Q: is shedecides just a reaction to president trump?

The spark for the SheDecides movement was the anger and the indignation triggered by the reinstatement and drastic expansion of the Global Gag Rule, however it would be a mistake to limit SheDecides to just that. The gut feeling of anger and frustration at this Rule lit the spark for the movement - and SheDecides is now much broader than just that one moment and that one government.

SheDecides is about all of us who want to see a world where women and girls are free: free from oppression, free form force, and free to make their own choices about their future.

While the Global Gag Rule is an immediate threat to that (and yes, it must be dealt with), it is not the only policy or law that must change. Many governments have laws, policies and procedures in place that prevent girls and women from making the choices that are right for them. The world is seeing increasingly vocal, fringe and extreme perspectives undermining the rights of women and girls. This is a global problem with many local manifestations. Women and girls and their families around the world have been denied life-saving services before Trump and will face barriers and challenges after he leaves office.

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Q: Who is part of the movement?

SheDecides is an open, global movement and anyone who supports the principles in the SheDecides manifesto is welcome to join. 

All you need to be part of SheDecides is a commitment to making the world a better place for women and girls, and a belief that you can be part of that change. Sign the manifesto here.

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Q: What is a Friend of SheDecides and how do I become one?

Movements are created by everyday people in their daily lives – on the streets, in front of a screen, using the media and more – and SheDecides is no different. The backbone of SheDecides and the strongest force pushing its agenda forward are the Friends of SheDecides.

If you sign the manifesto – as an individual or an organisation – you are a Friend of SheDecides, you are part of the movement.

Friends are citizens, organisations, governments or private parties that publicly support the goals of SheDecides and commit to taking an action to contribute towards a world that is braver, stronger and safer for the girls and women in it. Click here to read the manifesto and become a Friend of SheDecides.

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Q:  What about men?

Men and boys are welcome and encouraged to join the SheDecides movement. SheDecides is an open, global movement committed to promoting, providing, protecting and enhancing the fundamental rights of every girl and woman.

Men and boys have a key role to play in advocating for women and girls to exercise those fundamental rights; raising their voices in support to create a world where SheDecides.

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Q: Are you inclusive of trans-women and gender non-conforming people?

Yes. SheDecides is a movement that promotes the sexual and reproductive rights of all women, including those who were born women, those who transitioned, and those who define themselves as non-binary or gender non-conforming. It is about the fundamental right of every person who considers herself to be a woman to decide about her body.

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Q: What is a Champion of SheDecides and how do I become one?

Champions are friends of SheDecides who are willing and able to take a leadership role in catalysing the movement and lead by example. They are the lights that lead the way towards a world where every girl and every woman has the ability to control her body, her life and her dreams.

They are a global group of leaders, individuals and friends who are committed to the SheDecides objectives and are also willing to serve as active champions for the movement, putting in substantial energy and personal commitment to advancing the goals of the movement.

Being a Champion means planning activities, hosting events, speaking up for SheDecides, and pushing others to change policies, commit funding and become involved in the movement. The Guiding Group of Champions decides on who to invite to become new Champions.

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Q: What is the role of the SheDecides Support Unit?

To make sure that SheDecides grows as a movement that leads to lasting change in people’s lives, a small support unit was created in mid-2017. The role of the SheDecides Support Unit is to nurture the development of the SheDecides movement and support Friends and Champions to speak out and advocate for the rights of girls and women.

The SheDecides Support Unit helps catalyse and grow the movement to achieve its objectives. This includes connecting and communicating, sharing information, providing ideas for how to take action and amplifying best practices.

The SheDecides Support Unit supports Friends and Champions to push governments and other donors to increase the amount of money they put towards creating a world where SheDecides. But the SDSU does not control any funding and is not a grant-giving mechanism. Neither does the SheDecides Support Unit provide health information or refer girls and women to specific health care providers or help solve individual problems.

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Q: How is the SheDecides Support Unit funded?

The SheDecides Support Unit is currently funded by a grant from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), which hosts the team, and there is also a small grant from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation. As the movement grows it is expected that other donors and Foundations will join CIFF in funding the operating costs of the Support Unit.

All donations to the SheDecides crowdfunding campaign will go to organisations affected by the Global Gag Rule, not to the Support Unit, as defined here.

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Q: How will SheDecides support girls and women to have access to the services they need?

