliver for Good Campaign, and the Young Leaders Program.
Over the past 12 years, we have tangibly advanced SRHR by advocating for increased investment in, and access to, health and SRHR information, services, and quality care, including in the areas of contraception and safe abortion. Women Deliver champions the crucial importance of applying a gender lens to universal health coverage (UHC), health systems strengthening, and pandemic response and recovery in order to optimize health and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for girls and women. Women Deliver also advocates for the rights of women and gender diverse people in the health workforce — an issue which has become even more salient during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our expanded focus on the underlying social determinants of health that impact girls’, women’s, and gender diverse people’s ability to realize and enjoy their SRHR — in particular, in relation to economic justice and rights and climate action — has been critical to our ability to drive forward lasting, inclusive, and sustainable progress.
Women Deliver's Engagement
Women Deliver engages in high-impact global advocacy work around health and SRHR during key policy windows across four levers to drive change.
We are driving investments and policy change by:
- Engaging in key global moments, including the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the World Health Assembly (WHA), advocating directly to decision-makers, to promote SRHR and gender equality and to help amplify the voices of partners.
- Encouraging governments to eliminate discriminatory laws and adopt progressive laws to drive gender equality. As a member of the Gender Equality Advisory Council (GEAC) for the French Presidency of the G7, we helped draft the GEAC-sponsored Biarritz Partnership on Gender Equality — made up of both a landmark analysis of progressive gender laws and a set of policy recommendations. Our recommendations ensured the inclusion of health, including access to safe abortion, contraception, and comprehensive sexuality education within the aforementioned policy recommendations. We also pushed for the inclusion of policy recommendations around economic empowerment, parental leave, unpaid care work, women peace and security, and climate change, and contributed to drafting an accountability framework. These efforts helped influence all G7 countries to commit to adopting at least one new progressive law to further gender equality.
- Collaborating with the WHO via an Official Non-State Actor (NSA) partnership that began in 2016. Women Deliver is one of a limited number of entities who have been granted Official Relations Status with the WHO. We use our access to bring the voices and priorities of our low- and middle-income country partners into WHO spaces, as well as to contribute a gender lens to various technical areas of WHO’s work.
- Ensure gender equality is prominent within key UN Women and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) global action plans and related policy documents as part of our Official Advisory role with both UN entities. Specifically, we helped inform the Global Action Plan (GAP) for Healthy Lives and Wellbeing for All — a strategy to align and accelerate the work of 12 UN health agencies to achieve SDG 3. The strategy aligns with Women Deliver’s recommendations and strongly positions gender equality and women’s empowerment as essential to achieving health and wellbeing for all.
We are strengthening capacity and sharing knowledge by:
- Developing factsheets and other advocacy resources reinforcing why SRHR is essential to UHC, as well as key actions that civil society organizations and advocates can take to advance progress on SRHR in UHC and hold governments accountable to their commitments.
- Co-organizing events with partners and other stakeholders during major moments and convenings in order to disseminate key advocacy messages, strengthen capacity, and share knowledge. Recent events include webinars on topics such as the importance of prioritizing gender equality and SRHR in UHC and the critical role of women in delivering health care, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are connecting for collective action by:
- Co-leading the Alliance for Gender Equality and Universal Health Coverage (UHC), which we co-founded in 2019. The Alliance is now made up of 165 civil society organizations from 60 countries working to advance gender equality and SRHR within UHC design and implementation. In 2019, the Alliance was instrumental in ensuring that gender equality, girls' and women's health and rights, and SRHR were prominent elements of the UN Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage, as well as a joint statement from 58 countries. The Alliance remains one of the only civil society coalitions successfully countering the political and financial rollback on SRHR in the UHC space. The second UN HLM on UHC in September 2023 will be an important opportunity to affirm the health and rights of girls and women, and to ensure that UHC plans are being implemented with a gender lens. Women Deliver will create space to influence the outcomes of September’s meeting at WD2023.
We are building and using the evidence and investment case by:
- Generating new research, including “The Impact of COVID-19 on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Youth-led Perspectives and Solutions for a Gender-Equal World,” a first-of-its-kind study highlighting the experiences, insights, and perspectives of adolescents and youth on the gendered impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SRHR. Youth advocates were involved as both co-creators and participants in this study, including in the development of recommendations for decision-makers to strengthen and uphold SRHR policies.
- In partnership with Girl Effect, we explored how adolescent girls and young women are using digital platforms to learn about their sexual and reproductive health.
- Study: “The Impact of COVID-19 on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Youth-led Perspectives and Solutions for a Gender-Equal World” — A first-of-its-kind study highlighting the experiences, insights, and perspectives of adolescents and youth on the gendered impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SRHR
- Factsheet: “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Integral to Transformative and Gender-Responsive Universal Health Coverage” — For use by gender equality, health, and SRHR advocates in order to strengthen UHC and hold governments accountable to their commitments
- Report: “Going Online for Sexual and Reproductive Health: Meaningfully Engaging Adolescent Girls and Young Women for Smarter Digital Interventions” — A report on how adolescent girls and young women in India, Malawi, and Rwanda are using digital platforms to learn about their sexual and reproductive health
- Study: “Citizens Call for a Gender-Equal World: A Roadmap for Action” — A study with findings from a 17-country public opinion survey on gender equality