Here is where we highlight the latest developments and stories of the movement. We call people to account, we applaud others who do the same and we amplify the voices of those who often get locked out of global conversations. You can also find the latest editions of our newsletter. If you've got a story to share - get in touch by email, Twitter or Facebook.
Lead of the SheDecides Support Unit
The SheDecides Support Unit is moving house! As we move to our new hosts, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), there is an exciting opportunity for a brilliant individual to Lead the Support Unit to help drive change toward a new normal where SheDecides. Without questions.
All queries and applications must be directed through IPPF. More details here.
Support for global political movement SheDecides grows as French Minister of Equality Marlene Schiappa becomes Champion, and Danish and Belgian governments commit $2 million today to the SheDecides movement
The French government has today announced its support for SheDecides, the global political movement that promotes a world where every girl and woman can decide what to do with her body, with her life and with her future. Without question.
French Minister of Gender Equality, Marlene Schiappa, will become a Champion of the movement. Schiappa will be at the forefront of SheDecides’ efforts, helping to change attitudes, laws and unlock the resources needed to support women and girls across the world.
This comes as the Danish government has today announced $1.6 million of funding (10 million Danish Krone) for SheDecides. The Belgian government announced additional support of 400.000 euro. The funding will enable the SheDecides Support Unit to continue to catalyse the SheDecides movement, especially through local SheDecides movements in Africa and beyond.
SheDecides was founded in 2017 by Dutch MP Liliane Ploumen, at the time the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, and now vice-Chair of the SheDecides movement. It was an urgent response to the reintroduction and expansion of the US Global Gag Rule. This threatened to cause huge damage to already weak health services around the world, especially those providing safe abortion care and sexuality education – with devastating effects on women, girls and their communities around the world.
Since the spark for the movement less than two years ago, SheDecides has gone from strength to strength. Today, SheDecides is a global political movement driving change, fueled by action in communities, and with young people at its heart. SheDecides connects diverse Champions and Friends from all over the world to take action to stand up, speak out, change the rules and unlock resources. The ambition is a world where girls and women everywhere can access the information and education to make their own choices, to enjoy their bodies; to have access to the full range of quality care that unite all parts of her sexual and reproductive life and health.
Earlier this year, SheDecides appointed the movement’s first ever Chair, dynamic young leader Tikhala Itaye, from Her Liberty in Malawi, who leads a group of 40 diverse Champions, who serve as ambassadors for the movement. Champions bring a wealth of experience from across the world to help create a new normal where every girl and woman can decide what to do with her body, with her life and with her future. Without question.
SheDecides is making significant progress in many regions, with political leadership, community action, and youth engagement in Southern Africa being the most recent example. SheDecides movements are taking off throughout Southern Africa, focused on making real change in the region, with strong leadership from SheDecides Champions, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and Dr Bernard Haufiku - the Minsiters of Health in South Africa and Namibia, who have pledged to bring SheDecides movement to the SADC region.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnaes said:
“Denmark has been a proud supporter of SheDecides since it was launched in early 2017. We are now proud to be the first government to get behind the bold ambition of taking SheDecides to the local level. This is where we will make real change: where every girl and woman, She Decides. Without Question.”
Marlene Schiappa, French Minister of Gender Equality, said:
“France shares the vision of a world where SheDecides. We believe in a world where women are free to make their own decisions, a world where these decisions are not made by another person or the state”.
Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium and Minister of Development Cooperation, said:
“Belgium was one of the first countries to support SheDecides. We hosted the international conference in Brussels on 2 March 2017 that rallied support from more than 45 countries and organizations and raised 181 million euros.
“It is important that SheDecides continues its work to mobilize energy and funds for sexual and reproductive health and rights. That’s why Belgium is pleased to grant 400.000 euro to the SheDecides Support Unit.”
Tikhala Itaye, SheDecides Chairperson, said:
“As we near the end of the second full year of existence, SheDecides reflects with great pride on how far we have come in so little time. These commitments represent a growing consensus from progressive governments, from vibrant youth leaders, from NGOs working across many issues, from bold midwives and other professionals and advocates that now is the time to act, to create change and protect the right of all women and girls to have the power to decide for ourselves what we do with our bodies, our lives and our futures.
“We welcome Minister Schiappa, and we welcome France to SheDecides. We look forward to the expertise and passion Marlene Schiappa brings to building the movement, protecting and promoting the rights of women and girls across the world.
“We are so grateful to the Danish and Belgian governments for the new funding for the Support Unit which will help the movement to make big change, especially at local level, so that Champions and Friends can work together to create a new normal where every woman and every girl has the power to decide. Without question.”
