New York, NY, 4 June 2020 — Let us start by speaking loudly and plainly: Black Lives Matter. The recent murders in the United States of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other Black men, women, children, transgender, and gender nonconforming individuals give all of us — around the world — overdue cause to reexamine our own role in the racist systems and structures that lead to such violence.
Racism is a public health crisis. Systemic injustice has caused Black communities to suffer disproportionately — from the COVID-19 pandemic, to increased maternal mortality, to lack of access to reproductive health services. And racism is a major contributor toward economic injustice.
Women Deliver stands with our U.S.-based staff, global partners, and protesters in sharing the anger and pain of the Black community. We also recognize that the international development and non-profit sectors have their own history of racialized power dynamics that need to be dismantled.
Our advocacy is rooted in gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women. We believe that every person has the right to health, bodily autonomy, and freedom from violence regardless of race, age, gender, sexuality, religion, immigration status, or ability.
Our work must acknowledge and break down the systems of white supremacy and privilege at the core of reproductive, economic, and racial inequality and injustice. And we can’t just be against racism, we must actively oppose racism as anti-racists.
Women Deliver commits to working to eradicate systems of oppression that lead to racial injustice, work that is intrinsically linked to our advocacy for gender equality and the health and rights of all girls and women. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the global racial and reproductive justice communities, and the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and all victims of racial violence.
But words aren’t enough, so here is what we are committing to today:
- Set clear Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion benchmarks for hiring processes
- Examine our retention rates for people of color and minority groups
- Continue to hire more people of color and strengthen the diversity of recruitment pipelines
- Ensure an intersectional lens, along with a DEI strategy, is included in our 5-year strategic plan which we are currently developing
This is just a start. We challenge ourselves and others to listen, learn, and act — to take the question Women Deliver often asks our partners — “how will you use your power?” — and apply it to this moment. Today, we pledge to put our power and resources towards ending racial injustice.
About Women Deliver: Women Deliver is a leading global advocate that champions gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women. Our advocacy drives investment – political and financial – in the lives of girls and women worldwide. We harness evidence and unite diverse voices to spark commitment to gender equality. And we get results. Anchored in sexual and reproductive health, we advocate for the rights of girls and women across every aspect of their lives. We know that investing in girls and women will deliver progress for all.