WGNRR was present at the 4th Women Deliver Global Conference. The Conference’s goal was to bring together diverse voices and interests to drive progress, particularly in maternal,
sexual and reproductive health and rights, and to build capacity, share solutions and forge partnerships. In all, the Women Deliver 2016 Conference brought more than 5,700 policymakers, researchers, advocates, journalists and young people from more than 2,000 organizations and 169 countries to Copenhagen, Denmark. This was the largest Women Deliver Conference to date and the largest gathering of women’s health and rights advocates in over a decade.
WGNRR’s Communications and Campaigns Officer Marisol Ruiz participated in several events as a Women Deliver Young Leader scholarship recipient. She was invited to participate at a panel hosted by WGNRR’s partners: Change: Center for Health and Gender Equity, Advocates for Youth, the International Women’s Health Coalition and Pathfinder International. The event was titled “Exporting the War on Women: U.S. Abortion Policy and its Global Impact” and was held on Monday, May 16. The panel discussed U.S. policy on abortion, including the domestic landscape for women and girls in the U.S. and ongoing challenges posed throughout the world. There was a particular focus on the similarities in the domestic and global fights, how U.S. policy interferes with other countries public health responses, and how the U.S. is out of step with the trajectory of 1) the rest of the world (liberalizing laws) and 2) our own bolder data and human rights driven foreign policy (LGBT rights, the PEPFAR pivot). The Moderator of the Panel was feminist journalist Jill Filopovic, who has worked for news outlets such as the Guardian, The New York Times, The Huffington Post and Cosmopolitan. The session was divided in 2: the morning panel (10:30-11:45) had key leading voices on the matter such as Rita Badiani, Country Representative in Mozambique for Pathfinder International, Dr. Suchitra Dalvie, Coordinator, Asia Safe Abortion Partnership and Françoise Girard, President of the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC). During lunchtime, the event had an outstanding keynote speaker, Dr. Willie Parker, Obstetrician and Gynecologist.
The afternoon panel focused on proposing solutions and identifying opportunities for advancing abortion in U.S. policy and influence. Panelists discussed the upcoming elections in he U.S., large legal and policy moments. WGNRR’s Communications and Campaigns Officer talked about what donor policies and leadership on safe abortion should look like, the importance of tackling abortion stigma in the donation process and integrating youth and more experienced voices in the process to consolidate the movement. She also talked about how abortion policies must be fundamentally feminist and have a human rights perspective at its core. The accompaning panelists for the afternoon session were Chloe Cooney, Director of Global Advocacy, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Sarah Soysa, Advisor, FRIDA Feminist Fund, Women Deliver Young Leader, Sri Lanka, and Beirne Roose-Snyder, Director of Public Policy, Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE).
WGNRR’s C&C’s Officer also participated at the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Caucus hosted by WGNRR’s partner, Elige: Red de Jóvenes por los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos AC, and REDLAC. Caucus participants discussed strategic opportunities to advance solutions for girls and women in Latin America and the Caribeban as part of regional and national planning, implementation, and accountability for the SDGs and other commitments. The caucus presented a key platform for calls to action and the forging of alliances to ensure that the needs and voices of girls and women are elevated within your region and country’s vision for realizing the SDGs. One of these key calls to action was the document: “Pact for the empowerment, sexual rights and the sexual and reproductive health of Girls, Adolescent Girls and Young Women” which you can download HERE.
WGNRR also had the wonderful opportunity to catch up with members and partners at a very special consultation event hosted by WGNRR’s Executive Director, Kathy Mulville. The event was an opportunity for members and partners to network, meet, catch up, strategize and discuss future projects and campaigns.