STAND UP, SPEAK OUT WITH SHEDECIDES CHAMPIONS AT UNGA: YOUR CHANCE TO JOIN THEM!
It is just one year since the SheDecides Champions first gathered together, at the UN General Assembly (UNGA), to plan the future of the movement, and make bold commitments about the actions they would take. Since then, SheDecides has grown into an even stronger movement, now with 40 Champions, serving as Ambassadors for the 50,000 individuals and organisations who have signed the manifesto and pledged to be Friends who will take us closer to a world where SheDecides. Everyday. Everywhere. Without question.
This year, SheDecides Champions are inviting Friends to sit side-by-side with SheDecides Champions, who will be gathering for the third time, on the edges of UNGA in New York City. If you already plan to be in New York on the morning of Tuesday 25 September, we are inviting ten special Friends to join the Champions at their meeting where they will reflect on the successes of the last year and make bold commitments for the future.
Why should you win one of these ten golden tickets?
Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: SheDecides Champions Meeting. In no more than 100 words tell us:
- What are you doing to create a world where SheDecides?
- How will meeting the Champions strengthen your action?
Applications close Monday 17 September.
Please note: there are no travel funds available. This is for Friends of SheDecides who will already be in New York City.
Namibia & South Africa Champions leading the way to a new normal in Southern Africa
Back in 2017, at the first ever meeting of SheDecides Champions during UNGA, Leading Champion Dr Aaron Motsoaledi made a bold promise: to bring SheDecides to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
It was a game changing move: at that time South Africa was Chair of SADC. So, as Chair of the Health Minister’s group, Dr Motsoaledi could prioritise a progressive agenda across the region. SADC brings together 16 diverse countries ranging from Tanzania to Angola, from DRC to Mozambique and with many challenges for women and girls, including very high rates of HIV, maternal mortality – often due to unsafe abortions – and gender based violence. Since that bold pledge, the SADC Chair has shifted to Namibia, meaning that this year Health Ministers will meet under the chairmanship of another SheDecides Champion: Dr Bernard Haufiku, Namibian Minister of Health and Social Services.
Working together, with other Champions and Friends in SADC, these two bold Champions are bringing hope that a new progressive approach to sexual and reproductive health and rights will be forged in the region. Read more about it here.
Stand up, speak out so she is free to access abortion safely
28 September will mark the International Day of Action for Safe Abortion – a moment when we all must stand up, speak out loudly for her right to decide when, whether and with whom she has children.
The Yes vote in Ireland was a massive moment – bringing hope around the world that we can change the rules, we can shift social norms. It showed how communities – particularly young people – can create real change. The #HomeToVote being especially inspiring, and the 'Sometimes a private matter needs public support' campaign drawing on the new narratives that underpin SheDecides.
And there has also been disappointment. The failure in Argentina, where a vote to legalise abortion failed to pass the Senate, particularly hurt. Hope is not lost: there is a mass movement in the country to drive progress, to ensureSheDecides.
We live in a world where 25 million unsafe abortions take place each year. We must change the rules preventing girls and women from deciding about their own bodies.
Learn more here.
five new champions join the shedecides movement
SheDecides has announced five new Champions, who have all played key roles in HIV/AIDS movements, these are:
Princess Mabel van Oranje, Chair of Girls Not Brides
Dr Bernard Haufiku, Minister of Health, Namibia
Dr Hatsumi Taniguchi, Board Member of the International Confederation of Midwives
Dr Senait Fisseha, Director of International Programmes at Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation
Vuyiseka Dubula, Director at Africa Centre for HIV & AIDS Management
“It is truly inspiring to see so many talented, engaging and passionate people join the SheDecides movement today as Champions,” said, Tikhala Itaye, Chair of the SheDecides movement.
“We are all united by the powerful words etched in our Manifesto: the world is better, stronger and safer when “She Decides”. I am looking forward to working with the new Champions and utilising their respective passions and expertise to create a new normal where SheDecides. Without question.”
la france est de retour! france is back!
The Government of France has pledged 10 million euros in the name of SheDecides - unlocking essential resources for women's sexual rights initiatives around the world!
The announcement was made by French Secretary of State in Charge of Gender Equality, Marlène Schiappa, at the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) in New York on 14 March.
SheDecides welcomes and salutes the leadership of the French Government in adding their voice to the SheDecides movement by Standing Up and Speaking Out, committing to changing the rules and unlocking resources to ensure that everywhere and everyday SheDecides about her body and her future. Without Question!
Other leaders must heed the call and also take a bold step to champion the rights of girls and women to decide about their own bodies.
