Government of Germany

Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development - Germany

Being a SheDecides Champion means to me, realizing a feminist approach and striving towards a more just world in which all people, irrespective of their sex, gender, origin, skin colour or social status, are able to decide over their bodies. It means standing up for women’s and girls’ rights, and realizing equal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. It also includes advocating for the most vulnerable and ensuring that no one is left behind in the realization of the fundamental right to health and self-determination.

The right to decide over one’s own body is at the very heart of Germany’s feminist development policy. Bodily autonomy is a human right. Yet its benefits reach far beyond the health sector. When sexual and reproductive health and rights are realized, women and girls have a fair chance at living healthy, fulfilling lives and tapping into their full potential. That in turn increases their chances to participate equally in social and economic life and contribute to realizing a demographic dividend.


She Decides Germany Portraet Svenja Schulze

How we are working so SheDecides

Germany is committed at both the bilateral and the multilateral level to improving access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Bilateral cooperation in our partner countries is channeled through the Initiative on “Rights-based Family Planning and Maternal Health”. Multilaterally, Germany cooperates closely with UNFPA and GFF. As a co-founder of the SRHR Nexus Initiative, Germany furthermore cooperates with like-minded countries to push the international agenda for sexual and reproductive rights.


Initiative on “Rights-based Family Planning and Maternal Health”

Ensuring safe births and enabling women and girls to make free and informed decisions about family planning is at the very heart of Germany’s global health policy. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development supports various projects on sexual and reproductive health and rights in more than 20 partner countries with at least 100 million euros annually. Embedded in health system strengthening and a rights-based approach, the projects build the capacities of the health workforce, and strengthen multisectoral cooperation and the implementation of national strategies amongst other things. In Nepal, for instance, Germany is supporting the development of professional midwifery education.

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Germany’s feminist development policy

Women and girls are key agents of change for socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable development and lasting peace. Yet no country in the world has achieved gender equality. The German government is a strong advocate for equal participation by all people in social, political and economic life – regardless of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, skin colour, disability or other traits. Acting in this spirit, Germany is pursuing a feminist development policy. Gender-transformative approaches and the realization of sexual and reproductive health and rights are at the very centre of the feminist development policy.

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UNFPA Supplies Partnership

There are 218 million women in the Global South who want to avoid pregnancy but are not using modern contraceptives. Too many of them are being left behind at a time when the transformative impact of family planning is not only well-known but also achievable. Germany has supported UNFPA Supplies since 2020. Through this partnership, Germany is contributing to delivering a choice of modern contraceptives and life-saving maternal health medicines into the hands of the women and young people who need them most. Since its launch in 2008, UNFPA Supplies is estimated to have prevented:

  • 89 million unintended pregnancies
  • 26.8 million unsafe abortions
  • 254,000 maternal deaths
  • 1.6 million child deaths

Further information