Through raising our voices and demanding change, everyone in the SheDecides movement is working to increase political support for the rights of girls and women to decide for themselves about their bodies, and that includes access to good quality sexual and reproductive health services, as well as removing the barriers that get in the way of health care, and rights being respected. The groundswell in support, funding and commitment aims to create a different world, a new normal, where girls and women have control over their bodies, their futures and their lives.

In order to create that overall goal, collectively as Friends and Champions we will need to:

  • Stand up and speak out: change the narrative and engage in positive conversations about the rights around our bodies and sexual lives; stand up to be counted as the majority we are.
  • Change the rules: advocate for and enact just laws and effective policies; make sure that guidelines are issued, and hold those who are responsible for implementation to account.
  • Unlock resources: allocate enough money in country, donor and foundation budgets, so that every girl and woman can access the information, contraception and safe abortion services she needs. And make sure that the technical and human resources are also where they are needed.

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Q: How will SheDecides link with the other existing movements and initiatives that are already working in the area of sexual and reproductive rights, global health and gender equality?

SheDecides is about boosting what is already happening: energising and connecting individuals, organisations and movements already working on these issues so that together we can amplify a bold and fundamental message that will lead to girls and women having the means to decide for themselves, and without question. 

As a broad umbrella, a political movement with community support, SheDecides magnifies the voice and the passion of these movements so that their messages can be heard louder and wider.

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Q: I want to help: How can I contribute?

You can contribute to the SheDecides movement in many ways, including by becoming a Friend of SheDecides and signing the manifesto here

In addition to signing the manifesto, you will find ideas about how you can contribute – as an individual, as an organisation or in a formal capacity on our Do Something page.  

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Q: Who manages the fundraising and where does the money go?

There are two types of fundraising under the banner of SheDecides. Firstly, Governments and donors have been increasing their financing for those organisations that have been affected by the Global Gag Rule and other US funding cuts and other issues central to the SheDecides agenda, such as comprehensive sexuality education and access to safe abortion. 

Individuals have also been donating in the name of SheDecides through a crowdfunding mechanism operated by Rutgers. Immediately after the start of SheDecides in January 2017, Rutgers, a Dutch NGO whose core mission it is to promote the right to decide, set up a crowdfunding site here. In one year, about €500,000 was donated by individuals and small foundations, which was allocated to the Reproductive Health Network in Kenya.

It is not possible for organisations affected by the Global Gag Rule or other US funding cuts to apply for funding directly through Rutgers, or through the SheDecides Support Unit. SheDecides is not a fund.

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Q: How much money was raised at the SheDecides conference on March 2nd?

A total of €181 million (approx. US$200 million) was raised by governments, foundations and philanthropists at the SheDecides conference in March 2017. Those who made commitments were: Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Slovenia, Sir Chris Hohn, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

Around the Family Planning Summit held in London in early July, further substantial commitments were made by some of the same donors, broadly doubling these contributions to a total of around US$ 450 million. 

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Q: My organisation was affected by the Global Gag Rule. Can I apply for some funding?

SheDecides is not a fund or new funding mechanism. All funds pledged in the name of SheDecides were or will be distributed through existing channels. The SheDecides Support Unit does not hold or distribute any funds.

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Q: I want to hold an event to raise funds for SheDecides, how should I do it?

The SheDecides Day 2018 Toolkit is a very useful resource to assist you in running a SheDecides event or activity of any kind.

If you’d like to hold an event and would like to donate all proceeds to SheDecides, please do! It would be great if you can let other SheDecides Friends and Champions know about it, so please share photos or recordings of your event if you have them via social media, tagging, #SheDecides or @SheDecidesGFI. Any of the much-needed funds that you raise can be sent to the SheDecides crowdfunding site, managed by Rutgers, here.

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Q: Who is The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)?

CIFF is an independent philanthropic organisation, headquartered in London with offices in Nairobi and New Delhi and a presence in Ethiopia. It works with a wide range of partners seeking to transform and empower the lives of poor and vulnerable children and adolescents in developing countries, with the ultimate goal of solving seemingly intractable challenges to ensure all children and adolescents have the chance to survive and thrive. 

Its areas of work include maternal and child health, adolescent sexual health, nutrition, education, and deworming, tackling child slavery and exploitation, and supporting smart ways to slow down and stop climate change.

Founded in 2003, CIFF employs approximately 100 professionals in England, Kenya, India and Ethiopia. 

For more information please visit www.ciff.org 

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