Vivre La France! #SheDecides #ElleDécide #WithoutQuestion
Read more: https://onu.delegfrance.org/La-France-est-de-retour-Le-feminisme-aussi
Le gouvernement de la France a pris la décision audacieuse de rejoindre le mouvement SheDecides, suivant l’exemple de pays tels que le Danemark, la Suède, l'Afrique du Sud, les Pays-Bas, le Canada, la Finlande et beaucoup d'autres pays qui défendent les droits sexuels et reproductifs des femmes et des filles partout dans le monde.
L'annonce a été faite lors de la 62ème session de la Commission sur la Condition de la Femme (CSW62) à New York cette semaine où la Secrétaire d’État Francaise chargée de l’Égalité entre les femmes et les hommes, Marlène Schiappa a promis 10 millions d'euros au nom de SheDecides par son gouvernement.
SheDecides salue le leadership du gouvernement français qui ajoute sa voix au mouvement SheDecides en se levant et en parlant, en s'engageant à changer les lois et encore plus important, en débloquant des ressources pour assurer que partout et chaque jour, #ElleDecide sur son corps et son avenir. Sans à en repondre! C'est aussi un appel à d'autres Leaders Mondiaux à faire un pas audacieux pour être comptés parmi les Défenseurs des droits des femmes et des filles.
Vivre La France! #SheDécides #ElleDecide #WithoutQuestion
the world puts its weight behind the rights of young women and adolescent girls
8 March 2018
Governments, not-for-profit organisations, community leaders, and business leaders in cities across the world have spent the past few days unpacking and challenging the rules, laws, policies and myths that block young women and adolescent girls from making decisions about their bodies, their lives and their futures. Events to celebrate the first ever SheDecides Day were organised in Afghanistan, Australia, Belgium, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Namibia, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, Uganda, the UK and the US.
Global gag rule 6 month review - a moment to stand up and speak out
On 15 May 2017 the United States State Department announced that it would conduct a review of the “effectiveness and impact” of the expanded Global Gag Rule (GGR) over the next six-months. Read statement from SheDecides here.
Dozens of non-governmental organisations, governments and others submitted information and evidence on how, because of this policy, women and girls around the world are being denied their right to decide about their bodies, their lives and their futures.
The Review was released on 7 February 2018 and can be viewed here.
revised sex ed. guidelines launched.
January 10, 2018
Young people should be provided with all the information they need to learn about their bodies, about healthy relationships and how to have a safe and happy sex life. Without judgement, without question, without fear.
Yesterday the Revised International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education was launched by UNESCO (with UNAIDS, UNFPA, UN Women and World Health Organization (WHO)), presenting evidence-based recommendations advocating for full, comprehensive sex education for all young people. The updated guidance “reaffirms the position of sexuality education within a framework of human rights and gender equality.” It is clear that understanding your body, your rights and your options is essential, and should never be denied. Comprehensive sexuality education is integral to ensuring SheDecides, and we hope these guidelines are embraced and implemented internationally.
Read the full report by UNESCO with UNAIDS, UNFPA, UN Women and World Health Organization (WHO) here.
Lilianne Ploumen awarded Machiavelli Prize for creating SheDecides
January 9. 2018
Congratulations to Lilianne Ploumen for winning the Machiavelli Prize for creating the SheDecides movement! The Dutch prize acknowledges remarkable achievements in the field of public communications.
The jury applauded the pace and determination of the movement, saying: "Within less than six weeks, a worldwide movement of countries, funds and individuals in favour of the self-determination of women and girls has arisen". Massive applause for Lilianne for taking the initiative to stand up, speak out and take us closer to a world where #SheDecides, without question.
Happy New Year.
January 1, 2018.
2017 was one rollercoaster of a year. On 21 January, millions of women and men around the world walked in the Women’s March. On 23 January, President Trump signed the expanded Global Gag Rule. The very next day, Dutch Minister Lilianne Ploumen announced the creation of SheDecides and put €10 million on the table.
Since then, we have moved from having those two words as a uniting rallying cry, to a successful conference on 2 March, to a movement with a crystal clear manifesto, signed by 40,000 Friends and 140 organisations.
SheDecides now is led by 36 Champions from all over the world, ranging from ministers to youth leaders who alongside our Friends are committed to Standing Up and Speaking Out, Changing the Rules and Unlocking Resources (€ 390 million so far!). The time has never been more right to work together to create a new normal: a world where every girl and woman can decide what to do with her body, her life and her future. Without question.
The SheDecides Support Unit wishes all the Friends and Champions a very happy 2018 - filled with action, so that #SheDecides!