Marieke van der Plas

Executive Director

"For me being a SheDecides Champion means being fully committed to realising sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, as it is fundamental to make the world a better, safer and more equal place for all. I want to work towards this through our programmes, advocacy and communications work both at national and international level, and in close collaboration with the SheDecides movement. Ubuntu: I am because we are."

About Rutgers

Rutgers works to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people. Rutgers work focusses on sexuality education and information, access to contraception and safe abortion and the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence, both in The Netherlands and internationally.

Rutgers first became a SheDecides Champion in 2017, when former Minister Liliane Ploumen first launched SheDecides.  The She Makes her Safe Choice programme (see below for more information) has been part of this international movement. Rutgers also sends out a newsletter to people who have donated funds in the context of SheDecides.

She Makes Her Safe Choice programme

The 4-year programme (2018-beginning of 2022) She Makes Her Safe Choice focused on drastically reducing the number of unsafe abortions and maternal deaths worldwide by improving access to safe abortion methods, contraception, information and services. To realise this ambition, there was a need to create an impact by creating scale: investing in making safe abortion methods available worldwide, next to a comprehensive approach in a number of focus countries, in particular Ethiopia and Kenya.

This complementary approach entailed working simultaneously on supply, awareness creation and an enabling policy environment, in order to reduce unsafe abortions. Elements of the complementary approach were implemented in Francophone West Africa during the last 2 years of the programme. The programme was implemented by a consortium consisting of Rutgers (lead) and DKT International, in collaboration with various in-country partners and has been funded in the context of the Dreamfund of the Dutch Postcode Lottery.

She Makes Her Safe Choice

She Makes Her Safe Choice

For a quick overview of the approach applied and the results achieved, please see this short animation here. It is based on the results achieved within the She Makes Her Safe Choice programme per mid-2021.

In addition, some news articles on other results achieved/ to which Safe Choice contributed:

See animation

Ado Avance Ensemble

The implementation of this 3-year programme will start from the 1st of August 2022 (August 2022-July 2025). Its envisaged impact is: Vulnerable adolescents (10-19 yrs.), particularly out-of school girls, in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Togo are able to fully exercise their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in societies that are more supportive of their needs, including access to contraception and safe abortion.

The programme will be implemented by a consortium of Rutgers (lead), DKT, Ipas and 5 member associations of IPPF in Francophone West and Central Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Togo. It is co-funded by the European Commission.

Right Here Right Now

Right Here Right Now enables young people in all their diversity to enjoy their sexual and reproductive health and rights in societies where there is equity and equality between genders in all aspects of life. This youth-centered programme sees young people, especially girls, young women and young LGBTQI+ people being empowered to make decisions about their sexuality, voice their needs and claim their rights.

The partnership tackles taboos: access to comprehensive sexuality education, information and youth-friendly services – including safe abortion – and sexual rights. We lobby governments to adopt and be accountable for inclusive human-rights based policies and laws, work on public support and capacity strengthening.

Right Here Right Now